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  1. #1
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    Game Lands Trail Closures (X-posted in Save the Trails)

    What's the story with Game Lands in PA? I've heard several popular MTB trails have been closed by the State Game Commission to all but hunters, even outside of hunting season, putting a real dent in the availability of legal trails in PA.

    Is this true? If so, what is the reasoning behind off-season closures (I can understand closing trails during shootin' season)? What, if anything, are local advocacy groups doing about this, and what has the Game Commission's response been to efforts (if any) to reopen trails to MTBs?

    Thanks,

    Drew
    Last edited by Drewdane; 02-06-2004 at 06:37 PM. Reason: Argyle Socks

  2. #2
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    Well Drew...

    Quote Originally Posted by Drewdane
    What's the story with Game Lands in PA? I've heard several popular MTB trails have been closed by the State Game Commission to all but hunters, even outside of hunting season, putting a real dent in the availability of legal trails in PA.

    Is this true? If so, what is the reasoning behind off-season closures (I can understand closing trails during shootin' season)? What, if anything, are local advocacy groups doing about this, and what has the Game Commission's response been to efforts (if any) to reopen trails to MTBs?

    Thanks,

    Drew

    I don't know the specifics but for some time State Gamelands have been closed to bikers in certain areas at certain times. To date I've not seen any good explanation as to why the restrictions have gone into effect.

    I'm really not suprised that this is happening. First off when a perceived conflict of interest arises between interest groups the party with more clout will typically get there way, regardless if that way is founded in reason. IMO PA mountain bikers are very poorly organized. Where I live in Potter Co it is the snowmobilers and ATVers with the clout and they get their way when it comes to trail accesses, maintenance and related issues.

    Another potential issue arrises when mountain bikers are perceived as something most of us are really not. For example. Take your average 55 year old PA hunter whose money (through hunting license purchases) has helped to keep hunting lands viable, sees the cover of the latest MTB mag; some 14 year old kid launching a 45 pound motorcycle w/o engine off of some plywood stunt at the Red Bull Rampage. I mean come on! Lets get it together people. If I were going out to the woods to hunt this is not what I would want to contend with. If we expect to share our dwindling forests with other interest groups we've got to start to portray mountain bikers in a better light; or at least in a light that accurately reflects what most bikers are all about.

    Whose ready to organize?

    Mike

  3. #3
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    From what I can gather, yes they have put restrictions on certain gamelands, but I am not sure how much they enforce it. I ride a set of gamelands in NEPA that does not get that much bike traffic and all the riding is done by locals. I passed a game warden twice this year. If their is a ban were I ride you would not know it. I believe they are targeting certain high use areas and really don't care about the majority of the gamelands that get very little riding traffic. My friends rides another set of lands in upper PA, he specifilly asked a warden what the deal and he told him, "be careful and don't litter"
    I think certain areas in the Jim Thorpe area are closed at certain times and they will enforce it, some of those gameland trails get heavy bike traffic. I am interested to see what other people have experienced concerning this issue. As I stated, I rode past the truck twice this year and not a word.

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    Re: Game Lands

    I read the restrictions on the PA GC web site and called to ask some questions from our local game warden and found out a few things; first, the ban is permanent, there are no plans to open additional trails/repeal the ban. Second, it was not a response to hunters complaining about MTB’ers, it’s simply to “protect and preserve natural resources”. However, this brilliant idea was not thought up in PA, it is a mandate from the Federal Government to any state agency that receives grants from them. I’m sure that the U.S. Gov’t is not saying “keep mt. bikes off game lands”. I think it is the Game Commission’s best idea to “show” that they are proactive about land conservation/protection. I wish those pin-heads would have thought of something else to use as a “show” of their environmental policy!

    I read over the restriction, and asked my wife to look at it as well (she is a lawyer) hoping to find some loophole. I thought that I could still ride there if I had a hunting license, but the restriction states that you can only ride on approved routes (dirt roads). I got hung up on the sentence that says “unless legally engaged in hunting” and thought that I could claim I was “scouting” for the upcoming hunting season. However, the “unless legally engaged in hunting” refers to the ban on riding the approved routes during hunting season, and not to the fact that we have to stay on the approved routes.

