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  1. #101
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    Eloquent analysis...

    Quote Originally Posted by ElHombre View Post
    The myth of Sisyphus comes to mind... Zeus err DPR/CSP punishing a man/mountain biker for his perceived hubris by making him perform absurd labor, over and over. Camus wrote a great essay about it; looks like the fine folks at CSP have found some inspiration reading...
    ...perhaps 3000 years from now the "Saga of the Jim Donnelly Trail" (or the "Myth of the Two Paul's" ?) will be being discussed in philosophy classes.
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  2. #102
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    I have never ridden here but always wanted to. I just gave this a quick read through and it looks like the park service cut a huge branch off the beautiful old oak rather than put in a go around! It makes me sick to my stomach that they would do something like that.

  3. #103
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    Thanks...

    Quote Originally Posted by M3ichael View Post
    Thanks for the update Paul and all the blood, sweat and maybe a tear or two you've put into the JDT and Coe.

    IMHO the DPR to streamline "Change in Use Policy" is important enough to get some MTBers to come back to Coe and volunteer again.

    Michael
    ...Michael; we'll put you down on the "maybe" list!
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  4. #104
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    I secretly filmed a video of the DPR supervised trail work at Coe, with a staring role by Ranger Stuart Organo

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  5. #105
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    You guys are impressive. I would have given up a while back, and just kept riding the trail as is.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  6. #106
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    Most gratifying to see humor being applied as this is a really hilarious situation.

    Since the disappointments began in March staff are distant and uncommunicative. Perhaps they are afraid of something. That cannot can be the case. They are courageous law enforcement officers.

    Ostensibly all we are waiting for is rain to make the soil workable. The amount of work I'm anticipating we are expected to complete will need the best conditions, or it won't be possible without a number of seasons, or an army of brutes.

    You might conclude that we are digging our own grave by working the trail to death. That's because if the trail gets done how the CSP dictates, they will then hold it out as an example of how all the trails in Coe are supposed to be, and then seeing that the rest of the trails lack this "quality", close the rest of them down. Wouldn't that be nauseating?

    So why proceed?

    Here's a possibility: Change In Use Policy

    The JDT could be purposed to exhibit the qualities that the CSP aspires for a modern multi-use trail. The CSP's declared reliance upon pinch-points and out-slope and upon a monotonous trail topology could be imposed upon the trail and used as an example.

    One reason for the bland trail standards could be to discourage enthusiastic mountain bike use. On the other hand, easy climbing and low risk trails will enable a wider cross-section of society to successfully try and continue to mountain bike.

    At what point do pinch-points get called out as dangerous traps for cyclists? Perhaps when the first novice gets seriously hurt because of one. Wouldn't it be convenient for CSP if a volunteer could be made a scapegoat for such a feature?
    SOrCerer

  7. #107
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    ReBenching

    If the work involves redoing a perfectly good bench I will not be there.

    If the Trail Supervisor is there I will not be there.

    Let me know when you will actually be doing some viable work.

    EDIT:
    I think moving forward my policy will be every time The Super puts together a re-bench party I will go out and do non-DPR Trail work. The world needs balance.
    Here's to sweat in your eye.

  8. #108
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    Quote Originally Posted by SallySalamander View Post
    I secretly filmed a video of the DPR supervised trail work at Coe, with a staring role by Ranger Stuart Organo


    Nice to see you back Sally.
    Here's to sweat in your eye.

  9. #109
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    Tahoe BC and mudncrud, you both show good judgement of the situation.

    That said, all of the switchbacks and climbing turns below the picnic table still need finish work. At a minimum, I would like to get these turns drainage into a more functional state before bigger rains arrive. That and more could have been accomplished by now.
    SOrCerer

  10. #110
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    Paul's your work is not appreciated by the DPR, please put your energy elsewhere where it is.

    I'll even commit to a brushing day or two if don't work on it
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  11. #111
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    Just stupid, and bad management to boot

    Quote Originally Posted by pliebenberg View Post
    Yes, as far as the work the "2nd Saturday" gang does; we start at the bottom and build out to the CSP formerly known as the DPR Class One trails standard. (up to the picnic bench)

    Sorcerer and I expect that this work will consume most of this season given that it's projected that the majority of previous MTB volunteers will not wish to take part. (Prolly 80% of the work on the JDT has been done by MTBers) I don't blame you guys that hold off; I've conceded that we've lost this battle but I see this as enabling us to continue the war on other fronts (trails!) We might be wrong on this...

