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Firebreak 5 - PLEASE READ

Discussion in 'Pacific Region' started by mudhog, Mar 14, 2003.

  1. mudhog

    mudhog THEGAME Staff Member Super Moderator

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    [For those of you unaware of Firebreak 5, it is one of the most heavily
    used 4x4 trails in the Tillamook State Forest.]

    A steep, 400 foot, uphill section of the uppermost portion of Firebreak 5
    has become almost impassable. Just a couple of years ago this section was
    level with the base of the trees next to the trail. Now it is rutted up to
    6 feet deep in places. It is so deeply rutted that even very few of the
    most capable rigs can get through it.

    The cause of the problem is simple. If you're a TSF regular, you know that
    the volume of trail traffic has increased dramatically over the past few years.

    This hill has no underlying rock foundation to support it. When there is a
    healthy amount of water running down the hill or when it is covered in
    snow, almost any vehicle can quickly eat away the soil. When you get stuck
    and try again and again and again to get up the hill, you just make bigger
    and bigger holes until it becomes impossible. Snow seem to exaggerate the
    problem because you think you're just pushing through the snow, but you're
    really digging away the surface below it.

    Todd Brooks and I met with Randy Peterson of the Oregon Department of
    Forestry to discuss the options available. The ODF wants to keep the trail
    open and so do we If vehicles are to continue to use this section at all,
    the deep ruts must be removed. It probably would require a blade to
    flatten the section followed by some amount of trail hardening.

    Here's the options we came up with.

    1. One-Way. How about running this section downhill during wet/snowy
    months and uphill/downhill during the dry months? This was our preferred
    choice. The problem is selling it to those dreaded "irresponsible"
    offroaders! I know it's hard to imagine, but there are some people out
    there that just seem to ruin things for everybody else. Signage would play
    a big role in informing the public to "use it right or lose it
    forever". Now, if we could just keep the bullet holes out of that sign...

    2. Seasonal closure. There are a couple options here. It could be closed
    during the rainy season like University Firepower. It could be closed at
    the first snow and reopened when the snow melts. Although undesirable, it
    is probably better than...

    3. Close the trail forever, except for the very top section for access to
    the Crushers Trail. 'Nuff said about that option.

    4. Reroute. We briefly looked at the possibility to build two or more
    long switchbacks across the hill. It's doable and would add quite a few
    hundred feet to the trail. It is costly and would be a last resort
    solution. If people continue to use the trail inappropriately, the ODF may
    see seasonal or total closure as the inexpensive alternative.

    Ok, let the discussion begin! Please edit the original text to remove
    information that is not pertinent to your reply.

    Thanks,
     
  2. UNCLE CRACKER

    UNCLE CRACKER 1/2 ton status

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    I say just close that section of firebreak down durring the winter months. Thats the only way they are going to be able to keep people off of it. most people that hit trails like that do it for the challenge and arent thinking about how bad they are tearing up the trail. I know I do it anyway.
     
  3. Heavymetal

    Heavymetal 1/2 ton status Premium Member

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    I don't think signs dictating direction usage would work all that well, some people just don't care. Seasonal closure is the only sure way to prevent usage. I personally prefer trail maintainance parties to keep things usable. Lets face it, between the rain and our tires, the trails get worn down. I personally have only been on one, and it was me, my kids, and one OBH'er. A pretty pathetic turn out. Athough it is not fair for a small pecentage of the users to clean up after everyone that uses the area. Perhaps in addition to, or in place of a purchased tag to use the area, it could be made mandantory to do a certain number of hours of documented trail maintainace. Another idea would be to increase the cost of the tag for those who don't want to, or don't have time, to help out.
     
  4. cornfed

    cornfed 1/2 ton status

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    Dont allow open diff trucks with little tires on it - they tear it up waaaay worse than big trucks - people were bitchin about our "big ass tires tearin it up". I pulled a toyota with little tires up it without spinning. How about some big rocks at the base of the hill to keep the little guys out? Your talking about closing the section with the big muddy hill right? [​IMG] I think closing it for the winter is the best option - is that all that happened at Cedar Tree or is it closed for good like I heard? I think a work party would be a great idea to get in good with the guys there, Im sure theres enough guys on here to make a good showing at one.
     
  5. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    I think a seasonal closure would be the most effective as well. Rebuilding it once and some regular maintenence may help but during the winter I dont think it would be easy to maintain.
     
  6. Silver84k5

    Silver84k5 1/2 ton status

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    About that pic that cornfed posted, the ruts are about twice as deep as that now, and i belive that pic was from Jan 1st. The whole purpose of wheelin is to have challenging trails, in the summer time, and rig with 4hweel drive and a decent set of tires will drive right up taht hill, so us guys that have spend time and money setting our rigs up wont even have to have our hubs locked to go up that, i do see the concern abuot erosion, but hell how many OHV parks are there in the coast range? i can only think of one real popular one and thats browns camp (TSF)... whats the big deal if it keeps getting torn up?.... 400 feet of forest, compared to the whole forest, thats like comparing some podunk town in eastern oregon with a Population of 2, to the city of new york....
     
  7. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    I think the answer to your post was best described on the OBH list
    [ QUOTE ]
    The problem is that everything around here drains into a fish bearing stream. Tearing up trails in the winter time allows silt to run into streams therefore making it near impossible for fish to live.

    [/ QUOTE ]
    Enviromental groups would rather have places like this closed for good rather than see it repaired.
     
  8. Topdown

    Topdown 1/2 ton status

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    hell, lets bring in some boulders, drop them the length of the trail, make it a crawl, then reroute winding around, make some switch backs so guys can get rocks a little a mud a little. Then if others want to, they can shoot strait up the crawl.

    -Ryan
     
  9. kennyw

    kennyw N9PHW Premium Member

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    That was one of the options brought up on the OBH list too. Down side is cost, but if we can get enough volunteers we can probably make it happen.
     

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