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  1. #1
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    Forest Service Permit Denied for 7th Annual TS100 Race over Equestrian Concerns

    just received this. bad news.

    ------------------------------------------------
    From: Lisa Kodl <lisa@auburnbikeworks.com>
    Date: Thu, May 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM
    Subject: Trail Access on US Forest Service land
    To:

    To: All Cyclists

    RE: US Forest Service, Multi-use trails

    Chris Fischer, the current district ranger for the United States Forest Service, American River District, Foresthill CA, has just decided to not approve the permit for the 7th Annual Tahoe Sierra 100 Mt Bike Race. The newly formed group calling themselves the Western States Safety Alliance Coalition has been meeting with Chris Fischer but the meetings did not include any other user group representatives. Jim Northey the race director, Tom Ward from IMBA and Jeff Barker, GBE Trail Adviser had asked to meet on several occasions to discuss their concerns but the WSSAC refused, we do however know some of their members. They are comprised of equestrians that are linked with the web site Park Watch Report -=- Home and have been responsible for spreading disinformation regarding cyclists on the trails in the past. Attached is the actual account of the incident.

    This is just the beginning! This group is working towards disallowing anything with wheels on the multi-use trails altogether, they are currently working with the 4th District Congressmen, Tom McClintock to achieve that goal. We need to work together and let the Forest Service and our local, district and state representatives know that we as a user group pay our taxes and have just as much right to be on the trails as every other group.

    Here are some email addresses:

    Chris Fischer cfischer@fs.fed.us
    Mo Tebbe mtebbe@fs.fed.us
    Randy Moore R5 Regional Forester( Chris Fischers Boss) moore@fs.fed.us
    Mary Sullivan mmcsullivan@fs.fed.us
    Tom Quin. Tquin@fs.fed.us
    Tom Tidwell, US Forest Service Chief ttidwell@fs.fed.us
    Mary Wagner, US Forest Service Associate Chief mwagner@fs.fed.us
    --
    Lisa Kodl Auburn Bike Works Owner
    Attached Files Attached Files

  2. #2
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    Thanks IP_Ale.

    Quick update from discussions in the last 24 hours:

    o The USFS has indicated to IMBA that they will not ban bicycles from the Western States Trail. This is about the TS100 race right now.

    o It is true that the Tahoe-Sierra 59/100 permit has not been issued, and that's what the focus is on right now.

    o The decision to issue the permit currently falls 100% on the shoulders of American River District Ranger Chris Fischer, who will be leaving the District at the end of this month. It would be great to have this resolved before he leaves. Extended delays could kill the event.

    o Chris has tried to get the equestrian group to meet with the mt. bike group, but they refuse. The equestrian group allegedly tried to meet with the ASRA Superintendent to keep the TS100 off roads and trails in the ASRA, but the Superintendent refused them.

    o Chris, for some reason, is asking GBE to re-route the course off the WST (Robinson Flat to Michigan Bluff, I think) in order to get the permit issued (I think). This is an unacceptable request. There are no suitable re-routes for the course. There is NO reason to move a race -- whether it be bicycle, horse or running -- off a historically multi-use trail.

    Thanks to all who are helping with this

  3. #3
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    Thanks for posting this--and for the email links. Time to circle the wagons.
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  4. #4
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    District Ranger Chris Fischer's response to email:

    From: "Fischer, Christopher -FS" <cfischer@fs.fed.us>
    Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2013
    Subject: RE:

    Hi -------,

    Thank you for your message clearly stating your interest in the multiple use Western States Trail. I wanted to get back in touch with you to let you know that The Forest Service is not in the process of changing the multiple use designation of the Western States Trail. The trail is a multiple use trail that is available for all users to enjoy. I am working with an event promoter to authorize a permit using portions of the WST. As part of the review and authorization process, it is the responsibility of the Forest Service to ensure safety of all trail users among other criteria.

    If you have further concerns or questions, please do not hesitate to contact me.

    Sincerely,

    Chris Fischer
    District Ranger
    American River Ranger District, Tahoe NF
    W: 530-478-6254 x238
    M: 530-906-2095
    cfischer@fs.fed.us

  5. #5
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    Thank you Jeff for taking the lead on this, it is very much appreciated. Hopefully through the efforts of mountain bikers like you we can come to a positive resolution of this matter.

    And to all you fellow MTB'ers, if you think it's just about this trail, think again. If they are successful in lying and circumventing the public process in this matter, they will just continue on to the next trail they feel is "unsafe" for multi-use and it could be your favorite trail or race.

  6. #6
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    I got the same email. I sent a request to Mr Fischer to reconsider.
    I like to ride bikes.

