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  1. #1
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    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!

    I rode Crockett Hills yesterday and was rather shocked at recent damage to the trails due to running cattle during wet conditions. I last rode Crockett about 2 weeks ago and the extents of damage that has occured since then is really rather extreme. The scene is like some kind of bovine apocalypse! What Mr Rancher has done here simply can not be allowed. Are there not rules as to when/where cows can be run?
    Anyway the ride Fu#@ing ride sucked getting up to the flow trail only to discover that the flow trail is closed due to 'wilderness rehab' until September! They have got to be kidding! Their too late - the cows have already fuc#ed the place!
    I have left a message with East Bay Parks but have not heard back.
    Anyone else ride Crockett over the weekend?
    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Haven't been there since the recent rains. The trails were in pretty good shape back then (a few weeks ago), but with all the rains, it wouldn't take much to mess up the trails big time. I won't go there for another couple of weeks of dry weather as parts of those trails don't dry well, but would love to hear back from EBRPD...you should post on their fb page, they usually are pretty responsive there.

  3. #3
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    Idea!

    Someone please go and get some pictures if there weren't any taken so it can be documented and shown when we need it for reference when dealing with EBRPD. Preferably taken with a digital format that contains geotag and time stamp info (turn your smart phone option on if using that for pictures).

    Thx

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    Quote Originally Posted by Obi View Post
    Someone please go and get some pictures if there weren't any taken so it can be documented and shown when we need it for reference when dealing with EBRPD. Preferably taken with a digital format that contains geotag and time stamp info (turn your smart phone option on if using that for pictures).

    Thx
    Yes agreed.
    Unfortunately I did not have a camera.

  5. #5
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    Just remember: Cows are good for the habitat.

    Keep repeating it until it sinks in. Now please moove along!



    #cowssuck
    Last edited by dirtvert; 03-21-2016 at 09:46 PM.
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  6. #6
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    Closed all summer? Isn't that one of the few bike legal places to ride in the East Bay Parks system?


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    This closure is different than the one on Kestrel Loop? That is the fire road section to the west of the single tracks. It is the only closure noted on the EBRPD official website right now.

    If you are saying Sugar City is both trashed and closed, that is pretty bad news.

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    Quote Originally Posted by somanygoodbikes View Post
    This closure is different than the one on Kestrel Loop? That is the fire road section to the west of the single tracks. It is the only closure noted on the EBRPD official website right now.

    If you are saying Sugar City is both trashed and closed, that is pretty bad news.
    The gate to Sugar City (flow trail) was padlocked with a sign stating closed until September. Appears to be the only place that escaped the trashing.

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    Is that the new singletrack coming down off the bench? If so it was locked for a few days last summer by someone not authorized. I complained and ebrpd cut the lock off and apologized. If someone can confirm the location I'll complain to them again. They have a phone number to contact, I have to find it somewhere...or someone else can get hold of them.

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    Ride there occasionally and a lot in Briones, same problem with the cows. The cattle destroy everything and once the rain stops it takes months to go back to normal. Once the trails are almost back to decent the District destroys them by grading them.
    I have no idea how anyone could ever complain about bikes causing any issue with the trail erosion.

  11. #11
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    I spoke with someone at EBRPD in charge of cattle grazing management earlier today. Basically EBRPD has no policy concerning running of cattle and ranchers are pretty much free to run cattle at any time. They see trail damage as just part of the process of allowing cattle to graze. So while ranchers are free to allow their cows to destroy our trails we continue to get grief for riding our bikes! WARPED!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by testa di cazzo View Post
    I spoke with someone at EBRPD in charge of cattle grazing management earlier today. Basically EBRPD has no policy concerning running of cattle and ranchers are pretty much free to run cattle at any time. They see trail damage as just part of the process of allowing cattle to graze. So while ranchers are free to allow their cows to destroy our trails we continue to get grief for riding our bikes! WARPED!!
    Thanks for chasing down an explanation. Definite misalignment of goals for their various user groups.

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    My understanding is the land these parks are on was sold by rancher families to EBPD with a clause saying they would continue to allow leased grazing. Not sure what the actual deal was but that is what a EBP Cop told me once years ago.

    Funny the cop agreed with me that it made no sense that a biker could get a pretty decent fine for simply rolling across the grass or even riding on a single track that were created by cows, when the rancher rides his atv all over and the cows destroy everything.

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    First time MTBR poster - psyched to join.

    Anyway, I rode Crockett Sunday early AM (March 20), and was appalled at the bovine devastation. That was only my second ride there, but the difference was shocking. I have been in communication with BTCEB, and they have in turn been in communication with EBRPD. Long story short: EBRPD may change up its trail maintenance calendar to address this section at the May 21 trail work day (Trail Work Day at Crockett Hills - Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay (Berkeley, CA) - Meetup). This year's trail work will fix the short term problem, but there needs to be a long term fix/agreement with the ranchers to not graze that portion of the property during wet conditions.