    I even asked why they did not try to impose a licensing or land use fee, and was told that they tried that with the ATV crowd. The problem was that once the ATV’ers were paying for land use they started demanding that their fees went to fund new ATV trails, etc.

    I am still really pissed about the whole thing! I have written 3 letters (1 to the GC and 2 to my state rep.) but I truly think there are just not enough serious mtb’ers in PA to raise a stink about it.

  5. #5
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    PA is where old people go to die...

    I guess there are plenty of other legal trails around PA that folks have to ride that it has not caused a big stir. Either that or mtn bikers just aren't organized, there's not enough of them, or they just don't care. There are hundreds of game land preserves throughout PA but I don't know how many of them contain singletrack.

    IMO, PA could be one of the very best places in the world to ride. It has the natural resouces, the terrain, and enough unemployed people to make it happen. They could rake it in from tourism, much like Moab, BC, Western NC and WV. Especially in the really depressed areas in the eastern half (former coal country). But PA is a place that caters to old folks. The state keeps aging and my guess is that health care is one of the largest industries there. It's a gold mine if you're a doctor and want to set up a practice in some small low-cost area catering to geriatrics. But to change the way things are done, to modernize the state, forget it. I mean, beer and liquor is still sold separately in state-sponsered stores. I gave up and moved the hell out of there. Beautiful area, though, with some great riding and much potential.


    Quote Originally Posted by Friar
    I read the restrictions on the PA GC web site and called to ask some questions from our local game warden and found out a few things; first, the ban is permanent, there are no plans to open additional trails/repeal the ban. Second, it was not a response to hunters complaining about MTB’ers, it’s simply to “protect and preserve natural resources”. However, this brilliant idea was not thought up in PA, it is a mandate from the Federal Government to any state agency that receives grants from them. I’m sure that the U.S. Gov’t is not saying “keep mt. bikes off game lands”. I think it is the Game Commission’s best idea to “show” that they are proactive about land conservation/protection. I wish those pin-heads would have thought of something else to use as a “show” of their environmental policy!

    I read over the restriction, and asked my wife to look at it as well (she is a lawyer) hoping to find some loophole. I thought that I could still ride there if I had a hunting license, but the restriction states that you can only ride on approved routes (dirt roads). I got hung up on the sentence that says “unless legally engaged in hunting” and thought that I could claim I was “scouting” for the upcoming hunting season. However, the “unless legally engaged in hunting” refers to the ban on riding the approved routes during hunting season, and not to the fact that we have to stay on the approved routes.

    I even asked why they did not try to impose a licensing or land use fee, and was told that they tried that with the ATV crowd. The problem was that once the ATV’ers were paying for land use they started demanding that their fees went to fund new ATV trails, etc.

    I am still really pissed about the whole thing! I have written 3 letters (1 to the GC and 2 to my state rep.) but I truly think there are just not enough serious mtb’ers in PA to raise a stink about it.

  6. #6
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    It sounds like the Game Commission needs to hear from those of us who are concerned about this. I'll be writing my letter soon. It seems as though they lack knowledge that this is a low impact activity if we engage in it responsibly.

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    gamelands closures

    The game lands were closed about 2 years ago, and it's a done deal. Before the closures, the game commission help public comment discussions, but from what I heard most of those "discussions" were one-sided complaints by hunters against bikers, fueled by isolated examples of unauthorized trail and stunt building. KMBA was apparently organized primarily to contest the closures (www.bikekmba.org - but there has been no activity on those forums for almost a year). There was a letter writing campaing by both mountain bikers and equestrians, who were also affected by the closures, but they were massively overpowerd by the hunting lobby.

    PA does have many other places to ride - Michaux, French Creek, Blue Marsh, Mt. Gretna, York County parks, and that's just south-central PA. The big hurt is that some of the best trails esp. in the Jim Thorpe area were hit.

