Ultra4 Racing @ Area BFE

drtsqrl

I luv Pritchett
Location
Moab
I guess I have a little different point of view on this than most people on here. Not saying its right or wrong, just my opinion, so here goes:

For those that don’t know me, I have lived in Moab for 20+ years, and am the founder and president of Moab Friends for Wheelin'. I’m a buggy owner, and have been wheeling Area BFE since before it was BFE. I have been following the Strike Ravine saga closely, both on RME and by talking to people here in Moab. I have mixed feelings on the whole affair. I hate to see Strike Ravine closed through the private property, and the precedent that might set. If vacating Strike Ravine through BFE makes it easier for landowners to close other trails in the future, then that is obviously bad. Maybe I’m naïve, but it seems to me that each case should be taken on its own merit, and this case is certainly different than something like Pritchett Canyon, for example.

In my opinion, Area BFE is much more important to the Moab area in general than Strike Ravine. Since BFE has been closed, we have seen much more off-trail damage on other trails. We just don't have enough hard core trails without BFE, and people are increasingly creating new routes and obstacles on other trails where they shouldn't be. It is true that there seems to be fewer buggys in Moab these days (no doubt due to the popularity of Sand Hollow, plus the closure of BFE), but that doesn’t mean there no need or desire for hard trails here. And Strike Ravine is a nice little trail, but certainly nothing special. BFE will attract more wheelers in one big weekend than Strike Ravine would in several years.

RR4W has said they are not interested in fighting another legal battle to save Strike Ravine. They did meet with BLM regarding the possibility of a re-route, which BLM is open to. For various reasons, that effort has stalled. MFFW is planning on working with BLM if Strike Ravine is indeed closed, and I believe we can create a fun and usable option, although it will be shorter than is now.

I hope that Lucero is being honest with his claims that BFE will re-open, with improvements, if Strike Ravine is vacated. I have no reason to trust him, so I can only hope he will follow through. I believe that BFE could be successful if developed and managed properly. I also believe that there is no other viable use for the property at this time, so I really don't believe he would just sell it once Strike Ravine is closed. If he does, we can only hope it would be sold to someone who wants to keep it as an offroad park. But if Strike Ravine remains open, I see no possible way for BFE to stay open regardless of who owns it.

A local access advocate (I won’t name names here) is following this closely, and he suggests that we may be able to force some "conditions" tied to closing Strike Ravine, such as an agreement that the owner would develop and re-open BFE within a certain time frame in exchange for vacating the route. I don't know if this would be possible, but this person is planning on attending the Oct 6th meeting with San Juan County.

Sorry for the long post. These are just my opinions, and I hope that a positive outcome can be reached. Again, I hate the precedent that closing part of Strike Ravine would set. But on a personal level, I truly hope to be able to use BFE again. I think it would be a huge asset to Moab, and it would once again help take some pressure off many of our other trails.

Jeff Stevens
 

Coco

Supporting Vendor!
Supporting Vendor
Location
Lehi, UT
Good thoughts Jeff.

One worry that just came to mind again as I read over your thoughts was what happened with Lower Helldorado when the Millers(?) purchased the property. I agree with the precedent it could set.
 

Coco

Supporting Vendor!
Supporting Vendor
Location
Lehi, UT
But Lower Helldorado was a user-created route that had only been in existence for a few years before Kiley bought it. There was no legal claim to retain it for public use, unlike Strike Ravine through her property.
That is true, I forgot about that.
 

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
Moderator
Premium Vendor
Location
Sandy, Ut
Interesting theory. Could potentially explain why there hasn't been any construction on it? (Aside from whatever route building the U4 race just did). Wonder how much that would actually increase the value?

As far as him setting a precedence for other landowners to follow suit...AF canyon comes to mind with all the "fun" Snowbird has caused. They could just about wipe mineral basin out and MEG if I remember correctly.
Mineral Basin, Mary Ellen Gulch, Miller Hill, Pritchett, Bountiful B, Rattlesnake, Constrictor, Pritchett to make a few.
 