    Anyway, the area affected is (sorry, I'm don't know the proper names) from the tunnel to the helipad - ~2 miles. Here is a map and some pics.

    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-crockett.jpg
    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5589-600x800-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5590-600x800-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5592-600x800-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5594-600x800-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5595-600x800-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5600-600x800-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5602-600x800-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5603-600x800-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5608-800x600-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5624-600x800-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5634-800x600-.jpgCrockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5645-800x737-.jpg
    Attached Thumbnails Attached Thumbnails Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_5645.jpg  


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    That looks like Briones, only narrower trails. Still not sure exactly where that is in CH, but that is from my not knowing the trails there even though I've ridden there at least a dozen times. That looks horrible, not sure trail work can fix that up without some equipment.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    First time MTBR poster - psyched to join.

    Anyway, I rode Crockett Sunday early AM (March 20), and was appalled at the bovine devastation. That was only my second ride there, but the difference was shocking. I have been in communication with BTCEB, and they have in turn been in communication with EBRPD. Long story short: EBRPD may change up its trail maintenance calendar to address this section at the May 21 trail work day (Trail Work Day at Crockett Hills - Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay (Berkeley, CA) - Meetup). This year's trail work will fix the short term problem, but there needs to be a long term fix/agreement with the ranchers to not graze that portion of the property during wet conditions.

    Anyway, the area affected is (sorry, I'm don't know the proper names) from the tunnel to the helipad - ~2 miles. Here is a map and some pics.

    Thanks for posting photos. Really brings home the issue here. Looks like the weather is about to turn sunny and really harden all those ruts. Bad news.
    IPA will save America

  17. #17
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    Glass half full viewpoint:

    If areas like this in the east bay weren't used for ranch land, every square foot would be covered with 600k beige houses with no yards by now.

    That's right, BEIGE!

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    First time MTBR poster - psyched to join.
    ...
    Hah, that looks like it would be a really good CX challenge...

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    Quote Originally Posted by hiphopopotamus View Post
    Glass half full viewpoint:

    If areas like this in the east bay weren't used for ranch land, every square foot would be covered with 600k beige houses with no yards by now.

    That's right, BEIGE!
    From my POV, I am very glad that ranchers still operate in the Bay Area, and have created excellent multiple use opportunities that include mountain biking. I think we should support the ranchers' efforts to do so. And thank god for less BEIGE in the world.

    But I think the main point is an issue of management, not whether cows/rangeland should be there. The rancher could easily not graze their cattle during wet conditions on that portion of their range. The cows would leave comparatively minimal impact if grazed during dry conditions. That would save EBRPD tons of trail maintenance $$$.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiphopopotamus View Post
    Glass half full viewpoint:

    If areas like this in the east bay weren't used for ranch land, every square foot would be covered with 600k beige houses with no yards by now.

    That's right, BEIGE!
    head up @ss viewpoint and pathetic argument.

  21. #21
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    ^^ Flag on the play for unnecessary roughness...

    hiphopotamus- Or they could just be regular parks like in MidPen. Parks filled with cow-brained rangers with radar guns. RADAR GUNS!

    I guess radar guns are better than cows. This thread makes me really happy that most of my riding happens in Santa Cruz!
    Nice e-bike! (sorry about your penis)

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  22. #22
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    Good luck with EBPD, I've complained numerous times. Between the cattle then the rancher and his atv, which leaves huge ruts on the trails, there isn't much to stop it.

    Bottom line it's money,the rancher pays to run the cows on the land.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB Dad View Post

    Bottom line it's money,the rancher pays to run the cows on the land.
    I'd be surprised if it's about money or the rancher is paying a significant amount. I have a feeling when the land was turned over or purchased by parks from probably a rancher, the rancher secured an easement for continued grazing access.

    I haven't researched this particular parcel, but the method I described is how open space is acquired in different places in the bay area. There are laws and tax breaks in California associated with maintaining open space, and what has traditionally been agricultural uses of land. I'm pretty sure grazing, cattle, sheep, goats, gets classified as ag useage.

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    I posted on ebrpd fb page.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB Dad View Post
    Good luck with EBPD, I've complained numerous times. Between the cattle then the rancher and his atv, which leaves huge ruts on the trails, there isn't much to stop it.

    Bottom line it's money,the rancher pays to run the cows on the land.
    Welcome to EBRPD It's been this way for 30 plus years and won't be changing anytime soon.

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    Your probably right the money most likely is not huge, but I do know the land was sold to the district with the clause that leased grazing was to go on for a certain number of years. I heard a figure of 100yrs from someone but I don't really know.
    On a positive note I took my wife there to see the destruction last yr after years of me *****ing. I was able to get her to say yes to a new FS ride 😎

  27. #27
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    Looks like Soaring Eagle trail, which makes sense since that is where the cattle seem to congregate most. That's the best trail in the park too, unfortunately - not technical at all but great views and turns. You feel like you are somewhere else on that trail.
    Strange though, there are fire roads not far from there, which seem like the more sensible route to run cattle. Unless they won't climb hills?

