This is from Rocky Barker’s blog, although I read a similarly outraged editorial in the North Idaho paper when I was recently driving around and hiking up there.

Barker: Motorcyclist gets hand slapped for hitting hiker in wilderness study area. Idaho Statesman.

I’d like to know more about this. Was the illegal motorcyclist a friend of the prosecuter? Or more likely the fact they were Sierra Club? I’ll bet there was plenty of politics involved.

 
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About The Author

Ralph Maughan

Dr. Ralph Maughan is professor emeritus of political science at Idaho State University with specialties in natural resource politics, public opinion, interest groups, political parties, voting and elections. Aside from academic publications, he is author or co-author of three hiking/backpacking guides, and he is President of the Western Watersheds Project.

38 Responses to Motorcyclist gets hand slapped for hitting hiker in wilderness study area

  1. avatar Mike Wolf says:

    To be honest, I’m not at all surprised this went down the way it did. Clearwater County law enforcement and justice are on the side of the good ol’ boys. I had a run-in myself with the local sheriff; who harassed me because Susan Beale, a rancher who I saw herding her cattle to the wolves, made a false claim about me on the road; when she was in the camp at the time!

    Heck, I’m even having trouble with the sheriffs here in Latah County; who won’t send a complaint I filed to the prosecutor’s office.

    No, justice in Idaho isn’t to be had if you’re an “environmentalist” or basically anything that these rednecks perceive of as different. And the further away from Boise you get, the worse things are.

    I think the Sierra Club should sue the bike rider in federal court. It’s the only way to get justice. Its what I had to do when Nez Perce County refused to even accept a complaint of mine that a former landlord deliberately exposed a contractor to lead dust in what should have been an EPA supervised cleanup site.

  2. avatar elkhunter says:

    Sue in Federal Court? Seems like a waste of money to me.

  3. avatar Monte says:

    I try to comment on any ORV misuse that I see. We really need to get these things off of public land. Write letters, submit comments to the appropriate agencies, etc. and maybe we will eventually turn the tide.

  4. avatar Rick Hammel says:

    I am not taking the side of the renegade bike rider. However if the USFS and the BLM had the staff to enforce the existing laws, the ORV problem would not be as great. It does not take much investigation at a trailhead to determine whether bike/atv tracks enter a wsa or wilderness. Then it is just a matter of time until the riders return to their vehicles. It would not be a long wait, as most orvs only have a 1-2 hour fuel range.

  5. Rick,

    In Idaho (Teton County) they actually had renegade snowmobilers (who were being tracked by aircraft illegally in the Jedediah Smith Wilderness) try to run down Forest Service offices who were there to arrest them when they exited the Wilderness.

    Charges were either not filed or dismissed (can’t remember) because some of the riders had local political influence.

    One of our graduate students, back then, had been married to one of the county commissioners there (divorced, so consider the source), but she claimed her ex-husband was probably the biggest poacher in the county.

    My advice is to carry a gun openly. I started doing that for a number of years after being harassed by dirt bikers at Dog Lake (in the Wasatch, east of Salt Lake). It was amazing how much carrying a piece improved their personalities. It can work with ranchers too (no, a rancher won’t like a rifle on his or her allotment, but a pistol makes them think differently).

    I didn’t wear Sierra Club outfits, but rather a cap with the logo of a mining company.

    I don’t do that anymore. Oddly, most of the trail encounters I have had in recent years have been just fine. Most of the problems I see locally are caused by drunk teenagers or those old enough to be legal at keggers in the woods.

  6. avatar launnchpad says:

    What about the renegade enviromentalists that create problems also. Ther is 2 sides of a story. 99% of the users on public lands respect each others uses no matter. Motorized users are getting mad because of the large restrictions that are coming down that have no science to support any of the closures. Instead of trying to be cool and tough packin a pistol maybe you should use all of self-proclaimed knowledge to come with something a little more civilized. These last comments do not go towards bring anybody over to your side other than nut cases. And very much undermines all the hard work done by forest users of all kinds trying to find a middle ground while really protecting the natural resouce.

  7. avatar skyrim says:

    Geez, it doesn’t require science to know that motorized vehicles cause damage that takes years to recover. Erosion being the most damaging. Motorized “off roaders” will never be happy until they have access to every square inch of this planet.

