Sedona Mountain Bikers Need HELP With Forming A New Trail Management Plan
In Sedona we are having monthly meetings to gather information to formulate a new Trail Management Plan for the Coconino National Forest. We are in the public comment period of the process and we have a facilitator who works for the National Parks and is also employed by the RTCA to help us with the gathering of information to use in the formulation of a new trail plan.
We have had three meetings for far and the progress seems to be painfully slow, but that's the way it goes. I have posted the monthly meeting results for others to use if they have to go through a similar process in a location they enjoy mountain biking in and wonder what goes on at each meeting.
Having said all this I think it would be helpful for us to review a current Trail Management Plan already in effect from some other area like Jackson Hole. I spent a week in Jackson Hole this last summer and it was amazing to me how progressive your Forest Service has been in recent years with the adoption and expansion of your trail system. There must be something in writing addressing the progress going on in Jackson Hole.
I even got to experience how friendly your local community was in my numerous turn arounds hitch hiking up Teton Pass. I never waited more than ten minutes for a ride including my bike.
Does anyone have a link to a Forest Service Trail Management Plan they believe is a good example of the language that should be included in our new management plan.
Last edited by traildoc; 01-07-2013 at 08:18 PM.
TRAIL KUBUKI CORNDOGGER
That's weird. I thought those trails were poaches. Did you get tooled?
Nobody cares what kind of bike you ride.
Not sure what trails you are talking about. We have over one hundred and twenty-five trails in Sedona can you be more specific?
Originally Posted by TwistedCrank
In Jackson Hole it looks like you guys are busy with a Rivers Planning project. It looks like the dirt trail system is being left up to a non profit organization with the current blessing of the Forest Service.
We have no current financially viable non-profit in Sedona to help with the building of new trails and deal with the ongoing maintenance issues. It seems like areas like Jackson Hole, Bend, Downieville, Moab, etc. have strong non-profit organizations run by a large percentage of mountain bikers that decide the addition of new trails in their area, that the FS will allow, but doesn't have the resources to build.
Forest Service and Painfully Slow?
No...how can this be?
Everybody loves Sedona, especially the bike industry. Surely some monies can be found.
Originally Posted by traildoc
Where is IMBA on this? Surely IMBA would have an interest in Sedona and could rally the bike industry and get some press.
You should not be the ones actually writing the Travel Plan. That is their job. As a stakeholder your are there to provide input and maybe compromise on some conflicts w/ other stakeholders. Discuss things like impacts and rare species. Hopefully you have a mediator present.
Make sure to distinguish between Mechanized and Motorized, it sucks when bikes are considered the same as MX...and drive it home w/ the planner and the consultants.
Draw lines on the map for non-motorized and motorized, for use specific areas too, like Moab BLM w/ bike only, and ATV only areas. Give the hikers more of one area so you can have more of another.
W/ the USFS, the squeaky wheel gets the grease, just tell them what you want and say it loud. Back it up w/ use numbers, numbers of visitors, maybe motorized infractions, growth numbers, projections.
Is it the first round of public comments? Then they are looking for a direction for the Options.
Is the land you are wanting to build on all Forest Service or is there some mix of private and maybe BLM? Right now we are having better luck with BLM and private land owners than the Forest Service. If there is some BLM land it might be best to start there and build a positive partnership and track record first. Just a thought.
We have a very interesting dynamic going on in Sedona. First of all Sedona had about 100 miles of usr-built trails built by mountain bikers over the last fifteen years. For over eleven of those years the prior FS regime was opposed to being pro mountain biking.
The prior Coconino National Forest Plan did not address the needs of of the mountain bike community in the 1998 Amendment 12 documents dealing with trails in the Coconino National Forest.
In 1998 the mountain bike community did not share their existing inventory of mountain biking trails with the FS because they did not trust them to not decommission those trails or dumb down there character to a lesser skill level to ride them.
Between 1998 and about three years ago there was constant trail building going on to fill the needs of the mountain bike community's thirst for new trails that matched the skill level and bike technology level of the 5" and 6" travel bikes coming on the market.
So here we are in 2013 where the FS is using an outdated 1998 plan to deal with a 2013 reality. The FS has recieved a grant to bring in a facilitator (RTCA) to have monthly meetings to decide what the Sedona trail users want for a current and future trail system.
About three years ago the FS decided to bring in a number of trails from a mountain biker user built status to a system status. To date approximately 30 miles of the 100 mile inventory of mountain bike user built trails have been brought into a system status. The adoption of those thirty miles of trails has been great for the mountain bikers, hikers and trail runners. Since the majority of mountain biking trails are readily suitable for hikers and trail runners it is a win win situation.
Also a few of the adopted trails are suitable for equestrians, but for the most part equestrians need their own trail system separate from the mountain bikers. In Sedona the equestrians have routes to some of their own trails for their specific use, but those are normally neighborhood related trails that can't be easily accessed by other equestrians.
Anyway we have about 70 miles of non-adopted mountain bike user built trails that could easily be adopted into a system status, if there was the same will to do so as the previous 30 miles that have been adopted to date. That is where the new FS Trail Management Plan comes in.
The popularity of the 30 miles of adopted trails is over whelming, but as we all know there is the small group of trail haters that think the world is coming to an end that are opposed to any future adoption of the existing 70 miles of trails already being enjoyed by the mountain biking community, and their friends who are hikers and trail runners.
IMBA is involved with the process, but they are struggling with catching up with the history of trails in Sedona and dealing with a very passionate user group.
Anyway that is part of the soap opera going on in Sedona and hopefully the mountain bikers will be seen as a positive part of the growth of Sedona trail system rather than the negative part we are sometimes painted into.
Last edited by traildoc; 01-10-2013 at 08:32 PM.