    ....

    As things now stand, until the JDT is completed to CSP formerly known as the DPR satisfaction there will be no other trail projects for us volunteers to work on at Coe. (especially new trails)
    As someone who had to manage volunteers and volunteer groups art of my last job, this isn't a good way to go. As you've noted, this decision by park management will cause them to lose a great many volunteers. I'm stating the obvious, but volunteers donate their time and labor to something they believe in and believe that their efforts make a difference.

    A key to maximizing volunteer projects and efforts is to have a menu of projects, and to be open to new project ideas if they fit in with overall needs and goals. With a backlog of needed work at coe as well as most state parks, it would be foolish to turn down volunteer help because one person has decided that a single project trumps all the rest.

    As to Sorcerer's comment about staff being "distant" since this situation developed, my guess is they got a royal chewing out from a higher up in state parks, likely the person who didn't like the work that had been done. Civil service jobs aren't as secure as partisan rhetoric might lead one to believe.

  12. #112
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    So, is there somebody that the community can complain to at State Parks?
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  13. #113
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    I rode Mission Peak yesterday. After the rain, the Mission Peak trails (actually, mostly fire roads there, as is true on most EBRPD properties) and the tiny bit of singletrack are in fine shape to be worked on (although the singletrack trail maintenance schedule in most of EBRPD seems to be about once every 30 years, as compared to weekly at the Santa Clara County Open Space Authority, so it's a moot point as far as Mission Peak goes). There is a legal half-mile singletrack section at MP and it would be in prime shape for fixing up. So Jim Donnelly may well be the same, especially after more rain this morning.

  14. #114
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan View Post
    As to Sorcerer's comment about staff being "distant" since this situation developed, my guess is they got a royal chewing out from a higher up in state parks, likely the person who didn't like the work that had been done. Civil service jobs aren't as secure as partisan rhetoric might lead one to believe.
    Not likely, the issues in Coe are local egos. I know most of the trail "higher ups" in State Parks in Sacramento and they would not be doing that.

    We were some of the conference attendees who took the course where they developed the program for the new Change of Use process at the CA Trails and Greenways Conference in 2010 to support the statewide Programmatic Environmental Impact Report. The pre-conference session was done again this year by Steve Musillami & Karl Knapp, they and others have stated that the long range goal of the Change of Use Program is to make as many trails as possible into multiuse trails. The PEIR is to thwart the logjam lawsuits that get filed to stop projects.

    Volunteer groups working with State Parks in SLO County, in the LA area (Santa Monica Mountains in particular), also in the Auburn area have an entirely different relationship with the Sector personnel in that area. I know this from friends who lead volunteer groups in those areas.

    We have a massive trail reroute project in Montana de Oro State Park that is the first trail project where the Change of Use was applied, and mountain bikes will have access to trails where they were banned 25 years ago, when the project is complete.
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  15. #115
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    Not totally local...

    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    Not likely, the issues in Coe are local egos. I know most of the trail "higher ups" in State Parks in Sacramento and they would not be doing that.

    We were some of the conference attendees who took the course where they developed the program for the new Change of Use process at the CA Trails and Greenways Conference in 2010 to support the statewide Programmatic Environmental Impact Report. The pre-conference session was done again this year by Steve Musillami & Karl Knapp, they and others have stated that the long range goal of the Change of Use Program is to make as many trails as possible into multiuse trails. The PEIR is to thwart the logjam lawsuits that get filed to stop projects.

    Volunteer groups working with State Parks in SLO County, in the LA area (Santa Monica Mountains in particular), also in the Auburn area have an entirely different relationship with the Sector personnel in that area. I know this from friends who lead volunteer groups in those areas.

    We have a massive trail reroute project in Montana de Oro State Park that is the first trail project where the Change of Use was applied, and mountain bikes will have access to trails where they were banned 25 years ago, when the project is complete.
    Some points:
    The "no new trails" in the case of Coe was said to have come from beyond the Gavilan Sector or the Monterey District. That's what our Sector and District Staff has told us. In other words, Sacramento.

