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  1. #1
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    Roaring Run Natural Area

    RRNA is now officialy CLOSED to mointain biking. Please see the letters below and refrain from riding these trails. We are working with the local land manager to build new trails locally to help offset the loss of RRNA. Anyone interested in helping build new trails nearby please contact me.

    Thanks in advance
    John
    drnich@hotmail.com




    Dear Off-Road Cyclist,
    >
    > The trails at Roaring Run Natural Area in Forbes State Forest are now closed to biking and horseback riding. Below you will find a letter from Ed Callahan, District Forester for Forbes State Forest, which explains why this decision was made.
    >
    > We are disappointed that these exceptional trails are now closed to us; however, we encourage the mountain bike community to no longer ride these trails. We must respect the land manager's and state's decision. If we continue to ride closed trails we could create a negative image of our sport and undo the many hours that IMBA, PTAG, PORC and LHORBA have spent cultivating good relationships with bike-friendly land managers like Ed Callahan.
    >
    > We will continue to strive to create more mountain bike trails in Forbes State Forest and elsewhere in the region.
    >
    > Thank you for your cooperation and understanding in this matter.
    >
    > Sincerely,
    >
    > Mike Houck, LHORBA Forbes Representative
    >
    >Mike Mucker, LHORBA President
    >
    >Karl Rosengarth, Western PA IMBA Representative
    >
    >Maurice Tierney, PTAG Board Member
    >
    >Jeff Wuerthele , PORC President, PTAG Forbes State Forest Steward
    >
    >
    >
    >----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
    >
    >
    >
    >Letter from Mr. Callahan:
    >
    >The following decision affects many recreational users of the Forbes State Forest, so I am doing my best to get the word out. Some of you are more intimately affected than others.
    >
    >For some time there has been confusion over allowed uses in the Roaring Run Natural Area, of Forbes State Forest. The area is located between Rt. 31 and County Line Road in Westmoreland County. This area was officially designated a Natural Area, by the Environmental Quality Board, in April 1975. It features the protection of a complete mountain stream (Roaring Run) within its watershed (almost). It has also been designated by the PFBC as a Reptile and Amphibian Protection Area. Roaring Run itself is designated a Wilderness Trout Stream by the PFBC. Wilderness trout stream management is based upon the provision of a wild trout fishing experience in a remote, natural and unspoiled environment where man's disruptive activities are minimized. This option was designed to protect and promote native (brook trout) fisheries, the ecological requirements necessary for natural reproduction of trout, and wilderness aesthetics. The superior quality of these watersheds is considered an important part of the overall angling experience on wilderness trout streams. Therefore, all stream sections included in this program qualify for the Exceptional Value (EV) special protected water use classification, which represents the highest protection status provided by the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP).
    >
    >The Roaring Run Natural Area has been used by equestrian riders, and mountain bikers, for many years. These uses are not allowed according to natural area policy. The following link will take you to the "Natural Areas and Wild Areas" part of the Bureau of Forestry State Forest Resource Plan, which can be found in its entirety on our web site http://www.dcnr.state.pa.us/forestry...co.htm#natural. This part of the plan explains what Natural Areas are intended for, and also lists the guidelines governing these areas.
    >
    >Both of the aforementioned uses have been ignored in the past by our district staff, and closure has never been enforced. This has lead to confusion. DCNR Rangers and other staff are confused over how to handle the law enforcement and information aspects - should they cite people using the trails or not? Should they allow users to unload bikes and horses in the parking lots or not? What should they tell people when asked? It is also confusing to the public. When users call to inquire if they can use the trails, they are told that the trails are open to foot traffic only. However, if they are part of a mountain biking group or equestrian group, then they are probably told by other group members that they can ride the trails. In other words, this has become an issue that needs to be resolved, both for the Bureau's sake, and to provide clear communication to our forest users.
    >
    >The best outcome would protect the RRNA for its intended purpose - it is an example of a complete mountain stream protected within its watershed. Roaring Run itself is full of native brook trout. A desired outcome would also be to communicate clearly to the staff and the public what the policy is for the RRNA. Protect the trails from damage. But also to keep the mountain bike and equestrian groups as volunteers. Both groups provide many hours of volunteer labor each year to help maintain our trail system, including other trails outside of the RRNA.
    >
    >After considering numerous alternatives, the Roaring Run Natural Area will be administered according to the guidelines as stated in our State Forest Resource Management Plan. Simply put, we cannot allow other uses of this area, contrary to the Bureau of Forestry's guidelines. As mentioned before, the guidelines restrict use of natural areas to foot traffic only, among other restrictions, which are set forth in the plan.
    >
    >All recreationists using Forbes State Forest know how much I value the volunteerism of the various groups using the forest, and my dedication to accomodating all allowed uses within the Bureaus guidelines and the capability of the resource to handle those uses. I sincerely wish for continued cooperation. This has not been an easy decision to arrive at for myself, and I have spent many months struggling with this, and have involved many others in the discussion.
    >
    >As always, please feel free to contact me through email, phone, or mail.
    >
    >
    >
    >Edward A. Callahan
    >
    >District Forester
    >
    >Forbes State Forest
    >
    >724/238-1200

  2. #2
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    Reputation: Too Rass Goat's Avatar
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    That sucks. Where are the new proposed trails to be located?