    Only in PA would they try to keep drinking down by making you buy beer by the case, and then try to increase revenue by opening state-owned liquor stores inside grocery stores. Still a great place to ride, an home to Yuengling and Troegs.

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    I suspect that most people have so many other area's they ride they just don't care about the gamelands. I know people who ride in Jim Thorpe and they are not happy. I still ride the Gameland once and a while. Most in Northeast PA get very little traffic.

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    I agree with you Frank....

    I just moved to the Pocono area last March and had just heard about the Gameland closings. It seems like everyone is now just complaining about it, wondering what it is they can do. Where were they 2 years ago? Yes, it is unfare to close such a vast amount of trails to not only bikers but also equestrians, but to sit on your ass instead of fighting it....too little too late now. Don't hate me now. I'm just stating my opinion and from what I've read on the KMBA site, there was a lot of fighting and arguing amongst IMBA reps and Club leaders than MTBers and equestrians against the PA Game Commission.

    James

    Quote Originally Posted by frank
    I suspect that most people have so many other area's they ride they just don't care about the gamelands. I know people who ride in Jim Thorpe and they are not happy. I still ride the Gameland once and a while. Most in Northeast PA get very little traffic.
    A good friend will come bail you out of jail.
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    I believe their was a lack of information on what was "really happening". I must admit that I learned most of the facts after the ban was already in place...to late.

  11. #11
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    True. True.

    Quote Originally Posted by frank
    I believe their was a lack of information on what was "really happening". I must admit that I learned most of the facts after the ban was already in place...to late.
    I guess the only thing to do now is to preserve what trails PA does have to offer and show "others" that we do care about our impact on the trails etc. Seems like the PA Game Commission and the PA hunters got what they wanted. Odd that they didn't or wouldn't consider a user fee for non hunters is weird. The money would've gone to preserving the Gamelands. Oh well, there I go beating the dead horse again.

    Frank, seeing as I'm "new" to the area, I am ambivoulous to what trails are in the NEPA area, or rather, I would like to ride with someone who is familiar with trails in NEPA. You game come the warm weather? Let me know...and if anyone else out there would like to show this new PA resident around shoot me a PM or an email.

    James
    A good friend will come bail you out of jail.
    But a true friend will be sitting next to you saying
    "Damn... we fcuked up!"

  12. #12
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    Good job! all the MTB'ers are leaving or just don't care.

    Quote Originally Posted by Friar
    I am still really pissed about the whole thing! I have written 3 letters (1 to the GC and 2 to my state rep.) but I truly think there are just not enough serious mtb’ers in PA to raise a stink about it.
    Amen to that bro! Where the heck are all the MTB'ers in PA anyway? Up here in Scranton, attempting to find fellow MTB'ers to ride with is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It's crazy. I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment though. Nobody is serious enough to do anything about it. If I knew of some riders who were looking to put something together, I'd be more than happy to jump on that campaign.

  13. #13
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    I ride and am in Long Pond (near the Pocono Raceway)

    I moved to PA from NJ last March. Being fairly new to the area a riding partner who knows the area trails very well would be nice. Would you be up to showing me around? I hear there is a nice trail system up in Carbondale. As well as Pohopoco near the race track and Camelback, and Glen Park in Stroudsburg. Shoot me an email or PM if you'd like to hoook up for a ride. I post a lot on the singlespeed board but can be found on General as well as Passion too.

    James

    Quote Originally Posted by rkohler
    Amen to that bro! Where the heck are all the MTB'ers in PA anyway? Up here in Scranton, attempting to find fellow MTB'ers to ride with is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. It's crazy. I think you hit the nail on the head with your comment though. Nobody is serious enough to do anything about it. If I knew of some riders who were looking to put something together, I'd be more than happy to jump on that campaign.
    A good friend will come bail you out of jail.
    But a true friend will be sitting next to you saying
    "Damn... we fcuked up!"

