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  1. #76
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    Thanks everyone for you efforts.
    Get out there and ride!

  2. #77
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    Just my personal opinion and musings.
    I have heard the "Handbook" described as a "Living Document" that can change as "Best practices" change. A lot of the information in the trails handbook and the DOM (Department Operation Manual) has been influenced by "Best practices" indorsed by IMBA. BUT, the state is going to make certain it is a state document, and not "defer" to other organizations. This has the benefit of avoiding the appearance of being "in bed" with IMBA or the Sierra Club.

  3. #78
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    I've made it through the whole 430 pages (glancing at; not reading word-for-word) but for those interested in the condensed version do a search for mountain bike and you'll come up with pages 32, 46, 72, 139, 180, 181, 210, 281, 296, 297, 342, 357, 374, 375, 379, and 410~412. Those are definitely worth reading if you're interested in trail advocacy for MTBing. In a nutshell, page 374 spells out why "fun" trails will never happen in State Parks (policy highlighted by me):
    At least they acknowledge that equestrians have to train their animals - in the next paragraph - and not just complain for exclusive access.

    P.S. That "pinch point" photo is fine by me.

  4. #79
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    Hard Copy

    The package just came in today and I haven't had a chance to go over it yet. But I want to let you know that I am looking at this stuff too. I have spent some time with the PDF. I will have comments to post here after a period of time to familiarize myself with contents, eventually.

    Here's what the whole package looks like:

    The DVD ROM contains the Draft Volume 1 and the Volume 2 Appendices.



    The Appendices are at least twice as many pages. The binder on the bottom is a hard copy of the appendices.



    Here's a section, for your interest, from the Appendices:

    SOrCerer

  5. #80
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    I cant think of a single person ive ever rode with in the downieville area who hasnt poached the PCT at one time or another, a lot of other trails are very difficult if not impossible to get to without doing so. Ive always however walked the high traffic section between 93 and the tamarack connection trail because of there being a large amount of hiking traffic in the area. The one time I was confronted about it I explained where I was going and the hikers were fine with it.

    There is one area you gotta be careful of if you try to go from 93 to Chimney rock, word on the street is a guy who owns property near there has stopped mtb riders at gunpoint and had em turn back.
    AZ has the best mountain bike gathering ever

  6. #81
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    Hi,

    For clarification the last photo I posted here is not California State Park policy. It's in the appendices as part of a section which surveys modern trail management literature. This is IMBA's bullet point list.

    One thing I have heard a lot about over the last year, and that I don't like, is that CSP intends to hold themselves apart from other agency and organization policies. The CSP doesn't wish to emulate others (rational or not). Instead the CSP intends to create its own standards. CSP would proudly say these are our policies and they are the best policies because they are ours. This kind of hubris is not good.

    In the critique of IMBA, they write "However, being authored by a mountain biking organization, the authors are interested in promoting mountain biking." True dat!
    SOrCerer

  7. #82
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcerer View Post
    Hi,

    In the critique of IMBA, they write "However, being authored by a mountain biking organization, the authors are interested in promoting mountain biking." True dat!
    Baby/bathwater?
    I don't rattle.

  8. #83
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    IMBA Alert from Tom Ward

    Tom Ward, IMBA CA Policy Director, sent this out today:

    IMBA Alert

    California State Parks (CSP) has released the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report, Road and Trail Change-in-Use Evaluation Process (PEIR). This document addresses the environmental considerations when considering the addition or removal of a trail user type (mountain bikes) on existing trails. The process has major implications for mountain bike access on existing trails in state park units. CSP has worked over the last several years to create a fact based, objective system to determine appropriate trail use. The key feature of the report is that it will guide specific trail conversion decisions in the future without the need for additional environmental assessments on each trail. The full report can be viewed at http:CEQA Notices.

    Mountain bikers need to email comments on the draft to CEQANSC@parks.ca.gov (Subject line: Statewide Trails). Comments should be submitted no later than December 4. Mailed responses or Fax can be sent to:

    Environmental Coordinator
    California Department of Parks & Recreation, Northern Service Center
    One Capitol Mall, Suite 410
    Sacramento, CA 95814.
    Fax: 916-445-9081 (subject line: Statewide Trails).

