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  1. #1
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    So we lost Summey Cove. Now what?

    I set up a meeting with the local USFS brass to discuss these "new and more excellent trails". They want me to bring a list of possible connector trails to make loops and access outstanding features.

    So I put it to you, where do you want new trails in PNF? Keep it short and sweet.

    The Trail strategy meetings concluded that a new trail providing a loop opportunity off the top of Laurel Mtn toward Big Creek. We know what is already there, so let's move on.

    I would like to see a single track connector off the top of Bracken Mtn heading toward Cedar Rock(ish). They also mentioned a connector from 475c to the Northslope Trail.

    This not meant to be a long winded argument about trail types, user groups, or logging. Its really more of a wish list.

    Where do you want new trail in Pisgah.
    Last edited by 2bfluid; 09-30-2013 at 06:57 PM.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

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  2. #2
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    You asked for it, so here it is off the top of my head:

    Any and all new trail construction that is narrow, tight, technical, and not flow-y, pump track style-although some of that is fine too, just NOT ALL OF IT.

    That said:

    The entire already approved Baldwin Gap project.
    Green's Lick to Lower Sidehill.
    Explorer to Lower Sidehill.
    Lower sidehill to Spencer Branch.
    Lower Trace to Laurel Mountain.
    Pilot Rock to Squirrel.
    Laurel Mountain to Laurel Creek.
    Cove Creek to 276 to Club Gap.
    Daniel to Long Branch.
    The entire Davidson River corridor.
    Kuykendall campground to Butter Gap.
    Daniel Ridge to Flat Laurel.
    Flat Laurel to Farlow.

    Personally, though, I'd rather see the money and effort spent on quality re-routes of some of the mega-blown-out trails like Black or upper avery. That's more important environmentally and has just as much potential fun factor if done right.

    How's that for a start?

  3. #3
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    Re: So we lost Summey Cove. Now what?

    That's a great start. Reroutes, reclassifications, and the blown out sections are important but for a different conversion at a different time.

    Thanks for your input, it's appreciated.
    He/she who works the trails does so in their own image.

    Speed just slows me down...

  4. #4
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    Route Kitzuma into an all singletrack loop
    and ditto all of Mike's suggestions.

  5. #5
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Wishlist?

    I'd like to see more trails on the north/west side of the BRP around Old Fort, Little Switzerland area.
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  6. #6
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    Greens lick to lower sidehill would be great!
    UGG boots will germinate Paris Hilton like intellect in your soles!

  7. #7
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    A legal single track descent off of Bent Creek Gap into Mills River.
    My one says BRAP!

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by mopartodd View Post
    Wishlist?

    I'd like to see more trails on the north/west side of the BRP around Old Fort, Little Switzerland area.
    Agreed, I'm guessing this is the Ranger District we're talking about though. For a true back woods Pisgah experience - the Old Fort area is now closer for me than the Ranger District.
    My one says BRAP!

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by plume View Post
    A legal single track descent off of Bent Creek Gap into Mills River.
    Excellent!
    ...and a legal single track descent into Bent Creek from Bent Creek Gap.

  10. #10
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    don't know the area well enough to contribute much, but fwiw two of my favorite descents in PNF are the "mega blown out" sections of upper avery and black. and yes, i've ridden them within the past month so i am aware of their current condition.

    that being said, there's oodles of potential around kitsuma/heartbreak area that's much less built than the ranger area. might also be nice to see some things go in SW of brevard . . . again, lots of untapped potential.

  11. #11
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    I agree with the Green's Lick to Lower Sidehill and Bent Creek to Mills River. Every time I ride down Green's Lick, I feel like I left a lot of descending on the table.

  12. #12
    thecentralscrutinizer
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    Quote Originally Posted by plume View Post
    Agreed, I'm guessing this is the Ranger District we're talking about though. For a true back woods Pisgah experience - the Old Fort area is now closer for me than the Ranger District.
    Oh, that makes a difference then. Thanks for clearing that up. I haven't been that far west in some time either. All of our trips have been to the central mtn. area. Would love to hit the trails around Brevard though.
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  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by carverboy View Post
    Greens lick to lower sidehill would be great!

  14. #14
    drunken pirate
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    As Mike says building new trails does not make logical sense when we have such a huge backlog of needed maintenance on our existing trail inventory, unless, of course, you are a trail contractor or a special interest group . Maintaining and repairing what we already have should be more of a priority than building anything new.

    That being said, we need the Baldwin Gap project to be completed by the FS as agreed on.

    Lots of connectors were mentioned at the Trail Strategy meetings. Several people stressed the importance of the Summey Cove connector (access to Courthouse Falls when FR140 is closed) and since that trail is being closed I'd say we need a new connector to from 215 to the top of 140.

    Reopening the Courthouse Creek trail #128 was also mentioned at the Trail Strategy. Interestingly enough the FS questioned whether that trail was ever in the inventory at all
    More Trails, Not Less

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  15. #15
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    Did you know?