  14. #14
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    Depending on where you are at, there are several groups in PA- they are just pretty spread out making organization tough. I am president of Valley Mountain Bikers (bikevmb.com) around the Allentown and we have about 90 paid members, with about 600 more through affiliations with other area clubs. We do some events with the Rattling Creek Singletrackers in North-central PA, and some with YAMBA, but as a whole, the closures of SGL are more an annoyance than anything else. The Lehigh Valley area easily has a dozen good-sized riding areas within an hour without needing to rely on gamelands. My only gripe is the American Standard was the trail I cut my teeth on, and I had usually gone up there at the beginning and end of each season to gauge how my riding had progressed- now that is not an option. If you are interested in organizing, find your local IMBA club, join them, and get together with your respective reps (Joe Transue for E. PA, Frnak Mcguire for Central, and Karl Rosengrath for west...contact info on IMBA's page) to help the situation out. the game commission is open for letters and comments on a per-area basis, with the final word up tot he local land manager, so if you are interested in something specific, do the research and bring it to your local club for action. Or shoot me an e-mail and I will help you out or at least point you in the right direction. e-mail is dankilling@bikevmb.com

    Peace and ride on.....

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Drewdane
    What's the story with Game Lands in PA? I've heard several popular MTB trails have been closed by the State Game Commission to all but hunters, even outside of hunting season, putting a real dent in the availability of legal trails in PA.

    Is this true? If so, what is the reasoning behind off-season closures (I can understand closing trails during shootin' season)? What, if anything, are local advocacy groups doing about this, and what has the Game Commission's response been to efforts (if any) to reopen trails to MTBs?

    Thanks,

    Drew
    The reason, as I understand it, is the threatened loss of federal funding to the tune of $7million a year. The funding threatened to be cut comes from a federal tax on sporting equipment and named Pittman-Robertson.
    The thing I'm trying to find out is who in Washington threatened to cut off the funding unless the PGC changed the rules and regulations to keep us off the trails.
    Or did the PGC just use that as an excuse to not have to manage the trail usage by non-hunters?
    In either case, it seems to be an issue of unequal access to the COMMONWEALTH of PA public lands. And yes! they are public! The PGC is a STATE agency with powers derived from the consent of the citizens of PA. Some of the PGCommissioners need to be put in their place and have their place explained to them in strong language by the majority of the PA residents. But, by being a commission of APPOINTED, not elected officials, they are not answerable to you and me and any mountain bike club in the world.

    Here, read this to get an understanding of how a pissed off Washington fascist can change the rules that directly effect our lives.


    Published on Tuesday, May 4, 2004 by the Baltimore Sun
    Government's New Tool in the Drug War: A Muzzle
    by Steve Chapman

    CHICAGO - For decades, supporters of the war on drugs have been losing the debate about the policy, even as they continue to lock up hordes of harmless offenders. But prohibitionists have a new tactic to help them get the best of the argument: Don't let the other side speak.

    One day last year, Ernest Istook noticed an ad on the Washington Metro transit system with an unusual message: "Enjoy better sex! Legalize and tax marijuana." Most people who ride the bus or the subway manage to absorb all sorts of little surprises on their daily commute, but not Mr. Istook. He wrote a letter to the local transit agency to say it had "exercised the poorest possible judgment" in running the ad at "a time when the nation and the Washington, D.C., area in particular suffer from chronic substance abuse."

    Normally a complaint like that would have no effect. Mr. Istook, however, is not only a Republican member of the House of Representatives from Oklahoma but also chairman of the Transportation and Treasury Appropriations Subcommittee.

    He placed a provision in a funding bill reducing federal funds for Metro by $92,500, as punishment for the ad, and denying money to any transit system that accepts ads advocating "the legalization or medical use" of marijuana or other illicit drugs. And it passed. Transit agencies across the country now have to choose between tolerating open debate and getting a total of $3.1 billion in federal funds.

