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  1. #1
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    Sedona: IMPORTANT MEETING Feb 11th 5:30pm : CNF RRRD and the MTB Community

    As many have heard around town and the recent article in the paper the Coconino National Forest Red Rock Ranger District is considering a closure to cross country travel to mountain bikes. As we all know it is bad riding etiquette to ride rough shod off the trail leaving pointless tracks littering the landscape. What many of you may not know is some great trails could potentially be off limits due to the closure. We have been pushing for no loss of your favorite trails. This coming Monday, February, 11th 5:30 at the RRRD offices just outside of the VOC on HWY179 you will have a chance to hear the details of this potential closure from CNF Staff. The VVCC Board of Directors will have discussion with FS staff and after hearing the details you will have a chance to voice your concerns/ideas in a public forum.

  2. #2
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    Freak, could you provide a link to the article? Recent article in the paper is a bit ambiguous for such a hot topic. The whole thing smells fishy. What is the point of the whole RTCA process with a mediator if the FS is just going to close trails anyway?

    The rumor I heard was all trails not posted would be off limits. Sort of backwards from typical policy. That is, open to ride unless posted otherwise. So, no closure signs; rather a sign indicating it's open to mtn bikes. But what about the other user-groups?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Freak, could you provide a link to the article? Recent article in the paper is a bit ambiguous for such a hot topic. The whole thing smells fishy. What is the point of the whole RTCA process with a mediator if the FS is just going to close trails anyway?

    The rumor I heard was all trails not posted would be off limits. Sort of backwards from typical policy. That is, open to ride unless posted otherwise. So, no closure signs; rather a sign indicating it's open to mtn bikes. But what about the other user-groups?
    Rock:

    This is the list of the 154 trails the FS knows about:

    Adobe Jack
    Aerie
    Airport Connector
    Airport Loop
    Anaconda
    Anaconda Bypass
    Andante
    Ant Hill
    AZ Cypress
    AZ Cypress Alternate
    Baby Bell
    Baby Bell Option
    Bail
    Baldwin
    Bandit
    Basalt
    Bell
    Big Park Loop
    Bike Path
    Brew Pub
    Bogus
    Brew Pub
    Brewer
    Broken Arrow
    Cake Walk
    Canyon of Fools
    Carroll Canyon
    Casner
    Cathedral
    Cat Walk
    Cedar Ridge
    Cenntennial
    Chapel
    Checkpoint Charlie
    Christmas Wash
    Chuck Wagon
    Cockscomb
    Coconino
    Color Cove
    Cow Pies
    Coyote
    Crusifixion
    Crusty
    Damifido
    Damifino
    Dawa
    Deadmans Pass
    Double D
    Draino
    Earl's cabin
    Easy Brezzy
    Easy Rider
    Girdner
    Grand Central
    Grasshopper (Allens Bend)
    Gunslinger
    HT
    Hangover
    Harm's Way
    Herkenham
    Hermit
    High on the Hog
    Highline
    Hog Tail
    Hogalicious
    Homee
    Hot Loop
    Huckaby
    Javelina
    Jim Thompson
    Jordan
    Jump
    Kaibab
    Killer Bee
    Last Frontier
    Lavitra
    Ledge'n'Airy
    Lime Kiln
    Little Horse
    Lama
    Long Canyon
    Lost and Found
    Lower Chimney Rock
    Lower Lizardhead
    Made in the Shade
    Margaritaville
    Mescal
    Mescal Connector West
    Mescal Connector East
    Middle Finger
    Middle Tea Cup
    Midgely Bridge
    Moose Fingers
    Munds Wagon Wheel
    Mystic
    Mystic South
    New Years Wash
    No Name
    OK
    OK Alternate
    Old Post
    Old Ridge
    Phone
    Pig Tail
    Plumber's Crack
    Power Station
    Power Station Plundge
    Pyramid
    Ramshead
    Red Aguave Connector
    Red Rock Crossing
    Red Rock Loop
    Ridge
    Rupp
    S
    Scheurman
    Second Coming
    Secret Slickrock
    Shorty
    Sketch
    Slim Shady
    Snake
    Soldier Pass
    Soldier Pass Jeep Rd.
    Special Ed
    Stay High
    Steamboat Bypass
    Submarine Rock
    Sugar Loaf West
    Sugar Loaf Loop
    Sugar Loaf Short Cut
    Sunset
    Table Top
    Tea Cup
    Templeton
    Tequila Sunrise
    Thunder Mt.
    Tim's Wash
    Tomahawk
    Transcept
    Transcept
    Turkey Creek
    Two Fences
    Under the Radar
    Under Under the Radar
    Under Under Under the Radar
    Unknown Bandit
    Upper Ramshead
    Upper Tea Cup
    Viewpoint
    VOC Loop
    Western Civilization
    Wilson Canyon
    Windsurfer
    Witch Doctor
    Yavapai Vista