  7. #7
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    That's a real shame they won't share. Up here in Nevada County we do. The horse people put on a couple of big events every summer and the bikers pretty much leave the trails to them and ride elsewhere. We have held a summer race series the last two years (fund raising) and they've shown us the same courtesy. Everybody posts the events well in advance along the trails and notifies the other user group orgs. The trails can't be closed for events but we all have other places we can ride for a morning or a day. This kind of respect is to everybody's advantage.

  8. #8
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    jeff, you work your butt off behind the scenes, for us to enjoy trails and races locally. Thank you.

    I hope this works out. I've always wanted to race the ts100.

  9. #9
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  10. #10
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    Sent to McClintock:

    "Dear Sir: I am a lifelong Republican who votes Republican who believes in civil liberty and free expression and small government and the right of all American Citizens to use the public property of the American people. I understand that my rights are being infringed by a small group of elitist, narrow-minded people who think they solely own something that really everybody owns and who want to deny my right to use my property. How un-American is that? I am talking about the as-yet un-granted permit for a mountain bike race on the Western States multi-use trail. This race is called the Tahoe Sierra 100. I have raced it three times. This year will hopefully be my fourth if the requested permit is granted. I am 55 years old. I want to do this race on my handmade-in-America mountain bike until I am no longer able to do it. Just like the people who do the Western States 100 or the people and horses who do the Tevis Cup on the same course. This race is really the pinnacle of mountain biking, a sport which was invented in America and remains a bastion of American innovation and ingenuity. Please do what you can do to sweep aside petty government obstacles and self interest and enable this race to continue and become a fine tradition as it deserves."

    Hope I did not go too far off the reservation...

  11. #11
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    You guys really do have a lot of shit to put up with up there in the states, makes me just wonder in amazement really......How can a 20-35lb MTB and 120-250lb rider be more dangerous on a trail than a 800-1300lb animal and 120-250lb rider, who has better control of their "vehicle" if you may.....just amazing. Won't even get into the erosion a 1ton animal with 4 sharp hooves can cause compared to a bicycle, proof positive that money talks
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  12. #12
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    Thanks for posting This concerns all of us no matter where we ride.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by LyNx View Post
    You guys really do have a lot of shit to put up with up there in the states, makes me just wonder in amazement really......How can a 20-35lb MTB and 120-250lb rider be more dangerous on a trail than a 800-1300lb animal and 120-250lb rider, who has better control of their "vehicle" if you may.....just amazing. Won't even get into the erosion a 1ton animal with 4 sharp hooves can cause compared to a bicycle, proof positive that money talks
    You are using logic. Trail conflicts are controlled by emotion, not logic. That is what is to hard about trail advocacy is learning to deal with, and appeal to, emotions and not logic.
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  14. #14
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    I think July 20, 2013 would be a good day for a large number of mountain bikers to go ride the Western States.

  15. #15
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    Thanks for posting this issue. I really don't like MTBr's to be singled out on public land. I will post any replies that I get from Chris or any of the others I copied on my email.

    Dear Mr. Fischer,

    I recently read a post that you have denied a permit for the 7th Annual Tahoe Sierra 100 Mountain Bike Race (TS100). You cited safety concerns on the trail for not issuing the permit. Does this mean that all events such as the Tevis Cup, which is an equestrian event, will not be permitted as well?

    I can understand if you are not permitting any such events on the Western States Trail, but I would like a better explanation from your and your team if you are allowing other events to take place, such as the Tevis Cup, but not a mountain biking event like the TS100.

    Thanks in advance for taking the time to respond to my email. Have a good day!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    I think July 20, 2013 would be a good day for a large number of mountain bikers to go ride the Western States.
    Ride during the Tevis Cup? Bringing their tactics against them? Do something that would amount to an off-road version of Critical Mass?

    What about all the horse people who will be attending that event who have nothing against mountain bikers? We should not lower ourselves to the level of the few equestrians who are causing this problem. We need to not only pick our battles, but also be mindful of the best way to fight back.

    Don't get me wrong, this issue pisses me off to no end. I probably will never race the Tahoe Sierra 100, but it is important to me that the race be run for many reasons, not limited to the fact it is on a multi-use trail that should be accessible to everyone with no restrictions imposed by an elitist few.

    It pisses me off that government agencies and elected officials will follow the panderings of these elitist, self-focused individuals instead of the basic mandate of their positions, which is to provide for all citizens, all user groups, with no favoritism.

    It really pisses me off when these elitist persons put together lies they spread on social media, websites such as ParkWatch, and into the minds of government officials.

