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View Full Version : Watch out for a group called Superior Trail



Comfortably Numb
June 8th, 2002, 05:57 PM
These people are trying to convince the USFS, BLM, NPS, & state agencies to allow them to police our trails. They want to charge everyone $35 a year to be allowed to travel in the back country and submit to their rules, etc. I think the scariest part is that they want police powers on ALL of OUR public lands.

Anyway go to their website www.superiortrail.com (http://www.superiortrail.com) & check them out for yourselves. Then send them an email letting them know what you think about their "proposal".

SSII
June 9th, 2002, 07:01 AM
Its definatly a revenue generator sceme for them. I did tell them about a FEW opinions that I had about their plan.

Camp
June 10th, 2002, 01:15 AM
Oh yea, this sounds like a brilliant idea. graemlins/flipoff.gif Can someone say,......dictatorship? graemlins/puke.gif This is another private organization trying to empower themselves.

Big Dave
June 10th, 2002, 07:34 AM
Sounds to me like tree huggers trying to disguise themselves as outdoor enthusiasts. Some of their regulations are asinine. Also, check this out:

<blockquote>quote:</font><hr>7. Where does the money go from the fines after it's collected?
The proceeds from the fines collected will be distributed in such a way as to give an equal portion to both the protection of our natural resources and the landowners in which the violations took place. The influx of Fines will be evenly distributed as follows: 45% of all fines acquired will go to - The Landowner or Forestry Service. 45% of all fines acquired will go to - Regulation enforcement. 10% of all fines acquired will go to - Superior Trail. <hr></blockquote>

I interpret that to read that 55% of the fines go to Superior Trail. Load of crap. And they have a regulation saying they can ticket you for NOT being a member and operating a vehicle on a trail. BULLSH*T!

YotasEvilTwin
June 10th, 2002, 08:49 AM
IT DOES SOUND LIKE THOSE DAMN HIPPIES AT WORK AGAIN. I cant stand this totall Bull $H!T. Hey Superior Trail graemlins/flipoff.gif graemlins/flipoff.gif .

dmeis
June 10th, 2002, 09:54 AM
If I become a Superior Trail Maverick do you think they will give me a Secret Decoder Ring? graemlins/spit.gif

Eryl Flynn
June 10th, 2002, 10:07 AM
<blockquote>quote:</font><hr>13. If the land is public access, why do I need a license?

The road in front of your home is a public road. You pay taxes for its upkeep, why should you have to purchase a license to drive on it? For essentially the same reason you need a license from Superior Trail. To ensure that you, and the other drivers around you are handling their vehicles in a safe and sane manner and, in the case of your Advanced Trail License, to ad conservation and regulation for the protection of the environment.
<hr></blockquote>

Tricky analogy they used there, would catch some in that. My understanding is the money I pay when I get my drivers license are basically fees to cover costs of running the DMV. I pay income taxes and I think some of the sales tax goes to cover roads.

WIll post more from home, bout time to leave work smile.gif

Jovan
June 11th, 2002, 04:28 AM
This is a copy of the email that I sent them... I initially sent them a question: How do they propose to enforce these "laws" and "fines" on the un-licensed user (or licensed user for that matter)? Their response was unproffessional, misspelled, and utterly vague: essentially they said through "self-regulation".... what the hell does that mean? that Guido with his baseball bat will be customizing my truck????.... Anyways, I sent them the following (tell me if you think this is accurate?)

I wonder if Superior Trail realizes that these "laws" are unenforceable? I also wonder if Superior Trail realizes that a private or public company cannot govern public lands or issues; unless the Federal and State governments were to "hire" Superior Trail as an enforcement agency. In order for that to happen a bill would have to be passed and voted on, most likely in the state legislatures. I am confident that that type of issue would not pass!

I am not writing this to "bust" Superior Trail, but rather to find out how and why Super Trail thinks that this is a feasible and realistic proposition? I personally see it as a "scam" to make money on your licensing fees from uneducated and unknowledgable public land users.

Happy Wheeling and other free Public Land use!

bsaunder
June 11th, 2002, 05:13 AM
he's been popping into chat over on Pirate4x4. He seems like a slime - is always dodging the question and says most of the fines are in a forest service book or such - so if so, it sounds like he is trying to be a rent-a-cop for the forest service...but he also will not disclose who his financial backers are.