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    If that is Soaring Eagle, I would agree it is (was) my favorite trail there, a couple of miles of ridge trail with amazing views. Still don't know where the padlock is either. I wonder if EBRPD will reply to the post and picture I put up on their FB page....at least they were willing to post it, they didn't even have to do that.

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    29+ f/s with boost hubs should tame that trail right up

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    Sorry for the jong post: I attempted to post an additional reply, but I received a message saying that the post had to be approved by a moderator. This didn't happen for my first post. Any idea how to get the mod to approve a post? I don't see an address for a moderator anywhere on this site to send a PM, so any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks y'all.

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    Was there on Saturday and yeah, just completely trashed. Sugar City was untouched thankfully. The back trails are supposedly ok though I didn't venture back there.

    But Sugar city being closed for the summer would be awful. Hopefully that is just some idiot being a jerk. I was going to go today for a quick ride so I can update later if the gate is locked still.

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    There may have been a similar closure to this one on the back trails last year: Trail Closure at Crockett Hills. Don't Panic! NEW MAP!

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    Quote Originally Posted by testa di cazzo View Post
    head up @ss viewpoint and pathetic argument.
    No, no, no. This would be the head up cow's ass viewpoint.

    Lol, mol.

    I agree that there should be some effort put in to stop the cows from messing up trails built specifically for mountain biking. But I'll still happily bounce down a rutted trail, shaking my fist at the cows as I pass ("Bessie you ol' rascal!")

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    Quote Originally Posted by the.vault View Post
    I'd be surprised if it's about money or the rancher is paying a significant amount. I have a feeling when the land was turned over or purchased by parks from probably a rancher, the rancher secured an easement for continued grazing access.

    I haven't researched this particular parcel, but the method I described is how open space is acquired in different places in the bay area. There are laws and tax breaks in California associated with maintaining open space, and what has traditionally been agricultural uses of land. I'm pretty sure grazing, cattle, sheep, goats, gets classified as ag useage.

    -BINGO.

    It's how the property is deeded to the County. Similar situation down here in MoCo. but (thankfully!) we've not ever seen devastation THAT bad for any significant length on a trail or fire road.

    Good luck with the Parks Dept. DO NOT give up trying to work with them! Continue to go to meetings and share photo's, speak sensibly and eventually they will listen as your dedication to the process will leave a good impression.
    "There's two kinds of people in this world - Walkers and Talkers." Which one are you?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by hiphopopotamus View Post
    No, no, no. This would be the head up cow's ass viewpoint.

    Lol, mol.

    I agree that there should be some effort put in to stop the cows from messing up trails built specifically for mountain biking. But I'll still happily bounce down a rutted trail, shaking my fist at the cows as I pass ("Bessie you ol' rascal!")

    -I refer to them as Brisket, Tri-Tip & Skirt Steak usually.
    "There's two kinds of people in this world - Walkers and Talkers." Which one are you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by testa di cazzo View Post
    head up @ss viewpoint and pathetic argument.
    Except it is largely true. Much of the open space was obtained because the ranchers were only willing to sell if they could keep grazing rights. While I don't like the cows tearing it up, if the deals hadn't been made, we would have far fewer riding areas.


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    Quote Originally Posted by DMFT View Post
    -I refer to them as Brisket, Tri-Tip & Skirt Steak usually.
    Just remember to not scare them or make them run. It toughens the meat.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Entrenador View Post
    .
    Strange though, there are fire roads not far from there, which seem like the more sensible route to run cattle. Unless they won't climb hills?
    Maybe I've spent too much time around cattle, but they seem to prefer single track too.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    Sorry for the jong post: I attempted to post an additional reply, but I received a message saying that the post had to be approved by a moderator. This didn't happen for my first post. Any idea how to get the mod to approve a post? I don't see an address for a moderator anywhere on this site to send a PM, so any guidance would be appreciated. Thanks y'all.
    EBP FB page is censored. Nothing will be posted if it viewed to be a complaint or criticism

    If you want to complain I suggest you contact EBRP director of grazinng opertions:
    Dennise Friez @ 1 (888) 327-2757

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    Except it is largely true. Much of the open space was obtained because the ranchers were only willing to sell if they could keep grazing rights. While I don't like the cows tearing it up, if the deals hadn't been made, we would have far fewer riding areas.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk HD so please forgive the typos that occur when typing with two fingers.
    I don't think anyone is suggesting that grazing be stopped. That just ain't going to happen.
    What i am saying is that some basic rules be set concerning the operation of grazing cattle that addresses the needs of a muti-use park. Moving large herds through wet trails is not good stewardship and should not be allowed.

  41. #41
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    Classic East Bay (see signature)
    Same deal out at Shell Ridge in Walnut creek (Not en EBRPD park though)
    And out at Lime Ridge they recently graded all the singletrack because of "damage from illegal cyclists".