    Suggested response topics:

    1. Thank CSP for the opportunity to make comments.
    2. We appreciate the major steps that CSP has taken to promote multi-use trails and urge State Parks to use the PEIR to provide much needed trail opportunities for cyclists.
    3. We welcome the acknowledgement that there are effective “tools” and methods to successfully manage multi-use trails.
    4. We appreciate the in depth study of trail use conflict that shows that after more than 30 years of mountain bike trails use, and millions of trail user’s encounters, complaints are few, incidents are fewer and accidents are rare.
    5. The trail conversion analysis may prove to be cumbersome and time consuming and may lead to expensive trail alterations. Therefore it is important to point out that there are hundreds of trails in parks that have never been specifically altered for multi-use, yet they have functioned adequately for years. Care must be exercised in the conversion analysis to prevent the over engineering of trails to account for every potential form of user behavior.
    6. The report references a State Code (P.4.14-3) that limits development in parks that would be considered “Attractions in themselves”. The Code was intended to limit the construction of restaurants, amusement parks, athletic fields, etc. in park units. It is poor analysis to apply this code to trails. Trails are much more than just a transportation system. Trails that are sustainable, blended to the natural environment (sinuosity) and designed to showcase the park’s natural features should be enjoyed as such. They are works of art that compliment the sense of place. People come to parks to enjoy the trails.
    SOrCerer

  9. #84
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcerer View Post

    One thing I have heard a lot about over the last year, and that I don't like, is that CSP intends to hold themselves apart from other agency and organization policies. The CSP doesn't wish to emulate others (rational or not). Instead the CSP intends to create its own standards. CSP would proudly say these are our policies and they are the best policies because they are ours. This kind of hubris is not good.
    ...
    In the critique of IMBA, they write "However, being authored by a mountain biking organization, the authors are interested in promoting mountain biking."
    Why wouldn't any rational organization want to copy or adapt standards and policies from other agencies that have been field tested and found to produce good results? There's that saying about re-inventing the wheel...

    Sure, in a strict sense IMBA promotes mountain biking. But they do so in a pretty non-confrontational, shared resource sort of way. Their trail standards are meant to produce cost effective, durable, easy to maintain multiple use trails. It's hard to see a problem with that, and apparently the number of agencies that have adopted IMBA standards agree.

  10. #85
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    The "anti" forces think that the PEIR makes it "too easy" for mtb to gain access and will fight. This was made clear at the Walnut Creek Public meeting.

    If we lose here then all the "what ifs" are pointless.

    Take a moment to write a letter or send an email.
    I don't rattle.

  11. #86
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    Buried deep in CSP's Planning Dept....

    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan View Post
    Why wouldn't any rational organization want to copy or adapt standards and policies from other agencies that have been field tested and found to produce good results? There's that saying about re-inventing the wheel...

    Sure, in a strict sense IMBA promotes mountain biking. But they do so in a pretty non-confrontational, shared resource sort of way. Their trail standards are meant to produce cost effective, durable, easy to maintain multiple use trails. It's hard to see a problem with that, and apparently the number of agencies that have adopted IMBA standards agree.
    ...is this reference to IMBA literature:
    Photobucket

    It's on this page; Trail Managers Toolbox.

    "Here are tips to make your work more sustainable." Priceless...

    IMBA is referred to elsewhere in the planning department site; of course all of the linked materials are prefaced with:

    "NOTE: California State Parks takes no responsibility for, or position on, research conducted and opinions offered by other organizations. The material below is offered solely as an information service to California's trail professionals and is not endorsed or recommended by California State Parks. "
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  12. #87
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    The best we can hope for?

    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcerer View Post
    Tom Ward, IMBA CA Policy Director, sent this out today:

    IMBA Alert

    California State Parks (CSP) has released the Draft Program Environmental Impact Report, Road and Trail Change-in-Use Evaluation Process (PEIR). This document addresses the environmental considerations when considering the addition or removal of a trail user type (mountain bikes) on existing trails. The process has major implications for mountain bike access on existing trails in state park units. CSP has worked over the last several years to create a fact based, objective system to determine appropriate trail use. The key feature of the report is that it will guide specific trail conversion decisions in the future without the need for additional environmental assessments on each trail. The full report can be viewed at http:CEQA Notices.