    So your local bus or subway system is free to run all sorts of ads and public service announcements. It is free to post lurid signs warning of the evils of smoking pot or snorting cocaine. But if it gets a nickel from the federal government, it may not allow any message raising doubts about the wisdom of the drug war. This is the Bill O'Reilly approach to policy disputes: Shut up!

    Already the policy is having an effect. The group that ran the original ad, Change the Climate, recently tried to buy space on Washington buses for an ad with the caption: "Marijuana laws waste billions of taxpayer dollars to lock up nonviolent Americans." But even simple statements of fact run afoul of the censor's decree. Metro refused, saying it couldn't afford to risk the loss of $170 million in federal money.

    The transit system does, however, display messages by the Partnership for a Drug-Free America urging parents to "set the rules and expect your kid to live drug-free," as well as ads dealing with issues such as abortion, the Iraq war and the alleged failures of the U.S. Department of Education.

    Upon being rebuffed, Change the Climate filed a lawsuit, supported by the American Civil Liberties Union, arguing that the ban violates the First Amendment guarantee of freedom of expression. On Wednesday, a federal judge in Washington hearing the case got to consider a variety of preposterous rationalizations for the law.

    One is that the government is not obligated to subsidize unwholesome messages. Congress, the Justice Department argued, "has an undeniable interest in ensuring that no federal funds are used, directly or indirectly, to facilitate activity that Congress does not wish to promote." But in this case, the ad would not have cost the government money - Metro would have made $91,875 from renting the space.

    The government lawyer also insisted that Congress had good reason to ban such ads because they "might encourage the use of drugs, which is illegal at this time." But the ad didn't say people should do something illegal. In fact, by showing a picture of people behind bars, the ad might even deter violators.

    The point of the ad was to change the law. To Ernest Istook and John Ashcroft, though, any suggestion that a law be changed amounts to incitement to violate it. In their addled version of democracy, you can advocate the enactment of a ban but not its repeal.

    In the case of our drug laws, that sort of rule might be prudent, because their total failure makes them vulnerable to criticism. Such as the point made by Change the Climate, which says it's unfair to imprison people for using a largely benign drug that one of every three Americans has tried.

    To silence critics is an implicit concession by the government that the drug war is impossible to defend. Alas, you can't win a debate by silencing the other side, but you can lose one.

  16. #16
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    Pa Gc

    This is something that I have been dealing with since before the ban. The PA GC did hold open houses in the debate over the "right" to limit what trails could be closed, because damage to the "environment" caused by mountain bikes and horses. I went to the one held at Middle Creek and they had poster boards of some streem crossing that had gotten out of hand and was one of the worst areas I have ever seen. When I asked the Ranger where this was, he told me and I turned to my friend and he said we ride that, of matter of fact we had just been there..... When we confronted the ranger of when the pictures had been taken, he could not say for sure. The area had been bad, and I remember when someone had taken the time to redirect and armor the stream crossing with rocks and the area was better then ever. When we suggested to the rangers that we know of areas that could be fixed and could arrange for this to happen, we were told that "you" can't alter or build anything on State game lands. We insisted this would not be anything but natural improvments and could be supervised by them....they said no. This is when I realized that no matter what we said, riding on singletrack on state game land was done. The reason that they only wanted the "right" to close some trails was that they did not want to close them was that the Pittmen Roberts act that taxes firearms and ammunition (VERY BIG part of the income they need) requires access to the public to continues. My favorite trial is the Horseshoe around RT322 and is surounded by game land and Camp Mack. Since the ban, Camp Mack has been used very hard and the Boy Scouts only ask that you sign in at the ranger station. Since this increased use, the trails have taken a beating. In response to this the Boy Scouts did what made sense. They fixed it themselves. They moved trails, installed water bars and installed wooden bridges( with a really cool set of steps leading down to one) over creeks. Where water had drained and pooled they got the Kuboda out and filled it in and made the area better. This is getting kind of long, but the problem is that the PASGC does not want us or anybody other then hunters using this land. I remember thinking Golf coures were an arogent use of land....not anymore.