    How about the other 350 the the hikers use that the FS doesn't claim to know about. I agree something is strange the way mountain bikers are treated.

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    For Rockman and others - U.S. Forest Service mulls mountain bike restrictions

    “Our area has very sensitive soils and archaeology,” Red Rock Ranger District Ranger Heather Provencio said. “It doesn’t take much to cause damage. Unauthorized trail construction, and ‘riding in’ unofficial tracks has damaged the forest in areas near Oak Creek, which has special water quality standards to maintain.”

    The district has over 170 miles of official trail open to mountain biking, hiking and equestrian use in the Sedona area. These trails are distinguished from “user created” routes by their official signs and markings.
    I guess this fits the other threads question of Should User Built Trail Builders Get Recognized for All Their Good Work???? ... YES !!!
    If it wasn't created with proper approval ... Fine them, and lock them up.

    Good intentions, done improperly, can harm many.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    guess this fits the other threads question of Should User Built Trail Builders Get Recognized for All Their Good Work???? ... YES !!!
    If it wasn't created with proper approval ... Fine them, and lock them up.

    Good intentions, done improperly, can harm many.

    You apparently don't understand why these trails were built in the first place. Step back for a minute, remove Traildoc from the equation, and think about the big picture.

    Blaming the closure on trails and water quality in Oak Creek is a smoke screen. New construction in town followed by a rain storm or the dirt washed off Schnebly Hill Rd/Verde Valley School Rd. are by far the major contributors to siltation in the watershed.

    What happened to the RTCA process as the means to generating a plan for meaningful change?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    You apparently don't understand why these trails were built in the first place. Step back for a minute, remove Traildoc from the equation, and think about the big picture.

    Blaming the closure on trails and water quality in Oak Creek is a smoke screen. New construction in town followed by a rain storm or the dirt washed off Schnebly Hill Rd/Verde Valley School Rd. are by far the major contributors to siltation in the watershed.

    What happened to the RTCA process as the means to generating a plan for meaningful change?
    If the houses were built with proper approval, perhaps the methods used to obtain approval needs to be re-evaluated.

    But that is another discussion.
    Apparently Sedona stands to loose a lot of user built (unauthorized) trails.

    I view it as being no different than anything that is abused ... If the 4x4 groups in Sedona start creating their own trails, what do you think might happen ?

    ETA: The idea that they are not authorized trails is all the excuse needed ... So, yes, a smoke screen probably does exist.
    They could just as easily start handing out warnings/fines for using unauthorized trails.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    If the houses were built with proper approval, perhaps the methods used to obtain approval needs to be re-evaluated.

    But that is another discussion.
    Apparently Sedona stands to loose a lot of user built (unauthorized) trails.

    I view it as being no different than anything that is abused ... If the 4x4 groups in Sedona start creating their own trails, what do you think might happen ?

    That is a different level of impact but I see your point.

  8. #8
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    Rockman..... I don't see how this changes anything with the RTCA process. I see the FS stepping up to work with mountain bikers as a user group and us being included and working with the FS in a great way.

    What I also see is they have to manage the land. I agree the water quality issue is foggy. If their goal was to reduce siltation there are more effective routes to take than closing cross country travel to MTB.