    Miss living in Oakland and close to JMP more and more every day. It was small, but it's a gem compared to everything else.
    East Bay Parks AKA East Bay Cattle Ranches

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    Quote Originally Posted by testa di cazzo View Post
    EBP FB page is censored. Nothing will be posted if it viewed to be a complaint or criticism

    If you want to complain I suggest you contact EBRP director of grazinng opertions:
    Dennise Friez @ 1 (888) 327-2757
    I tried to post this forum, not the EBP FB page. Question still stands: how do I get the mod (of MTBR) to approve a post? Or can someone let me know how to contact a MTBR mod? Thanks.

  43. #43
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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    I tried to post this forum, not the EBP FB page. Question still stands: how do I get the mod (of MTBR) to approve a post? Or can someone let me know how to contact a MTBR mod? Thanks.
    I think it's just because you're a low post count JONG, which will fix itself in due course. Otherwise, PM one of the mods. FC, Chum, and JCWages are the regulars on NorCal.

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    A couple of EBPD people are suppose to go out there today or tomorrow to look at the damage ,if I hear what they say I'll report back.

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    Playing devil's advocate - nasty weather is a great time to move a herd due to fewer users. If there was some way to run a roller or whatever down the trail to smooth things out before it dries, that could minimize damage.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtJunky View Post
    Playing devil's advocate - nasty weather is a great time to move a herd due to fewer users. If there was some way to run a roller or whatever down the trail to smooth things out before it dries, that could minimize damage.
    Understood, but I would much rather they close the trails for a day to move cattle rather than destroy the trials by moving over wet conditions.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by DirtJunky View Post
    Playing devil's advocate - nasty weather is a great time to move a herd due to fewer users. If there was some way to run a roller or whatever down the trail to smooth things out before it dries, that could minimize damage.
    Yep. It would be great if volunteers could be utilized to buff out the trail post trampling.

    The bummer being the prohibition on trail work is based on owl/raptor nesting or something else.

    It would be great to get an exemption for shovels and wheelbarrows. Good luck with that.


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    Quote Originally Posted by rangeriderdave View Post
    A couple of EBPD people are suppose to go out there today or tomorrow to look at the damage ,if I hear what they say I'll report back.
    Thanks.
    The guy I have been speaking with Dan Wan says he went and had a look and says he isn't at all bothered and that users should expect this as part of having cattle present. Nice to see EBRPD working for the protection of the parks!

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    After hearing Dan Wan's response, the devil shall have no advocate. If that's the response received from this question, is this similar to what they tell other users about bikes?

  50. #50
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    Has anyone ever seriously tried to get land managers/park rangers into mountain biking? Take them over from within.

    As someone who works for a govt agency (air pollution), I can tell you that reasoned discourse supported by objective evidence together with reasonable suggested solutions goes a lot farther than vitriolic, adversarial complaining and name calling.

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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtvert View Post

    I guess radar guns are better than cows. This thread makes me really happy that most of my riding happens in Santa Cruz!
    This thread makes me incredulous that out of 430 views on my Hogan thread, we have one rider signed up to ride.

    No cows on our trails, no rangers with radar, just singletrack.

    My mind be boggling.
    Is my paycheck just a bribe to forget my dreams?

  52. #52
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    Quote Originally Posted by NRP View Post
    Has anyone ever seriously tried to get land managers/park rangers into mountain biking? Take them over from within.

    As someone who works for a govt agency (air pollution), I can tell you that reasoned discourse supported by objective evidence together with reasonable suggested solutions goes a lot farther than vitriolic, adversarial complaining and name calling.
    Yes. I've been volunteering with the local land management agencies. I also help at a private property trail project and showed some of the parks staff our method for maintaining berms. Getting hired at one of these agencies is pretty tough and it would require a career change on my part.

    BTCEB seems to be working hard at solutions but it really takes a lot of engaged community members to take over boards, commissions and advisory panels. Doubly so if there are those in opposition to cycling access which sadly for the East Bay: the haters run deep, yo.

    For some reason 6(ish) haters screaming about evil bikes seem to have some kind of jedi mind hold over the BOS in Marin. Something progressive such as Crockett Hills is still a long ways off for Marin County.

    Mostly I think people are just frustrated with the lack of access in general.

  53. #53
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    Profit is not the most important reason for grazing these parks. By August, dried grasses and forbs burn like gasoline. Many property managers graze cattle or sheep, even goats, to reduce the fire danger. Remember, there are houses and businesses around all of these parks and the parks are obligated to reduce fire danger.

    I also hate the damage. Note that complaining hunters, hikers, and us mtb types got the cattle grazing ended on the Cache Creek wild lands. The elk herd seconds the motion! What is needed is:

    1. Agreements limiting movement of livestock on vulnerable wet trails, especially with the horsey people.

    2. A method of remediating the trails after the graze. That could be our job.

  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by MTB Dad View Post
    I have no idea how anyone could ever complain about bikes causing any issue with the trail erosion.
    Its just so true!

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    Quote Originally Posted by telemike View Post
    Profit is not the most important reason for grazing these parks. By August, dried grasses and forbs burn like gasoline. Many property managers graze cattle or sheep, even goats, to reduce the fire danger. Remember, there are houses and businesses around all of these parks and the parks are obligated to reduce fire danger.