    When I read about these things my first impulse is to do the medieval thing: smash, pillage, burn...but I know that will accomplish nothing, and in fact might sway the neutral parties to the side of my enemy. We mountain bikers need to be better than the opposition, to take the high road...as that time and again proves to be the only way to garner public opinion on our side. If we do things that the uninformed public, the media, and appointed or elected government officials see as outlaw, then we will be categorized as such and not have any influence at all.

    In the original event that is driving all this drama John Hyatt took the high road with his actions after Crystal Costa fell from the horse. What he did may not seem like a difficult choice for some people, who would do the exact same thing John did without hesitation, but there are many who would have had an issue with throwing the race or even dealing with an equestrian, injured or not. We should follow John's example, and do what is right.

    The email links have been given by the OP. Flood those email accounts with letters that are well thought out and representative of a mountain bike community that is concerned, mature, and well meaning (like 209er's letter to McClintock), while not giving ground to the lies and unfair demands of our enemies. Get inside the membership of the district councils and boards of directors who control trail access. Show up at hearings that determine what happens in the state parks and other special districts where we ride. And above all be an ambassador for our sport out on the trails.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  17. #17
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    Chris is just robo replying to emails. I received the same word for word reply. My guess he's not reading emails on this subject any longer as I have not received a reply to a follow-up email sent to him. Hopefully his inbox floweth over and grinds his system to a halt.
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  18. #18
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    Ö. ... ...

  19. #19
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    These email addresses bounced back as undeliverable:

    Randy Moore R5 Regional Forester( Chris Fischers Boss) moore@fs.fed.us
    Mary Sullivan mmcsullivan@fs.fed.us
    Tom Quin. Tquin@fs.fed.us

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by zon View Post
    Chris is just robo replying to emails. I received the same word for word reply. My guess he's not reading emails on this subject any longer as I have not received a reply to a follow-up email sent to him. Hopefully his inbox floweth over and grinds his system to a halt.
    No..he's reading them. I at first recieved the same robo reply to my initial inquiry a few days ago, and then I followed up with a few questions and I even requested a face-to-face meeting to go over details...and he promptly responded to that as well. He denied to meet (predictably) and cited that he is leaving his position soon to go and work in the regional office in Vacaville at the end of the month and is swamped. It kind of sounds like he is passing the buck on the permit for the TS100 to whomever his successor will be....and he stated that he does not know who that successor is. So unfortunately, if he doesn't approve it before he leaves...the permit may get stuck in limbo until the next guy steps in?? Hard to say...

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by KentM View Post
    These email addresses bounced back as undeliverable:

    Randy Moore R5 Regional Forester( Chris Fischers Boss) moore@fs.fed.us
    Mary Sullivan mmcsullivan@fs.fed.us
    Tom Quin. Tquin@fs.fed.us
    Randy Moore's addy should be rmoore AT fs.fed.us DOT com (don't forget the first name initial).

    I sent a note to him the other day about this and it went through fine (no response though).

    The other addy's I'm not sure about.

  22. #22
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    Thanks for the heads up guys! Since emails seem to be piling up, I went ols school and just called and left a message for Chris. The trails should be open all groups. We need to continue to work to change the mindset of those that may have a negative outlook on mt biking. The trail shall be available to all groups for events or none, personally I don't want other groups to loose their ability to carry on events. Please no one stoop to any level that will project anything but a professional outlook for mt bikers.
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  23. #23
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    I just called and left a message as well. It was quicker than writing an e-mail for me.

    I also agree with X-FXR. We need to stay on the high road here, people. Messing with someone else's event will only escalate the problem.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    You are using logic. Trail conflicts are controlled by emotion, not logic. That is what is to hard about trail advocacy is learning to deal with, and appeal to, emotions and not logic.
    I would add that managing conflict and control of trail access is also bound by deep longstanding relationships imbedded in traditional local culture.

    What has changed in the East Bay, a dense, territorial chessboard, is the passing of people, either by retirement or leaving their mortal coil. In a recent meeting of Diablo folk a major equestrian figure said, out loud, that the population of equestrians is dwindling and that what is needed is young people to join up. Funny; the Sierra Club says the same thing. It isn't happening.

    Meanwhile our community is growing, spanning generations, and voting. NorCal Cycling has double digit annual. Early NorCal kids are now out of graduate schools and have real jobs and even kids. The first riders are as old as 31! NICA has expanded to 9 states. The BTCEB represents nearly 2000 riders. 50% of trail users in the EBRPD are hikers/runner. 30% are mountain bikers. 7% are dog walkers and 3% are equestrians. 90% of the China Camp Trail Pass purchases have been made by mountain bikers.