Jovan
June 11th, 2002, 05:46 AM
not a bad gig as far as making a quick buck for doing nothing.... I just can't believe that he thought anyone that is into anything outdoors would buy into this kind of scam

Eryl Flynn
June 11th, 2002, 07:42 AM
When you ask how they plan to enforce them it got me thinking.

We all know about photoradar. It was stopped for reasons like you asked of Superior Trail. The current ruling on Photoradar is that it can only be used in residential areas AND the person running the Photoradar must be a state employee.

Correct me if I am wrong but are not forest service rangers government employees? I think there is a precedent set by Photoradar that would make any thing Superior Trails did unenforceable.

Have you asked about the junior membership? The one for people under 16? I am concerned that they expect every one in an SUV to be licensed.

Snotty
June 11th, 2002, 07:43 AM
I spent about 35 mins on the phone with Matt Yeager, the contact and brain behind Superior Trail. I called him to see if he could better explain his position on this. I was actually surprised to have someone actually answer the phone.

After talking to him, I got a better feel for what he was attempting to do. I was a little disconcerted when he chuckled about people thinking he was with the Eco groups trying something new. After pointing out to him that these groups do use these types of tactics, he changed his tune a little bit.

I disagree with his website and the perception of it. But not the idea behind the maddness. I stressed ways that he needed to change it and how to get the OHV community behind him. First and foremost was to lose the fine schedule and fees and to work with the existing organizations out there. He is very much on the defensive because everyone has attacked him without engaging in constructive dialogue. Partly due to his faliure to better convey the message and idea, partly due to human interpretatation of what is on the internet and partly due to the fact that we, the OHV community are a freaked out by the current events thanks to the previous administration and Eco groups activites.

While talking with him on the phone, he did not stray away from his goal or the base idea in which his site is based. I was unable to get him riled up about the environment much like you can a Eco-Nazi. I felt he was sincere, but misguided. He asked for feedback from the OHV community and wanted advice and welcomed my ideas for his site. He stated that he would welcome ideas and feedback from everyone, but like all of us, will be defensive if attacked. I would suggest that if you wish to open constructive dialogue and crtisim, do so in a sane, responsible and grown up manner and he will treat you likewise. If he is an Eco-Nazi in disguise, then attacking him and his website will do nothing but prove that we are a bunch of rabid wheelers with no ability to discuss anything in a sane manner and therefore no respect for anyone or anything. I have always been a proponant of self policing the OHV community and he has taken it to the next level. LIke I said, I agree with the idea, not his current method.

Here is the copy of the email I sent him.

<blockquote>quote:</font><hr>
Quite simply, what you are doing is called a scam. You are not a federal or locally recognized or sponsored organization and there for cannot enforce any laws on either public or private land. Even if hired by a private organization, you cannot enforce any law other then to possibly report or detain an individual to the proper authorities. As stated by federal and local laws, you cannot impose or collect any fines for the breaking of any said laws as well. This was a precedent case in the state of Colorado for similar activity in regards to a private company hired by the city of Denver for photo radar enforcement. The city of Denver was found guilty and the company fired for this action. You are trying to act like an enforcement agency on the federal level. By collecting fees in the manner that you are, the mis-information you have on your site and attempting to enforce federal laws without the sponsorship or recognition of the Federal Government, BLM and NFS, you are indeed breaking several laws yourself and your actions would be considered a scam.

Well, that was the first portion of an email I was going to write to you. But while writing it, I decided to see what you were all about and talk personally to you. Why? For a couple of reasons. One to, to start a dialogue with you and get a feel for the type of person that you are. Second, to see if you would answer the phone and actually engage in constructive dialogue and take criticism. Trust me when I say that I am very good at arguments and can disassemble an argument very well.

As we talked on the phone, I stated several facts. The perception of your website is my opinion and quite obviously the opinion of several people in the Internet OHV community is negative. The feel that you have a hidden agenda and are indeed part of the Eco-Movement to prohibit any and all OHV activity. The feel that you have a self inflated view of what you do by ?Enforcing Laws? and ?Imposing Fees? in an area that you cannot enforce or impose.

