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  1. #1
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    Wompatuck Riders: Please Read!

    If you ride/hike/run/enjoy Wompatuck SP please take the time to read this, we’re looking for your help. I’m an active member of SeMass NEMBA as the VP for Wompatuck, member of FOW as the Trails representative, and sit on the FOW Trail Committee discussed below. When healthy (injured this year) I ride Wompatuck 2-4 times per week. I learned to MTB in Wompy over 15 years ago and continue to enjoy the park so Wompy is near and dear to me.

    As some of you may now some industrious individuals have cut several pieces of new trail & built new terrain features in Wompatuck this spring & summer. This has occurred without the blessing of DCR, NEMBA, or FOW (Friends of Wompatuck). Some may refer to this as “rogue” building; I’ll let you make up your minds on this matter, I’m not here to pass judgment.

    That said, DCR is under some serious pressure right now to resolve this issue i.e. prevent further building of unauthorized trails/features. Recent DCR regulations have greatly increased the paperwork burden required to maintain the existing trail network and reroute/cut trail as deemed necessary or as desired by DCR. FOW has reconvened our Trail Committee to assist Wompatuck’s park supervisor with this process which will include permit applications to local conversation commissions in 3 towns, applications for maintenance of trails in wetland areas, coordination with DCR’s Natural Heritage program to name the big hurdles that must be overcome to continue work on Wompatuck’s trail network.

    Rather than just close these cut trails outright, DCR staff and the FOW Trail Committee want to reach out to these builders. Obviously they’re not afraid to put sweat equity into the places they ride and we would really like to harness this energy and incorporate this into approved trail projects in Wompatuck. These individuals, if amenable, would also provide perspective on the type of trail and terrain various people are interested in. Wompatuck’s DCR staff recognizes the danger of trail closures to all users, especially mountain bikers (think the Fells and Lynn Woods); once a precedent is established and environment is created where re-opening trails simply does not occur. This is exactly what DCR, FOW, and NEMBA want to avoid in Wompatuck.

    So if you’re involved or now who might be, encourage them to reach out. In the interest of remaining anonymous, feel free to PM me here or email at teusden at gmail. I will respect your privacy regardless of your level of involvement or distance from trail cutting that’s occurring.

    Tyler

    p.s. you can follow a more local discussion on the NEMBA forums @ http://nemba.org/forums/showthread.php?t=25820
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  2. #2
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    Who is putting pressure on the DCR? Did someone get hurt in there or something?

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by wibbly wobbly
    Who is putting pressure on the DCR? Did someone get hurt in there or something?
    Pressure is coming from higher up in DCR's main office. Rogue trails have never been legal in DCR's/MDC's eyes but had been tolerated in some circumstances and locations in the past. However recent internal regulations passed by DCR have seriously tightened up the process for installation & maintenance of trails for various reasons including but not limited to wetlands conservation, natural heritage area protection, protected species habitats, archeological sites, etc. etc. Basically they're (DCR) saying abide by the regulations that govern us (DCR), they can't be simply ignored

    This process isn't limited strictly to Wompatuck or SeMass, it's statewide to my knowledge so I don't expect any MA riders/trail users to start hearing less on this topic anytime soon.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  4. #4
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    I'm not plugged in to the politics, but I know for a fact the powers that be care less than zero about the place and all the different groups that use it.

    Somebody must have said something or something must have happened to make them take notice. I can understand if there are liability issues, but it would be a shame if this was all just people on a power trip.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by wibbly wobbly
    I'm not plugged in to the politics, but I know for a fact the powers that be care less than zero about the place and all the different groups that use it.
    I'll respectfully disagree here; being somewhat "plugged into the politics" in my opinion some (maybe not all) DCR staff care greatly about Wompatuck & other land they manage for the state. I can't speak for all staff so both of us could be correct to varying degrees.

    Quote Originally Posted by wibbly wobbly
    Somebody must have said something or something must have happened to make them take notice. I can understand if there are liability issues, but it would be a shame if this was all just people on a power trip.
    I'm very confident this couldn't be further from the truth (no offense intended). DCR staff came to us (FOW & NEMBA) and said we noticed these activities taking place, what do you recommend for a course of action to contact these users and strike some form of middle ground. Again I can't speak for other DCR supervisors & staff, but the staff @ Wompy are very active trail users in the park and ride/hike the park on a close to daily basis.
    If DCRs goal was to pull a power trip I wouldn't have taken the time to post this information to solicit information, it would've been a complete waste of my time. The trails/features simply would've been taken out of use without any consult to various groups. That type of situation is exactly what we're trying to avoid by establishing a dialogue with users.