    A few years ago on of my advocate friends suggested that the equestrians needed to cut a deal soon and mend fences before the are simply overwhelmed and sidelined. The writing is on the wall; look to a last desperate gasp. It is a shame, too, as the horse thing is very, very cool.
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  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    ...50% of trail users in the EBRPD are hikers/runner. 30% are mountain bikers. 7% are dog walkers and 3% are equestrians.
    That is the user base, but what about the breakdown of the people on the EBRPD board, or on any other governing body that dictates who and how trails are used? In EBRPD's case, is that 30% that are mountain bikers represented accordingly, or are there more hikers/runners and equestrians?

    As a user group we are woefully under-represented at the governing level. One of the best ways to overcome the opposition of the enemy is to destroy the opposition from within. We are looking for sympathy here, what better way to have that than one of our own on a board. It is an excellent way to make allies with other user groups when they see similar concerns and ideas.

    Mike, aren't you currently a member or have served on a board in the Bay Area? If so, what was that experience like, and is it worth the effort?
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  26. #26
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    Bok, your phrasing may be more all-or-nothing than you intend. Changes with our local land managers is more glacial. as such, mountain bikers simply walk away from advocacy and go ride their bikes. So it goes....

    In another thread I described the publication of the new EBRPD Master Plan. The nature of each Board member affects a sense of druthers, gray areas, tendencies, and sympathies but he Board is bound by the Master Plan, if only as a major reference mark, and behaves accordingly. Even a mountain biker on the Board would have to do this. Anyhow, here are some excerpts:

    On April 15 Iím guessing we were too caught up in tax deadlines to notice that the long awaited Master Plan was put online for all to see.

    In short: mountain biking made headway. In the past our access to trails was blocked by the simple exclusion of our sport in the document. All anyone had to do is point to that fact and we were out in the cold. Yeah; I know, but thatís how it worked. Over time, though, hardworking advocates in past avatars of the BTCEB made small inroads of language and awareness. While it didnít really get us much on the ground, relationships were built, goodwill developed, we grew and opposition slowly weakened.
    Take a moment to look at the Plan. On page 63 RFA2 and RFA3 specifically show intention and flexibility where we are concerned. This is new and the immediate effect of this is seen in the recent work allowed at Pleasanton Ridge. V-O-Cal, "these trails should be a bit wider and smoother." EBRPD Advisor "leave them, they will be fine."

    There is no longer any reference to single track trails but to narrow trails. This does not allow anyone to distinguish us away from trails but to be included. No one can say, "You can't ride single track" because it doesn't, by definition, exist. There is intent to consider our needs when new trails are made and to allow wide trails to get narrow. This is all new. There is evaluation on a case-by-case basis, which opens many possibilities.

    Yet in a general sense we are recognized as a much larger user group and that fact resisted a lot of haters. We out-commented them by a huge margin at the Master Plan meetings and were very fairly represented in the random phone solicited comments. Cyclist images also appear throughout the document and the cycling logo is at the top of the logo pile to the side of the pages. I know that may not seem like much but it is a huge statement to anyone who looks at their documents. Of the 41 images showing trail users, 34% were hikers, 34% were cyclists, 15% were dog walkers, 12% were equestrians, and 5% were in wheelchairs.

    Philosophically we are embraced more directly. On page 28 under Providing a Variety of "Trails for All" they write:

    "Trail use consistently shows up on surveys as the most preferred activity in the Regional Parks. The popularity of mountain bikes has changed the way many people use the trails and has increased the demand fro a more active recreational use of the trails. Mountain bikes can take riders farther into a park during a day or a few hours than they could on foot or horseback."

    The language is positive; we are not scofflaws or vermin but part of something very popular with new potentials for park use. Below that is a picture of me riding on East Ridge. I happen to be to the far right of the trail, and obeying the law, with dog walkers and hikers blocking the middle of the trail in the background. Images say a lot.


    So, okay; no bike parks, no tricks, no stunts, no gnar-gnar. But most importantly the biggest obstacle to our access was exclusion from the written word in the Master Plan. No more. Not only are we included but we have leeway into the future
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    I disagree with you, but I mostly see the lack of progress with MidPen. And with the equestrian group stopping the race and starting to get involved politically with Rep. McClintock, I don't hear the same kubaiya that you do.

    You can enjoy your fireroads and smooth trails, but I hate to tell you it wouldn't be enough for the next generation because the next generation wants bike parks, tricks, stunts, and gnar-gnar. Shoot, I want more than that for myself.

    As mountain bikers, we need better organization, especially in California. It's amazing how well other areas of the country like Oregon have some great multi-use and even MTB only trails, where we're still fighting for access to fireroads.
    Oregon is great unless you live in Portland where the riding seems to be pretty awful.

