Time to flex our muscles.
Banner is the most used bike area in Kitsap. Read below to understand the situation.
Banner Forest Stewardship/Watch Group meeting
10/23/13 6:30 PM Long Lake Community Center
Let's get like 50 people to this meeting to show we mean business and invite the press.
As you know, Banner Forest has long been a great local venue for mountain bikers, it is not everything to everybody, but its one of our local favorites.I wanted to pass on some information to you regarding Banner Forest, you may be aware of all or some of this info. There is a Stewardship/Watch Group meeting 10/23/13 6:30 PM at the Long Lake Community Center. Its listed on the Kitsap Parks Website under the Volunteer heading.
To summarize, about four years ago, there was a reported conflict between a horse rider and a mountain biker. This horse rider went to Commissioner Garrrido, (who was a friend of hers), complained, and as a result Garrido ordered no maintenance to be done at Banner, and formed her hand picked watch group to re-evaluate all activities at Banner. She originally said she was going to reduce the park to only 6 miles of trail, and decommission everything else. After about 2.5 years of meetings with her watch group group, they had a public open house, and declared their recommendation was to keep all trails on the 2010 map, which shows all of the existing trails. This map was GPS, accurate, and I was part of producing it. The open house was a year ago. Garrido was obviously upset at her own groups common sense, has since refused to accept her own groups recommendations, but has kept them together hoping to change their minds. Garrido is now telling them they must only accept the 1997 map to establish trails, which shows a greatly reduced number of trails. I was often around Banner in 1997, and that map was hand drawn, and did not show all of the trails. It is totally inaccurate.
This has led to some conflict in her group, which started out at about 12 to 15 members, and is now down to 6. They have been on this group now almost 3.5 years, and they have finalized nothing. Out of the original group, there was only one mountain biker, the rest were horse riders, conservationists, and general friends of Garrido. The mountain biker, Ron Hutchinson, is a good friend of mine, and still there. Also, I was a member of the original Stewardship in the 2000's. After establishing the park, only three of us were active for many years. After the alleged horse/bike incident she dismissed our stewardship, and formed her own 'special interest' group.
There is a 'diehard' group of gnomes' at Banner who have ignored Garrido's orders of 'no maintenance.' This group is often at Banner. If not for them, all the trails would have been long grown over.
When Garrido's group was originally formed these public meetings had several attendees, many mountain biker's. But over time everyone has lost interest, because nothing has been done. Even most of her appointee's have stopped coming. I think it may be time to re-attend this meeting, and voice our opinion to accept her watch groups recommendation of accepting the 2010 map. While this is a watch group meeting, there is a section for public comment. Kitsap County Parks is firmly supporting our view, however, Garrido has been known to be very vengeful, and some parks workers are no longer so employed.
With a newer, stronger mountain bike influence in Kitsap (Ride Kitsap), an EMBA chapter, and all of the ''old timers' perhaps it is time to let our political strength be known to a hostile commissioner, and appear at this meeting. I just wanted to pass this info on to you for your thoughts and ideas.
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Thread: Banner Forest Important meeting