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  1. #1
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    Action Alert: Help Reopen Reynolds Park!

    JCOS MOUNTAIN BIKER ACTION ALERT: BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS APPEAL TO REOPEN REYNOLDS PARK

    Thank you for your interest in protecting mountain bike access to Jefferson County Open Space (JCOS) trails. Since April 1, 2004 we have conducted in-depth research surrounding Jefferson County’s organization structure and committees, and reviewed relevant governing documents and related information surrounding the closure of Reynolds Park. These documents include: Jefferson County’s formally adopted Trails Use Action Plan of 1996, the Reynolds Park Management Plan of December 2002, JCOS website communications, and relevant meeting minutes. All of this information is Public Record, and available to anyone by calling Jefferson County at 303-271-5925, or link here to view the documents: www.linearpull.com.

    Based on this in-depth research, we now send this Action Alert, which provides concrete grounds to overturn the Reynolds Park closure decision.

    After reading all of this information, we believe you will feel compelled to become actively involved in appealing the decision to close Reynolds Park to bicyclists; and hope you will fully understand the dangerous precedent its closure poses to our mountain bike community.

    The importance of follow through and extensive community participation in this Action Alert cannot be underestimated. Please participate in this Action Alert; forward this Email to riders you know; and urge them to participate in this Action Alert now. Thank you.

    ACTION ITEMS:

    1. EMAIL CAMPAIGN: Please send an Email to each of the Jefferson County Commissioners with your concerns. A Suggested Email Communication citing several reasons for appeal has been provided for your use (below). Although it is a bit lengthy, it provides a strong foundation for appeal. Feel free to submit the Suggested Email Communication as drafted in its entirety; any part of it you choose; or write your own message ... but please send a message! Email addresses: Patricia B. Holloway commish@co.jefferson.co.us (when addressing add: “Attn P Holloway” in subject line); Michelle Lawrence mlawrenc@jeffco.us, and Richard M. Sheehan, rsheehan@jeffco.us.

    2. VOICEMAIL BLITZ: Please voicemail each Jefferson County Commissioner to share your concerns. While Email can be easily filed away, overlooked or accidentally deleted, voicemail takes time and attention, puts this matter higher on the Commissioners' priority lists, and ensures the Commissioners will look for any email you send. Voice Mail Numbers: Patricia B. Holloway 303-271-8503, Michelle Lawrence, 303-271-8504, Richard Sheehan 303-271-8502.

    SUGGESTED EMAIL COMMUNICATION:

    Dear Commissioner,

    I am a member of the mountain bike community who was not represented in the decision to close Reynolds Park to bicyclists effective March 31, 2004. I was informed that there is no appeals process for the closure decision, so I am contacting you to request the help of the Board of County Commissioners in this matter.

    The decision to close Reynolds Park concerns me for three reasons: (1) The Reynolds Park Management Plan and its March 31, 2004 closure to bicyclists fails to act in accordance with Jefferson County’s Board of Commissioners adopted Resolutions and established procedures; (2) The implementers of the Reynolds Park Management Plan performed insufficient outreach efforts to mountain bike user organizations prior, during, and after closing Reynolds Park to bicyclists; and (3) The Reynolds Park closure decision, and the process by which it was enacted, sets precedents that potentially affect all JCOS trail user groups. These concerns are thoroughly detailed below for your review.

    CONCERN 1: The Reynolds Park Management Plan and its March 31, 2004 closure to bicyclists fails to act in accordance with Jefferson County’s Board of Commissioners adopted Resolutions and established procedures.

    In Resolution 19-96 dated April 4, 1996 the Jefferson County Open Space Advisory Committee (OSAC) adopted the recommendations contained in the Trail Use Action Plan, and directed JCOS staff to implement the provisions of the plan. On April 23, 1996 the Board of County Commissioners formally adopted the Trails Use Action Plan when it unanimously passed Resolution CC96-251.

    The Reynolds Park Management Plan dated December 17, 2002 fails to act in accordance with the Trails Use Action Plan in several circumstances:

    1. According to the Trails Use Action Plan page 3, paragraph 3.a.3, when dealing with existing parks and trails, JCOS staff must “Build alternate trails for specific users. Trails will not be closed to specific users until there is an alternate available.”

    2. Notably, in the Reynolds Park Management Plan, it states that a “regional multi-use trail is envisioned to connect Reynolds Park with public lands to the south. Upon completion of this regional trail, the portion of Reynolds Park on the east side of Foxton Road could revert to multi-use.” The decision to close the park to bicyclists before this regional trail is built is a direct violation of the Trail Use Action Plan. Furthermore, given the anticipated construction of the regional trail, one must ask what benefit this closure decision presents at all. OSAC itself even challenged this logic when Wayne Forman asked, “What is the benefit to making a rule about restricting bike usage if the park doesn’t get much bike traffic?” (OSAC meeting minutes February 6, 2003, page 7.)