    Anyhow, sent my e-mail to the USFS and a copy to McClintock.
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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stripes View Post
    As mountain bikers, we need better organization, especially in California. It's amazing how well other areas of the country like Oregon have some great multi-use and even MTB only trails, where we're still fighting for access to fireroads.

    I agree that we need better organization. While we have a factor working for us, our ever growing numbers, you can't really make things happen unless mountain bikers step up, participate, and allow themselves to be organized. At present they are not to be seen in significant numbers but that is nothing new. I know prominent advocates who rail at those folks who won't help and they are frustrated and angry at them. I get that. However, I am the last one to belittle those who cannot do this work. People only have so much time and energy and can only do what they can do.

    This will change as the mtb community develops over time. Yet by time I mean the same glacial kind of time it takes for things to change in parks. A generation will have to be developed to put advocacy and volunteerism higher on their personal agendas. You cannot fault people for what they have not been taught to do, especially a community that is only really just discovering what this sport involves, let alone how to stay on the dammed bike.

    As for the other parts of the world that seem to have it better? Those are the places IMBA likes to show off in their Trail Crew Presentations as their successes and well they should. But it is a mistaken notion that those methods work here. We look at those presentations and just laugh. Those places are not dealing with the factors we have to deal with; high population densities, control of open spaces by major institutions sewn up tight long ago, fractured geography segregating mtb communities, people who transition in and out of their communities and careers like mayflies...welcome to the SF Bay Area.

    For my part I am pretty happy to see things changing and will place pressure wherever it is needed to make things move. I will try to devise methods to make advocacy convenient and effective. I will work to devise the tools that will really work here. I will find the great people we do have working for us and coordinate their presence wherever it is best used. Complaining, grousing, pointing to inapplicable models of success, and sneering gets us nowhere.

    The Tahoe situation reeks. I have no knowledge of the equestrian community there but I'm betting that they are much tougher cowboys than we have here.
    Last edited by Berkeley Mike; 05-17-2013 at 10:13 PM.
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    Oregon is great unless you live in Portland where the riding seems to be pretty awful.

    Anyhow, sent my e-mail to the USFS and a copy to McClintock.
    I find it really hard to believe the original post's position that the equestrian group is working with McClintock, it may be just another one of their lies. I am fairly sure that his position is to flood the ASRA and 'frack the Granite Chief, not close trails to anyone.

    This whole thing really sucks...best of luck to GBE on getting the permit.
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  30. #30
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    Good job!

    Friday update:

    All of your emails and calls have appeared to work. The District Ranger set up a meeting with GBE and the equestrian group next week. Thank you everyone who took a few minutes or more to express your thoughts about this!

    Hopefully we'll hash things out and get a firm committment on issuing the permit.

    And Sean, thanks for the kind words, but I'm just riding your coat-tails! I've enjoyed the fruits of your YEARS of advocacy effort and I'm just paying it forward.

    For those that don't believe the equestrians are trying to boot bikes/motos off the Western States Trail completely (not just the race), enjoy this nugget from the woman who runs the lovely ParkWatchReport.org website (found on FB):

    "We are talking about ONE historic Western States Trail to be designated hiker-horse only. So far the Audubon Society, the Sierra Club, the Gold Country Trails Council and many other groups, including Park Watch Report have gotten behind the Western States Safe Trail Alliance. All these groups are concerned about trail safety. The trail already has hiker-horse designation up by Squaw Valley, on private property, in the Granite Chief Wilderness and in the Auburn State Park. This center section through National Forest land needs to be also designated because of the extreme narrowness and 500 foot and more drop offs. Almost all the other trails are multi-use in Tahoe National Forest, allowing mt. bikes and others allowing mt. bikes and motorcycles. There are many routes open to the bike race, and the bike race was asked to be re-routed, not denied. ONE trail - that is all. This historic trail is totally maintained by the Western States Trail Foundation created by equestrians and joined by runners. Why the bikers need to have 100% of the trails is selfish and totally ignoring the safety issues. Remember, bikers can use this trail. They just have to leave their bikes at home and walk it safely like every one else."
    Ha ha... "ONE trail". How about "ONE MORE trail"?


    It's worked as multi-use for 30+ years...


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    Empty, thanks for the update. There is hope. What day is the meeting? Let me know how we all can help in the ways we can help. Phone calls, emails, office visits, moral support, or whatever and to whoever it takes.

    Anybody who lives in McClintock's district should call and email your Representative expressing your point of view and desired outcome. Representatives have little reason to respond to anybody or any interest outside their district. They will give their voters a good ear, however.