After talking with you on the phone, I feel that these are not the views you wanted to portray, but an ?Idea? to help the OHV community nationwide. I can tell you that there are better ways to do this. First off, I would change the feel of the website to create an ?Idea? perception. You should get the backing of all the groups involved before you state that you are indeed moving forward with this. Remove the perception that you are a ?For-Profit? organization. That is the first warning sign to everyone concerned. You have a good idea, but are coming off as someone who wants to take our rights away to use public lands. Maybe taking more of a stance similar to a ?Hunting License? would help. I would like to see something like this take hold because in my opinion the existing organizations do not do enough. Blue Ribbon, Tread Lightly and others help in the political arena, but do not really police the trails and do more to assist the BLM and NFS. It is this area that we, the OHV community need to step up to the plate. But no one really knows where to turn. Several people already feel that the BLM and NFS are against us. Mostly because they do not have the resources to monitor the wilderness areas that need protection. So the answer is to close the areas because it is easier. Which is not an answer for the OHV community.

You need to better communicate your mission statement and try and start a ?grassroots? movement to represent your cause. I would suggest that you get a little closer to the BLM, NFS, Blue Ribbon, Tread Lightly and local clubs before you take this much farther. One club to talk to in the CO area would be the Mile High Jeep Club. They are very big and very respected here and nationwide. Otherwise you will lose the support that you very much need.

Thank you for the time you took to better explain your passion and point of view. Remember, the Internet is a very powerful tool. But since it is just text based, people will read what you have to say and place their perceived emotions into what you have to say. Keep as much of the emotion as you can out of what you have to say, do not get drawn into an argument and never be derogatory to anyone no matter what they have to say. You are the one that needs to explain your point of view and win the hearts of the OHV community. Not the other way around.

Good Luck to you.

Sincerely,

Bill Benson
Aurora, CO

<hr></blockquote>

Jovan
June 11th, 2002, 08:25 AM
well said! I also got that feeling.. that he was someone with an idea and just a bad way of presenting it.

rich
June 11th, 2002, 08:59 AM
I read most of the Superior Trail web site and I'm genuinely confused.

What is the difference between: 1) What this guy claims to be doing - and 2)Me trying to pull people over on the highway and give them tickets for driving in Colorado without a 'Richard Long License' that I alone can issue and collect fees for.

I have no legal authority to issue any type of license or ticket, and I can't figure out why Superior Trail thinks that they do (just because they put up a web site and declared themselves a licensing and enforcement agencey??????) I'm all for the safe and responsible use of our public lands, but this exercise seems like something that the real authorities would lock you up for. What am I missing?

Snotty
June 11th, 2002, 09:15 AM
Rich,

What you have said, hits the nail on the head. That was my main concern and why I decided to call him. What he is claiming to do is against the law. What he was trying to say and failed miserably on, is this is just an idea and he was floating it out there. He has received a ton of complaints about this, and I addressed it when I spoke with him. He assured me that they would change the site. We'll see. If he really wants this idea to float, he really needs to implement those changes right away and not wait any longer. The longer he waits to take any action will only hurt him.

Keep in mind, that he has a good idea, just a bad way of proposing it. Which is the area he failed in. Totally missing the proposal stage. What I think is, it was his idea and he is afraid of losing it to the bigger guns. I would think that if he lobbies hard enough, he could and would maintain control of it. But it has to be a non-profit deal or he will lose what, if any, support base he has. That is where we come in. By offering constructive criticism, we can help him. But if we go off half cocked and just tell him that he is an idiot, then a good idea can be washed away forever. Keep in mind, if we do go off half cocked, and he is a Eco-Extremist, we will only hurt the OHV community as a whole. We need to be viewed as cool headed, educated and civilized people. The goal is to make the Eco-Extremists look like the crazy people, not us.

Comfortably Numb
June 11th, 2002, 09:35 AM
That is basically my take on it also. They have a pretty good basic idea in trying to get better enforcement of the rules & laws in the back country. But the approach they've used is totally backfiring.

Then again they could be a front for a bunch of eco nazis too.

I emailed them expressing my concern about the appearance of claiming police powers, and requiring their "license" to travel in the back country. What I've noticed is they aren't replying in any way to email.

I'm glad you were able to get someone on the phone and try to get a better understanding of what they are about. But I'm still very suspicous of Superior Trail.

JT
June 11th, 2002, 12:15 PM
Is he trying to apply this only in Texas, or nationwide, or what?

I can tell you this: he's not getting one red cent from me. This program looks loony to me.

rich
June 11th, 2002, 12:26 PM
Maybe he just wants to be a Forest Ranger, but doesn't like the pay scale.

Snotty, I should have re-read your post before I replied. I read this thread first, then looked at the web site expecting to see a proposal. Guess I'm just a little slow catching on. Again.

