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  1. #1
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    Possible closures at Soquel Demo Forrest?

    Any body else have more info on this?!? Received the following thru the email grapevine. Stewards of Soquel Forest email:


    *****************************************
    Dear friends of Soquel Forest,

    YOU'VE Got NEWS!

    Who? All Stewards members and other interested members of the public are invited to attend.
    What? A board meeting for the Stewards of Soquel Forest
    When? Monday, March 1 2004, at 6:30pm
    Where? 123 Los Gatos Blvd, Los Gatos, at the History Club http://tinyurl.com/3yt5s
    Why? Lots of MAJOR things going on related to Soquel Forest and the Stewards
    Wood? No, Food. We will be serving Pizza to help us make it through the evening.
    WYPR? Would You Please Respond and let us know you will attend and eat pizza?

    Topics we will cover at the meeting include the following:

    Severe budget cuts have resulted in a 90% shut down of Soquel Demonstration State Forest's office due to reassignment of its managers Thom Sutfin and Ed Orre to other CDF programs, and layoffs of its other employees. The budget cuts were a result of loss of funds normally provided by timber harvests in Jackson Demonstration State Forest in Mendocino County. These cuts could result in closure of Soquel Forest to public access.

    California State Senator Chesbro of Mendocino County has submitted a bill to the Senate that would revise the legislation that defines and directs management of all State Forests, including Jackson State Demonstration Forest in Mendocino and Soquel Demonstration State Forest here. We will discuss what impact this bill might have on Soquel Forest. Information on the bill is available at at http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/ by clicking on the link for Senate bills and scrolling down to SB1648. The text of the bill is at
    http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/pub/bill/s...ntroduced.html

    Soquel Forest managers are submitting a Timber Harvest Plan for a logging operation on the north side of Soquel Creek in the Fern Gulch area. We will get an update on the status and details of this plan. This will be the third harvest since Soquel Forest was acquired in 1990.

    ROMP has been working with the Stewards and CDF to install a bench in memory of Jim Owen. A dedication event will take place April 11th.

    The Stewards recently accepted the resignation of one of our founding board members, Jeff Hicks, who is currently travelling Europe. We will be accepting nominations for individuals interested in serving on the Stewards Board of Directors or Advisory Council.

    The Stewards will be evaluating their budget, fundraising and membership development needs for the coming year.

    Accidents requiring transportation of an injured person out of Soquel Forest have increased, and response by paramedics has been slow, resulting in some victims self-evacuating before assistance arrived. CDF has received a request for purchase of an ATV to aid in assistance.

    The National Mountain Bike Patrol has started a patrol program in SDSF, with the help of ROMP and Stewards member Dave Wieland.

    We have a website in progress. Structure is complete but content is limited.

    Specialized has been sponsoring the costs of a porta potty at the top of Hihn's Mill Road, near the gravel parking lot and signboard. Specialized will be working with the Stewards to help move some of our goals forward, such as development of the interpretive trail.

    We look forward to seeing you on Monday! Don't forget to RSVP if you are coming so I bring enough pizza!

    Patty Ciesla
    President, Stewards of Soquel Forest
    *****************************************

  2. #2
    Sweat is just fat crying.
    Reputation: Finch Platte's Avatar
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    Thanks, Greggg.

    Appreciate you bringing these matters to our tension.

    How 'bout a 'time out' feature/options on the weekend rides, like you do with the polls, so after it's done, it doesn't hang around for all eternity?

    Here's another one: How about calendars for the various areas of the country (NorCal, etc.) so we can see at a glance what's going on where?

    fp(p)
    Last edited by Finch Platte; 03-01-2004 at 05:32 PM. Reason: I wasn't hard.
    Mountain Biking Is Not A Crime stickers, free! (You pay postage. PM me for details.)

  3. #3
    Ride what you want!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by gregg
    Severe budget cuts have resulted in a 90% shut down of Soquel Demonstration State Forest's office due to reassignment of its managers Thom Sutfin and Ed Orre to other CDF programs, and layoffs of its other employees. The budget cuts were a result of loss of funds normally provided by timber harvests in Jackson Demonstration State Forest in Mendocino County. These cuts could result in closure of Soquel Forest to public access.
    I couldn't really get past this part right here.... So stopping the logging of some areas could result in loss of trail access to others?

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by george_da_trog
    I couldn't really get past this part right here.... So stopping the logging of some areas could result in loss of trail access to others?

    george
    Logging in the State forests produces revenue. It takes revenue to run a bureaucracy, even if it's just a trail. Not to sound condescending, but this is a tough concept for many city people to understand. This is one of the reasons why the Northcoast is losing so much private timberland. The land gets sold to Save-the-redwoods, or becomes a State Park, and then access is denied.