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
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Premium Vendor
Location
Sandy, Ut
Fwiw I participated in the county commission meeting this morning. Mr Lucero (owner of Area BFE) laid out a plan for his development that included 75+ cabins/buildings, jacuzzi's, a pool, lazy river, workshop and Jeep/SxS rental operation. Ultimately the county denied the request to abandon the county roads. Strike Ravine is open.

The petition to close the county roads was opposed by the State of Utah, Blue Ribbon Coalition, Ride with Respect, Red Rock 4-Wheelers, neighboring land owners and myself representing ExpeditionUtah, the U4WDA and Utah Public Access Coalition. I'm hopeful we can find a way to work with Mr. Lucero and Area BFE to maintain access yet allow him to develop as he wishes. If anyone has the ability to help make that contact I would love to get BRC, @drtsqrl , MFFW, Clif from Ride with Respect, RR4W, BLM and any other interested stakeholders all on the same page. Other resources I've tried to get the connection haven't panned out.
 

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
Moderator
Premium Vendor
Location
Sandy, Ut
...I hope that Lucero is being honest with his claims that BFE will re-open, with improvements, if Strike Ravine is vacated. I have no reason to trust him, so I can only hope he will follow through. I believe that BFE could be successful if developed and managed properly. I also believe that there is no other viable use for the property at this time, so I really don't believe he would just sell it once Strike Ravine is closed. If he does, we can only hope it would be sold to someone who wants to keep it as an offroad park. But if Strike Ravine remains open, I see no possible way for BFE to stay open regardless of who owns it.
Jeff, I value your opinions in the highest regard and really appreciate you sharing them here, very valuable insight. I don't know Mr. Lucero on any level so perhaps you have/had much more insight of his future plans? The plan he laid out today included 75-100 buildings, 63 smaller cabins alone, along with larger cabins, a conference center, a restaurant, swimming pool, lazy river, Jeep & SxS rentals and more. Honestly I was trying to write them all down as fast as he was detailing their plans and site layout.

I've walked a fair bit of the property and certainly camped and driven among it too over the years. I don't see how these things could co-exist with continued hardcore/buggy recreation such as we (and I do say we as I too love the original idea of Area BFE) envision it. All this development would of course force road renovations along the main Pole Canyon Road. Water, septic and power would all need to be developed. This happens all over the country on a regular basis and as a private property owner myself, I respect his want and ability to develop for the record. However I don't see this planned level of development happening and still allowing the OHV open play recreation they created when Area BFE was born? Do you think there is room for his planned development and OHV use too?
 

drtsqrl

I luv Pritchett
Location
Moab
Kurt, thank you so much for your report. It is awesome to finally hear a first hand report, straight from the horse's mouth exactly what he (Lucero) has been planning. Up until now, all most of us have heard is second-hand rumors and social media BS. His grand plan, in my opinion, would never happen, and would be a financial disaster as well as a huge disappointment for the average recreational rock crawler. For that, I am saddened. But after hearing his plans, I am happy with the ruling to keep Strike Ravine open.

MFFW has talked for years about creating some new hard-core trails in the Pole Canyon area, and BLM has repeatedly told us they would consider anything we propose. I think it is now time to do just that.

Thank you for everything you do. Please keep me in the loop, if there is anything I can do to help, I would be happy to do so.
 

cruiseroutfit

Cruizah!
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Location
Sandy, Ut
...MFFW has talked for years about creating some new hard-core trails in the Pole Canyon area, and BLM has repeatedly told us they would consider anything we propose. I think it is now time to do just that....
Let me know if I can assist any way there Jeff! Clif from RWR and Ben from BRC had some great ideas about working with Mr. Lucero to see if the access/liability can be resolved to favor both access and his want/right to develop. Nobody was able to get connected with him and I can't blame him for not wanting to dissect his plans before they had even been heard by the county. Perhaps now we can get together and discuss options?
 
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