    Rather than "Critical Mass" the Tevis, perhaps a more constructive tactic would be to help out during the official trail maintenance days manned and womanned by equestrians. Get organized and show up in force ready to pitch in and show the horse people that mtb'ers are real people who care about the trails, too.

    Interesting, further south along the range the place where I ride all the time actually has a pretty decent esprit de corps between the horses and the bikes. The horse people establish trails for everybody and the mtb'ers establish trails for everybody, too. Sometimes i even get free beers from the horse people! So... You folks up there in the crucible please stay optimistic and work towards everybody enjoying the same trails you all love.

    Remember, keep your friends close and your enemies even closer!

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post

    Thank you everyone who took a few minutes or more to express your thoughts about this!

    And Sean, thanks for the kind words, but I'm just riding your coat-tails! I've enjoyed the fruits of your YEARS of advocacy effort and I'm just paying it forward.
    I know it's not a done deal but a few moments is all that was asked. We need to develop this kind of response in our community. It is powerful.

    Also, these kinds of things happen because of a lot of thankless work done by those who came before us and someone picking up the ball. Nice to see that acknowledged from both sides.
    I don't rattle.

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    Moved here from NC last Summer and there are similar issues there. Far fewer equestrians, but they are better organized and better funded thus better represented. Still, I am really hoping for a positive conclusion to this...dropped 20lbs and put in a few extra miles in order to maybe give the TS100 a go. Would hate to see this event taken away from the mtb community. It would truly be an injustice.
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  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    ...
    This center section through National Forest land needs to be also designated because of the extreme narrowness and 500 foot and more drop offs.

    "xtreme narrowness and 500 foot and more drop offs." are safe for 1 ton dumb slave animals and not safe for bikes? Idiotic things people would say when they do not say the truth..


    What needs to happen is to open all wilderness portions to biking as well.

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    So why is it the FS needs to have the two groups meet? Why do they need the approval of the animal abuse folks for a bike race? I would think the forest service could make there own ruling to either have events or not for all groups. Allowing horses to race which will do more trail damage than a mountain bike race, a race in which animals are pushed to there limits sometimes to there death is animal abuse, but it's ok for them to race?

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    So why is it the FS needs to have the two groups meet? Why do they need the approval of the animal abuse folks for a bike race?
    To be able to say that they have responded to complaints. CYA style. There is nothing to discuss with them indeed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    To be able to say that they have responded to complaints. CYA style. There is nothing to discuss with them indeed.

    This is huge. One cannot be dismissive and ignore these folks.
    I don't rattle.

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    I agree talking is a important. I just don't understand why the FS is facilitating such a meeting under these circumstances. It certainly makes it look like the Equestrian group gets to make the decision over the mtb permit???
    Is IMBA involved at all? I love this quote:
    "...allegedly there are tens of millions of Americans who ride off-road, IMBA's numbers aren't close to reflecting such strength. Give me just 5% of the nations mtb'ers and watch the smackdown we would put on the anti-bike lobbyists." Jenn Dice, IMBA Government Affairs Director

    I'm hoping for the best (but expecting the worst). :/
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  39. #39
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    Forest Service Permit Denied for 7th Annual TS100 Race over Equestrian Concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    So why is it the FS needs to have the two groups meet?
    I don't think the FS does need the two groups to talk.
    Everything I have seen (a little insider info) is that the mtn bikers wanted to get together and talk things out. The FS was not interested in talking with Jimmy at all. Niether did the equestrians (I think because they know their position is based on lies and misinformation, but that's just my opinion). It was only after our little impromptu email campaign that the FS agreed to sit down and talk with Jimmy.


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    Forest Service Permit Denied for 7th Annual TS100 Race over Equestrian Concerns

    Quote Originally Posted by S.O.B. View Post
    Is IMBA involved at all?
    Tom Ward from IMBA is aware of the situation.

    I'm hoping for the best (but expecting the worst).
    Don't be pessimistic here. We are in a good position to move forward here. The equestrians are relying on lies, deceptions, fearmongering and misinformation. The light of truth will shine down upon them and expose their BS.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Brewtality View Post
    Tom Ward from IMBA is aware of the situation.
    Don't be pessimistic here. We are in a good position to move forward here. The equestrians are relying on lies, deceptions, fearmongering and misinformation. The light of truth will shine down upon them and expose their BS.
    Thanks for the info and for all those involved behind the scenes. Yeah, I should have worded it "Hoping for the best, but mentally preparing for the worst."
    I understand that this is one battle in a long, ongoing fight, and some will be won and some will be lost...but in the short term, in relation to this event, a refusal to issue the usage permit will unequivocally suck!
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  42. #42
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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    This is huge. One cannot be dismissive and ignore these folks.
    We can not ignore them indeed. But there is nothing to discuss - they are wrong.