    I also hate the damage. Note that complaining hunters, hikers, and us mtb types got the cattle grazing ended on the Cache Creek wild lands. The elk herd seconds the motion! What is needed is:

    1. Agreements limiting movement of livestock on vulnerable wet trails, especially with the horsey people.

    2. A method of remediating the trails after the graze. That could be our job.
    A few points: Profit is hardly the motive for the parks...I read once that the monthly charge for a cow/calf pair is minimal.

    The damage doesn't come from ranchers herding the cows, they move around just fine on their own. A good stampede and they can move half a mile in less than 10 minutes. The only thing that contains them are fences, fences cost money to put up and maintain.

    Fixing the trails is next to impossible after they dry a bit, sadly the only thing that will fix the damage is time and hundreds more of them tromping over the trail when it is dried out. That or a motorcycle race which isn't going to happen. I have been riding Briones for almost 20 years and have seen the pattern repeat itself a few times over the years, especially the last section of BOS.

    All of this is being paid for by tax dollars for the benefit of McDonald's and In and Out.
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    Those pictures are awful. The horror!

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    That really sucks!
    EBRPD does have grazing management plans that spell out how to manage cattle on their lands. I don’t have time to sort through these but maybe someone else could find out key points that could be used to hold them to addressing this mess. DT

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    There are solutions here that could work for all parties: for the parks, for the public (hikers and birders), for riders, for the grazers, and for fire conditions. I agree with those who said that a simple grazing management change, to keep the cattle off during wet conditions, is all that is necessary. The challenge is figuring out how to get all parties on the same page.

    The terms of the lease and associated grazing management plan for that property will govern. EBRPD's template does not address the issue, but here it is: http://www.ebparks.org/Assets/_Nav_C...ng+License.pdf

    One option would be to just "close" certain areas from Dec-April. The cows can get to the affected pasture in May once things have dried up, and they can provide the fire suppression benefits noted above. EBRPD will save money annually avoiding annual repair cost. And trail users (MTB, hikers, and birders) will get the benefit of trails not destroyed by cows. Multiple use management of these lands provides benefits for everyone -- it just takes a bit of coordination and planning. Ultimately, I think it will be a matter of pushing for and obtaining a negotiated solution.

    BTCEB is working on this issue, so let's support them. Crockett could be an example of how to better manage multiple use park land for EBRPD - an example sorely needed in the East Bay.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by testa di cazzo View Post
    I rode Crockett Hills yesterday and was rather shocked at recent damage to the trails due to running cattle during wet conditions. I last rode Crockett about 2 weeks ago and the extents of damage that has occured since then is really rather extreme. The scene is like some kind of bovine apocalypse! What Mr Rancher has done here simply can not be allowed. Are there not rules as to when/where cows can be run?
    Anyway the ride Fu#@ing ride sucked getting up to the flow trail only to discover that the flow trail is closed due to 'wilderness rehab' until September! They have got to be kidding! Their too late - the cows have already fuc#ed the place!
    I have left a message with East Bay Parks but have not heard back.
    Anyone else ride Crockett over the weekend?
    Thoughts?
    This is basically standard for east bay regional parks. shell ridge, diablo, briones - they all look exactly like what you're seeing in crocket.

    For that reason, I wouldn't call this extreme. I would call it normal.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    This is basically standard for east bay regional parks. shell ridge, diablo, briones - they all look exactly like what you're seeing in crocket.

    For that reason, I wouldn't call this extreme. I would call it normal.
    WRONG. This is not at all normal. I have been riding Crockett regularly for a couple years and never seen conditions even close to this. Ditto for the other areas you note above.

  61. #61
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    Quote Originally Posted by testa di cazzo View Post
    WRONG. This is not at all normal. I have been riding Crockett regularly for a couple years and never seen conditions even close to this. Ditto for the other areas you note above.
    it hasn't rained in 3 years.
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    it hasn't rained in 3 years.
    ........and the earth is flat

  63. #63
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    IHB is correct. I have been riding these areas (not CH's) for my entire life, wet winters these places get hammered........always have always will.

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    District has received complaints and will work with their grazing manager to minimize damage. But short of fencing trails or removing cattle, some damage will be unavoidable.

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    FWIW, I got a reply from the park district on their FB page. I had suggested someone get a group out with equipment to do trail repair. They replied that it sounded like a good idea, here is their response verbatim. Worth trying to get it fixed?

    That sounds like a good idea, please contact the park by the same email or calling the staff at Martinez Reg Shoreline: (888-327-2757), option 3, extension 4542.

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    Mark May 21st on your calendar. The Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay has been invited by the EBRPD to work on the trails at Crockett Hills. This is a day for mountain bikers to show up in force to repair the trails addressed in this thread. The more interest and initiative we show, the more likely the EBRPD will respond. A preliminary announcement is posted on Meetup. Go to Trail Work Day at Crockett Hills - Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay. More information will be posted as we receive it.