    My personal opinion is that culture takes a long time to change. The FS has stepped up to working with MTBers and MTBers have also begun to step up to work with the FS and both sides are slowly realizing this. MTB was suppressed for a log time in Sedona and many places. Now that things have improved the two sides are slowly adjusting. One - the FS bit by bit is learning more an more about the social trail system that has evolved over the years and to them this is many times new where to us it is years old. In the midst of all this the FS surely began to figure out how to deal with this influx of social trails and growing numbers of riders....they must have surely formulated a plan and are still trying to execute that plan.... Two - MTBers that have been riding for years here became accustomed to the steady development of social trails and now that the FS is stepping up their game it is hard for people to accept/realize this change.

    The more both sides learn and change with view to the future the smoother things will go. Again I want to emphasize CHANGE....... there has been much of this happening lately and we all know how most humans deal with it.

    I hope that people planning to show up and make their voice heard at the coming meeting will come and listen to the FS and give a fair assessment and let their opinions that may be based on fact or on fourth hand info injected with multiple opinions/egos/conspiracy.

    I again want to emphasize I do not support the closure! I hope our user group can show up and demonstrate that we value the land we enjoy so much. I hope we can all come together more on trail days and be a valuable resource to the land and FS.

  9. #9
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    Freak-a-zoid, very well stated and I agree 100%. But something that is bothering me is what is the closure business all about. The FS has already announced that the trails in the Casner Study Area are to be naturalized. Catwalk was already closed. Tequila Sunrise is also supposed to be closed and naturalized. Your opening post which is the same as what is posted on the VVCC website uses the word "potentially" off-limits when the press releases and memos from the FS had indicated that, at least for the aforementioned trails/areas, it was a done deal. Which begs the question??

    Is this meeting (that can't wait until the next RTCA meeting) about additional closures or what? If it's about closure of the remaining user-built trails that are NOT on the adoption list it's going to be a divisive process. I can't really imagine buy-in from the mtb community can you?

    It's hard to have an educated opinion with all the drama on the forum.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    Freak-a-zoid, very well stated and I agree 100%. But something that is bothering me is what is the closure business all about. The FS has already announced that the trails in the Casner Study Area are to be naturalized. Catwalk was already closed. Tequila Sunrise is also supposed to be closed and naturalized. Your opening post which is the same as what is posted on the VVCC website uses the word "potentially" off-limits when the press releases and memos from the FS had indicated that, at least for the aforementioned trails/areas, it was a done deal. Which begs the question??

    Is this meeting (that can't wait until the next RTCA meeting) about additional closures or what? If it's about closure of the remaining user-built trails that are NOT on the adoption list it's going to be a divisive process. I can't really imagine buy-in from the mtb community can you?

    It's hard to have an educated opinion with all the drama on the forum.
    Rock,

    The meeting is to give all MTBers a chance to hear the details as it seems the FS is closer to pulling the trigger. I hope this affords the the FS a chance to hear the MTB community directly and get a feel of how potentially bad this could be if they do it. I will leave the details on the closure to be said by the FS as I know a lot on it but do not want to miss quote or interpret any of it only to be carried into different context on here.

    It is not about the closure of the remaining user built trails. It's about making both sides more educated on the issues and reasons why this is happening. Seems mainly a way to curtail illegal building/riding in trail....which seems to be continuing.

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    Quote Originally Posted by freak-a-zoid View Post
    Rockman..... SNIP.
    Excellently stated !!!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by freak-a-zoid View Post
    Rock,

    The meeting is to give all MTBers a chance to hear the details as it seems the FS is closer to pulling the trigger. I hope this affords the the FS a chance to hear the MTB community directly and get a feel of how potentially bad this could be if they do it. I will leave the details on the closure to be said by the FS as I know a lot on it but do not want to miss quote or interpret any of it only to be carried into different context on here.

    It is not about the closure of the remaining user built trails. It's about making both sides more educated on the issues and reasons why this is happening. Seems mainly a way to curtail illegal building/riding in trail....which seems to be continuing.
    freak:

    Is there a message to be sent to the builders of such trails if you have another crew go out and decommission these new trails? I would love to go out and decommission some recently built trails to send the message that the mountain bike community is standing together to make sure no new trails succeed in being built, and the only type of new trails that need to be built are to a very high sustainability standard not this maintainable but not sustainable thing you have been pushing up on Schnebly Hill Rd. with that potential DH project to replace Tomahawk.

