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  1. #1
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    What can we do to expand Tiger access?

    As noted elsewhere on this board, Tiger's Northwest Timber Trail is closed again, effectively reducing mountain bike access by one third till at least mid-June.

    Hey guys, It's time to get a campaign going for increased access to Tiger. Otherwise we face season after season of limited riding due to ongoing logging, etc.

    Here's my take...other ideas, suggestions? Should we work through Evergreen (Mountain Bike Alliance)? Get a petition campaign going?
    It's all about the ride: BikeIntelligencer

  2. #2
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    I've never understood why more trails can' be built at Tiger, after all, it's just a tree farm.
    Could the MTB community come up with the hours to build more trails there? I don't think so.
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  3. #3
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    There's rogue trail building on Tiger

    You have to know where to look but trail building is going on. Obviously "locals" have the time and wherewithal to do it.

    With proper notification and networking it shouldn't be too hard to get folks to turn out for trail work. Let's face it, a core group can get a lot done in a short time.
    It's all about the ride: BikeIntelligencer

  4. #4
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    For 1 mile of trail.
    5280' divided by 15' per day equals 352 person days divided by average crew size of 10 equals 35 days. WTA estimates 10' per person per day; since we're all in tip top shape, have the best tools and know what we're doing I used 15'
    Average crew size at Duthie has not been 10.
    Not to mention getting approval from DNR
    There's a big difference between ripping and skidding. Those who skid don't know how to ride.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dave_schuldt
    For 1 mile of trail.
    5280' divided by 15' per day equals 352 person days divided by average crew size of 10 equals 35 days. WTA estimates 10' per person per day; since we're all in tip top shape, have the best tools and know what we're doing I used 15'
    Average crew size at Duthie has not been 10.
    Not to mention getting approval from DNR
    Each project will have a different group of regulars Dave. Each project will have different challenges and may or may not effect that formula. Your point of building legitimate trails taking more time is reasonable, most effort outside of club led builds is slapped together, while fun, they suffer from sub-par build decisions and overuse makes that evident. Also flagging and routing decisions from the start are so absolutely key to prevent having to spend alot of time on an area to make it sustainable. Hence the problems on Grand Ridge, the decisions on routing in the beginning are terrible, the recent attempts have been pretty good.

    Anyways i really like what i saw at Duthie, Jamie and Johans flow line is killer, the boot camp line is very very sharp and will be very popular for beginners and advanced riders alike. Superb work out there so far.
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  6. #6
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    The best thing you can do is to support Evergreen. They are on the forefront and have been for awhile out at Tiger. They could use all the help they can get these days. Great folks doing great work.
    EVERGREENMTB.ORG

  7. #7
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    15 feet a day? Wha?

    If that isn't a buzzkill. I've seen 400' put in in one day that was sustainable and is still in great shape years later. If. like Skooks said, it's laid out correctly. Everything doesn't have to be 3 feet wide with a 2 foot brush back...
    Restless, bootleg building is always way more sexy and fun than waiting for the land manager to approve thier version of the route suggested. "Just ger 'er dun." Those people building most likely don't have the patience to wait for "the man" to buy off their plan and thus would not play with the PC way.

    Like many things in life, it's the few that do. How that can ever be changed is beyond me at this pint. But, as Largextra said, supporting EMBA though at least membership or more is a start.. But, the vast majority of Seattle area mountain bikers are not even doing that.

    Too many other options around here. Tiger sucking? Just ride some place else until it's fixed.... (That's sarcasm..)

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo
    If that isn't a buzzkill. I've seen 400' put in in one day that was sustainable and is still in great shape years later. If. like Skooks said, it's laid out correctly. Everything doesn't have to be 3 feet wide with a 2 foot brush back...
    Restless, bootleg building is always way more sexy and fun than waiting for the land manager to approve thier version of the route suggested. "Just ger 'er dun." Those people building most likely don't have the patience to wait for "the man" to buy off their plan and thus would not play with the PC way.
    I will confess to scratching a less than legal trail in a certain unknown location with a buddy and we averaged closer to 100' for 5-6 hours of work. Sustainable, built to IMBA specs and with big features that IMBA doesn't cover . Regardless, I've actually never ridden Tiger despite it being fairly close and passing it several hundred times in the last few years. I would tend to lean toward the just ride somewhere else point of view. There are lots of great trails, Tiger is just one that I have yet to try.
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Borneo
    If that isn't a buzzkill. I've seen 400' put in in one day that was sustainable and is still in great shape years later. If. like Skooks said, it's laid out correctly. Everything doesn't have to be 3 feet wide with a 2 foot brush back...
    15' per day per person seems about right for hand built trail in average terrain that can handle lots of riders without tons of ongoing maintenance. Sure, there are places where it can go a whole lot faster, but even fairly average terrain like Duthie seems to support numbers like this. The builders out at Duthie work really hard and are many are quite skilled at building.

