SDMBA Trailwork 1-20-2013 @ SD National Wildlife Refuge!
The United States Fish & Wildlife Service (USF&WS) and The San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA) are proud to announce the construction of new sustainable shared-use trail in the Par Four area of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge. This incredible event takes place on Sunday, 1-20-2013, meeting at the end of Par Four Drive, off of Steele Canyon Road.
Mountain bikes are usually prohibited on Wildlife Refuges. Wildlife Refuges are areas managed by USF&WS to protect endangered species and habitat. SDMBA has been working with USF&WS over four years to not only ensure mountain bike access, but to construct sustainable trails to assist the Service in managing this very unique and environmentally sensitive area.
Authorization of this event required multiple biological assessments, cultural assessment team flown in from Washington State, and final review in Washington DC. Trail building techniques to ensure minimal negative habitat impact must be employed.
Join us Sunday, 1-20-2013, 8am-1pm and be a part of this historic event. BBQ at 1:30pm.
SDMBA hopes that other mountain biking associations, when faced with environmental issues that stand in their way to design and construct sustainable shared-use trails, will be able to point this event.
Looking forward to this. See you on the 20th.
I've never done any of the trails at Sweetwater...will this connect the two areas?
Is it going to be fireroad-like, doubletrack, and/or singletrack trail building....or a combination of sorts?
The short answer is they are across the street from each other. Sweetwater is on the south/west side of the 94 and it is on the north/east.
Here is the link in the SDMBA forums. --->SDMBA SD Nationl Wildlife Refuge trail work
There are great maps and descriptions there.
Thank you for sharing the link. I'm internet challenged.
Due to the environmental sensitivity in the area we will be building, the majority of the trail will be SINGLETRACK. We will build a few doubletrack segments to ensure safe passage for both bikers and equestrians, but the majority will be flowy singletrack.
Hope to see you all out on the Refuge.
If you enjoy the trail network in the Sweetwater/Bonita area of the SD National Wildlife Refuge, please try to make time to participate in this event on Sunday, 1-20-2013, 8am-1pm.
USF&WS staff and local politicians will be present to witness community volunteers delivering on what they promise. This is the best opportunity to let the land managers know that the SD riding community is ready to help work with USF&WS to create a responsible trails plan for the Sweetwater/Bonita area of the Refuge.
Hope to see you all on Sunday.
I want to thank CalCoast Bike Shop, ITSA Bike Shop, Clif Bar, Epic Camera, Santa Cruz Bikes, Turner Bikes, TLD for their generous donations of swag.
See you at the end of Par Four Drive, 8am, Sunday, 1-20-2013, to make mountain biking history!
I have to work or else I'd go. Please add some hips, berms, little pop offs and options drops/jumps. Every San Diego trail is flat flat flat.
Thanks Jay (Boulder Pilot) for facilitating the mountain bikers' contribution to this event.
That was hero dirt for sure, for us diggers.
Update: News article:
UNITED STATES FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE AND SAN DIEGO MOUNTAIN BIKING ASSOCIATION CREATING SUSTAINABLE TRAILS FOR EAST COUNTY TRAIL USERS
On Sunday, 1-20-2013, 27 volunteer members of SDMBA met at the Par Four trail head of the San Diego National Wildlife Refuge (SDNWR) to construct sustainable shared-use single-track trail. This event is the first time mountain bikers earned the privilege to construct shared-use trails within a National Wildlife Refuge which is administered by the US Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS).
SDMBA Master Trail Boss Gardner Grady lead crews of seasoned trail builders along with first timers and some very enthusiastic children. This very skilled all volunteer trail crew completed nearly 1000’ of bench cut sustainable shared-use trail in less than four hours!
Jill Terp, Refuge Manager, had this to say about this historic event: “We are very grateful to San Diego Mountain Biking Association and their supporters who volunteered their time to create sustainable trails. We were awed by SDMBA's organized approach with tools and checklists, their commitment to safety, and the sweat and energy of young and old alike. What an amazing group! I commend SDMBA board member Jason Showalter for his tireless work from the beginning to ensure that this project is done right – from protection of sensitive species and habitat to identifying sustainable routes. Kudos also to board member Gardner Grady for his field help in laying out the route and working with Jason to remove the vegetation - a huge effort they put in to prepare for Sunday’s volunteers.”
District 2 County Supervisor Dianne Jacob, long time and very effective trail advocate, had this to say about this volunteer effort: “This event was a wonderful breakthrough for the region -- the mountain biking community, federal officials and others teamed up to expand public access to our wildlife refuge. Thank you to everyone who took part. By creating a sustainable path, it also increases access in a way that best preserves habitat. In the past 20 years, about 200 miles of trail have been added to the East County backcountry – and I’d like to see even more added in coming years.”
SDMBA Board member and the USF&WS Liaison Jason L. Showalter explained why this event took place:
“The majority of trails within SDNWR are not sustainable and contribute to habitat loss. Erosion, whether from natural elements or trail user behavior, encroaches and destroys habitat on the fringe of trails. Fall line trails channel runoff away from plants and create pools that trail users avoid, trampling plants on the edge of trails and widening the trail.”
“Properly designed and constructed trails along with educating the trail users about the importance of staying off trails when the trails are very wet will help eliminate habitat destruction, provide better trail user experiences, and will ensure the endangered species and habitat within SDNWR will be protected and enjoyed by future generations.”
Mike MacGregor, President of SDMBA, had this to say about last Sunday’s event:
“While the efforts that took place last Sunday cannot be overlooked, this event began over four years ago. SDMBA has worked with USFWS since 2009, conducting multiple trail assessments, providing input dealing with biological and cultural assessments, and earning the trust of USFWS to be able to deliver exactly what SDMBA said they would deliver. The proof is on the ground at Par Four. SDMBA looks forward to working with USFWS and assisting in every way to ensure the SDNWR continues to successfully protect the valuable and endangered species and habitat for generations to come.”
USFWS respectfully requests that trail users stay off these new trails until we officially open them for public use. The trails, once properly seasoned, should require minimal maintenance.
Pictures of the event are in this SDMBA thread: San Diego Mountain Biking Association • View topic - Trail Work-SD National Wildlife Refuge Sunday, 1-20-2013