Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Wildland/Urban Challenge - “Signs” of Agency Commitment to a Managed Trail System

Welcome to the Blackrock/Chinese Peak Trail System

QWR believes that how the user respects public lands is largely dependent on how the agency conveys its commitment to managing the resource.  

Trail Map at Entrance

That land-use message starts with how well the entrance or staging area facilities are maintained and continues with how the trails are signed.   Recreationists also look for how decommissioned or closed routes are identified and protected. 

TMR Prescriptions

Does the agency identify or sign restoration projects or special management designations such as “No Shooting Safety Zones” or “Wildfire/Wildlife Areas”?

Shooting Safety Zone

Are the camping areas and bathrooms clean?  Are the kiosks and information posters in good condition? 

Info on Preventing Wildfires

Is there evidence of trail maintenance such as installed water control structures (i.e. rolling dips, lead off trenches, sediment catch basins, etc.)?

While on a recent trip to Idaho, QWR had the opportunity to ride/tour the Blackrock/Chinese Peak Trail System managed by the BLM’s Pocatello Field Office.   This recreation area sits on the outskirts of Pocatello, Idaho.

View of Pocatello from Ridge Trail

QWR believes this unit is a good example of how to manage motorized and non-motorized recreation in a wildland/urban interface.  The BLM starts by welcoming users to the area via a well-kept staging area that contains important user information such as seasons of use, types of allowed trail activities, map of the trail system, and fire prevention recommendations.

Management of Closed Routes

The roads and trails are well signed.  Closed routes and illegal shortcuts are clearly marked and signed.

Well Signed OHV Route

Illegal dumping can be an issue on a public unit, but this area has addressed that via appropriate signing and installation of vehicle barriers.

No Dumping Sign and Barricades

The Blackrock Canyon restroom was clean.  The kiosk and information posters were in excellent condition and contained relevant information.

Clean SST and Well Maintained Kiosk

The 50-inch trails for motorcycles, MTBs, and ATVS were clearly identified.  Trails for larger vehicles were also well signed and maintained.

50 inch Trail 

To some extent, management challenges will always exist regardless of where the unit is.  However, QWR believes that the level of public cooperation and respect for the land is directly proportional to the agency’s visual and on-the-ground commitment to managing the resource for current and future generations.  

No comments:

Post a Comment