The first trail I was looking to follow, a steep climb up from Warnick Road¹ enjoyed several times in years past, was fenced off. I could see the small meadow there had been torn up by ATVs or four-wheel-drives so the restriction was regrettable but understandable.
I was less understanding of the homemade signs, a little farther on, making blanket prohibition of motor vehicles from all trails. They have no more legal force than would a sign at my house saying everyone must wear pink hats.² It seemed impertinent and egoistic.
At least that was my first reaction. With more time to reflect (riding is good for that) I realized irreverent motor vehicle operators were the proper targets of disaffection, tearing up meadows, leaving trash, failing to advocate a workable compromise. The mountain wasn’t taken from us. We abdicated.
Moscow Area Mountain Bike Association³ members, by comparison, have done a great job of forming alliances and improving trails. They are the better stewards.
¹ Google Map: maps.google.com/maps?ll=46.801522,-116.897288&z=19&am...
² Idaho Code §18-7008 ¶9: legislature.idaho.gov/idstat/Title18/T18CH70SECT18-7008.htm; Also Latah County Sheriff’s Deputy Joe McCarthy: news.google.com/newspapers?nid=2026&dat=19940713&...
³ MAMBA: bikemoscow.org/