    If you have to cross wet areas, flat ground, soils with deep organics, etc. then it can really slow down.

    Just because it takes a while or is hard doesn't mean it's not worth doing. Much the opposite - do the hard stuff once and it'll last for decades.



    If you want to get involved in helping advocacy on Tiger, contact Jon Kennedy at Evergreen. jon (at) evergreenmtb.org or call 206-524-2900 (edit - fixed the phone number).

    The politics and land use issues at Tiger are quite complex. There has been a moratorium on any new trails up there for 15 years or so - this is forest-wide, so even though East Tiger isn't over-used, they look at the entire mountain. It might not be entirely logical, but if you work with governments enough you realize that logic is irrelevant, it's all about politics and funding.

    Getting more trail up there means gaining the trust of both the land managers and other user groups. The fact that DNR just got their recreation budget slashed (again), doesn't help the situation. They're not likely to approve anything new for any user group at a time when they're forced to close a lot of facilities. The reality is that even volunteer built facilities require management dollars from the agency, so even if Evergreen builds something, it takes staff time from DNR.

    I think the state legislature appropriated $200k this year for DNR's entire recreation budget, state-wide. The rest comes from grants, which also are being slashed. The economy is not helping the situation, but by working closely with DNR right now we can be on solid ground with them once the economy pics up. This is a long-term game and it is very political, and requires careful analysis of what to ask for, and when.

    Even though we as mountain bikers feel like we're under-represented in trail resources in the western WA I-90 corridor (which I do think we are), all user groups are facing this funding issue right now, not just us.

    The good news that Evergreen has some good projects in the works in this area. Duthie, Olallie, South Fork Snoqualmie. They won't happen overnight, but decades of hard work are netting us some tangible results that can dramatically improve the riding opportunities around Seattle. Good stuff going on in the Highway 2 and Tacoma areas, too.

    Like I said, none of this is insta-trail, and there's always bumps in the road, but there's new trail projects in the pipeline. 5 years ago we weren't building any official new trail on public lands. Now we're building Duthie, hopefully South Fork and Olallie will start fairly soon after Duthie is complete.

    What is great about these projects (and add Paradise and Colonnade to the list) is that the city of Seattle, City of Tacoma, Snohomish County, King County, Washington State Parks and the U.S. Forest Service all all agencies with where we have, or have firm plans for, new mountain bike trail. That's pretty cool.
    Last edited by juice; 06-01-2009 at 03:16 PM.
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  10. #10
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    Tiger Summit has about 80 miles of trail, of which we are allowed to use 8. We should be able to get a lot of new mileage opened to us by doing some deferred maintenance (I bet most of which will be brushing), no need to deal with a moratorium on new trails. Many of these trails include a lot of old logging railroad grade, so there's no valid environmental reason they can't stand substantial non-motorized traffic of all types.

  11. #11
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    There has never been a good reason why we can't ride many of the interior trails far from any trailhead. It is also pretty apparent, uh, apparently, that they are not getting any use either. The last attempt at a, "Heels to Wheels" conversion in the late '90s went absolutely no where with the IAC HOHAs opposing ANY new access to bikes. Even if it was on trails that are not seeing any hiker use and falling into disrepair. East Tiger, Middle Tiger, Poo Poo, 15 mile, and Bootleg are good examples. Hopefully that has changed some as the inerior of the forest has a lot to offer with the existing network. So, good point TFitz. As before, I'll sit up at any of those trailheads on a warm sunny day with a lawn chair, my clicker, and a cooler and count all the hikers that I actually see use those trails.

