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Think Twice Before Going Around a Locked Gate

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According to, an offroader made the mistake of going around a locked gate in order to explore some dirt roads in Clark County, WA.  He was caught and punished. As part of his sentencing, he had to publicly apologize via the below YouTube Video.  That seems a novel use of YouTube.



4 Comments on “Think Twice Before Going Around a Locked Gate

  1. Steve E.

    There is no way I would cross into private lands. I don’t believe in breaking into public lands either. However, I wonder if there was a good reason for locking the gate.

    We have federal land where I live, not state property as shown in the video. US citizens have a problem being allowed to use public land, even responsibly. We have been getting locked out of the forest for over 20 years. I actually got locked “in” the forest while hunting last year. The gates at the top were open, but the one on my exit route was locked. I was later told by a USFS employee they are supposed to open the gates during hunting season. I took me an hour to drive back the way I came, and I nearly ran out of fuel. I don’t carry a fuel can when I’m close to home for an evening hunt. I plan my trip with certain expectations.

    I don’t believe in jumping gates, but some USFS employees are closing gates just to keep humans out. These gates a great temptation to go around. I understand road maintenance and damage. If the road is not under winter conditions, all public lands should be open to Taxpayers.

    In defense of the guy, I’m certain no fish were killed because of his tire tracks. But they made a good example out of him to make us think twice about breaking the rules. Rules are meant to be followed. So, why not change the rules so we can get back to enjoying our public lands?

    **Steve E.**

  2. mmdeilers Post author

    I suspect that it’s a complicated issue, due to the fact that a few people act inappropriately, ruining opportunities for the majority of the people.

    I remember being camped at Milk Lake in the Cascades one year. Dad and I were there with the jeep club. Everything was normal until we hear a couple jeeps rumbling towards where no road existed. Soon enough, a couple guys, drunk, appeared near the campsite driving 2 CJ-5s through the salal bushes, ignoring any type of a road. They weren’t going too fast, so a bunch of the club members tried to stop, persuade or some how get them to alter their path back onto the road, to no avail. The guys ignored our efforts and continued on their way.

    You just never know who will appear in the forests and what they’ll do, which is why they have to manage for the least brain-enabled folks.

  3. Brian 58 cj3b

    I remember when quads came about. Pulling into Buck Meadows and seeing narrow quad tracks everywhere crisscrossing the landscape. Jeep clubs that had a code were overrun by the “least brain-enabled folks”. It wasn’t long before the tread lightly program was installed. Then the lands were shut down. Now 4×4 is done on private land for the most part. The good old days are long gone.

  4. mmdeilers Post author

    For those that don’t know, Buck Meadows is not too far from Milk Lake in the Cascades.

    It’s definitely more complicated to jeep in the Cascades then it used to be. However, once the snow melts around here (in Idaho), there are many forest service roads and trails all over Idaho that are open. There are also many, many miles of remote desert roads as well. I was amazed last summer to find how little traffic — actually no traffic on the sunday I went — there was on mountain roads just a half hour from Boise last year.

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