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By: Robert Janis

Stay on Trails

Collaboration between Concerned Factions Help to Discourage Rogue Use of Trust Lands 

Continued from page 1...

LaSal Mountains Trails, Utah

La Sal Mountains of Utah

Kim Christy, assistant director and project coordinator for SITLA.

The Solution

Once it became clear how prevalent the problem was, the agency and the stake holders, which included ATV groups, local governments, adjoining land owners, and federal and state agencies, came together to resolve the issue. “We sat down and tried to come up with a consensus to give up certain roads that were redundant or not leading to any meaningful areas that were carved out over time; and, in the process, come out with an overall plan for the trails that remain,” said Christy.

So, in cooperation it was decided which trails or roads would be closed and which trails would remain open. Moreover, it was decided to redesign some trails to create looping systems so that trails would not dead end in a particular area and encourage a frustrated rider to go on into forbidden territory. The agency has also worked with local law enforcement and the Division of State Parks to try to arrange for additional law enforcement presence. Chris Fausett, resource specialist and project coordinator, added that the trust is trying to create a culture of self-discipline among the users. “The emphasis is on what they (the OHV rider) can do rather than what they can’t do,” said Christy.

So far the project has installed kiosks at entrance points to the properties. There will be a total of 10 kiosks which will have information about the trail system including maps. Moreover, each individual trail segment will be marked with signs that designate that they are open. The trust has spent $241,000 on this project, which include information kiosks and signs to educate ATV riders on how to use the land. Moreover, 36 miles of rogue trails have been closed.

Christy said that the Agency as well as local OHV organizations such as SPEAR and Ride With Respect will post the signs and SPEAR and Ride With Respect will assist in policing the trails. Christy said that the process of marking the trails will take about two years.

In October the agency dedicated 134 miles of off-road trails that are a part of the project. Present at the ceremony were members of ATV clubs as well as local and state officials and one of the 10 information kiosks was unveiled.

While a lot has been, and will be done by the agency as well as other stake holders concerned with the well-being of the lands of the La Sal Mountains, both Christy and Fausett pointed out that the success of the project will rely on voluntary compliance with rules and restrictions.

A website with Information about the trust and the project including maps can be accessed at: http://tlamap.trustlands.utah.gov/plat/ ... trails.htm.

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