    If these new trails are a pieces of crap and unsustainable trails they need to be decommissioned sooner rather than after the meeting to reduce the chance of any more erosion issues during our rainy season, let's get on the reconstruction as soon as possible before the next storm. This last 3" storm probably created a lot of erosion on them, and the sooner we restore them the better.

    As far as the FS not knowing about our 154 comprehensive trail system, what did Tuna do with the maps that I gave him two years ago with 99% of those trails on it? He said he gave them to the LEO's and it seems logical they shared them with Jennifer and Heather especially since IMBA got word of it and called every shop in Sedona telling them not to use it. Something just doesn't add up there.

    TD

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    Quote Originally Posted by bikeabuser View Post
    If the houses were built with proper approval, perhaps the methods used to obtain approval needs to be re-evaluated.

    But that is another discussion.
    Apparently Sedona stands to loose a lot of user built (unauthorized) trails.

    I view it as being no different than anything that is abused ... If the 4x4 groups in Sedona start creating their own trails, what do you think might happen ?

    ETA: The idea that they are not authorized trails is all the excuse needed ... So, yes, a smoke screen probably does exist.
    They could just as easily start handing out warnings/fines for using unauthorized trails.
    The real kicker of it is the fact that these trails in question are not going to be closed. It's just that mountain bikers wont be able to use them. Hikers and horses will still be able to use these trails.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    The real kicker of it is the fact that these trails in question are not going to be closed. It's just that mountain bikers wont be able to use them. Hikers and horses will still be able to use these trails.
    Such is the potential result when people brag and their illegal activities become public knowledge.
    MTB'rs are not a majority And a blackmark is a blackmark ... Especially when it can be found on a map.

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    Over/under on how long traildock lasts before getting tossed out?
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by freak-a-zoid View Post
    This coming Monday, February, 11th 5:30 .

    Freak, you may want to clarify the dates. This coming Monday is the 4th. The 11th is the following Monday.

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    To me, this thread may be the biggest Sedona story of 2013 as far as mountainbiking as a whole. Its big picture stuff and with all the Sedrama that goes on this board and others, I know that many are so tired of the seemingly continual verbal vomit from us. It however, is about where we ride and how it evolves. This item has so far been a meeting item of cycling clubs and USFS staff for some time. I wish that the VVCC and FBO would communicate a little more clearly to the masses what its club position is and how it envisions the cycling opportunities in the area. The closure of cross country travel to mountain bikes is not the first of its kind on the Coconino. I've gone through it with a closure to rock climbing at the oak creek overlook in the early 1990's. I've also gone through the affect of motorized closure a few years ago as well. Its one of those land management decisions to pull the trigger and see what happens kind of moves that reeks of failure really on the agency part more than on the public part. What will the damage be this time? Could the trailbuilders and offenders do something more desirable before getting to this part? Sure. Compare it to getting fired from a job. I usually leave those kinds of meetings with more questions than answers and a strong desire to drink and escape for awhile. I would hope that many riders show up on the 11th to at the very least show a face to the USFS that this stuff does care to us.
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Phillbo View Post
    Freak, you may want to clarify the dates. This coming Monday is the 4th. The 11th is the following Monday.
    It is the 11th, this coming Monday. For real this time.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

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    Yes confirming the meeting is the 11th of Feb. @ 5:30 RRRD offices in the Villiage

  20. #20
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    Honestly guys, I kind of feel like you are spoiled kids all pissed off because dad might take away the keys to the BMW. There are HUNDREDS of miles of legal trail right out side the door of anyone living in or visiting Sedona/Oak Creek. There are very few places on the whole planet where this sort of access to such a huge volume of world class trails can be had. Continuing to build new trails just makes you seem greedy and irresponsible.