    Until the State manages to sort things out, take a big "political correctness" risk by supporting sustainable forestry. The fact of the matter is that extreme environmentalism (which is what is holding up the Jackson State sale) is much harmful to mountain bikers than California forestry despite what many would otherwise have you believe.

  5. #5
    Ride what you want!!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor
    Until the State manages to sort things out, take a big "political correctness" risk by supporting sustainable forestry. The fact of the matter is that extreme environmentalism (which is what is holding up the Jackson State sale) is much harmful to mountain bikers than California forestry despite what many would otherwise have you believe.
    I completely understand, I was just trying to point out the irony of the situation. Nothing bad could ever come from stopping those evil loggers could it?

    george
    Trogs: Too Tough for Carbon Fiber

  6. #6
    Medium?
    Reputation: Fast Eddy's Avatar
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    Bummer all around.

    Anyone know what happened at the meeting?

    If they can't afford to let people in, can they afford to keep people out? Bet not.

    FYI:

    http://www.advocate-news.com/Stories...980983,00.html
    http://www.mendocinobeacon.com/Stori...951948,00.html
    http://www.ukiahdailyjournal.com/Sto...983620,00.html

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor
    Logging in the State forests produces revenue. It takes revenue to run a bureaucracy, even if it's just a trail. Not to sound condescending, but this is a tough concept for many city people to understand. This is one of the reasons why the Northcoast is losing so much private timberland. The land gets sold to Save-the-redwoods, or becomes a State Park, and then access is denied.

    Until the State manages to sort things out, take a big "political correctness" risk by supporting sustainable forestry. The fact of the matter is that extreme environmentalism (which is what is holding up the Jackson State sale) is much harmful to mountain bikers than California forestry despite what many would otherwise have you believe.
    I don't get it. If it belongs to the state wouldn't it be MORE accessible?
    I think the pain in the butt around here with the flora around you is that alot of it is privat property which you are not allowed to enter/trespass. I mean there are FENCES EVERWHERE and you can't get to the darn moutains that looks so nice from down the road....

    So my point is the more the state ows the more park areas we will have to ride.

  8. #8
    It's about showing up.
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    Stop Blabbering and Write letters!

    Dreadfully sorry chaps, had to get your attention.

    Shaun Reid, President of the Northern California Mountain Biking Association, sent me this. It describes some issues and provides a place to aquire a letter which you can send to a Senator.


    The facts

    Soquel Demonstration Forest is threatened with staff and budget cuts, and as
    a result potential closure. This would mean the loss of one of the best places
    for mountain biking in the San Francisco Bay Area.
    Soquel Demonstration Forest was on target to become a self-sustaining forest
    unit through its 2004 timber harvest plan. If the timber harvest plan were
    implemented the forest would not need State funding, and staff cuts could be
    avoided.

    What you can do to help
    The decision to close SDF will be made by the governing bodies in Sacramento.
    You can help influence this decision by writing a letter to the California
    State senator (Bruce McPherson) or one of the California assemblymen.
    Points to make in your letter:

    (i) SDF is one of the most popular destinations for mountain bikers, hikers
    and equestrians in the San Francisco Bay Area

    (ii) SDF offers a wide range of research, recreational and education programs
    for the local community. It would be a huge loss to the community if these
    programs were taken away.

    (iii) Community members care about the forest?s well being and contribute
    many volunteer hours for trail maintenance.

    (iv) SDF has its own group of National Mountain Bike Patrollers (community
    volunteers) that support the foresters by providing assistance, information and
    education to forest users.

    (v) SDF could become a self-supporting forest, with no need for State
    funding, if it were to implement its 2004 timber harvest plan. However, adequate
    staffing (no cuts) is needed in order to successfully carry out this plan.

    Sample letter

    Click on the following link to view a sample letter:

    http://www.romp.org/SDFletter. html . You are welcome to copy and paste any of the sample letter?s content into your own letter.


    Shaun Reid

    President
    Northern California Mountain Biking Association
    www.ncmba.org

    San Francisco Bay Area Rep
    International Mountain Bicycling Association
    www.imba.com


    -

  9. #9
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    Shaun, your sample letter link is not working. Site comes back with a "file not found" msg. Can you just cut & paste the body of the letter here so we can get this out to Senator McPherson? It would indeed be a sad day if we can no longer ride SDF....