    3. Open Space governing documents promote a doctrine of multiple use, provide resolutions for conflict management, and recognize that under-utilized trails should in fact be optimized to help disperse trail usage. On page 2 of the Trail Use Action Plan, Steps Taken to Minimize User Conflicts, paragraph 1.d. JCOS staff is tasked to “inform users about under-utilized trails to help disperse trail usage.” The Reynolds Park Management Plan not only fails to meet this directive, but acts specifically in opposition to it! On page 3, paragraph 6, the Reynolds Park Management Plan states that this park has “the lowest visitation rate, perhaps, of any park within the Open Space system,” yet instead of promoting the availability of Reynolds Park to additional users to disperse trail usage (as it should), the Reynolds Park Management Plan explains that its “vision is to maintain this relative low visitation.” Indeed, the Reynolds Park Management Plan even notes that the “parking lot size greatly exceeds visitation,” and very curiously “recommends redevelopment of the main parking lot to be smaller.” One cannot help but wonder if these decisions are being made to create a limitation on the goals of the Trails Use Action Plan's mission, where no limitation exists otherwise.

    4. In the Trail Use Action Plan’s Mission Statement it states that it “is the objective of the Open Space Program to promote enjoyment of all parks by all users,” and further states that “is the goal of the Open Space Program to provide trails and other park facilities that permit all users to enjoy the benefits of a particular park.” The Reynolds Park Management Plan contradicts this philosophy on page 1, paragraph 5 when it suggests that it “is appropriate to make this park hiker and equestrian only,” since “there are few opportunities for a hiker/equestrian only experience in the mountainous parks within the system.”

    CONCERN 2: Implementers of this decision performed insufficient outreach to the mountain bike user organizations prior, during, and after making the decision to close Reynolds Park to bicyclists.

    Item 6 of the Open Space Mission “encourages the Open Space staff and the Trail Use Task Force to continue researching and evaluating park trail conflict resolution with other public agencies and user organizations.” The Trail Use Action Plan further requires JCOS staff to re-design “existing trails to minimize impacts,” and calls for the “gathering of input from staff and users.”

    1. Despite the precedent setting actions contained within it, the Reynolds Park Management Plan was enacted without any mountain bike user organization (IMBA, et al.) authorizing or endorsing the Management Plan, or its decision to close the park to bicyclists.

    2. While discussing the Reynolds Park Management Plan, OSAC itself expressed concerns regarding sufficient community outreach when “Mr. Burke asked how much input from the biking community was solicited and Mr. Marics stated input was received from approximately 6 people. Mr. Burke stated that he would hope there would be enough input from the bikers so that a lot of animosity is not created with the change of trail use.” (OSAC meeting minutes February 6, 2003, page 7.)

    3. When responding to the question on why mountain biking user organizations were unaware of the park closure until after it had been enacted, Stanton LaBreche, Manager of Park Services noted in an email dated April 5, 2004, “It had been our expectation that the groups you mention would have been notified by the mountain bike representatives on the task force. It is unfortunate that did not occur.” Therein, Mr. LaBreche admits that the failure to communicate with mountain bike user organizations occurred, and states that he finds the communication failure to be "unfortunate." If Mr. LaBreche were sincere, it would seem logical that he would be open to the mountain biking community's input now . Unfortunately, that is not the case. On April 12, 2004 Mr. LaBreche reiterated his position via email stating: “There are no plans to revisit the closure decision. We have a realization on staff & shared by the mtn bike reps on the task force that there should have been a larger outreach on their part.”

    CONCERN 3: The closure decision, and the process by which it was enacted, sets precedents that could negatively affect JCOS trail user groups.

    1. In a website News Release dated January 26, 2004 JCOS states that it “accepted the recommendation to close Reynolds Park to mountain biking with the understanding that the majority of other existing Open Space Trails will continue to allow multiple use.” The term “majority” used in this News Release troublingly suggests that even more parks could be closed to mountain bikes in the future, particularly if precedents set by the Reynolds Park Management Plan are allowed to stand.

    2. The Reynolds Park closure could benefit one particular user group at the expense of another. In the Reynolds Park Management Plan, it notes under Visitation and Use Trends: “a significant number of repeat visitors are local residents that access the park through adjacent property.” This notation, coupled with the Reynolds Park Management Plan's curious recommendation to make the park's "main parking lot to be smaller,” could suggest that residents who neighbor JCOS property lines have special privileges to a more private experience than those who do not.