    I'm pretty shocked actually that cross-country travel by bike is legal in the first place in the Red Rock Country. Personally, I think it should be illegal by bike, hoof or foot. There is plenty of trail available now for recreational use for all skill levels and interests. There is no need to tear up the already beat-up and fragile desert/chaparral, by traveling cross country and building new trails, any more than it already has been. Enjoy the incredible trail system you have, including the extant and approved social trails. Take good care of what you have already and make it sustainable. Ride and enjoy, you are truly blessed people in blessed land. If you need a new challenge, take a road trip like the rest of us!
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  21. #21
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    Hrmmm....there's a little more to the story than that Fishman. Sure, no one thinks trailblazing through a pristine 'field' is ok, but some of these CC locations in questions are doubletrack roads etc.. What's coming up is a MEETING, not a protest, not pissed off kids as you think....a forum to sit down w/the FS and w/the FS to sit down w/trail users.

    Don't stereotype por favor
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    Get Outside!

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by FishMan473 View Post
    There are HUNDREDS of miles of legal trail right out side the door of anyone living in or visiting Sedona/Oak Creek.

    There is no need to tear up the already beat-up and fragile desert/chaparral, by traveling cross country and building new trails, any more than it already has been. Enjoy the incredible trail system you have, including the extant and approved social trails.
    One of the things that the cross country travel ban will do is make the social trails off limits to bikes. That's why there is such an uproar.
    The secret to mountain biking is pretty simple. The slower you go the more likely it is you’ll crash.
    - Julie Furtado

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    Quote Originally Posted by woahey View Post
    One of the things that the cross country travel ban will do is make the social trails off limits to bikes. That's why there is such an uproar.
    It seems to me it will lead us to more of the cat and mouse, us vs. them mentality out in the woods. If a mountain biker saw hikers walking a trail built for bikes that I can't legally ride or those hikers start giving mountain bikers a hard time because they are riding a social trail I have to wonder how this will pan out in the long run. It sounds like a good way to bring back the same kind of animosity the biking community had for the FS ten or fifteen years ago when they wouldn't pay any attention to us at all.

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    I am of the opinion that the closure is a foregone conclusion.

    Here are two articles recently put out by the FS via local media outlets:

    Red Rock News: U.S. Forest Service mulls mountain bike restrictions - Sedona Red Rock News, Sedona, AZ Classifieds, Jobs, News, Sports, Weather

    AZ Daily Sun: Will off-trail biking in Red Rocks be nixed?

    Within the past 45 days, speaking with the Jennifer and other bike advocacy types separately, it seems that both Jennifer and Heather have make up their minds on the subject some months ago. Seeing the pattern of announcements, and knowing that the pending traffic that Spring will bring to Sedona, it makes sense that the timing will be very soon.

    When I hear people indicating that locals are blessed by tons of trails, and whining over not getting their way, it shows they do not understand what access to these trails means to this town. Yes we have great trails, and there are a fair amount. The quality, variety, and difficulty create something which is unique. People come here for this, and return to recreate the experience. Industry comes to Sedona to test, display their product to media and do early information releases (it is a great place for this due to the time of year we are open for riding), and to ride when most other places are not feasible to ride in. Our economy is run by this, and will suffer without it. This effect is not limited to bike shops. What is more, the income from this is largely concentrated within 6 months of the year. Feast or famine, squirrel gathering nuts for the Winter sort of thing. Putting a closed sign up, only to one user group, at a destination location, is NOT going to be a good thing for local business. This town lives or dies by visitors and the money they bring, like it or not.

    When I hear people saying that the method that the trails were built should determine if they live/die, it shows they do not fully understand the situation. Trails are an asset, especially given the above issues. The FS was charged with adding in trails and opportunity, and has largely done so by adopting illegally built existing trails. Many with not a lot of modification required. They recruited free labor (volunteers from the MTB, hiking, and equestrian communities) to help bring things into alignment thus leading to adoption. Through their adopt a trail program they get free labor (volunteers from the MTB, hiking, and equestrian communities) to maintain these trails. They get relatively cheap labor from CREC and other groups as well. To say that if it was not built legally then it should not be allowed to exist is obviously not shared by the FS, so making these absolutely black and white statements is a non-starter.

