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Ceg_ 02-24-2009 08:27 PM

Peak Putters do a good deed - Badger Mtn
Truck stuck on Badger Mtn. pulled from ravine
By Paula Horton, Herald staff writer
Volunteers from the Peak Putters 4x4 club help remove a pickup that’s been stranded in a ravine since last October next to the hiking trail on Badger Mountain in Richland. See story below.

RICHLAND -- An '85 Chevy truck stuck in ravine on Badger Mountain by a Kennewick man doing some "hill climbing" was pulled out Sunday by volunteers from a local four-by-four riding club.

The white truck had been in the gully below the Canyon Trail for about four months while Benton County officials and the Friends of Badger Mountain tried to figure out how to get it out without tearing up the hillside.

Some thought a helicopter was the only way to remove the truck without destroying the hillside, but the removal would have come at a steep cost.

The Peak Putters, an off-roading club, came to the rescue with its members volunteering to tow the truck out.

"It was something they felt was important ..." said Adam Fyall, Benton County's community development coordinator. "They saw it as kind of a black eye on their recreation and wanted to get involved and do something positive."

After coordinating schedules and settling on a plan of attack, about 20 volunteers showed up Sunday to pulled the truck out.

Ultimately four vehicles were used to pull the truck about 200 feet down the ravine to get to a clearing where they were then able to tow it over the trail and off the hill, Fyall said.

"It started out slow because the stranded vehicle was wedged in a spot pretty good," Fyall said. "I was a little uncertain for a while. I was still there thinking, 'Boy, I don't think this is going to work out.' "

But once the truck got wedged out of its resting spot it was a pretty easy removal with very minimal damage left behind, Fyall said.

"When you consider what we were doing, if you go out there you'll see a little impact," he said. "But overall, it was very minimal. We'll be going out in the next week or two and do some reseeding."

Dave Walters, a Peak Putters member, said removing the truck went off "like clock work," with the off-roaders using existing tracks as much as possible to limit the damage.

"The guys in the club are pretty good at this kind of thing. By the nature of the hobby, obviously we spend a lot of time in areas where you're not going to go in your Subaru. We know how to take care of it," Walters said. "... It just went great. ... By this time next year, maybe even sooner, I doubt if you're even going to know we were in there."

The Peak Putters was chartered in 1966 and has about 24 families participating. The main function of the club is to support the off-roading sport/hobby and the families, Walters said.

The club's goal is to encourage responsible off-roading and members help take care of public lands, including working with the Department of Natural Resources to haul garbage off trails.

Walters called Fyall after reading the story about the stuck truck in the Herald in October and said he knew his club could help fix the problem.

"We decided to help out because it was the right thing to do," Walters said.

The truck's owner, James Dunlap, 30, said at the time that he didn't have any malicious intent when he and his brother went off-roading in the middle of the night.

Dunlap, who was cited for taking a vehicle off the roadway in designated county park or preserve, told the Herald he drove up a main road to the top of the hill and didn't see a gate or any signs saying they couldn't be there.
Great job guys!

gunrunner 02-26-2009 09:46 PM

Great press for the sport, good job.

JeepNirvana 02-26-2009 11:06 PM


Originally Posted by gunrunner (Post 2406)
Great press for the sport, good job.


zukkev 02-27-2009 07:03 AM


Grumpy 03-07-2009 01:24 PM

Friends of Badger Mountain Thank You:

Dear Dave,

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.

Sharon Grant
President, FoBM

__________________________________________________ _______________

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.

Thank goodness.

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.

Jeepermc 03-11-2009 01:10 PM

Way to gooooooo peak putters!

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