  12. #12
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    i'll re-iterate my sentiment from the other thread. There may be a perception this is not the appropriate time to ask for more, at Tiger, or other project like Ollalie. It seems like our sliding scale built from the past makes the appearance of what our access is currently as reasonable. It is not, and i believe it has eroded efforts from not only mt. bikers who have never contributed to the membership of a local advocacy group, but of longstanding members who are frustrated with the process as it stands.

    So for instance "if" i hear sentiment that Evergreen would be in negotiation to put into play a long piece of singletrack in trade for one of the 3 trails that are currently open to us. It's extremely disheartening in the regard of the work that went into all of the trails, and the lack of common sense that this bargain would be again be percieved by most all as a fleecing. It would be yet another message to mountain bikers that land managers are still not realistically addressing the needs of the community sufficiently.

    It just seems that Land Managers are quick to tie a rope around mt. bikers necks in order to control us, but what it really does is weaken the stand of the advocate and the ambassadors of mt. biking, and promote mountain bikers to seek recreation by not supporting advocacy and focusing efforts on gray trails. In essence the rope only constrains the riders who are abiding by the rules.

    i guess the jist of this is that the only real way advocates and ambassadors of Mountain Biking will be able to hold sway is to have the real honest embrace of land managers. It's absolutely key in the success of any endeavor, just look at Duthie. Look at FOCF and Capitol Forest, look at WMBC and Galbraith, these are smaller communities having larger impact, primarily because they are being given a fair shake. Fair shake does not mean there cannot be compromise, but the bar of what is reasonable has to raise higher exponentially.

    Paradise and Duthie are and will be really good for a multitude of positive things. But where is our Bend, where is our North Shore... i don't see it, i wish i did.

    So i guess i can re-ask the question with emphasis on the word in all caps, as well as an exclusion to Tiger for that's just one place. What CAN we do to expand access. Real access... While not a justification think about any and all controversies around the area, current or in the past, and tell me the root cause. Is it or is it not a lifetime of being forced to "settle" for well below standard opportunities.
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  13. #13
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    Our, "Bend"...

    Is just over the pass in the Cle Elum/Roslyn area.

    Why the communities there have never seen the Bend light and embraced the outdoor recreation there, I'll never know. NIMBYism is my guess. Anti-growth at any cost locals. A Phil's trails network could easily be built in just a few months with a knowledgeable person driving a trail builder through the woods over there. You'd think Suncadia for example, would embrace the opportunity for the increase in revenue for a minimal investment of a trail system. Just boggles the mind.

    Trade trails Skooks? Hmmmm, this is new to me. I hope not.

  14. #14
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    Yup, we've got the space over here. What we lack is someone who can withstand the political process and bring money/volunteers... unfortunately if it's going to cost locals anything, I can guarantee they ain't going to go for it. If it doesn't cost them anything there's still going to be some idiots hand-waiving because they basically don't want to see anything change since the '60s.

    BUT.... with the economic downturn there's actually a real opportunity for progress IMO. The nay-sayers have a harder time arguing when it's clear the area is sliding financially, and there may be more players willing to take a risk if they had the benefits clearly laid out. As far as I know, nobody here that matters really knows what Bend is recreationally or what that could do for the community. There is an upper co parks & rec group, but they're slow moving. Essentially they're missing an over-arching vision for what could be IMO.

    If anyone from EMBA is serious about giving this area a second look for an extensive trail system, I would suggest starting by getting folks from the parks & rec, cities, county, local bike shops, Suncadia, perhaps a couple other major private land owners, the local land conservancy group, maybe even forest service together in the same room and really lay out what COULD be and see what cooks out.
    "...Some local fiend had built it with his own three hands..."

  15. #15
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    Original proposal was temp opening of Tiger Mt. Trail

    The thread kind of got diverted to new trail-building, but originally the suggestion was to temporarily open Tiger Mt. Trail with a short connector to Iverson. That would involve minimal new trail, none if the connector isn't included. And TMT has very little competing foot traffic, it's a shame but it hardly gets used at all by hikers because of the big commitment, length and steepness.