    To be clear, unsanctioned new trail building should not be allowed. People who violate the law and are caught should be treated as such. In the past I think it was not so black and white of an issue. The FS was in no way working with the different users, was on their arse, and there was no latitude given to address needed trails. As of late, they have been working with trail users and displayed at least some reception to the idea of addressing unmet needs. This is the reason that many of people who were illegal trail builders are now working with the FS to do things the right way. This is a major change that the FS may not be aware of, but it helps their cause. Yes there are still some who persist in going out and building trail as per evidence by those caught, charged, fined, and temporarily banned from the forest. This is appropriate. Banning an entire user group for the transgressions of a few is NOT appropriate. Nor will it stop those who work outside the law (those still building illegal trail, hikers and MTB alike) from doing so as they are already working outside the law.

    Let's look at the three who were caught, fined, etc.:

    -Traildoc - Historic illegal builder, started working with the FS, remained a thorn in their side due to online banter and electronic distribution of maps the FS would rather not see public. Charged on a technicality for a 4' section of trail on an existing FS adopted trail (Tea Cup if memory serves correct). One could argue that his past caught up to him, and I would agree to a point. Note that after all of this he continues to try to work within the system to affect the changes he seeks. Agree or disagree with him (I have my days of both) he has dropped the old way and is trying to do things within the system. I have difficulty finding fault with that.

    -Hiker (don't remember his name) - Built illegal trail right under the nose of the FS, and did so in a mocking way. Got caught, paid the price. Is he representative of the entire hiking community, and should they be banned as a result? Of course not.

    -Tyler (recent announcement) - 20 year old who is out there building jumps and stunts. Wrong, yes. Hardly an example of the old guard historic trail builders. This is naivety, stupidity, poor judgement, but not reflective of a concerted effort by the MTB community to work outside the FS system. He is a kid for $%#@ sake. Let's penalize the majority of MTB trail users then? Really?

    This thing is not about all of that. It is more systemic than that. We have an agency who has yet to formally recognize mountain biking as a legitimate activity on FS land. There is no formal plan in place to deal with this user group, nor is there an intent to develop one. There is no budget set aside to develop said plan (which goes to intent), nor to allow the local land managers (Heather/Jennifer) to do so. The local managers are acting within the confines of less than specific guidance they are given with the limited budget they are provided.

    We are talking about a change in the category of travel from "open unless signed closed" to "closed unless signed open".

    If an existing trail is not in the system, it will then be closed to mountain bikes. You like High on the Hog, Hog Wash, Hog Heaven...too bad. You like Special Ed, better break out the hiking boots.

    This only effects mountain bikes, so how does one argue that it is to mitigate damage? We know that mountain bikes are equal to marginally worse than hikers (bikes are better in some situations, and hikers better in others), and much less damaging than equestrian. So this is not about mitigating damage or preventing further damage. Otherwise it would be closed to all users. This is discriminatory to one user group, and indicates that mountain bikers are not legitimate as per the view of the FS.

    In conversations with Jennifer I am told that this is not meant to be punitive. I can only take her at her word, so it must simply be discriminatory.

    So let's review:

    When trail builders in the past did not have options, they broke the law and created an asset in the process. Some assets were good, others were bad. We could ride anything that was a trail, sanctioned/adopted or not.

    Now that trail builders put down the rogue shovels, and pick up the FS approved shovels and work with the FS to help the FS solve their problems, attempt to work within the system, attempt to police their own, and look for common ground = we have already lost trails, and are slated to loose a lot more.

    Fuzzy math anyone?

    Last item. You think that if it happens in Sedona/Dedrama/Slo dona (whatever one disparages us by), that it can't happen in Flagstaff, Prescott, Phoenix, or in any other state for that matter? Legal precedence is legal prescience. This is being done via a categorical exclusion. It means they don't have to do the studies to see how much it effects the economy of the town or its people. They don't have to quantify that MTBers are the only one building trails rather than just repeating it in every conversation planting the seed throughout the community's psyche (something that doesn't even correspond with their convicted abusers). They can ignore all of the social trails from each and every enclave for people to use shortcuts from their neighborhood. They don't have to quantify the relative insignificance of erosion/damage caused by mountain bikes in relation to the ton's of fill hauled up to repair major Jeep tour routes by those same companies.
    Grammar and spelling errors are complementary.

  25. #25
    mtbr member
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    Awesome post schwing_ding, I hope you are one of the guys on the front line advocating for us.

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