    Mountain bikers need to email comments on the draft to CEQANSC@parks.ca.gov (Subject line: Statewide Trails). Comments should be submitted no later than December 4. Mailed responses or Fax can be sent to:

    Environmental Coordinator
    California Department of Parks & Recreation, Northern Service Center
    One Capitol Mall, Suite 410
    Sacramento, CA 95814.
    Fax: 916-445-9081 (subject line: Statewide Trails).

    Suggested response topics:

    1. Thank CSP for the opportunity to make comments.
    2. We appreciate the major steps that CSP has taken to promote multi-use trails and urge State Parks to use the PEIR to provide much needed trail opportunities for cyclists.
    3. We welcome the acknowledgement that there are effective “tools” and methods to successfully manage multi-use trails.
    4. We appreciate the in depth study of trail use conflict that shows that after more than 30 years of mountain bike trails use, and millions of trail user’s encounters, complaints are few, incidents are fewer and accidents are rare.
    5. The trail conversion analysis may prove to be cumbersome and time consuming and may lead to expensive trail alterations. Therefore it is important to point out that there are hundreds of trails in parks that have never been specifically altered for multi-use, yet they have functioned adequately for years. Care must be exercised in the conversion analysis to prevent the over engineering of trails to account for every potential form of user behavior.
    6. The report references a State Code (P.4.14-3) that limits development in parks that would be considered “Attractions in themselves”. The Code was intended to limit the construction of restaurants, amusement parks, athletic fields, etc. in park units. It is poor analysis to apply this code to trails. Trails are much more than just a transportation system. Trails that are sustainable, blended to the natural environment (sinuosity) and designed to showcase the park’s natural features should be enjoyed as such. They are works of art that compliment the sense of place. People come to parks to enjoy the trails.
    The impression that I'm left with is that as flawed as it is; the PEIR is a step forward for MTBing in State Parks---so should we leave well enough alone and support it as it is or should we continue to complain about (advertise) the many faults and risk losing the whole thing?

    I don't have the answer.
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  13. #88
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    I don't see it as an either/or situation. One can still support some of the features described by Tom and add their own particular thoughts.

    In the EBRPD Master Plan review certainly we supported the development of trails going forward but also expressed a desire to continue to try to gain access to current trails, an idea not included in the Plan.
    I don't rattle.

  14. #89
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    I do not think this is "flawed" so much, just not an over the top endorsement of bikes on trails as some would have hoped!
    The PEIR is designed as an alternative to a complete CEQA review for those changes most of us would consider inconsequential. The No Bikes Allowed Crowd uses the CEQA as a sledgehammer to crush any proposal to add bikes to trails. I do not know the percentages (a hundred sounds spot on) but most of the CEQA assessments are an exercise in repetition and redundancy. Anti-bike groups will have to find things outside the scope of the PEIR (and it covers most everything) to deny bike access.
    As far as the "trails not recreation in themselves" that is all relative and better left to each individuals interpretation. I think what that statement refers to are trails with all the man-made thrill stunts, those we can build in the State Recreation Areas!
    Just send a letter saying thank you and I approve this message!

  15. #90
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWright View Post
    I do not think this is "flawed" so much, just not an over the top endorsement of bikes on trails as some would have hoped!
    The obverse of this to comment on the nature of mtb'ers expectations. Are they, or have they ever been, reasonable?
    I don't rattle.

  16. #91
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    Wait a minute while I look up "obverse".
    Last edited by LWright; 11-15-2012 at 11:27 AM.

  17. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by LWright View Post
    Wait a minute while I look up "obverse".
    I think he is showing off on purpose. I forgot all those words, if I knew any, after I passed my GREs twenty years ago..

  18. #93
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    The obverse of this to comment on the nature of mtb'ers expectations. Are they, or have they ever been, reasonable?
    Yes, absolutely reasonable.

  19. #94
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    I think that there lies the problem. And I include myself in that.
    I don't rattle.

  20. #95
    Paper or plastic?
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    sent my comment
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  21. #96
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    Wholehearted support should...

    ...be given first; followed by constructive criticism of issues like the out-dated CSP Trails Handbook. IMBA just sent this link out:

    Submit Your Comments to California State Parks | International Mountain Bicycling Association

    This makes commenting very easy; hard-copy letters are good too!
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  22. #97
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    Here's what I wrote last night



    MTBR peeps,

    As usual I let some awkward language loose here, but I hit the points I wanted to make.