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    One of the things I hear form so many park managers is how tired they are of hearing complaining horse and hiker types. The funny thing is that we done whine and moan at these mangers every day. Get a bunch of horsey hiker folk to kavetch and a manager has to be seen to do something.

    It is not for them to make a determination of who is right or wrong. The mutual groups have to work that out in some forum or other.
    I don't rattle.

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    ^ and when those whiners whine to their congressperson, and the congressperson beats up the Forest Service, the Forest Service (like the park managers you describe) lose some interest in aiding the whiners, especially if they know in their heart that the whiners are bat shit crazy.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Czar Chasm View Post
    ^ and when those whiners whine to their congressperson, and the congressperson beats up the Forest Service, the Forest Service (like the park managers you describe) lose some interest in aiding the whiners, especially if they know in their heart that the whiners are bat shit crazy.
    A key thing here is the whining. It is said the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but in practice all whining does is get you categorized as a complainer. The persons in charge who make the decisions must get sick of dealing with nothing but whining, *****ing, and complaining. They may make concessions to shut the noise off, but in the long run they probably end up doing the least they have to, limited by what the law governing their position mandates they have to do, to shut off the noise.

    Being that the opposition, the equestrians in this case who are making this big stink, are whiners we can gain an advantage by NOT being whiners. Our communication with the powers that be should be mature, concise, non-emotional, but firm in conviction for what we know is right. When dealing with a group that knows how to communicate correctly and a group who is just *****ing, moaning, whining, and lying...who would you want to deal with, who would you more likely side with, who would you more likely believe?
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

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    Quote Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    It is not for them to make a determination of who is right or wrong. The mutual groups have to work that out in some forum or other.
    Not for them to make a determination of who is right or wrong? Actually, since the park managers by mandate of law are the ones who are entrusted to interpret, apply, and enforce the laws and regulations of the areas under their control...they are the ones who make that determination. They are and the courts, when it is pushed to that level. That is why it is so important to have the ear, consideration, and compassion of the park managers, land directors, and board members.

    As far as the mutual groups working things out in some forum, yes, that is a grand idea and really is where the problems should be solved. But in the case of the user groups here in Nor Cal it seems that there is very little desire to be part of such a democratic process. The reality is the lines have been drawn, attitudes compounded, and stubbornness put into full-drive.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bokchoicowboy View Post
    A key thing here is the whining. It is said the squeaky wheel gets the grease, but in practice all whining does is get you categorized as a complainer. The persons in charge who make the decisions must get sick of dealing with nothing but whining, *****ing, and complaining. They may make concessions to shut the noise off, but in the long run they probably end up doing the least they have to, limited by what the law governing their position mandates they have to do, to shut off the noise.

    Being that the opposition, the equestrians in this case who are making this big stink, are whiners we can gain an advantage by NOT being whiners. Our communication with the powers that be should be mature, concise, non-emotional, but firm in conviction for what we know is right. When dealing with a group that knows how to communicate correctly and a group who is just *****ing, moaning, whining, and lying...who would you want to deal with, who would you more likely side with, who would you more likely believe?
    Good theory, but the fact that one side is working with 4th District Congressman, Tom McClintock, and the other side is not should be cause for concern; so the squeaky wheel is getting the political grease while the Congressman is ignoring the mtn bike community.
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    Good theory, but the fact that one side is working with 4th District Congressman, Tom McClintock, and the other side is not should be cause for concern; so the squeaky wheel is getting the political grease while the Congressman is ignoring the mtn bike community.
    Yes, that is a damn shame....so to makes things fair the MTB lobby should be getting equal face-time with McClintock...but unfortunately, there does not seem to really be a lobbying group representing MTB'ers....

    IMBA is supposed to be that lobbying group...but where are they really in this process, at this time????

    <****listens but hears nothing but crickets****>

    I know someone said IMBA is "aware"...well, aware is not enough in this case, is it?

    The squeaky wheel, in this case the equestrians, have lots of funding to push an agenda at the State and Federal level. With so many mountain bikers out there, how is it that we do not? This is a pay-to-play thing here.
    "You're messing with my zen thing, man!"

  49. #49
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    ^ Both sides have been in touch with McClintock's office for some time now. He got hyperbole from the equestrian side and truth from the mt. biking side. I'm happy to hear more mt. bikers in the 4th District have also contacted McClintock. If we need to appeal to him further, we will, but right now the decision for the race is in the hands of the USFS.