    I hope this comes across as calm forum posting is often difficult write as non-confrontational which is how this is intended. I'm just trying to share information that I'm fortunate enough to be privy too. If anything is true in this situation it's that I can't stress enough how positive the MTB communities' relationship is with Wompatuck & the DCR staff that manage the park which is why they've come to us and why we're putting effort into finding middle ground.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  6. #6
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    What exactly does "middle ground" mean...? Maybe you've reached out enough so they will stop building and hopefully "middle ground" means the existing trails stay...

    Would also like to point out that some of the CC races that are held at Wompy produce much more damage to the trails than any of the new trails built... just sayin'.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by BongoWIT
    What exactly does "middle ground" mean...? Maybe you've reached out enough so they will stop building and hopefully "middle ground" means the existing trails stay...
    Middle ground in my mind means trying to find a way to incorporate trails/features that the users I've been trying to reach out too are obviously interested in while accomplishing this via official channels. This means the trails are constructed would be constructed with the blessing of park management. Frankly the only thing stopping DCR from closing any of the crop of trails/features that have popped up is their desire to work with us, again getting back to the solid relationship riders are fortunate enough to have with Wompy staff. FWIW I have been in touch with a few individuals who have been involved with the terrain mentioned in my OP and they seem to be keen to get involved.

    Quote Originally Posted by BongoWIT
    Would also like to point out that some of the CC races that are held at Wompy produce much more damage to the trails than any of the new trails built... just sayin'.
    As a member of the crew that puts on the race (which funds FOW & therefore maintenance of the trail network in Wompy) I'll respectfully disagree. Yes a popular race (over 400 racers last year) puts a lot of tires on a network in short order, however the race directors and other responsible for putting on the event put in thousands of man hours every year to maintain the trails in the park as well as repair any damage that may occur. The various people responsible for the race over the years are also responsible for expanding the trail network in Wompy in a huge way; while not responsible for all expansion the network in Wompy has almost doubled in the past 10-15yrs. This is something all users are able to enjoy year round.

    The above aside, the issue of the building I mentioned goes beyond trail maintenance as I mentioned above. There are now hefty restrictions in place on earth moving on state land, especially in areas designated as wetlands (essentially all of Swampatuck), areas marked for Natural Heritage reasons by the state, as well as endangered species habitats & archeological sites. As I tried to describe in my OP there are a lot of potential barriers to building; however if the right processes are followed these trails installed via the proper avenues have a chance to exist and be enjoyed. Otherwise rouge trails could be closed at a wave of DCRs hand b/c they weren't approved and ran into any one of the restrictions I just mentioned or simply b/c DCR doesn't want a trail through that piece of land. Such things happen on a regular basis in other parks in the region (Foxboro, Blue Hills, etc.)
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  8. #8
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    FOW were the ones that built Pine Run and cut off the old trail right? Or was that NEMBA? Or are they effectively the same?

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by wibbly wobbly
    FOW were the ones that built Pine Run and cut off the old trail right? Or was that NEMBA? Or are they effectively the same?
    Pine Run was a FOW effort, specifically the race director for Landmine drove the effort behind that trail project. DCR and NEMBA were both involved at a sweat equity level, DCR approved the trail obviously prior to construction but FOW flagged the initial route. DCR had wanted to close the old switchback trail for several years since they felt it followed too much of a fall line route and was becoming more susceptible to water damage so they managed that effort with their staff.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

  10. #10
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    Same people that did some maintenance on the other side near the old government area?

    Are there regular meetings about this stuff?

  11. #11
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    any updates on this?

    When/Where does FOW meet?

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by wibbly wobbly
    any updates on this?
    Yup, please see http://www.nemba.org/forums/showthre...292#post185292. We're still just in the baby steps phases but as mentioned we have a plan of attack going forward which is great.

    When/Where does FOW meet?
    Typically 3rd Monday of every month @ 7pm in the visitors center, open to any FOW member or those interested.
    Quote Originally Posted by turnerbikes
    in fact for trail type bikes I am tired of QR roady shite in general. Lets move on.

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