    What doesn't make sense to me is why close all of RR? Why not just 33 crossings if the whole thing is over trout and the local trout fishermen?

    Hikers/snowshoers can trudge through the stream, but bikers and horses (animals) can not. What's next, ban bears and deer from crossing the stream? Riding the rest of RR does not effect trout in the stream.
    Last edited by Too Rass Goat; 04-19-2007 at 02:57 PM.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Too Rass Goat
    That sucks. Where are the new proposed trails to be located?

    What doesn't make sense to me is why close all of RR? Why not just 33 crossings if the whole thing is over trout and the local trout fishermen?

    Hikers/snowshoers can trudge through the stream, but bikers and horses (animals) can not. What's next, ban bears and deer from crossing the stream? Riding the rest of RR does not effect trout in the stream.
    I agree. I have put a lot of time into RRNA the last couple of years as has a lot of other local riders, and this puts a big hurtin' on my riding(especially considering I am only a mile away via singletrack to RRNA).

    We marked a trail a few weeks ago that J Wuerthele designed starting across the road from Jerome townhouses and following the side of the mountain along Firetower Rd. We willl hopefully marking a second trail this weekend to connect to the Jones Mill trails. We will then work on getting approval to build. These trails will be built to IMBA standards so will need a lot of help. There may also be room for some new trails in the Mountain Streams area.

    John

  4. #4
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    I'm willing to help in any way possible. Just to clarify, we are talking about the Roaring Run trails in Apollo right?

  5. #5
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    Laurel Highlands

    Quote Originally Posted by MysteriousWind
    I'm willing to help in any way possible. Just to clarify, we are talking about the Roaring Run trails in Apollo right?
    NO- this i referring to thr Roaring run Natural area between Hidden Valley and 7 Springs. Roaring Run Apollo is good to go.

  6. #6
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    ok, thanks for the clarification. I'm still up for helping with trail building

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by drnich
    I agree. I have put a lot of time into RRNA the last couple of years as has a lot of other local riders, and this puts a big hurtin' on my riding(especially considering I am only a mile away via singletrack to RRNA).

    John
    John, since you are only a mile away I be interested in doing some riding with you. I'll be at 7Springs on May 3-6 at the condos. I'd love to learn some new trails as well...

    This news sucks and as was mentioned it seems a little over the top since they would only need to ban usage of the trail(s) that runs through the stream..

    Greg

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSlave
    John, since you are only a mile away I be interested in doing some riding with you. I'll be at 7Springs on May 3-6 at the condos. I'd love to learn some new trails as well...

    This news sucks and as was mentioned it seems a little over the top since they would only need to ban usage of the trail(s) that runs through the stream..

    Greg
    Sounds like a plan. Send me an email a few days before you come up. I've got a 3 day weekend.

    The land manager felt it would be too hard to enforce if some trails were open and some closed.

  9. #9
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    I appreciate your company. Looks like we are coming up Thursday afternoon and will have Friday and Saturday to ride if any of that works for you.

    Boy, I wish the land manager would realize that most mtb'ers are pretty responsible folk and if they don't want people to ride a trail to preserve wildlife, it gets respected. Closing one trail wouldn't be any harder to enforce than closing the whole area, in my opinion.

    Quote Originally Posted by drnich
    Sounds like a plan. Send me an email a few days before you come up. I've got a 3 day weekend.

    The land manager felt it would be too hard to enforce if some trails were open and some closed.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by SingleSpeedSlave
    I appreciate your company. Looks like we are coming up Thursday afternoon and will have Friday and Saturday to ride if any of that works for you.

    Boy, I wish the land manager would realize that most mtb'ers are pretty responsible folk and if they don't want people to ride a trail to preserve wildlife, it gets respected. Closing one trail wouldn't be any harder to enforce than closing the whole area, in my opinion.
    Friday would be great. Email me in a few days. drnich@hotmail.com

    The land manager in this case is a great guy. Our club has worked with him very closely and he is extremely supportive. You have to remember that this is a natural area which the Commonwealth mandates as foot traffic only. I dont beleive this was a decision made necessarily at the local level.

    John

  11. #11
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    Man,I was looking forward to riding those trails this season.

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