  17. #17
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    Here is my persepctive on the situation in the past and what may or may not happen. The complaints about mtn bikers about the PGC are valid in some respects. The PR fund is approx 10% of the commissions fund. i talked with the head of the PR fund and they really had no idea or never said that the money going to PA was threatened. He did state that the state could write a letter stating their problem, but that is all that he knew of. The open houses were comprable to a republic or democratic national convention. Those pictures were from 1996 after a rain storm. That doesn't mean there was no damage. So if there is true erosion or degredation issues then hunters should be limited to fire roads too? They never proved in any type of report of erosion on their trails. I don't argue that there wasn't problem spots like gretna but this all happens b/c they refused to have a system in place where users could be apart of the solution. Hunting groups would do a few plantings a year but conservation officers wouldn't admit that it's hard for them to get help. My point is not to bash hunters b/c they have saved a lot of land inthis state.

    Here's my criticisms or positive suggestions: all that has happened means absolutely nothing unless the mtn bike community bands together and speaks with one loud voice. The State represenative who was asking for a bill that would make the game commission report directly to the state was called by hunters and written by hunters 100:1 over mtn bikers. We're not going to get anything if everyone "just rides" The state organization was formed b/c their local spots were going to be taken away. once they were not allowed to ride their all hope was lost. We as a user group have to look beyond our own local trail and fight for access for someone across the state who you don't even know. We have to have clubs and increase their membership and keep people informed. Until we do that, all our rants and forum posting are just wasting key strokes. Every problem has a solution: contact your state imba rep, tell them your starting a club and get the word out. Challenge your local game lands manager and propose a detailed plan for a trail. If everything is done right they can't say no. This all effects everyone. it's ironic that they say it's erosion and trail issues, well now people ride other places and put increase impacts on other riding spots(camp mack) so someone just puts the responsibility on someone else.

    Sorry if i have offended anyone but the solution is with the mtn bikers not the hunting community. Until we unite all million plus people who ride bikes, your local park may be the only place you can ride or maybe not....................

    p.s a correction to some of the posts. 1. bikekmba.org is no longer used. We are completing a new state website www.keystonetrails.com/org which will be a clearinghouse for news/info.
    2. on the forums it wasn't imba reps and club leaders fighting, i was on a lot of the discussions and it was hunters who posed as mtn bikers and hunters who just stirred the pot and i took it. We had a state meeting in jan 04 like every year and had over 25 people there to share ideas events etc. Are we organized? yes to a degree, but 10 yrs from now we will ge a group to contend with. Put down your keyboards and let's unite!

    joe transue
    Eastern PA IMBA rep
    Last edited by Hackamo; 05-09-2004 at 06:02 AM.

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    To: joe transue

    joe transue
    Eastern PA IMBA re

    Since the trail closures in PA I have become an IMBA member, and would like to know what IMBA did, and is doing about this in PA. I don't remember seeing anything about PA in any of the news letters I got? I know the guys I ride with are willing to do just about anything to get back, just a small amount of trails in Jim Thorpe.

  19. #19
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    Jim Thorpe

    I heard Jim Thorpe had some of the best riding on the East Coast. I always wanted to ride there. It's not too far from NJ either, so maybe mtn bike clubs from NJ could join in the fight to get trails reopened.
    Does the IMBA have lawyers or lobbyists to help guide everyone through the process? What about Bikes Belong?
    The other option is to try and buy land to form a private mtn biking park. Land is relatively cheap in PA, and the folks up in NE did it with Vietnam. But I don't know how they pulled it off. They raised over $200K.

    If I had a lot of money I'll tell you there'd be a lot more trails around. Why can't I be a Wal-Mart heir? What the f do they do with all that money? 200K would be like a penny to you and me. I mean, if I was that loaded and 200K just fell out of my pocket, I wouldn't even bother to pick it up, because by the time it took me to gather it up I'd have made another 200K. One phone call and the SGC would be lining the trails with red carpet for bikers (not that I would want them to).
    ok, enough digression - it's Monday, and I have a fondness for PA, so that's my excuse.