    3. Minutes from a February 6, 2003 OSAC meeting reveal: “Mr. Marics stated that park staff didn’t see large groups of bike users displaced by the rule in this park and therefore didn’t create much hardship.” By this logic, all equestrian use could be subject to closure due to that particular group's comparatively low-level use throughout the entire JCOS system.

    IN SUMMARY

    The citizens of Jefferson County voted to tax themselves ½ of one percent on sales to fund the Open Space program in 1972; and again in 1998 these citizens approved the bonding of $160 million toward an aggressive acquisitions policy for the program. These citizens include the mountain biking community at large.

    Unfortunately, during the implementation of the Reynolds Park Management Plan, the Trails Use Task Force became an information sink, instead of a source for community outreach as it was designed and intended. Its casual disregard for well-established procedures presents a perception of bias, whether intended or not. The closure of Reynolds Park to bicyclists offers no tangible benefit to trail users, appears arbitrary and capricious, violates the formally adopted Trails Use Action Plan unnecessarily, and sets dangerous precedents for all user groups.

    Regrettably, despite an untold number of phone calls and email communications by the mountain biking community directly to Mr. LaBreche, he still refuses to even revisit the decision to close Reynolds Park.

    THEREFORE: I, as a member of the mountain bike community who was not represented in the closure of Reynolds Park, am now requesting the help of the Board of County Commissioners.

    The Trail Use Action Plan of 1996 was carefully crafted, and formally adopted, to protect the interests of all users while preserving the integrity of Open Space. In its wisdom it brings forth an understanding that any usage ban presents a potential and significant sacrifice to trail users. Based on all of the reasons explained within this communication, I respectfully make the following request of the Board of County Commissioners:

    Please nullify the decision to close Reynolds Park and reopen its trails to bicyclists; unless and until the construction of the park's regional multi-use trail is completed and opened to bicyclists;

    and/or,

    Provide an open, public, and announced forum in which all voices, including those from the mountain biking community at large, can be heard in this important and fundamental matter.

    Thank you.

  2. #2
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    Good job! I've called! Have you?

    This precedent is very dangerous for lovers of multi-use trails. The segregationists will be licking their chops if this closure stands. My friends and I agree that this is unacceptable and needs to be stopped now. Let's get this out to the Commssioners loud and clear and do it now. It would be great if their in boxes were full on Monday. It's obvious that decisions were made without the Mountain bikers involved. Let's not lose one inch of established singletrack. Read this post and pass it on to all your friends. JeffCo needs to know that we appreciate what we've got and aren't willing to give it up. Get Involved!!

  3. #3
    No Titus anymore...
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    Done.

    Quote Originally Posted by TimoRides
    This precedent is very dangerous for lovers of multi-use trails. The segregationists will be licking their chops if this closure stands. My friends and I agree that this is unacceptable and needs to be stopped now. Let's get this out to the Commssioners loud and clear and do it now. It would be great if their in boxes were full on Monday. It's obvious that decisions were made without the Mountain bikers involved. Let's not lose one inch of established singletrack. Read this post and pass it on to all your friends. JeffCo needs to know that we appreciate what we've got and aren't willing to give it up. Get Involved!!

    Message sent.

  4. #4
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    By these efforts, we are forcing them to look into this matter now and give this issue the time and attention that it deserves, and we require it. Let's hope it's addressed properly on their end promptly before further action is required. Our voice and input does make a difference. I'd like to see them attempt to pass another bond issue or tax increase for JCOS funding without correcting this issue at this point. Those of us researching the situation, reading the documents and in contact with the management and administrators are reaching the same conclusions. Accountability is in order now. It is simply not acceptable policy, and it cannot continue. Get involved, it will only help. Be part of the solution.

    Let's be polite and professional, but firm and relentless. This is a just cause and we will make a difference if we get and stay involved, and we will get results.
    [SIZE=2]Just Passing Through: eatin' dirt & crappin' dust[/SIZE]

  5. #5
    ...master of none
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    Thanks for all the hard work. I've sent the emails and I did actually talk to one of the guys on the phone. Let's keep the pressure on!

    bock

  6. #6
    Keep Multi Use MULTI Use!
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    No, thank YOU!

    Quote Originally Posted by bock
    Thanks for all the hard work. I've sent the emails and I did actually talk to one of the guys on the phone. Let's keep the pressure on!

    bock
    Rules are just rules, arguments are just arguments. Neither may amount to much, until it is coupled without a loud and public outcry. Unless riders themselves take the time to get involved, stand up, and take active steps to protect their access to the singletrack they love, those in JCOS intent on ignoring the doctrine of multi use could continue to proceed in a direction that may be very unfavorable to us.