    I've been able to see what some other people have written as well. One thing I see coming up a lot are questions about how in the hell can or does CSP expect to afford this. I'm not convinced it's all worth it. The amount of office work and advance work needed in combination with the re-engineering dictated by the GEO and Trails Handbook requirements are going to cost us.




    Paul Nam
    President
    Pine Ridge Association
    Henry W Coe SP
    9100 East Dunne Ave
    Morgan Hill CA 95037




    Environmental Coordinator
    CA department of Parks and Recreation
    Northern Service Center



    Comments on DRAFT PEIR

    Thank you for the opportunity to review and comment. Please take these comments into consideration.

    Abstract:

    The proposed Road and Trail Change-In-Use Evaluation Process probably represents a welcome change in CSP attitudes and appears to promise a prospect of long delayed environmental stewardship aspects of trails, a more efficient evaluation process, and to address long standing inequities in trail access. For these reasons it is good. It is not perfect however.

    There are concerns about how expensive the implementation of the proposed policies will be. Can CSP afford it? Indeed the scoping, trail logging, planning, field work, administrative review and labor which will be requested will place greater burdens on an already anemic State Parks budget. The process in detail is labor intensive and highly administrative. If funds are tight, the high cost of implementing the PEIR may end up discouraging and delaying its application.

    Prescribing low cost solutions and using qualified volunteers can significantly reduce expenditures.

    List of comments to the draft (in order of appearance):

    1. Introduction: It would be reassuring to see some of the language from the mission statement and the Statement of Policy carried over into the introduction, such as (paraphrased from Policy Notice No. 2005-06):

    “The Department is directed to provide opportunities for high-quality outdoor recreation. Trails and roads are primary state park facilities that offer health-enhancing recreational opportunities, access to park resources for interpretation and education, and enhance community involvement.”
    [This content is present in 3.1, but the suggestion is to put this up-front for emphasis.]

    2. 2.8: “Archaeological, cultural, and historical resources” or similar should be added to bullet list.(example in Table 2-1_4.6).

    3. Table 2-1_4.9-4: Presumably the design features and design criteria will be published in the forthcoming revised CSP Trails Handbook.

    4. 3.3.6: The CSP Trails Handbook, published in 1994, is limited and obsolete. A revised and expanded handbook is forthcoming. I anticipate that the revision will be published subsequent to the ratification of the PEIR. It is my wish that this be disclosed in the PEIR.

    It will be the duty of the current Statewide Trails Coordinator to compose an appropriate preface to the next Trials Handbook. The language written by Charlie Willard still pertains, and would be appropriate to include here:

    “A well designed trail is a work of art for all to enjoy.”

    5. 3.3.6: Furthermore it will help dispel objections if this sentence from the Trails Handbook introduction (1.1) were included here:

    “The Trails Handbook is not intended to be used as a universal guide to managing and operating trail systems.”

    6. 3.3.11: You might consider making agencies like the National Park Service, the US National Forest, and the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council, included in this contextual list for many reasons, including connectivity and consistency.

    7. 3.6.4: The Adaptive Use Management Strategy is practical. In order to function the Adaptive Management Report and Superintendent's Orders are crucial but will place a new duty and budget resource burden upon CSP resources.

    8. 4.4-39 and 4.5-27 : It is a positive indication that night time hiking and biking are being included as legitimate activities.

    9. 4.7-25 GEO-20: “When outsloping trail surfaces are not feasible, such as steep linear trail grades, construct rolling dips to direct runoff safely off the trail to prevent build up of surface runoff and subsequent erosion. Water bars will be used as a last resort if outsloping, rolling dips, or minor rerouting are not feasible, or on trails receiving minimal use. Waterbars will be constructed to divert water to controlled points along the trailand with rock armor at the downslope end for energy dissipation.”

    It is good to see it in writing that these types of erosion reducing techniques may be applicable on CSP trails.

    10. 4.7-25 GEO-25: “Install 'pinch points' to reduce downhill bicycle speed and increase the line of sight at curves.” Again, it is good to see modern responses to modern uses. It may be pertinent to describe what pinch point is in slightly more detail. The photos do say something, but not all. There are different types of materials and construction methods of pinch points. There are a variety of tactical trail constructions besides pinch points that may be listed here, such as rolling drain dips, rough armor, and off camber turns, as well.