    I've contacted Jon Kennedy, no response yet but will keep trying, and agree EMBA should be taking lead on this if possible.
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  16. #16
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    The TMT was the original Heels to Wheels request for just that reason. The upper slopes are not sustainable for the kind of traffic it would see if made legal and looooong re-routes would be required. (New trail)

    EMBA is us. Why not join and then take the lead as, "EMBA"?

    You seem pretty passionate about it.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the thread here Paul as it's timely and a good opportunity to let folks know what's going on up at Tiger. And thanks to Bob for your continued support of Evergreen… it’s much appreciated.

    So I just got off the phone with Paul and gave him the 411 on what’s up at Tiger. The most recent scoop on the Cougit Timber Sale is that the road construction looks to be pretty well taken care of and the DNR anticipates that the NW Timber Trail could be opened as early as this weekend. Evergreen will be sure to post this as soon as we get the word so be sure to check the Evergreen home page before heading out for your ride this weekend to ensure that it is indeed open. The good news is that the trail, once re-opened, will remain open for the remainder of the season.

    I also informed Paul during our phone call that Evergreen has recently been appointed a seat on the Snoqualmie Unit Advisory Committee (SUAC). The SUAC (originally the Tiger Advisory Committee) reflects a cross section of diverse public interests concerned about the operation of the State Forest. They are tasked with serving the DNR as an advisory committee to make recommendations for land management and recreation purposes. Evergreen is pleased to now have a seat on this committee and is looking forward to working with delegates form various user groups and agencies in the area.

    In regards to a reroute – I am in conversation with the DNR about potential reroutes but nothing is set in stone. The local hiking community is understandably protective and concerned about their trails and we need to respect that. Poaching doesn’t help the case at all and it’s now more important than ever that the mountain bike community be on their best behavior as we enter this new process. Evergreen will work cooperatively with the DNR to find the best solution before next season.

    I also spoke with Paul at length about his suggestion to put together a public petition to demonstrate the level of need within the community. I suggested that he refrain from that at this point as we’ve got a good relationship with the DNR and they are well aware of the need and overuse in the area. It should also be noted that the DNR has effectively lost over half of their recreation budget due to the re-appropriation of NOVA grant funds and that this is going to be a particularly difficult year for them in that sense. It’s put most of their comprehensive recreational planning on hold and presents its own unique set of challenges for the future. I think it’d be best to support Evergreen and allow us to engage the SUAC to build constructive partnerships that will prove beneficial for all parties.

  18. #18
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    "The local hiking community is understandably protective and concerned about their trails and we need to respect that."

    I'd have to disagree with that - it might be wise to respect that certain trails aren't officially open to mountain bike use, but the local HOHA's viewing tiger as 'their trails' is wrong, and a problem that needs to be corrected. IMO, EMBA needs to work on correcting that, not "respecting" it. Perhaps the hiking community should respect that Tiger is public land and learn how to share the trails. Personally, I think EMBA should be actively arguing for increased trail access (to existing trails) on Tiger - we'll never get it without asking.


    Quote Originally Posted by BBTCJON
    Thanks for the thread here Paul as it's timely and a good opportunity to let folks know what's going on up at Tiger. And thanks to Bob for your continued support of Evergreen… it’s much appreciated.

    So I just got off the phone with Paul and gave him the 411 on what’s up at Tiger. The most recent scoop on the Cougit Timber Sale is that the road construction looks to be pretty well taken care of and the DNR anticipates that the NW Timber Trail could be opened as early as this weekend. Evergreen will be sure to post this as soon as we get the word so be sure to check the Evergreen home page before heading out for your ride this weekend to ensure that it is indeed open. The good news is that the trail, once re-opened, will remain open for the remainder of the season.

    I also informed Paul during our phone call that Evergreen has recently been appointed a seat on the Snoqualmie Unit Advisory Committee (SUAC). The SUAC (originally the Tiger Advisory Committee) reflects a cross section of diverse public interests concerned about the operation of the State Forest. They are tasked with serving the DNR as an advisory committee to make recommendations for land management and recreation purposes. Evergreen is pleased to now have a seat on this committee and is looking forward to working with delegates form various user groups and agencies in the area.