  8. avatar Mike Wolf says:

    Launchpad: Wow. You’re a real nutcase yourself I think. I don’t suppose you actually read Ralph’s post did you? He carries a pistol in the open to prevent incidents.

    And, “renegade environmentalists?” I suppose you mean like the ones that go out to the natural hot springs near Salmon and “dump chemicals” in the developed springs to clean them. I actually overheard some locals saying this while I was in the other tub. But, since the tubs are fed by hot springs; its impossible for there to be chemicals in the water. No, the “evil environmentalists” just went out there and scrubbed them clean by hand.

    If I might make a recommendation launchpad: don’t comment without thinking first. All your posts that I have seen so far do is just demonstrate a lack of knowledge and logic…

  9. avatar Layton says:

    “If I might make a recommendation launchpad: don’t comment without thinking first. All your posts that I have seen so far do is just demonstrate a lack of knowledge and logic…”

    Now THERE is a quote worth remembering — from a “really solid” source!!!

    Did you ever come up with the caliber of that rifle there Mike??

    Ralph,

    Are you really talking about carrying a gun??—- for “preventing incidents”?? It seems to me that you were one of the folks here that thought I was somewhat of a sissy for suggesting that I packed a gun now – when bowhunting – for “preventing incidents” with the four legged friends of this blog. Or was I just confused??

    Layton

  10. Layton,
    There is a long range snyper rifle that can shot accurately at 1600. It is absolutely amazing. They use a small hand held computer that measures wind velocity, distance, and caliber to determine where the person needs to shoot to hit the target. But I can not remember the name of the rifle.

    However, the AS-50 semi-automatic snyper rifle that is manufactured in the UK will probably meet the specs you are looking for.It is a 50 caliber, long range rifle. This gun will shoot right through ten inch thick concrete, maintain its trajectory, and efficiently explode a “melon” on the other side into juice. Also it will not only shoot through a thick steel plate, but also continue on to another about five feet behind and hit the same place as the one in front. I was impressed. I will try to find the name of the other one. Sorry I can’t remember at the moment…

  11. oops, add velocity to that…..

  12. avatar Jay says:

    You must’ve been watching that Futureweapons show with that gun/explosive/weapons nut. That gun is insane–pretty scary to think someone could pop you from over a mile away and be dead before you even hear the shot.

  13. Yes. That was nuts and truly scary. I never imagined anything like that would actually be made. Who wanted something like that, and what for? And who is manufacturing them? I’m thinking maybe we don’t want to know….

  14. avatar elkhunter says:

    Layton is poking fun at Mike for some comments on his elk hunting rifle that could shoot an elk at 1500 yards. That he is going to snipe elk and that is much more of a challenge versus bowhunting. There are .50 calibres capable of shooting that distance, but the guns themselves weigh 45 lbs. Not to mention after you buy a scope you will be into the gun well over 5 grand. And obviously at that distance you need a very good rangefinder, wind estimate, elevation and also degree of the shot. I personally wont take a shot beyond 300 yards. Coyotes I have no limit on range! 🙂 But it would be a miracle to hit one of those little buggers past 300 yards.
    Elkhunter

  15. avatar Layton says:

    d.B.H,

    There were actually a few “kills” (verified) in Viet Nam by snipers using modified .50 calibers at over 1600 yards. But, they were few and far between — I don’t know the ballistics specifically but they wouldn’t probably match the criteria that Mike brought up — AND — they surely were NOT done with open sights!! The weights and set up of these weapons was probably a lot like EH mentions. Now there are a couple of them that are made for the military.

    When I went looking for a caliber like Mike claimed to have, I found ONE. A really expensive one (about $8000) and I’ll bet a lot of money that you couldn’t buy it with open sights.

    Like EH I don’t like this “fad” of trying to kill big game at excessively long ranges and I consider it unethical and downright ugly to do it.