  10. #10
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    Soquel letter from ROMP

    One of the two links is weird so I copied the letter.
    February 23, 2004
    *
    Senator McPherson
    State Capitol
    Room 2054
    Sacramento, CA 95814
    *
    *
    *
    Re: Proposed Staff and Budget Cuts at Soquel Demonstration Forest
    *
    *
    Dear Senator McPherson,
    *
    I am writing on behalf of ROMP (Responsible Organized Mountain Pedalers) to express our concern about the planned budget and staff cuts at Soquel Demonstration Forest, a division of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection.
    *
    Soquel forest is a popular recreation destination for mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians from the San Francisco and Monterey Bay Areas. There is strong community support and involvement in research, recreational and educational programs. ROMP is one of the many organizations that are active within the forest. ROMP leads rides that are open to all members of the public at least once a month. ROMP volunteers regularly participate in the trail maintenance programs organized by the Stewards of Soquel Forest. In addition, ROMP has a group of trained volunteer mountain bike patrollers that support the foresters by providing first aid, assistance, education and information to all trail users (mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians). In the last year ROMP has donated over 500 hours of volunteer time and labor to the State and Community.
    *
    We have learned the California Department of Forestry plans to drastically reduce the staff of Soquel Forest from Forest Manager, Assistant Forest Manager, Forestry Assistant, Office Staff and Seasonal Forest Aides to one half-time employee. We are concerned that this reduction in staff may mean closure of the forest to the community. Soquel Demonstration Forest was on target to become a self-sustaining forest unit through its 2004 timber harvest plan. If the timber harvest plan were implemented the forest would not need State funding, and staff cuts could be avoided. However, without adequate staffing the timber harvest plan will not be realized, the forest will not become self sufficient and a popular destination for research, recreation and education may be lost to the community.
    *
    We ask you to protect our popular community programs by preventing staff cuts at Soquel Demonstration Forest, at no net cost to the State of California.
    *
    *
    Sincerely,
    *
    *
    Claire Nippress
    Vice President, ROMP
    www.romp.org

    I modified this letter for my own use

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by NiTCOM
    I don't get it. If it belongs to the state wouldn't it be MORE accessible?
    I think the pain in the butt around here with the flora around you is that alot of it is privat property which you are not allowed to enter/trespass. I mean there are FENCES EVERWHERE and you can't get to the darn moutains that looks so nice from down the road....

    So my point is the more the state ows the more park areas we will have to ride.
    I get what you mean. Perhaps it's a matter of geography. Up here in Humboldt we have hundreds of thousands of acres of Parks (State and Federal), with very few legal Mtb trails. Pick up one of the guide books for this area and you will see what I mean. However, the private land can be accessed by getting recreational permits from the Industrial Timberland owners, or you can usually just go for it since the areas are so enormous. We just added a bunch of State Parks within the last couple years and unsurprisingly none are going to be opened to bikes. The EIR's written by the Park and their paid consultants claim that biking is too impactive.

    We all know this is horseshit but we just do not have the numbers to lobby for equitable access. Anyway, your brothers to the North are feeling your pain!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Victor
    I get what you mean. Perhaps it's a matter of geography. Up here in Humboldt we have hundreds of thousands of acres of Parks (State and Federal), with very few legal Mtb trails. Pick up one of the guide books for this area and you will see what I mean. However, the private land can be accessed by getting recreational permits from the Industrial Timberland owners, or you can usually just go for it since the areas are so enormous. We just added a bunch of State Parks within the last couple years and unsurprisingly none are going to be opened to bikes. The EIR's written by the Park and their paid consultants claim that biking is too impactive.

    We all know this is horseshit but we just do not have the numbers to lobby for equitable access. Anyway, your brothers to the North are feeling your pain!
    Buddy, that's exactly where I am, too! (Humboldt)

    In this country it's so ridiculous that you can DRIVE with your car through everything
    including parks and cementary, but once you own a MTB and want to ride it somwhere
    then it's over with the freedom. The priorities need to be adjusted here, atleast for the parks. I would think cars produce far more damage to the woods than a tiny bicyle.
    And don't forget the 4wheels and 4X4 trucks that smash down the rivers and the beaches
    and so on.


    Bad MTB! They are sure evil!

  13. #13
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    Found it interesting that

    Saturday when I rode at Soquel there were no notices about the potential closure. Funny thing about that, eh? I talked to a bunch of people in the parking lot, particularly a large group of mushroom hunters, and none were too happy to hear about the possible closure...
    "...the people get the government they deserve..."
    suum quique

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