Monday, November 28, 2011

Signs Indicate Level of Agency Commitment to Trail Management

Signs give the trail user a lot of very useful information.  Signs often tell us what vehicle types are allowed on a certain route, the difficulty of the trail, or a route number that is keyed to a map.  Signs are one of the primary ways the agency communicates with the public.

When doing a site-review of a recreation facility or route network, signs also inform me as to the level of commitment that unit has to its OHV program and public safety.

In the attached photo, you will see on the left a newly installed “mixed-use” sign that identifies what portion of a forest road is open for non-street legal OHVs.  It is well placed and current.

On the right of that photo, you will notice that I had to hold a sign so a fellow rider could see it.  It appeared the post had rotted out many years ago and both it and the sign had been cast to the side of the road.

QWR believe signs are an important travel management tool.  However, they also convey to the public the level of commitment the unit has to managed OHV recreation.  Without exception, you can be assured that a well-signed unit has made a commitment to the trail community.

A management unit with few signs, missing signs, or poorly maintained signs is sending a signal to the user that the agency does not care about the area or you. 

What sort of “signal” have you been getting from the land management agency where you ride? 
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