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    That is great, but isn't there a more pressing need to fix this destroyed trail while things are still damp? In two months this will be rock hard and impossible to restore...or am I wrong. Also, do these days normally fix miles of trail in a single day?

  68. #68
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    Quote Originally Posted by Buddha43 View Post
    IHB is correct. I have been riding these areas (not CH's) for my entire life, wet winters these places get hammered........always have always will.
    yeah so lets just get on our knees and bow down to the ranching community. We'll just continue to be content with whatever pathetic scraps we are thrown.

  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by testa di cazzo View Post
    yeah so lets just get on our knees and bow down to the ranching community. We'll just continue to be content with whatever pathetic scraps we are thrown.
    You're either new to the EB and the ways of EBRPD or you're living up to your moniker. There are plenty of folks on this BB who have fought the fight with the local agencies only to be left with little or no gains in access or changes in policies. But you can take up the pursuit anytime bro

  70. #70
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    Let's see: all the land for sale belongs to ranchers. So, do we really think that grazing is going to be disallowed so that the district stops buying land? Best we can hope for us better grazing practices. Plus bovines make sweet contour single tracks

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  71. #71
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    I know - let's boycott beef & dairy.
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    Let's see: all the land for sale belongs to ranchers. So, do we really think that grazing is going to be disallowed so that the district stops buying land? Best we can hope for us better grazing practices. Plus bovines make sweet contour single tracks

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  73. #73
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    Quote Originally Posted by testa di cazzo View Post
    Hopeless knee jerk response.
    READ!
    No need to get testy. Just giving you the lay of the land in the east bay.

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  74. #74
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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    I know - let's boycott beef & dairy.
    Please no! Anything but that!

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    Quote Originally Posted by shredchic View Post
    I know - let's boycott beef & dairy.
    You've been harping on the beef industry for a while now. Ideologue much?
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  76. #76
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    I really like Crockett Hills but this is all getting bit too precious. This is not some groomed mountain bike park or Endor but bike-optimized multi-use public parkland. It would be nice to take advantage of the softer ground to smooth things out now. Won't happen. A Trail Work day is scheduled for May and those have been a part of BTC efforts (including NorCal High School Cycling, REI, and Clif Bar) since 2009.

    There are plenty of mountain bikers in the EBRPD and they are moving into positions that benefit us well. Yet the greater portion of staff are non-bikers and while the Master Plan supports our access the extant culture there is slow to change at every point. Even our best supporters within that organization have to work within that construct.

    It is slow work and that will never change. That said, La Farine pastries were brought to the Reception gals before the last meeting with the park folk. We keep showing up, we aren't going away; that is what works.

    I've been riding in these parks since the late 80s and this stuff always smooths out. Let's not make this the flash-point for all of our frustrations with lack of access. We'll manage.
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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    You've been harping on the beef industry for a while now. Ideologue much?
    Pot (drunk) kettle much?

    Call it a draw!
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    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!

    Quote Originally Posted by iheartbicycles View Post
    You've been harping on the beef industry for a while now. Ideologue much?
    I heart irony.
    And I don't harp on this much. Only when appropriate.

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    Quote Originally Posted by meter-man View Post
    There are solutions here that could work for all parties: for the parks, for the public (hikers and birders), for riders, for the grazers, and for fire conditions. I agree with those who said that a simple grazing management change, to keep the cattle off during wet conditions, is all that is necessary. The challenge is figuring out how to get all parties on the same page.

    The terms of the lease and associated grazing management plan for that property will govern. EBRPD's template does not address the issue, but here it is: http://www.ebparks.org/Assets/_Nav_C...ng+License.pdf

    One option would be to just "close" certain areas from Dec-April. The cows can get to the affected pasture in May once things have dried up, and they can provide the fire suppression benefits noted above. EBRPD will save money annually avoiding annual repair cost. And trail users (MTB, hikers, and birders) will get the benefit of trails not destroyed by cows. Multiple use management of these lands provides benefits for everyone -- it just takes a bit of coordination and planning. Ultimately, I think it will be a matter of pushing for and obtaining a negotiated solution.

    BTCEB is working on this issue, so let's support them. Crockett could be an example of how to better manage multiple use park land for EBRPD - an example sorely needed in the East Bay.
    Unfortunately this doesn't work for grazing operators.

    The typical grazing season for dryland pasture is October-May. After May, forgage quality drops precipitously and livestock are usually moved to irrigated pasture or higher ground. Some ranchers will supplement with hay, molasses, mineral licks etc, but this is not sustainable. Lactating cows need the high quality feed available during the wetter months. It's all about max weight gain. That's how a rancher makes his or her living.

    The type of grazing described above is considered prescribed grazing and that comes at a high price to the landowner. In the typical grazing operation the rancher pays the landowner to have his/her cattle on the preserve. In a prescribed grazing operation the tables are flipped and the landowner pays the rancher and the cost is much higher due to the amount of work moving livestock around constantly.