The whole idea of OHV/backcountry enforcement seems like a double-edged sword. Without any real enforcement (our current state of affairs), there is little data to base land use decisions on. So the 'ban-all-access' folks can claim how nasty the rest of us are and we have little to point to in our own defense. If some type of policing/enforcement is implemented, the data gathered could probably be used to 'prove' how nasty we are (sheer number of citations, for instance). And unless we've somehow gathered our own data (total number of land users vs. number of citations, for instance), we're still left with little to defend ourselves with. He who has the best lobbyist wins.

<stepping onto soapbox> It seems more and more that so many issues in our country are divided by factions who want "all or nothing"; cooperation, compromise, and tolerance are no longer attributes, but viewed as signs of weakness. But I digress....

JT
June 11th, 2002, 12:47 PM
Seriously, this is BS:

26. If I get a ticket, do I have to appear in court?
Because Superior Trail is an independent company and reserves the right to revoke or suspend any license at any time for any reason, there is no court system. All appeals are processed through Superior Trail and all findings are final.

"For any reason"???? "There is no court system"??? What kind of a tin-plated little dictator is he setting himself up as? What a bunch of hokum. I pay my little annual dues to be a Tread Lightly member. That's good enough for me... and at least they gave me a t-shirt.

Eryl Flynn
June 11th, 2002, 03:10 PM
Correct JT, that is a problem that will need to be corrected. They can not issue citations on public land with out folliwing due process in place already. As there is traffic court now following similiar rules to criminal court, they would have to follow similiar rules as well.

Note that Snotty spelled it out, he has to make changes soon not later. This would be one of those things he would have to seriously think about and find a solution for.

TTBlows
June 12th, 2002, 04:05 PM
I sent him an email last week which I felt was very civilized, perhaps even nicer than Snotty's (depending on how you look at it). I have yet to hear back.....

Snotty
June 13th, 2002, 03:30 AM
I actually talked a little him with last night over on POR chat. He has a very hard time expressing his views, goals and opinions. But then it's a chat room too. I am still not sold that he is the person to handle the scope of something like this. He still won't tell who his financial backers are, and is pushing to keep the ?for profit? part. I can understand wanting to make money on an idea, but it's impossible with something like this.

At this point I remain very skeptical. Not so much as he might have a hidden agenda, but more so because he wants to remain for profit and does want to work with any group. He wants their endorsement, maintain the power and authority, be judge, jury and executioner and collect a paycheck. Can you say "Spanish Inquisition"?

At this point, unless he did a major revamp and decided to get the support and help of the government, NFS, BLM, BRC, Tread Lightly and the local clubs, he will not have my support. I am not about to hand over my rights voluntarily. I (we) fight hard enough to keep our rights intact as they are. We are making in roads on against the eco-extremists, but I feel that this would be a step back. Without control, he could theoretically be infiltrated by the eco-extremists and lose control. I believe it was stated earlier, that if someone wanted to monitor the infractions, and with no legal recourse, it could be a powerful tool for the eco-extremists to further prove their points.

Until he grasps those points and wraps his hands around them, this idea will never succeed.

Eryl Flynn
June 13th, 2002, 05:43 AM
Next time you talk to him Snotty bring up photoradar. What he is proposing to become is a out side agent much like photoradar was. They eventually ruled that as illegal.

He may have bigger road blocks than any ones skeptism to over come.

Snotty
June 13th, 2002, 05:54 AM
I did tell him of that and he seemed to know what I was talking about. Maybe the case was told across the country or something. What is funny, is that several wheelers think he can do it...

Todd
June 13th, 2002, 06:07 AM
I just looked at the site and am assuming its unchanged.

I'm shocked. This comes across as an individual or group that is trying to be a second police organization, only with a profit. However, that's all been said.

What I would like to hear is what you all think are the good points, you're constantly talking about it being a good idea. I would like to have that idea sort of defined.

Personally I hate it when anybody goes up a trail and ruins it for everybody else. Now, I won't say that I've always been as careful or as mature as I should have been (note here, high school), but the last few years I have been as careful and considerate as possible.

I don't really know about a lot of the self regulation that goes on as I haven't been in one place long enough to really join an offroad club.

I guess basically what I am asking is what do you all think needs to be done, if anything, about the current regulation or lack of out on the trails?

Eryl Flynn
June 13th, 2002, 07:47 AM
I assume he didn't have any ideas or reasons why he would be the exception that photoradar wasn't?