    Currently 176 people have signed up to get information and Action Alerts on this issue directly. If you're not among them yet and wish to be, send an email to irideandivote@yahoo.com with the subject line: KEEP MULTI USE MULTI USE. We'll add your email address to the database. And thank you, sincerely, for getting involved!

  7. #7
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    Will You Let Their "Experiment" Succeed?

    Want to know what the insiders at JCOS think about the Reynolds Park closure? Eric Finstick is a member of the Jefferson County Open Space Trails Advisory Committee, as well as a Board Member of Plan JeffCo. Here’s his thoughts on what the Reynolds Park closure (as published at http://www.cmc.org/cmc/tnt/975/wcseparateuses.html):

    Separation of uses:
    Jefferson County experiments

    By Eric Finstick

    Jefferson County Open Space has proposed to change trails at its Mount Reynolds Park from multiple use (including mountain bikes) to hiker and equestrian only. This is in response to survey and citizen contact data indicating that a significant portion of open space users desire “separated uses” in populated parks.

    The issue of separating uses on high-traffic trails near municipalities is being debated throughout the state. To date Jefferson County has been reluctant to separate uses, even in parks that receive extremely heavy mountain biking and hiking use. The Colorado Mountain Club has generally supported such separations in heavily used areas in order to provide improved and safer experiences for all recreationists.

    An article in the May-June TRAIL & TIMBERLINE, “Alternate day zoning: a smart approach to handling conflict and multiple use,” discussed the option of providing alternate day zoning at some heavily used parks in Jefferson County, such as Apex and Mathews/Winters. This would not close trails to bikes, but would provide for a more relaxed hiking experience on the hiker/equestrian days. Such an option is being considered for new parks such as Centennial Cone but has not been pursued in existing parks.

    If you have comments on the Reynolds Park proposal, or any other comments on the Jeffco Open Space system trails, among the best in the nation for a county park system, please write: Stanton LeBreche, Manager of Park Services, Jefferson County Open Space, 700 Jefferson County parkway, Suite 100, Golden, CO 80401. In addition, please copy the author at: Eric Finstick, 3440 Youngfield St., PMB 185, Wheatridge, CO 80033.

    The Reynolds Park issue is NOT about closing just one seldom-used park to mountain bikes – it’s about intentially setting precedents that limit mountain bike access to parks, trails, or days; and purposely diminishing the doctrine of multi-use
    .

    If you understand that, fear that what happened in Boulder and Marin counties is now happening in our JCOS parks, and are concerned enough to get involved, take the steps listed in this Action Alert today; then send an email to irideandivote@yahoo.com with the subject line KEEP MULTI USE MULTI USE to be added to our database. We will continue our efforts to reopen Reynolds Park and do everything we can to protect mountain bike access to JCOS parks.

  8. #8
    Your bike sucks
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    I don't know Eric but I can tell you that Reynolds is re-open to mtn bikers or will be VERY soon.

    Most of the 'pressure' from the mtn bike community was positive.

    That is all.
    Last edited by Carl Mega; 04-30-2004 at 08:14 AM. Reason: spelling mistake...errr

  9. #9
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    Carl, I appreciate your optimism, but I just got a letter at 1PM today, friday that says the closure stands. Can you update me please as this rollercoaster ride is killin me. Here's the letter...

    please note the following update:

    Open Space met with the Board of County Commissioners regarding concerns and recommendations from the mountain biking community regarding the Reynolds Park closure to biking. Those recommendations included a postponement of the closure, as well as overturning the decision to designate this park for hiker and equestrian uses only. In utilizing the Trails Use Task Force for constituency input, the mountain biking community, as well as users from the hiking and equestrian community, were consulted in the decision making process. Following discussion and review, it was agreed that the biking closure at Reynolds Park stands.

    Constituents are encouraged to work through their Trails Use Task Force members to have their concerns and suggestions represented. For more about the Trails Use Task Force - including an agenda for the May 20,2004 meeting, link to http://www.co.jefferson.co.us/ext/dp...spac/force.htm The agenda will not be posted until next week.

  10. #10
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    Surfing comparison

    I am relatively new to the mtb community and this forum as well. I have been reading some of these posts about closures and restrictions and wonder what is the primary reason behind alienating mtbers? Is it a hazardous issue for other trail users or is it an environmental protection thing? Quite honestly, any etiquette that I have learned on the trails is from observing other mtbers. Surely there are the occasional inconsiderate mtbers but I have seen just about the same frequency of abuse from hikers and equestrians alike. So can somebody please explain to me why mtbers are targeted or being excluded?