    Prescribed grazing can be done but it is expensive and many grazing operators with cattle will not do it which leaves sheep and goats. There is also the concern for the wellbeing of ranchers to consider.

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    I didn't get to finish my thought because I needed to help with dinner.

    Anyway, some species of invasive grasses need to be target grazed March-May. So that could also create a problem for grazing timelines.

    The real problem is what to do with the cows during the times that they should be off the trails. There is simply nowhere else for them to go and until we can breed hibernating cattle we are simply stuck with the historic grazing seasons. The rancher cannot afford to feed cattle hay until the parks are open and the parks cannot afford to pay the rancher what he needs to break even. Moving livestock is a huge cost so you cannot simply whisk them around on the whims of each special interest group.

    I'm currently struggling with sustainable solutions to this very matter and there are no easy solutions. If there were we would already be doing it the right way.

  81. #81
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    Quote Originally Posted by testa di cazzo View Post
    WRONG. This is not at all normal. I have been riding Crockett regularly for a couple years and never seen conditions even close to this. Ditto for the other areas you note above.
    Its been two days since somebody posted about the trail work day. You have posted a couple smart a$$ replies to people but have not mentioned the work day, or committed to it. Maybe you are a sh!thead
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    Excited about this.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWages View Post
    Unfortunately this doesn't work for grazing operators.

    The typical grazing season for dryland pasture is October-May. After May, forgage quality drops precipitously and livestock are usually moved to irrigated pasture or higher ground. Some ranchers will supplement with hay, molasses, mineral licks etc, but this is not sustainable. Lactating cows need the high quality feed available during the wetter months. It's all about max weight gain. That's how a rancher makes his or her living.

    The type of grazing described above is considered prescribed grazing and that comes at a high price to the landowner. In the typical grazing operation the rancher pays the landowner to have his/her cattle on the preserve. In a prescribed grazing operation the tables are flipped and the landowner pays the rancher and the cost is much higher due to the amount of work moving livestock around constantly.

    Prescribed grazing can be done but it is expensive and many grazing operators with cattle will not do it which leaves sheep and goats. There is also the concern for the wellbeing of ranchers to consider.
    How dare you consider the needs of others. Don't you know that you are supposed to be selfish and only think of yourself?!!!!
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  85. #85
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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    How dare you consider the needs of others. Don't you know that you are supposed to be selfish and only think of yourself?!!!!
    Is that why you are so dead set against electric assist bikes sharing trails with you?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Cary View Post
    How dare you consider the needs of others. Don't you know that you are supposed to be selfish and only think of yourself?!!!!
    I do that when we're talking about the last beer.

  87. #87
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    Short version: No single track at Crockett is closed right now. Go get some.

    Pictures etc. in a while, but it looks like a case where people are reading cues and coming to the conclusion that trails are closed when they are not. There is a lock and chain on the gate above Sugar City, but the lock serves no function. The chain has a carabiner in it and you can open it at will. There's no other way to keep the gate closed (the original mechanism is broken), so that's probably all the chain is there for.

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    Long version:

    When you approach the top of Sugar City, you see this gate that appears to be padlocked.
    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_7910.jpg

    And this sign that mentions trail closure.
    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_7911.jpg

    However, the sign only mentions Kestrel Loop, which is fire road trail well to the west of all the single track. Almost all of that trail is not even shown on the section of the map posted.
    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_7912.jpg

    The lock doesn't actually lock anything.
    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_7913.jpg

    The gate is missing some original hardware that would have helped it stay closed. Without the current chain, it could be opened by wind, a nudge from a cow, etc.
    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_7914.jpg

    This is the lower part of the Kestrel Loop. This is what an official attempt to close a trail looks like. You can't even see the road bed anymore.
    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_7930.jpg

    This is the upper part of Kestrel Loop. The barrier is falling apart but it too is overgrown from lack of use. Both junctions loop off Big Valley Trail to the west. The single track is to the east of Big Valley Trail.
    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_7932.jpg

    This sign was originally on the orange plastic webbing that blocked the top of Kestrel. When it got moved up to this gate in front of some unclosed trails and some closed trails, its meaning became ambiguous.
    Crockett Hills - EXTREME bovine trail trashing!-img_7933.jpg

    Sugar City was in good shape.

    Tree Frog had one tree down that was difficult to portage around. Better to just shortcut a few steps down to the trail below. You only miss out on like 100 yards of trail.

    Wildflowers are out in force!

    Cows and their leavings are plentiful.

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    Thanks for the update. Hope to ride it this week. Maybe one small partial solution would be to schedule trail work days when things are still damp and fixable? Not meaning to alter the global food supply chain discussion, just trying to figure out a way to get some of the specific trail damage done this wet winter repaired. I don't think ebrpd would object...maybe next year.

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    Great idea. Maybe we plant that seed this year for next year. Send it to EBRPD.
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    Just rode it tonight and it's not as bad as I thought it would be. Did a video: https://youtu.be/r0MEVJTC-4I

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    Looks pretty bad to me..

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    Yeah, bad enough I wouldn't want to ride it on my hard tail.

