Friends of Badger Mountain Thank You:
The Friends of Badger Mountain very much appreciates the Peak Putters for so ably managing removal of the truck from Badger ravine. The fact that you removed the truck so skillfully & with minimum damage is testimony to the group's great skill and good will. We look foward to working with you on different kinds of projects in the future.
From Washington Trails Association website:
Update! Truck vs. Trail
Posted by Kim Brown at Mar 06, 2009 10:20 AM | Permalink
In October, WTA’s Signpost blog featured a story about an illegal joyrider on Badger Mountain near the Tri-Cities, who got his truck stuck in a ravine next to the trail. Here's the update from Badger Mountain.
It was feared that more damage would result in traditional stuck-truck extraction, and a costly helicopter was thought the only way to remove the offending vehicle.
The Tri-Cities Herald reports that last week, volunteers from The Peak Putters off-roading club joined in a successful effort in pulling the truck out with minimal damage, considering the nature of the task. The club is planning on re-seeding the damaged areas.
"It was something they felt was important," said Adam Fyall, Benton County's community development coordinator. "They saw it as a kind of a black eye on their recreation and wanted to get involved and do something positive."
Throughout 2005, WTA volunteers worked hard in building a Badger Mountain hiking trail, home to one of Washington state's sagebrush areas, an eco-system that is getting smaller and smaller each year due to various development projects.
Thank you, Peak Putters!
Editorial From Tri Cities Herald:
Community in luck, truck is now unstuck
Coming attractions to Badger Mountain will include colorful spring wildflowers.
Missing from the scene will be a white truck wedged in a ravine since October.
And thank you to the Peak Putters -- a local four-by-four club that decided the derelict pickup was not only an eyesore on the mountain but giving the sport a black eye to boot.
We absolutely agree on both accounts.
A Friends of Badger Mountain member survey indicates that as many as 2,500 people climb Badger Mountain a month.
In the four months that the truck has been stuck, that's a lot of hikers taking a look-see -- most of them probably wondering what the 30-year-old Kennewick driver was thinking when he got himself into this predicament at 2 a.m. on a Saturday morning.
But as many folks who've wound up in a dilemma during the wee hours of the weekend have discovered, getting out is a whole lot harder than getting in.
Apparently, truck owner and driver James Dunlap hadn't spent much time with the Peak Putters or he would have known better.
The top of Badger Mountain is a public park and motorized vehicles are strictly forbidden. No wonder the Peak Putters club members want to disassociate themselves with that sort of four-wheel adventure.
These days, let's hope the driver is familiar with the Peak Putter group's efforts in community service, promoting responsible and safe four-wheeling and lobbying for the sport's future.
After all, Dunlap may have avoided the high cost of a helicopter ride for his truck because of the hard work donated by the club's members.
The way the truck was wedged in the ravine, a simple solution was out of reach.
Over the past 40 years, about 110 families have participated in Peak Putters -- some are now in their fourth generation.
Dunlap was quoted at the time of the incident as saying, "I was unaware there were trails on the hill. Why would anyone walk up a hill?"
The Friends of Badger Mountain, the nonprofit organization that purchased the mountain and maintains public trails, knows the answer -- it's fun.
At least most of the time.
According to the Friend's website, the cold, rainy weather didn't make the job of removing Dunlap's pickup any more enjoyable, but the near-freezing temperatures helped minimize damage to the soil. They expect the ground to show little impact when spring vegetation blooms.
It took four vehicles towing the truck, about 20 volunteers from the Peak Putters, Friends of Badger Mountain and even the owner of the vehicle working together to clear the ravine of the wreck.
That's a lot of good will on a cold day.
With warmer weather and longer days upon us, a lot more people will be making the trek. Now that the truck is gone, it will offer a much better view.
Tri Cities Peak Putters
Land Use Coordinator
It's a Scout thing