    Edit: IMBA is certainly involved. While IMBA doesn't traditionally go to bat for racing events, when access to a trail is threatened, it becomes an IMBA issue. They are on it.

    Some easy reading for your morning coffee. This appears to be an email that the equestrians have circulated that ended up on FB. So much phoney baloney...:

    Sharing from email: Tahoe Sierra 100 Extreme Mountain Bike Race will NOT be held on the Western States (Tevis) Trail.

    >> The MB forums and promoter of the Tahoe Sierra 100 Extreme Mountain Bike Race has misstated what is really happening here. I do not pretend to understand the motivation...
    >
    > Probably to get their friends worried enough to complain.
    >
    >> The good news is that the mt. bike race is not going to take place on the historic Western States (Tevis) Trail, where the promoter wanted to have it, BUT the permit has not been denied.
    >>
    >> The Western States Safe Trail Alliance, equestrians and representatives from our local Audubon Society and the Sierra Club, met with the Forest Service and Auburn State Recreation Area to request they re-route this race off the Western States Trail, the historic path of the 100 mile one day Tevis Cup endurance ride and the Western States Run. The WSSTA stated and proved ongoing safety and erosion issues.
    >>
    >> After these meetings, the administrations of these government entities agreed with the Alliance that the mt. bike race should not be held on the WST asked the promoter of the race to re-route it off the WST.
    >>
    >> That decision was confirmed with the Forest Service and State Parks.
    >>
    >> The Forest Service did not deny the race permit, nor did the Western States Safe Trails Alliance ask for denial of permit. A re-route was requested.
    >>
    >> The Western States Safe Trail Alliance is mainly concerned with the Western States Trail. Not all trails...that one trail...hence its name. The WSSTA is asking the Forest Service to designate the Western States Trail hiker horse only. Currently, the WST is off limits to wheeled vehicles for several miles on federal and private land at the start by Squaw Valley, then through the Granite Chief Wilderness. It is limited to hiker horse again at the end through the Auburn State Recreation Area. What the Alliance is requesting is that the Forest Service also limit their center section and ban mt. bikes and motorbikes there.
    >>
    >> The Western States Trail is famously dangerous with the trail only 8 inches wide at its most narrow, and drop offs 500 feet and more.
    >
    > It makes no sense to "race" on a trail tha narrow, on a bike, horse, or on foot! You can't pass anyone!
    >
    >> It has been used for over 150 years by hikers and horses with few problems, and by the Native Americans even before that. But, with the addition of mt. bikes, these limitations became real safety issues. Last year during the Tahoe Sierra 100 Extreme Mountain Bike Race, an equestrian on the trail was injured and will be in a wheelchair for the rest of her life. In the same area, but not during the race, two other equestrians were left in walkers for months. Last week a hiker was run into by a mt. biker and ended up in the ER. These injuries are not caused by inexperienced or ignorant hikers or horses, but mt. bikers and uncontrolled speed on narrow trails with blind corners and hills. Walking and wheeled users do not belong on extremely narrow trails with no place to pass. This description fits almost the whole length of the Western States Trail.
    >>
    >> There are HUNDREDS of miles of trails suitable to mt. bikes in the Tahoe National Forest, and even in this same area. The Alliance provided marked trail maps for several other acceptable routes for the Tahoe Sierra 100 race. All the FS and promoter have to do is select one.
    >>
    >> The Western States Safe Trail Alliance is not anti-mt. bike, but pro-safe and maintained trails. There are some trails that should be hiker only, some that should be hiker horse, and some that can be non-motorized mutli-use. Use is dependent upon safety for all users, which means children, dog walkers, seniors, bird watchers, horses....everyone who should be able to enjoy our great natural outdoors on our public trails. IF a trail is built to safe and accepted multi-use standards, and maintained to those same standards, then mt. bikes can be added. As we all know, these designations do not deny access to anyone. Anyone can walk these trails, they would just have to leave their bikes (or horses, if hiking only) at home.
    >>
    >> Just to be clear, over 90% of FS trails are open to mt. bikes. Why the bikers state on their forums and websites they want all the trails, including the Western States, regardless of real safety and erosion concerns, is irresponsible.
    >
    > I'm happy for any bit of good news. I think it's still good that we thanked the Forest Service for doing the right thing.

  50. #50
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    Also, this is what they are working on: S.60 - 113th Congress (2013-2014) - A bill to amend the National Trails System Act to provide for the study of the Western States Trail for potential designation as a national historic trail

    Fortunately, becoming an official National Historic Trail does not give the death sentence to bicycling like Federally Designated Wilderness does.

    I'm guessing much of their lobbying of McClintock has to do with this bill.

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