Greenhorn neighbors applaud plan to bar off-roaders
Tired of all-hours shooting, dangerous driving and the threat of fire, residents who live near Greenhorn Creek applaud plans to close the area to off-highway vehicles.
The U.S. Forest Service plans to close access to Greenhorn for OHVs later this summer – a move area residents support. The creek lies on Tahoe National Forest land near Red Dog Road east of Nevada City.
Area residents say some off-roaders ruin the area by dumping old appliances, shooting and lighting fires.
“There’s people who just don’t get it, they can’t treat it respectfully,” said Michael Wayne, who lives off Buckeye Road, a privately maintained public access road to Greenhorn Creek.
“Years ago the most you had to put up with was a trail of beer cans back there,” said Steve Sober, who lives in the area. Now, Sober said, spent bullets and trash litter the area around Greenhorn Creek.
A group of off-roaders called the Friends of Greenhorn last week announced its opposition to the Forest Service’s plan to close off the area. Most off-roaders are responsible in the area, group officials said, and closing it would leave off-roaders without places to ride year-round. Other areas in the TNF are at higher elevations and open only seasonally.
The USFS said disruptions caused by off-roaders in the Greenhorn area led to its recommendation.
A final announcement to close the area is expected sometime this summer.
Although neighbors along Buckeye acknowledge a few off-roaders may be responsible for the problem, the situation has created a nuisance that must be addressed.
“They’ve got one mile of road to control themselves and can’t do that,” said Michael Wayne, a resident along Buckeye.
Carl Schori, another resident, said he frequently sees trash dumped in the area.
“It’s a shame a few bad apples have spoiled it for the whole bunch,” Schori said.
He frequently hikes along Greenhorn Creek and said the damage caused by off-roaders is evident in the dumping and burning which occurs, and in destruction to the wilderness.
“You see a massive amount of erosion” in areas where off-roaders drive up on embankments, Schori said. “The only solution is to have more law enforcement patrols in the area, and there’s just no money for that.”
Plans to enforce the closure haven’t yet been formulated, said Ann Westling, a spokeswoman for the national forest.
To contact Staff Writer Kyle Magin, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4239.
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