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    Quote Originally Posted by sivilized View Post
    Just rode it tonight and it's not as bad as I thought it would be. Did a video: https://youtu.be/r0MEVJTC-4I
    Thanks for the vid. Soaring Eagle still looks very messed up to me.

    Question: It looked like you turned right after the the gate to the sugar city flow trail - I believe that is Kestrel? I have never rode that trail and always ride the flow trail. How is that trail?

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    Hello - Does anyone know the name of the ranching companies or who they supply their beef to? It seems that there is good work being done with EBRPD and there are a lot of responses regarding money and business needs, so I am thinking putting pressure on the ranchers via their business channels might prove helpful in making change happen. I'm not talking about being a dick to them, just letting them and their customers know that we will be boycotting them until a reasonable solution is found that allows all parties to share the space in it's contemporary context rather than just going in circles about the legacy legal rights of the cattle business that contractually supersede the interests of the public.

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    Went to Crockett last night, rode Edwards, Soaring Eagle and Sugar City. Obviously as the previous pictures show, Soaring Eagle was completely trashed, don't get me wrong- I still rocked it, but on a 160 millimeter 29er with a coil shock. Would probably really suck on something more conservative. Super awesome that there is a trail work day coming up. I will definitely be sharing this as I manage a Facebook group of almost 100 riders, with most being local. Should be able to get some good help out there. Everything is so dry and hard though and especially with more sun between now and the end of May it's hard to believe that they're going to be able to do any real work on it without the use of a trail machine. Hopefully they are planning on that. Although the dirt on Sugar City ( the way this Trail was constructed pretty much sucks in my opinion but it is the best thing close to home ) was not too bad the weeds were so high almost got taken down a few times with them wrapping around my handlebars while shredding the rollers and berms. How about we get a group out there and instead of doing dirt work just cut down some weeds? Anybody want to get down with that on a Tuesday or Thursday night?

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    Quote Originally Posted by jlizard43 View Post
    Hello - Does anyone know the name of the ranching companies or who they supply their beef to? It seems that there is good work being done with EBRPD and there are a lot of responses regarding money and business needs, so I am thinking putting pressure on the ranchers via their business channels might prove helpful in making change happen. I'm not talking about being a dick to them, just letting them and their customers know that we will be boycotting them until a reasonable solution is found that allows all parties to share the space in it's contemporary context rather than just going in circles about the legacy legal rights of the cattle business that contractually supersede the interests of the public.
    I'm not sure that would work because most producers are not selling to a defined niche or market that is approachable. They generally sell to a large market. I'm not even sure what you could tell them that is a workable solution. *scratches head*

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    Alternatively, you could try and promote the use of sheep grazing instead. They are lighter on the trails and are intermediate grazers so they can handle grasses and brush.

    I think Hidden Falls Regional Park is changing their grazing program and trying to utilize sheep. I'm not 100% sure of the plan though. The cattle did quite a bit of damage to the new trails out there.

  99. #99
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    Quote Originally Posted by testa di cazzo View Post
    Thanks for the vid. Soaring Eagle still looks very messed up to me.

    Question: It looked like you turned right after the the gate to the sugar city flow trail - I believe that is Kestrel? I have never rode that trail and always ride the flow trail. How is that trail?
    Shit, sorry didn't get your notification. That USED to be called Sugar City trail, now it's called Two Peaks trail. It's a fun, fast and quick trail, I like it. It bypasses the flow trail and you still stay up high, so it's nice for quicker loops.

    Here's the map view: OpenCycleMap.org - the OpenStreetMap Cycle Map

  100. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by JCWages View Post
    I'm not sure that would work because most producers are not selling to a defined niche or market that is approachable. They generally sell to a large market. I'm not even sure what you could tell them that is a workable solution. *scratches head*

    For more info:
    Cattle 101
    Environmental Stewardship - Home
    As a consumer I have the opportunity to voice my opinion through highlighting a PR concern for a private business that negatively impacts my life. It's not my role, or certainly my expertise, to find solutions but to simply put pressure on the private business to engage in good faith with the entities that have the expertise to find solutions (EBRPD). I am completely ignorant of grazing practices and the economic realities of running cattle, but that should not mean that my interests, and the interests of the local taxpaying community should be ignored under the pretense of being superseded by a contract. If EBRPD has their hands tied due to bureaucratic arrangements and has persistently failed in making effective change, voicing concerns through other channels seems like it could only help. Again, I am ignorant of the arrangements, but this seems like a systemic problem that is given a band-aid fix approach through free labor trail maintenance. Perhaps the cattle companies can sponsor the trail maintenance days, offer staff and tools, etc. These are the ideas I come up with as a reaction to trying to ride my local trails and running into bovine damage and reading up on the discussion, but more than anything I am ignorant of how the arrangements between the ranchers and EBRPD are negotiated and if EBRPD has any leeway at all within the contracts they have. I also understand the notion that making it more difficult for the ranchers may have a negative impact on acquiring new space, but I can't work from a no-we-can't stance.

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