    In regards to a reroute – I am in conversation with the DNR about potential reroutes but nothing is set in stone. The local hiking community is understandably protective and concerned about their trails and we need to respect that. Poaching doesn’t help the case at all and it’s now more important than ever that the mountain bike community be on their best behavior as we enter this new process. Evergreen will work cooperatively with the DNR to find the best solution before next season.

    I also spoke with Paul at length about his suggestion to put together a public petition to demonstrate the level of need within the community. I suggested that he refrain from that at this point as we’ve got a good relationship with the DNR and they are well aware of the need and overuse in the area. It should also be noted that the DNR has effectively lost over half of their recreation budget due to the re-appropriation of NOVA grant funds and that this is going to be a particularly difficult year for them in that sense. It’s put most of their comprehensive recreational planning on hold and presents its own unique set of challenges for the future. I think it’d be best to support Evergreen and allow us to engage the SUAC to build constructive partnerships that will prove beneficial for all parties.

  19. #19
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    deleted: Jon said the same thing, but better and he's the one doing all the work on this
    Last edited by juice; 06-04-2009 at 10:54 AM.
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  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree
    "The local hiking community is understandably protective and concerned about their trails and we need to respect that."

    I'd have to disagree with that - it might be wise to respect that certain trails aren't officially open to mountain bike use, but the local HOHA's viewing tiger as 'their trails' is wrong, and a problem that needs to be corrected. IMO, EMBA needs to work on correcting that, not "respecting" it. Perhaps the hiking community should respect that Tiger is public land and learn how to share the trails. Personally, I think EMBA should be actively arguing for increased trail access (to existing trails) on Tiger - we'll never get it without asking.
    I agree with your sentiment in that it is wise for us to respect that certain trails aren't officially open to mountain bike use, and that anyone viewing tiger as 'their trails' is wrong, But I feel I need to clarify my statement.

    Don't make the assumption that Evergreen isn't already working on things up there. We most certainly are and it is a high priority. We're also concerned about the limited access in the I-90 corridor but know that approaching a situation with guns drawn will get nothing accomplished... just as it has for the past 20 years up there.

    I agree in that there is an imbalance and that anyone who feels that they own an area needs to be checked, but it makes much more sense to approach the situation constructively and work toward a mutually beneficial solution for all parties. We’re not there to take over or cause a ruckus… but I feel that’s the impression many in the hiking/environmental community have of mountain bikers. I’d rather work on changing that view to make it a little more in line with the truth which is that we care about the environment, we treasure the area just as much as they do, we feel that area should indeed be protected, and generally we’d like to have a the same experience many of them do while out there… we just want to do it on a bike.

    It is Evergreens policy to approach this situation as a constructive partner, to build relationships, and though this, I believe that we will be able to change the course of relations up there.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by BBTCJON
    Don't make the assumption that Evergreen isn't already working on things up there. We most certainly are and it is a high priority. We're also concerned about the limited access in the I-90 corridor but know that approaching a situation with guns drawn will get nothing accomplished... just as it has for the past 20 years up there.
    i don't think we're expecting you to go in with guns, but i think it's long overdue to raise our expectations, again not because of entitlement, but because of the necessity to properly serve our user-group. It's an argument based more on logic than emotion.

    Anyways just want to spend a little time on the thought of making a trailhead banner for work parties to let trail users know mountain bikers are working, and have a little tray with a pamphlet of information of Evergreen, dates for work parties, projects etc. The pamphlets should be given to local bike shops and REI etc...

    Bout time the "i've never heard of Evergreen" experience started dissipating to a rare occurance.

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  22. #22
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    I gotta go hard line with Skooks and ACree on this which should be no surprise to many. We're on a roll and should take as much advantage of it as possible. Getting a say moving forward is indeed a good start though. Thank you for that. But, push a little harder please?

    Marketing? Always has sucked. Big time. Flyers, stickers, you name it. Woodway is getting banners for his PVCA work parties. But, heck even 4 dollars of thick sturdy cardboard and a sharpie would do. Other trail users as well as our own kind need to know we're the ones out there busting A$$ for them. There's no reason ANY self respecting regular user of any trail system around here shouldn't know about the club/alliance. Yet, the quizzical look when any version of BBTC or EMBA is mentioned to trail users comes far too often.