In the current state of his plans it can not happen. Maybe it could be done, but not under his current plan.

Yeeper
July 15th, 2002, 03:58 AM
I know that I am a bit late for this thread, however I am tired of people like this trying to take away our freedoms. It is just like the "mark of the beast" They lead you to beleive that this is a good thing, and then slowly strip your freedom away. These people will not do what they say (protecting our OHV rights), they are just greedy fools looking to take more of OUR money away. I have every intention of fighting this. The police in my city tell me there is nothing that they can do for me when I need help, but the second I am slippin they are all over me. What would lead you to believe that this will be any different? When I refer to the mark of the beast, I am referring to the fact that almost everyone is driven by money. There is so much more to life. Like Wheelin!!!!!!!!!! graemlins/devil.gif graemlins/flipoff.gif graemlins/pissed.gif

SSII
July 20th, 2002, 11:17 AM
Well if it sounds like some are going to get rich and some are going to get SCREWED. I'll get :eek:

combatir
July 20th, 2002, 12:25 PM
Give your Country a little credit here! The United States government would never settle for 45% of the take when they can have 100%.
More realistically you would see the State Parks Department take this role and charge a fee for a 24 hour pass like they do at lakes and other parks where people camp and play. You've all been to areas where you put your money in the envelope and attatch the sticker to your windshield.
Superior Trail has less chance to get approval to "police" trails than Camp has to become a Govt. sanctioned private girls' school dorm inspector.
:eek:

Bill

YJ Dave
July 20th, 2002, 01:40 PM
Scarry!

colorado phil
July 28th, 2002, 03:36 PM
I read their stuff and took their sample test. Their "tests" and their "license" via computer is worse than a scam. It is dangerous. Imagine the new Jeep owner who pays money and takes their test and finds out he or she is qualified to do high altitude four wheelin. Let's imagine they drive up to Black Bear or Schofield or Red Cone with their new "license" having no wheelin experience. The next thing you know they are driving off the side of the mountain to their death. Tree huggers are bad enough but these folks could be dangerous in their scheme. graemlins/flipoff.gif

wan2bwheelin
August 10th, 2002, 05:22 PM
Who the F#(& does these A holes think they are? graemlins/puke.gif Crap like this makes me ill.

Yeeper
August 12th, 2002, 08:03 AM
If these jackasses can legally do this, then I will start a similar program for people to drive in my neighborhood. Hell, I could use some extra money for nothing too! graemlins/flipoff.gif graemlins/devil.gif graemlins/idea.gif :mad: graemlins/pissed.gif This is the e-mail I just sen to these fools:

You all sure have concocted one hell of a money making scheme for yourselves. You have upset alot of 4 wheelers. Almost every off-road forum has a thread about your program, and your "big brother" tactics. It is almost biblical in the sense that you make it sound like a good thing as you slowly add to the stripping away of our freedoms. Just like the number of the beast! Who the hell are you to tell me how I can and cannot conduct myself on OUR public lands. I agree with protecting OUR lands, but that is the responsibility of our government, and the individual citizen. I'll be damned if I am to pay someone else to do the job that we pay the government to do. If you are worried about losing OUR public lands, then do what the eco-nazis do. Get people together and lobby for our rights as off-road enthusiasts. The squeaky wheel gets the oil so to speak. Just keep in mind how many people you have pissed off, and expect resistance!

[ August 12, 2002, 01:32 PM: Message edited by: Yeeper ]

colorado phil
August 12th, 2002, 02:17 PM
I sent them a nice tactful email, unlike my post about them here. I've received no reply. Has anyone heard back from them?

Yeeper
August 14th, 2002, 03:34 AM
I have not heard back from them. I am sure that they have received plenty of crappy e-mails, and I doubt that they want to respond. They probably think of us as we think of them, as morons. :rolleyes:

jonboy
August 22nd, 2002, 12:48 PM
I would be shocked and appalled if this concept ever took off. First of all I think they would have to get some traction in Texas (since thats where they are based) and the funny thing is that my buddy in Texas who is Pres. of a big 4x club in Austin had never heard of them till I sent him a link to this thread. I'm not going to get overly concerned.

Atrau
August 27th, 2002, 05:13 PM
Can anyone say "BabyHitler" graemlins/flipoff.gif graemlins/flipoff.gif graemlins/flipoff.gif graemlins/flipoff.gif Micromanagement at it's best

[ August 27, 2002, 10:15 PM: Message edited by: Atrau ]