    Layton

  16. avatar JEFF E says:

    Here is a report generated by a couple of representatives that claims a Barrett M 82 A1 reliably strikes targets up to 2000 yards. http://oversight.house.gov/documents/20040830102114-68327.pdf

  17. avatar JEFF E says:

    And here is that manufactures link. Look around and see where they will provide training to ranges of 2000 yards.
    http://www.barrettrifles.com/rifle_82.aspx

  18. avatar elkhunter says:

    Oh they make em that shoot that far. But to realistically say you could shoot an elk under normal hunting conditions would be a huge stroke of luck. Those .50 cal Barrett’s are HUGE. They weigh a ton. There is a company called Thompsons Long Range scholl that teaches people to shoot game out to 1000 yards. The gun they use is a customized .338 Lazzeroni or something like that that has ballistics of around 3300 fps i believe. But the course and gun cost around 5K if I remember. I am sure it would come up in a google search.
    Elkhunter

  19. avatar JEFF E says:

    the Barrett is not especially large. It is heavy, but soldiers pack em around and shoot man sized targets in combat conditions so it apparently can be done. click on the link elky and look around. they will teach someone to do it for around a 1000. The gun it self is spendy though. I was just looking at one at Cabala’s a couple of weeks ago. It was only a single shot though.

  20. avatar Cordell says:

    Jeff,
    I don’t think Layton and EH are questioning the ballistics and availability of a Barrett .50. Their posts are refering back to a previous discussion where Mike was lecturing on the ethics of sniping elk, his sniper rifle range and exceptional marksmanship with open sights. Mike seems to become uncharacteristically quiet whenever the questions of his rifle’s caliber resurface.

  21. avatar Layton says:

    “the Barrett is not especially large. It is heavy, but soldiers pack em around and shoot man sized targets in combat conditions so it apparently can be done. click on the link elky and look around. they will teach someone to do it for around a 1000. The gun it self is spendy though. I was just looking at one at Cabala’s a couple of weeks ago. It was only a single shot though.”

    Far be it from me to contradict anything that “Jeffy the invincible” says — BUT — the Barrett website that he so graciously left a link for says a couple of things a bit differently: ;^)

    First, the weight of the weapon is somewhere between 29 and 31 lbs. (depending on the length of the barrel). Secondly, it has a 10 shot magazine and is listed as a semi-auto.

    Also just as another aside — it would be illegal to use it in Idaho – Maximum weight of a rifle used to take big game is 16 lbs.

    Elkhunter,

    That Lazzeroni that you speak of is the one that I found that WOULD do 3800 FPS with a 150 gr. bullet. The price is between $7k and $8K now — on the website that I looked at anyway.

    Layton

  22. avatar JEFF E says:

    Layton,
    An average person of average intelligence would comprehend that when I said I was looking at a “single shot though” I would be referring to a different modal, in this case the Barrett 99. I believe I said it was heavy. Have some one read the first three words of my second sentence to you. Maybe your neighbor’s second grader could help you here. you are a joke.
    Cordell,
    I know what you mean, a few posts ago when I asked layton what he thought he caught me at you could here a pin drop. Same with elky when I asked how he thought I was (his standard whine) blaming hunters for anything on the same post.

  23. avatar elkhunter says:

    Jeff E, In that post I was referring to your continued highlighting and mentioning of prime breeding age cows being shot by hunters. Which it says hunters were killing elk, but I dont recall it saying anything about prime breeding age of cows being shot. I did recall reading the spot that said that wolves and bears got %90 of calves in one study of 150 calves though. That seems like alot.
    Back to the topic, I looked at the one in Cabela’s also, I cant imagine carrying that very far. The Lazzeroni is one that has great ballistics and energy but the gun is pricey and the bullets are pricy also. In my opinion no gun should be shot at an animal at 1000 yards. Way to many variables brought into it. Lot more wounded game than killed game I would imagine.
    Elkhunter

  24. avatar JEFF E says:

    Elky,
    I would not be able to imagine where I would try anything more than a few hundred yards give or take. However I have read that a properly trained individual is more than capable of ~ a 3 inch group at 1000 yards with a 50 cal sniper rifle. I guess such a trained person would have little trouble with an elk or whatever else they felt like shooting.

  25. avatar Jay says:

    Elk,
    this is from Wright et. al. (JOURNAL OF WILDLIFE MANAGEMENT 70(4):1070–1078; 2006).