    That said, I also can't believe we still have bikers talking about BBTC/EMBA in some mythical 3rd party like, "Oh, they weill take of that." Or, "They f'd that up..." They is us. What's 25 bucks a year to support the only group that's working for us in the Seattle area?
    Sure, you don't have to agree with everything that's done. Lord knows I don't... But, the membership gets filled out every year.

  23. #23
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    I think you deleted an important part:

    "if you just go in and ask (which has been done...by me), you'll just get a quick and simple "no""

    I'm curious, what were the next lines in this conversation? Personally, what I'd love to see, is where the next line is EMBA saying "ok, please explain to us the justification of excluding a class of users from this (little used) public trail" That's the type of advocacy I'd really like to see happening. Yeah, it might not get trails open, but they're not open now anyway. Being respectful is fine, but I hope EMBA is also being assertive enough here.

    Quote Originally Posted by juice
    deleted: Jon said the same thing, but better and he's the one doing all the work on this

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ACree
    I'm curious, what were the next lines in this conversation? Personally, what I'd love to see, is where the next line is EMBA saying "ok, please explain to us the justification of excluding a class of users from this (little used) public trail" That's the type of advocacy I'd really like to see happening. Yeah, it might not get trails open, but they're not open now anyway. Being respectful is fine, but I hope EMBA is also being assertive enough here.
    OK, so you ask that question and the land manager says "because opening trails to bikes means change and in order to change I have to go do more work with my boss or with other users groups or the with the city council or with [insert other body that the land manager may report to here] and I am already overloaded and I don't have enough money and I don't have time to deal with this". So now what? You've asked the big question and you have gotten nowhere. Going postal on the land manager at this point will only hurt your cause.

    IMHO advocacy is figuring out what the roadblocks are and developing answers to those roadblocks so that we can work proactively with land managers on solutions. "If you open these trails to mountain bikes, you'll have more users out policing the trails which will reduce your garbage or moto problem" or "We will commit to trail maintenance and you won't have to worry how to keep these trails maintained, safe and sustainable" or "If you open these trails to bikes we would love to work with you to get grant money for trail or facility improvements", etc. etc. Advocacy means working with other user groups to help them understand that mountain bikers are allies and not the enemy or to at least try to neutralize them in your on-going efforts. Advocacy is establishing a long-term relationship and trust with land manager so that they view you as a resource, not a pain in the ass. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience.

    I know that my view is not popular with a lot of people who think we should be yelling and pounding the table in our efforts, but I just cannot agree with that approach to accomplish our goals.

  25. #25
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    You might consider reading more carefully. I don't think anyone in this thread has suggested going postal, simply being more assertive on behalf of mtn bikers. It's also not a matter of 'asking the big question' and getting nowhere - it's a matter of continuing to ask the question, while offering some of the solutions you suggest, for example "why is that trail closed to bikes, it's barely used by hikers and obviously in neglect - why not open it to bikes and we'll help maintain it" for example.




    Quote Originally Posted by woodway
    OK, so you ask that question and the land manager says "because opening trails to bikes means change and in order to change I have to go do more work with my boss or with other users groups or the with the city council or with [insert other body that the land manager may report to here] and I am already overloaded and I don't have enough money and I don't have time to deal with this". So now what? You've asked the big question and you have gotten nowhere. Going postal on the land manager at this point will only hurt your cause.

    IMHO advocacy is figuring out what the roadblocks are and developing answers to those roadblocks so that we can work proactively with land managers on solutions. "If you open these trails to mountain bikes, you'll have more users out policing the trails which will reduce your garbage or moto problem" or "We will commit to trail maintenance and you won't have to worry how to keep these trails maintained, safe and sustainable" or "If you open these trails to bikes we would love to work with you to get grant money for trail or facility improvements", etc. etc. Advocacy means working with other user groups to help them understand that mountain bikers are allies and not the enemy or to at least try to neutralize them in your on-going efforts. Advocacy is establishing a long-term relationship and trust with land manager so that they view you as a resource, not a pain in the ass. It takes a lot of time and a lot of patience.

    I know that my view is not popular with a lot of people who think we should be yelling and pounding the table in our efforts, but I just cannot agree with that approach to accomplish our goals.

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