    11. 4.7-26 GEO-29: Trail inspection after large rain events is routine on trails under construction. However it's not always practical on large trail systems in large parks.

    12. Project Design-Related Measures: I strongly support the recommendations made by the Bay Area Ridge Trail Council:

    “When analyzing existing trail conditions and possibilities to upgrade specific trail segments, wide variations in local conditions will be identified. This suggests it would be prudent to avoid rigid parameters for trail width, slope, rise, tread, etc. For example, Council guidelines for Ridge Trail dimensions include widths as narrow as 18 in. for narrow single track, and as wide as 20 ft. for ranch and fire roads. Survey of nearby trails that sustainably support the proposed additional use could help to determine appropriate design parameters.” (NOP Comment Letter O-10)

    Narrow trails cost less to build and maintain, plus they have a smaller footprint.



    13. 7-5, 7-6: Single-use Trails and Separate Trails Options. With some reservation, I concur with the discussion and conclusions you have made. However, there are and will be circumstances where these alternatives may indeed be the best option, in practical terms such as fiscal cost and resource costs. These alternatives should be on the table and always considered as last resorts.

    14: 8.3: The CSP position that “...CSP trails are not intended for or appropriate as active recreation attractions on their own.” is contradicted, and will continue to be contradicted, by modern common visitor practice and attendance in CSP. You can say that black is white, but black is black.



    I could not find language about historic trails and other legacy issues which may have significance to the PEIR. Perhaps I missed it in the large document. It may be helpful to qualify whether or not old trails may be preserved for their cultural significance even if they do not meet CSP criteria. How old would a trail have to demonstrably be to be considered historical? Historic trails might include driveways, emigrant trails, toll roads, mining paths, and so on.

    In conclusion, one of my main concerns lie with the content and attitude of the forthcoming Trails Handbook, the one-size-fits-all approach, and with the financial costs of implementation. I'm impressed by the thorough treatment the PEIR draft received in composition.

    Congratulations on creating an almost comprehensive process. Good luck with the implementation. You'll need it!

    Best,
    Paul Nam
    President Pine Ridge Association
    SOrCerer

  23. #98
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    The Final Program Environmental Impact Report (EIR) for the Statewide Trails Change-in-Use Process has been certified.

    http://www.parks.ca.gov/pages/795/fi...ir_4-29-13.pdf

    Sorry, no summary from me, but I look forward to reading it later.

  24. #99
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    Easy reading...

    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Sorry, no summary from me, but I look forward to reading it later.
    ...compared with the 400+ pages of the draft!

    Don't be put off by the 244 pages of this doc, the "meat" takes up only 14 pages---9 pages dealing with 4 Master Responses and 6 pages of revisions to the draft (a remarkably small amount of revisions IMHO)

    Most of the 244 pages are taken up listing the 744 public comments and the specific responses to each (the public comments themselves are in a separate document).

    As a group we deserve a "pat on the back" for getting the word out and comments submitted; the specific response pages typically look like this:


    Oh yeah; and a Mike Vsomebody had his comments duly noted and mostly discounted; you guys can look it up for yourselves!

    Bottom line IMHO: While it's great that this process is now available for the CSP to use and should lead to more bicycle access at State Parks; bicycle specific and bicycle-friendly trails will be nearly impossible to create until a change occurs to the CSP Trail Policy.
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  25. #100
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    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    ...compared with the 400+ pages of the draft!

    Most of the 244 pages are taken up listing the 744 public comments and the specific responses to each (the public comments themselves are in a separate document).

    As a group we deserve a "pat on the back" for getting the word out and comments submitted;

    Oh yeah; and a Mike Vsomebody had his comments duly noted and mostly discounted; you guys can look it up for yourselves!

    Bottom line IMHO: While it's great that this process is now available for the CSP to use and should lead to more bicycle access at State Parks; bicycle specific and bicycle-friendly trails will be nearly impossible to create until a change occurs to the CSP Trail Policy.
    Thanks to everyone who submitted comments on behalf of the mountain biking community. Thanks for posting the info. to write an email to DPR, pliebenberg, and thanks for your input, Paul.

    I scrolled through the comments and noted some of the lengthy responses from DPR, especially to those who oppose mountain biking on Park trails. Glad to see there were many mountain bike supporters.

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