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    As Mike says building new trails does not make logical sense when we have such a huge backlog of needed maintenance on our existing trail inventory, unless, of course, you are a trail contractor or a special interest group . Maintaining and repairing what we already have should be more of a priority than building anything new.
    Speaking of nothing new... did you know that Summey Cove is one of the 'original' trails in Pisgah? Yes, it's on maps as far back as 1905 (oldest I know off) and is part of the network of trails that connected the early settlers of the upper Davidson River and Balsam Grove areas. Back then the cartpath stopped near the urrent day trout farm before you get to #140.

    So basically, the FS is recommending to close a part of one of the original foot-paths through Pisgah.
    many gears, some pies

  16. #16
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    It would be an interesting fight to argue the trail is a cultural resource (over 50 years) old. Cultural resources are protected by lay, thus why we sometimes have to move new trails away from something the archaeologist find in a flagline review.

  17. #17
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    I got the maps to prove it too... shown on EVERY SINGLE NFS/USGS map available dating back to the 1905 maps in the historical archive.
    many gears, some pies

  18. #18
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    That information should have been included in comment letters during the scoping and EA timeframe of the project. Once the line officer has submitted and Decision Notice and FONSI, it is really hard to reverse that decision. Some folks mentioned trying to appeal the decision, which is hard work and the chances are slim. Arguing that the FS did not properly consider the impacts on recreation would be the talking point, and siting the maps you have would serve as back up.

  19. #19
    drunken pirate
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    Interestingly, the FS (or perhaps some other group), has gone so far as to visibly mark a half dozen or so archeological sites around Newberry Creek. Normally they do not try to draw attention to these sort of sites but since Newberry Creek is going to be logged I'm guessing they wanted them marked so the loggers know what areas not to touch. It sure does not appear that the NFinNC is nearly as interested in historical and cultural resources or recreation as they are in making things as easy as possible for industry. As crazy as it sounds Fracking could be a real threat to our forests....

    I'm curious to hear more about 2bfluid's upcoming meeting. Brass makes is sound like he is meeting with the supervisors office. I hope that he continues to stress the impact that the Brushy Ridge and Courthouse Creek timber sales will have on recreation and I hope that he reminds them of the promise for new trails (including the ever important "connector" trails) as part of the Baldwin Gap timber sale.
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  20. #20
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    " It sure does not appear that the NFinNC is nearly as interested in historical and cultural resources or recreation as they are in making things as easy as possible for industry. "

    That is always the case with the USFS nationwide.

  21. #21
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    Now, with the federal government shutdown and resulting closure of front-country developed trail systems like FATS and Tsali, while remote trails in Pisgah like Summey Cove remain open, we can see another good reason why this closure is a *bad thing*. A vacation for the bureaucrats seems like no good reason for me not to be able to enjoy a trip through the forest (law enforcement is still working so be quiet about public safety).

    They're compartmentalizing recreation so they can have more control over it. The cynical side of me says it's a political tool or power play; the practical side says it's just true budget constraints and maybe some laziness. Maybe it's some of both?

    Regardless, we still need to appeal this, even if it has no practical chance at changing anything. I'm pretty sure this line of reasoning should not be cited, though.

  22. #22
    drunken pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by mtbwnc View Post
    Regardless, we still need to appeal this, even if it has no practical chance at changing anything. I'm pretty sure this line of reasoning should not be cited, though.
    Yes, we need to appeal this. Even if nothing becomes of the appeal we need to ensure that our voices are truly heard.

    I'm willing to put in work on it. Who else is interested in a fruitless appeal?
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  23. #23
    Big Mac
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    So we lost Summey Cove. Now what?

    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    Yes, we need to appeal this. Even if nothing becomes of the appeal we need to ensure that our voices are truly heard.

    I'm willing to put in work on it. Who else is interested in a fruitless appeal?
    What sort of work is involved in an appeal?

  24. #24
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    I feel like doing this in the open is the best way to encourage participation.

    So, I've created a document in which we can start on an appeal:
    https://docs.google.com/document/d/1...it?usp=sharing

    Anyone can view this and comment on it. Anyone interested in helping to write it, let me know (pm?) and I'll add you as an editor. (You'll need a Google account). We'll see where it goes, and if it's worth submitting we'll do it.

    At this point, I don't know who the representative party would be - but it needs to be someone who "provided comments or otherwise expressed interest in a particular proposed action by the close of the formal notice and comment period".
    Last edited by mtbwnc; 10-05-2013 at 08:31 AM. Reason: suggest PM

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by mbmb65 View Post
    What sort of work is involved in an appeal?
    According to the document:
    Quote Originally Posted by National forests in North Carolina
    Those who provided comments or otherwise expressed interest in a particular proposed action by the close of the formal notice and comment period may appeal this decision pursuant to 36 CFR 215.13. Appeals must meet content requirements of 36 CFR 215.14.
    So, we need to find someone who commented or "expressed interest" to submit the appeal. Also, we must look up the requirements in that code and adhere to those. Let's get researching!

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