June 12th was supposed to be a "trail maintenance day" to keep our local trails in good shape. A few weeks prior, The Prescott National Forest Service caught wind of and ILLEGAL trail that was built in the Thumb Butte area. When PNF Service walked the trail, they had found that the trail was built through a "prehistoric hunting site." To actually build the trail, some rocks and stones were actually removed from this "anceint wall" so the trail could proceed through unobstructed. What a shame. So to rectify the situation, The PNF asked us to come out and destroy this ILLEGAL trail and "right a wrong." This is an example of what not to do. This is what land managers fear the most. When we destroy parts of Prescott and Arizona history for the sake of a trail that lasted no more than a mile. This is why it is so important to work with the Forest Service and land mangers, to develop sustainable legal trails that don't damage cultural/historical sites. When such acts are committed, it makes trail users look bad, and in this case....... mountain bikers are to blame.
PMBA is working diligently with the PNF and the City of Prescott to add more diverse trails so that this kind of activity does not occur. It may take a while, but if we proceed through the right channels, it works out for everyone involved.
Illegal trail building is a crime. In this case a FELONY! Since this ILLEGAL trail building destroyed a pre-historic site, it is punishable with a fine of up to $10,000 and 6 months in jail. It's just NOT worth it.