    Discussion
    Selection of Female Elk by Wolves and Hunters

    “Wolves and hunters selected female elk very differently (Figs. 2,3). Although prime reproductive-aged females (2–9 yr old) are most abundant in the population, wolves selected and killed the vast majority of female elk from the more vulnerable calf and old (>10 yr) age classes. Wolf predation on the more vulnerable members of a prey species has been documented extensively (Mech 1970, Peterson 1977, Fuller and Keith 1980, Huggard 1993, Mech et al. 2001, Smith et al. 2004). The majority of hunter-killed females were adults from the largest age class present, 2–9-year-old females. When given the opportunity, hunters clearly selected for harvesting adult cow elk over calves due to the larger amount of meat a cow provides. Most hunters
    can easily distinguish adult cow elk from calves based on size.”

  26. avatar JEFF E says:

    The majority of the northern Yellowstone elk harvested since 1976 were removed during the
    “Gardiner Late Elk Hunt. Since the mid-1980s, the vast majority of permits issued for this hunt were for antlerless to help maintain the number of elk wintering north of the park at a level that is sustainable by winter habitat and will minimize depredation of private pastures and crops. Consequently, most of the harvested elk have been prime-aged females (2005 average = 8.2 years), whereas predation typically has a disproportionate effect on calves and older age classes. ”
    Elky,
    you can find this quote under the section titled “Survival” in the same report. Anything else?

  27. avatar Cordell says:

    Jeff E,

    “a properly trained individual is more than capable of ~ a 3 inch group at 1000 yards with a 50 cal sniper rifle. I guess such a trained person would have little trouble with an elk or whatever else they felt like shooting.”

    I guess the only question I have to the above is:
    Why would anyone hunt elk with a .50 cal BMG sniper rifle? Unless you really don’t like the elk.

  28. avatar JEFF E says:

    I would’nt. My point is that at 1000+ yards it can be done, apparently with a great deal of consistency.

  29. avatar Mack P. Bray says:

    The title of this entry is “Motorcyclist gets hand slapped for hitting hiker in wilderness study area.”

    You guys are off-topic with your rifle-speak.

    Thanks for wasting my valuable reading time.

  30. avatar JEFF E says:

    I suppose if Ralph has a problem with it he will say somthing.

  31. Well,

    I always like it best if the thread of discussion is continuously on the original subject, but it’s hard to tell people not write about a side topic.

    However, if you want an open post where you can discuss a particular subject or just an open subject, email me.

  32. avatar elkhunter says:

    I did a search on prime breeding age for a cow elk, anywhere from 3-8 years. So if average cow elk killed by hunters was 8.5. Right on the line I guess. But I wont comment anymore on this topic unless we have anew post. I dont want Mack wasting his valuable reading time.

  33. avatar Jay says:

    And you know surfing the ‘net is time well spent 🙂

  34. avatar JEFF E says:

    Okay,
    we are all agreed. we will retire from this filed of battle and live again to fight another day. :*>

  35. avatar Layton says:

    Jeffy,

    Is your hat REALLY on that tight all the time??

    Scuze me if I just kind of figured since BOTH of the articles you sited referred to the Model 82A1/M107 that MIGHT be the model you were referring to. I guess I should have read your little mind.

    You really do hate to get corrected — don’t you!! Talk
    about a Joke!!

    see ya’

    Layton

  36. avatar Layton says:

    Sorry about that —- we were evidently typing at the same time.

    Can I live ’til another day too??

    Layton

  37. avatar Jay says:

    Lazzeroni’s at 1000 yards–may the best man win.

    Just kidding, I wouldn’t suggest you guys get to shooting at each other…I guess paint ball guns would be okay, though. How many yards out are they good for?

  38. avatar JEFF E says:

    Layton,
    I let you off the hook with my first sentence. Problem is I can’t continuously post to the lowest common denominator for just your benefit.

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‎"At some point we must draw a line across the ground of our home and our being, drive a spear into the land and say to the bulldozers, earthmovers, government and corporations, “thus far and no further.” If we do not, we shall later feel, instead of pride, the regret of Thoreau, that good but overly-bookish man, who wrote, near the end of his life, “If I repent of anything it is likely to be my good behaviour."

~ Edward Abbey

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