Forest Service Permit Denied for 7th Annual TS100 Race over Equestrian Concerns
just received this. bad news.
From: Lisa Kodl
Date: Thu, May 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM
Subject: Trail Access on US Forest Service land
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 email@example.com
Mo Tebbe firstname.lastname@example.org
Randy Moore R5 Regional Forester( Chris Fischers Boss) email@example.com
Mary Sullivan firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Quin. Tquin@fs.fed.us
Tom Tidwell, US Forest Service Chief email@example.com
Mary Wagner, US Forest Service Associate Chief firstname.lastname@example.org
Lisa Kodl Auburn Bike Works Owner
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
Thanks for posting this--and for the email links. Time to circle the wagons.
Because we like the taste of freedom; because we like the smell of danger. ~ E. Abbey
District Ranger Chris Fischer's response to email:
From: "Fischer, Christopher -FS"
Sent: Thursday, May 16, 2013
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.
American River Ranger District, Tahoe NF
W: 530-478-6254 x238
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.
Last edited by Sean Allan; 05-17-2013 at 06:45 AM.
I got the same email. I sent a request to Mr Fischer to reconsider.
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.
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.
Dammit MTBR. Let me rep everyone on this thread.
Thanks for this. I've forwarded this out to a couple of groups as well. Will write tomorrow.
Don't forget to write Rep. McClintock too.
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...
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
Thanks for posting This concerns all of us no matter where we ride.
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.
Originally Posted by LyNx
I think July 20, 2013 would be a good day for a large number of mountain bikers to go ride the Western States.
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!
Ride during the Tevis Cup? Bringing their tactics against them? Do something that would amount to an off-road version of Critical Mass?
Originally Posted by TahoeBC
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!"
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.
These email addresses bounced back as undeliverable:
Randy Moore R5 Regional Forester( Chris Fischers Boss) email@example.com
Mary Sullivan firstname.lastname@example.org
Tom Quin. Tquin@fs.fed.us
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...
Originally Posted by zon
Randy Moore's addy should be rmoore AT fs.fed.us DOT com (don't forget the first name initial).
Originally Posted by KentM
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.
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.
Originally Posted by k1creeker
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.
I would add that managing conflict and control of trail access is also bound by deep longstanding relationships imbedded in traditional local culture.
Originally Posted by slocaus
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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