Author Topic: There goes the Castle  (Read 10297 times)

binch

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #15 on: January 27, 2017, 09:59 AM »
Just out of curiousity.....are the BC side of these trails closed as well?
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Red90

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #16 on: January 27, 2017, 11:50 AM »
When we went out there last summer the Racehorse pass was already closed.

Based on what?  It is not in a managed area, so can't be.  There is a yearly closure on the BC side for bear migration.

Matt H

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #17 on: January 27, 2017, 12:11 PM »
Based on signs and barriers on the trail/road leading to it saying it's closed.

Lots of the signage in the area seemed to be deliberately vague, inconclusive, and potentially, out of date. They carried warnings that the signs themselves could be inaccurate and give a general website address to obtain more information. A website with no additional info that gives a phone number with nobody on the other end.
One thing however was very clear. The consequences of being on a trail that you are not supposed to be on. Seeing as none of us had an extra $5K we were prepared to risk, we decided not to try for the Pass.
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Red90

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #18 on: January 27, 2017, 12:22 PM »
Did you get any pictures? There has always been a gate on the road on the BC side. The trail enters further down. There are closure signs for Sept to Nov.

There is a closure due to the mine apparently for North Fork.

Red90

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #19 on: January 27, 2017, 02:36 PM »
Was this the BC side?  This is the newest map from the government.  http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/kootenay/eco/maps/AlexanderCreek.pdf

What confuses people is the "Roads Open September 1 - November 30 ATV Use Only"  This is intended to mean it is open to all users the rest of the year....and ATV only Sept to Nov.  Some clearer maps and some pictures of the gate and signs here: http://www.oldqs.com/node/518

There is some uncertainty with getting into the North Fork Pass trail as it runs by or through mine land.  I'd need to go look, but I'm pretty sure that there is a way through without getting on the mine property.
« Last Edit: January 27, 2017, 02:38 PM by Red90 »

Matt H

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #20 on: January 27, 2017, 10:27 PM »
It's entirely possible that, in fact,  we were allowed access but misunderstood the signage?  If so that is unfortunate as we endeavoured only to use approved trails but misinterpreted the locked gate and $5K fine warning signs.


If the object of the signage is to discourage responsible access then I'd say it's working. 
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B-Red

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #21 on: January 28, 2017, 08:54 AM »
The links that you posted Red90 help in understanding the access challenge to these areas. The alpine eco system does get impacted heavily by unresponsible users as it takes years to recover. Maybe a trip to the base with a camp setup and hike after is going to become the norm for these off-roading trips in these protected areas.
The north and north west side of the province is lightly used and does provide access to some exciting trails. Need to explore some more.

headdamage

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #22 on: January 30, 2017, 01:10 PM »
The area was gorgeous back before quads... heavy use by (unresponsable) quad users seems to be what has really wrecked things.

Trevor

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #23 on: January 30, 2017, 01:34 PM »
The area was gorgeous back before quads... heavy use by (unresponsable) quad users seems to be what has really wrecked things.

That seems to be a common theme for the quaders/side-by-side community...they tend to kick the crap out of areas. 4x4 users can be complete ass-tards too, but as a community we just seem to have far fewer idgits than the quad/side-by-side community. Or maybe it is simply that we have a far smaller community, and the ass-tards are proportionately represented in each group.

I dunno.

However you come at it, tis a real shame to see.
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Red90

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #24 on: January 30, 2017, 01:46 PM »
IMO...  The percentage of idiots is no different.  It is just a lot less people.  There are just as many idiot truck users.  We see them all of the time on the trails.

On this particular area, the local club has spent endless hours and funds in maintaining and developing a sustainable trail system.  They really have done a great job adding bridges and creating new trails to bypass bad areas.  They have installed signage and barriers to keep people on the right trails.  They really are a shining example of how things should be done.  And it was working and working well.  The original plan was that the government was to design a sustainable trail system and regulation framework in concert with the local clubs.  This was underway and was completely and totally ignored by Alberta Parks.

The closure of this area has zero to do with actual damage or damage prevention.  It has zero to do with science.   It is 100% to do with people in the upper levels of Alberta Parks that are opposed to motorized use under any circumstances.

Do not buy into the crap that is being used as an excuse to close these areas.

Trevor

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #25 on: January 30, 2017, 01:52 PM »
Good info John.

I wasn't aware that the community down there had made such inroads with the government. I would agree, that model is _exactly_ how things should be done, as it's been proven time and again to be viable and effective.

Alas it comes as no surprise that Parks has managed to tank it.
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Red90

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #26 on: January 30, 2017, 02:06 PM »
My crystal ball tells me that when they PLUZ the area between the #3 and Kananaskis later this year, they will allow designated OHV access, but will not allow truck access.  This will calm the OHV guys down and partially appease the environmentalists.  The word on the street is there will be a 6000 foot cap on trails putting North Fork and Racehorse on the closure list.  I actually would not be surprised to see parks introduced along the extent of the divide.  You would not want people driving up the well developed road that goes over Racehorse....

Trevor

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #27 on: January 30, 2017, 02:40 PM »
The rumbling that I've heard is that the 3 primary watersheds in the province (Oldman/Bow, North Sask, and Athabasca) are all to fall under greater parks control as part of a greater water management/sustainability plan. I don't know exactly what that means, other than the expanse of the parks generally is at least being considered for some of these other areas. Oldman/Bow is clearly under examination, as we're seeing that happen in Castle. Nordegg region and Coalspur PLUZ were mentioned to me as on the list.
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Red90

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #28 on: January 30, 2017, 03:27 PM »
Keep in mind that SRD does not exist anymore.  They were integrated into one group with parks, now called AEP (Alberta Environment and Parks). http://aep.alberta.ca/

The forestry areas and management of resource development is all one big happy organization with Parks.  Without knowing the details, I guessing the someone from what used to be in  "Parks" is now in charge of the whole mess and is making sure that things like motorized use will be shutdown ASAP province wide.
« Last Edit: January 30, 2017, 03:30 PM by Red90 »

Trevor

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Re: There goes the Castle
« Reply #29 on: January 30, 2017, 04:01 PM »
That would make sense then. The gist I got from a friend in the organization (I didn't realize SRD/Parks had merged though) is that the expansion of the formal "Park" space was the end game to protect these watersheds. This is all starting to make a lot more sense now (not in a good way mind you) seeing what has transpired in the Castle area.

I think you probably nailed it...a Parks executive likely took over as the top bureaucrat, and that's setting the agenda. And it would fit in well with the Notley gov's green initiative.
“You will be hollow. We shall squeeze you empty, and then we shall fill you with ourselves.”
― George Orwell, 1984

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