    Quote Originally Posted by LititzDude
    joe transue
    Eastern PA IMBA re

    Since the trail closures in PA I have become an IMBA member, and would like to know what IMBA did, and is doing about this in PA. I don't remember seeing anything about PA in any of the news letters I got? I know the guys I ride with are willing to do just about anything to get back, just a small amount of trails in Jim Thorpe.

  20. #20
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    PA State Forests vs. State Game Land....

    It's horrible that bikers were "run out" of the Game Lands. Unfortunatley the number of mtb voices were vastly out numbered by those of the hunters. Face it, we live in a Democracy and decisions hinge not on right or wrong, good or bad, but rather on popularity.

    Fortunately PA has vast areas of State Forest that are fair game to bikers. Here in Potter Co. we have hundreds of thousands of acres of mountainous, desolate, State Forest that could easily accomidate the wildest dreams of any mountain biker. This County is already set up to host tourism in the form of hikers, xc-skiers, ATVers, snowmobilers, fishermen, and hunters. Those groups have been catered to by local agencies because they bring in cash to fuel the small,local economy. The amount of trails designated for use by those groups is huge. I wish I knew what it would take to develop this area for mountain biking. The current, local Forestry folks even seem to have a positive attitude towards mtb. The biggest problem I've come across is apathy Few bikers in this area are willing to put a foot forward to further develop the small (but high quality) trail system currently in place, let alone put this place on the map as the potential North Eastern US mtb mecca it could be. All the raw materails are here except for the bikers. (Our trails overgrow because there are simply not enough riders. The deer do the best job at keeping the trails open. Of last 100 days I've ridden myself I've seen: zero other riders; zero trash; a few loggers; countless deer, fox, turkey, porcupine, beaver; a few bear and coyote; one bobcat....needless ot say night rides are a bit spooky.)

    Often many say "Potter Co. is too far away". Funny. Every weekend this place is crawling with ATVers, snowmobilers, fishermen, and hunters from the Lancaster, Phila, Jersey and Delaware areas. They arrive by the hoardes to camp, swim, ride.... for entire weekends. I would have guessed bikers would have had a bit more gusto than those folks.

    If there are any riders or groups out there looking for some real opportunity, or at least a chance to see what this area has the potential to offer post a reply. Right now most of the local trails are geared toward aggressive xc. (I've got a XC-FR course set up on my land.)

    Mike
    Last edited by Miker J; 05-10-2004 at 08:35 PM. Reason: stuff........

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    Miker J. said,
    “I wish I knew what it would take to develop this area for mountain biking. The current, local Forestry folks even seem to have a positive attitude towards mtb. The biggest problem I've come across is apathy Few bikers in this area are willing to put a foot forward to further develop the small (but high quality) trail system currently in place, let alone put this place on the map as the potential North Eastern US mtb mecca it could be.”



    The 2000 census said there are 18,080 people in Potter County. We know only a small percentage of them are mountain bikers, you probably have less than a hundred bikers there, so don’t beat yourself up about not developing an extensive trail network or even stopping existing trails from getting grown in. I wonder if the local ATV, snowmobile, and horse riders’ trails were all built by those user groups (locals), or if they got funding for trail work from a tourism bureau or the state Bureau of Forestry. BoF may build some trails, but it’s not their M.O. to spend a lot of money publicizing them beyond the area. That’s more the bailiwick of the county tourism bureau. If you could hip them to how many tourism dollars come in to Plattekill NY or Mt. Snow, Vermont, maybe they’d get you to fine-tune a few loops, then start putting some ads in the bike magazines. I plan to be up there the last 3 days of June, hopefully we can discuss … and ride!

    MantraMan2000

    Quote Originally Posted by Miker J
    It's horrible that bikers were "run out" of the Game Lands. Unfortunatley the number of mtb voices were vastly out numbered by those of the hunters. Face it, we live in a Democracy and decisions hinge not on right or wrong, good or bad, but rather on popularity.