    Also; much of the Auburn area has to do with SRA's (not SP's); a whole different set of guidelines I've been told.

    I've marveled at what you guy's are accomplishing around SLO-town; I just hope the other foot doesn't drop and that what you've been "accomplishing" doesn't turn into "what we got away with". At Coe, it changed for us overnight.

    A major danger that I see to MTBing in the PEIR is the reliance on the out-dated CSP Trails Handbook; it can be widely interpreted---as we found out the hard way on Coe's JDT.

    As stated (and I'll use quotes since copying may be a no-no) in Chapter 16 section 16.2 "Specifications for multiple use trails including mountain bikes more closely match trail designs for equestrians and Class I hiking trails"

    Fine; I could live with that---Class I trail being "...minimum of 36 inches wide with a preferred width of 48 inches." (page 1-2) A wide single-track but OK...

    But; going back to Chapter 16 we've got this paragraph:
    "Tread Width - Trail tread widths of 60 inches allows for passing of two user groups on the trail surface. Such trail bed should be constructed to 8 feet to accommodate associated drainage structures. A full bench cut is required unless the fill slope material will support the bicycle wheel without sloughing or entrenching. Cross slope of trail bed shall provide proper sheet drainage. Narrower widths of trail may be appropriate, particularly if turnouts are provided, and/or types of uses restricted."

    We (I???) mostly did work on the JDT with the"Narrower widths of trail may be appropriate, particularly if turnouts are provided, and/or..." provision in mind. Local Staff has taken exception to this as they originally wanted the the JDT to be an impossible 6'~8' wide. The compromise in the approved PEF is a 48" wide full-bench which we are going to have to finish the trail to except in some very specific locations where the trail may be as narrow as 28".

    Why don't you give Karl a call a tell him the trouble we're having!?!?
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  16. #116
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    Cool-blue Rhythm

    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    Not likely, the issues in Coe are local egos. I know most of the trail "higher ups" in State Parks in Sacramento and they would not be doing that.
    ....
    .

    I wasn't thinking Sacramento - not that high. But Pliebenberg's post is interesting, and he's in a better place to know than I. I'm just drawing on my experience in working in another state agency, as well as having contacts in other gov't dept.s. It's amazing what a chill someone can put on you indirectly if you speak out of turn or inadvertently cross someone else's agenda

    I know you are doing good stuff there in SLO and that's a good thing. I'm thinking here that as the saying goes: "Sunlight is the best disinfectant."

  17. #117
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    Just read this epic and subscribed! Wow.
    I work with State Parks (Sierra District) on trails stuff often. Cool to see Karl K's name. We laid out some sections of the Donner Lake Rim Trail almost 15 years ago! He was also very helpful in keeping a local trail around in Truckee.

    Sorry to digress...

    PS that CSP trails manual needs an updating for sure!!!!

  18. #118
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    In some large proportion the lack of communication is due in great part to staff needing to take all of their leave, scheduling, and perhaps to a small degree the $54 million scandal. This in itself is another issue, but all of the local staff has had to burn up their accrued time off. In the regular world vacations are scheduled so that the work continues. But from what I've seen, when someone leaves, work just piles up or isn't done, at the CSP.

    We just had a park association meeting last night, of which the JDT was not really a focus. However, good communications happened. Our moods have cooled, and we are thinking about moving the main focus trail days to Sundays because our main staff oversight person, the backcountry ranger, is off on Saturdays.

    Rain has quickened our enthusiasm. The switchbacks are not properly finished, and need to be, in order to function properly this winter.
    SOrCerer

  19. #119
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    There is nothing that gets the notice of State Parks staff more than when you can rally 150-200 volunteers and GET TRAIL WORK DONE. That boosts your credibility tremendously, especially when they remember that a volunteer hour is valued at $24.18 (CA 2010 Value of Volunteer Time | Independent Sector), so 150 volunteers for four hours is $14,508. Give them that four times a year, and that it too much FREE work dollars to ignore.

    What you need more than anything is huge numbers of volunteers to show the State Parks staff that mountain bikers want something bad enough to work for it, to donate almost $100 of free work for half a day, once a month.