    The whole Reynolds Park thing is foreign to me. I have never ridden there and can’t say that I will. Save the occasional weekend trip, Apex and Mathews/Winters are regulars for me before and after work. That’s why the following script hit home for me. It also made me think of my days of surfing back on the East Coast:

    “Alternate day zoning: a smart approach to handling conflict and multiple use,” discussed the option of providing alternate day zoning at some heavily used parks in Jefferson County, such as Apex and Mathews/Winters”

    I grew up surfing in VA Beach. If you have ever been there, you know that the surfing community is large and the opportunity is not. Defining the opportunity means quality waves are sporadic and some of the best breaks are condensed by city officials to protect recreational beach goers, especially during the overcrowded tourism months. What you end up getting is several hundred surfers fighting over choice waves and this can be more dangerous than allowing the line up to spread out along the oceanfront. Once, I had to kick out of a wave due to another surfer dropping in on me and another trying to duck beneath the wave I was riding. At any rate, there was a collision that involved me getting a skeg stuck in my thigh opening up a gash that was 6” long and 2” deep.

    My point is this referencing the aforementioned quote, providing alternate day zoning at trails like Apex and Mathews/Winters will do nothing but increase the hazard. In effect, mtbers will be forced to choose specific days to ride that will increase the mtbing population on those days. As well, more trail abuse will probably occur with the increased rider population on those limited days. As it stands now, unlimited riding allows the population to spread out at random.

    I loved surfing and there is nothing in my mind that can replace it. However, I have grown to love mtbing and one thing I like about it best is that you don’t have to fight the crowds like I did surfing back in VA Beach. Sure, it was hard to find parking at Green Mtn Wed night. But at most, I think I only ran into other trail users about once every 15 minutes. Limiting the days we can ride will ultimately change the singletrack into to single file. Much worse if all of this continues to develop is that certain localism will evolve to the degree that it occurs on the West Coast in surfing. Surfers there make claim to their local breaks by vandalizing your car or much worse…you.

    I don’t know how many mtbers are out there in the community or that visit CO for this purpose. But my guess is that it is a small minority in comparison to other trail users or at least has little voice when it comes to politics. How bout this, does anybody think recruiting the mtb corporate world could do some good? By mtb corporate world I mean the bike, parts and clothing manufacturers. Ultimately, one would think they stand the most to lose if the opportunity becomes limited. Just a thought. The surfing community is always faced with similar issues and operations such as Surfrider who has the backing of the surfing Corp world, has does some good.

    Right now, it is difficult to see that far into the future because for the most part, the mtbing community has relatively easy access to trails and use. But it just takes one Reynolds Park to set the precedent.

  11. #11
    Your bike sucks
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    Interesting.

    I can think of a few reasons that the info you got was different than what I was told. Maybe it's a timing issue. I don't want to guess.

    I will find out on Monday.

    That's all I can do for now.

  12. #12
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    Thanks

    Thanks for any updates you can provide; I really look forward to hearing back from you. Please note that this message was sent from Mr. LaBreche, not the Commissioners.

    Although in this most recent email Mr. LaBreche simply states "the decision stands," he noticeably fails to address any of the legitimate concerns raised by our community, including: why he believes it is appropriate, or necessary, to violate the Trails Use Action Plan; why Jefferson County's Board of County Commissioners formally adopted the Trails Use Action Plan in 1996 if it can be breached by a "task force" without explanation, need, or public forum; what resolutions can be enacted to correct the community outreach inadequacies in this instance and future instances; or offer protections against the dangerous precedents set in motion by the Reynolds Park Management Plan that affect all trail user groups...

    (... including the obvious benefits derived to homeowners living next to Reynolds Park at the expense of all trail users. LaBreche and company say they are concerned that JCOS parks are overcrowded, yet they want us to believe it’s a good idea to make Reynolds Park parking lot smaller for "aesthetic reasons"? What is going on here?)

    The bottom line is: There is an extremely reasonable compromise available that provides a "win-win" solution to all user groups without violating the Trails Use Action Plan: Delay the closure of the park's existing trails until its Region Trail is built and opened to bicyclists. This good-sense solution also happens to be extremely easy to implement.

    When Mr. LaBreche instead ignores this solution, and seems to prefer to break rules from the only document that protects the interests of all user groups fairly -- in spite of the reasonable and obvious compromise being requested by us and available to him -- how can our community trust Mr. LaBreche or the Trail Use Task Force to address our needs without bias now, or in the future?

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