    Fortunately PA has vast areas of State Forest that are fair game to bikers. Here in Potter Co. we have hundreds of thousands of acres of mountainous, desolate, State Forest that could easily accomidate the wildest dreams of any mountain biker. This County is already set up to host tourism in the form of hikers, xc-skiers, ATVers, snowmobilers, fishermen, and hunters. Those groups have been catered to by local agencies because they bring in cash to fuel the small,local economy. The amount of trails designated for use by those groups is huge. I wish I knew what it would take to develop this area for mountain biking. The current, local Forestry folks even seem to have a positive attitude towards mtb. The biggest problem I've come across is apathy Few bikers in this area are willing to put a foot forward to further develop the small (but high quality) trail system currently in place, let alone put this place on the map as the potential North Eastern US mtb mecca it could be. All the raw materails are here except for the bikers. (Our trails overgrow because there are simply not enough riders. The deer do the best job at keeping the trails open. Of last 100 days I've ridden myself I've seen: zero other riders; zero trash; a few loggers; countless deer, fox, turkey, porcupine, beaver; a few bear and coyote; one bobcat....needless ot say night rides are a bit spooky.)

    Often many say "Potter Co. is too far away". Funny. Every weekend this place is crawling with ATVers, snowmobilers, fishermen, and hunters from the Lancaster, Phila, Jersey and Delaware areas. They arrive by the hoardes to camp, swim, ride.... for entire weekends. I would have guessed bikers would have had a bit more gusto than those folks.

    If there are any riders or groups out there looking for some real opportunity, or at least a chance to see what this area has the potential to offer post a reply. Right now most of the local trails are geared toward aggressive xc. (I've got a XC-FR course set up on my land.)

    Mike

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    Well i can't speak for the fourwheelers and stuff, but the PA game commission pays there salaries from the hunters, so automatically they are going to get preference, and keep in mind many people hunt from there atv's, so that will always get preference, becaues you kick out the atv's, hunting drops and so does the game land money. What i would like to see is states to offer a mtb license, have seasons you could ride and have your money go toward your right to ride and trail building. I'd ride and obey the laws they could set, and the state would surely be more in our corner if they were getting paid to do so.

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    Good job!

    The 2000 census said there are 18,080 people in Potter County. We know only a small percentage of them are mountain bikers, you probably have less than a hundred bikers there, so don’t beat yourself up about not developing an extensive trail network or even stopping existing trails from getting grown in. I wonder if the local ATV, snowmobile, and horse riders’ trails were all built by those user groups (locals), or if they got funding for trail work from a tourism bureau or the state Bureau of Forestry. BoF may build some trails, but it’s not their M.O. to spend a lot of money publicizing them beyond the area. That’s more the bailiwick of the county tourism bureau. If you could hip them to how many tourism dollars come in to Plattekill NY or Mt. Snow, Vermont, maybe they’d get you to fine-tune a few loops, then start putting some ads in the bike magazines. I plan to be up there the last 3 days of June, hopefully we can discuss … and ride!

    MantraMan2000[/QUOTE]


    I agree.

    I'm more than glad to show folks our local trails here (which have changed quite a bit in the last year) . I'm up by Denton Hill Ski area. An FYI. The last 3 days of June are a Mon thru Wed. (not a weekend). I'm off on Tuesdays. Just let me know if you want to ride and what type of riding you're into.

    Mike

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    Potter county is too far away when you have good trails within an hour....

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    Quote Originally Posted by dankilling
    Potter county is too far away when you have good trails within an hour....
    Moutainbiking is becoming something you drive long distances to do. It is like skiing. I want to be able to ride in to woods from my house (or close to it). I grew up in Newark, DE. A crappy little place but one that had 4 great place (within 15 minutes drive or 30 minute bike) to mountain bike. Many towns in Pa could be like that but they don't want it.

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