    You guys are dedicated and committed, good on ya. Here is hoping that it gets better and easier, and that so many who post here show up to help you. Our work here in SLO is much easier, due in part to the fact that CCCMB rallied 6,784 volunteer hours last season for our SLO County land managers, at a value of $164,037.
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  20. #120
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sorcerer View Post
    In some large proportion the lack of communication is due in great part to staff needing to take all of their leave, scheduling, and perhaps to a small degree the $54 million scandal. This in itself is another issue, but all of the local staff has had to burn up their accrued time off. In the regular world vacations are scheduled so that the work continues. But from what I've seen, when someone leaves, work just piles up or isn't done, at the CSP.
    .
    In the regular world we either do not get vacations or we spend at least half our vacation working.
    Here's to sweat in your eye.

  21. #121
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    I'm glad things are...

    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    There is nothing that gets the notice of State Parks staff more than when you can rally 150-200 volunteers and GET TRAIL WORK DONE. That boosts your credibility tremendously, especially when they remember that a volunteer hour is valued at $24.18 (CA 2010 Value of Volunteer Time | Independent Sector), so 150 volunteers for four hours is $14,508. Give them that four times a year, and that it too much FREE work dollars to ignore.

    What you need more than anything is huge numbers of volunteers to show the State Parks staff that mountain bikers want something bad enough to work for it, to donate almost $100 of free work for half a day, once a month.

    You guys are dedicated and committed, good on ya. Here is hoping that it gets better and easier, and that so many who post here show up to help you. Our work here in SLO is much easier, due in part to the fact that CCCMB rallied 6,784 volunteer hours last season for our SLO County land managers, at a value of $164,037.
    ...so rosy in SLO!

    I'm not sure about the Monterey District in total but at H W Coe SP alone volunteers log around 20,000 hours yearly. I don't have access to the hard numbers but I'd say that the JDT project has received at least 3500 hours (hell I've put in 400 hours myself) of volunteer effort.

    The CSP is well aware of this and we receive frequent accolades from local Staff.

    There's another way that 20,000 (or whatever) hours needs to be considered, sure those hours represent nearly a half-million $$$ to the State's benefit, but they also represent displacing 20,000 hours of employment for CSP workers.

    Putting it bluntly; we're costing State workers their jobs.

    If actions speak louder than words; that's part of the story being told in our situation.

    Also; some of the local Staff flat out don't trust us doing trail work, I'm not very optimistic that we'll ever get that trust back. (What we build looks too much like a trail bicyclists would enjoy!)

    So, after half a year of no progress at all on the JDT, we finally (as of just yesterday) have a tentative date to resume volunteer work (in the presence of paid CSP Staff)---Saturday November 10th.

    We will start a fresh thread on MTBR when the time gets closer.
    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. #122
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    Sounds like a job protection issue.

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  23. #123
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    evil chuckle

    Quote Originally Posted by mudncrud View Post
    I think moving forward my policy will be every time The Super puts together a re-bench party I will go out and do non-DPR Trail work. The world needs balance.
    My plan is working!

    And remember; it's the "CSP" now---the "R" in "DPR" stood for Recreation (and we can't have any of that!)
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

  24. #124
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    That is a major difference here, In the CASP Coastal Sector, there are two full time and four part time people on the ground who maintain MdO and Morro Bay SP, doing basic repairs, mowing, cleaning bathrooms, etc. They have had no one doing trail work for at least five years, and summer temps used to brush the hiker only trails, but no temp hires now for over a year.

    The office staff works 12 hour days, trying to do 1 1/2 to 2 jobs, since they are understaffed, and the budget means no more employees.

    CCCMB provides work that would never get done vs displacing CASP workers. We are not competition to the CASP, but a free resource that they appreciate and use.
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  25. #125
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    Believe it or not...

    Quote Originally Posted by mudncrud View Post
    In the regular world we either do not get vacations or we spend at least half our vacation working.
    ...most of the Staff I've talked to would rather not be forced into taking their vacation time. I can only guess as to why this has been ordered; from an accounting perspective the hours represent dollars (that can't be spent by the CSP) that inflate the Budget. Getting rid of those dollars make the CSP look even more "broke". (Which is a good thing come election time; think Prop 30)

    Also; it conceptually "spreads work around"---unfortunately, a Maintenance Worker can't do the work of a Ranger or vise versa. Mutter, mutter...
    The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not represent any policy of the CA Dept. of Parks & Rec.

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