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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: mark59's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2006

    7th annual Tahoe Sierra 100 race shut down by equestrians !

    [To: All Cyclists

    RE: US Forest Service, Multi-use trails

    Chris Fischer, the current district ranger for the United States Forest Service, American River District, Foresthill CA, has just decided to not approve the permit for the 7th Annual Tahoe Sierra 100 Mt Bike Race. The newly formed group calling themselves the Western States Safety Alliance Coalition has been meeting with Chris Fischer but the meetings did not include any other user group representatives. Jim Northey the race director, Tom Ward from IMBA and Jeff Barker, GBE Trail Adviser had asked to meet on several occasions to discuss their concerns but the WSSAC refused, we do however know some of their members. They are comprised of equestrians that are linked with the web site Park Watch Report -=- Home and have been responsible for spreading disinformation regarding cyclists on the trails in the past. Attached is the actual account of the incident.

    This is just the beginning! This group is working towards disallowing anything with wheels on the multi-use trails altogether, they are currently working with the 4th District Congressmen, Tom McClintock to achieve that goal. We need to work together and let the Forest Service and our local, district and state representatives know that we as a user group pay our taxes and have just as much right to be on the trails as every other group.

    Here are some email addresses:
    Chris Fischer
    Mo Tebbe
    Randy Moore R5 Regional Forester( Chris Fischers Boss)
    Mary Sullivan
    Tom Quin.
    Tom Tidwell, US Forest Service Chief
    Mary Wagner, US Forest Service Associate Chief
    Lisa Kodl Auburn Bike Works Owner

    My letter in response
    My name is Mark DePonzi age 54 , I am a mountain biker enthusiast and racer . Born in California and still reside in California.

    I was disappointed to read this email above that Mr Fischer decided not to approve the permit for Sierra 100 mile Bike race,
    and I was shocked he declined to open the meetings to other group representatives to explain his reasons.

    I do not know if these facts are true because I was not there.

    If the information is true above , its not a productive start to working together to share our trails in harmony.

    If Mr Fischer is singling out a group ( Mountain bikers) to eliminate their use to multi-use trails , this is only going to create friction between users.
    I am sure Mr Fischer is well aware of what his actions can create between groups using these trails ,
    I am not sure what Mr Fishcer's intent was by not including other groups in the process or sharing his desires to all other groups.

    In most cases when you single out a group or other groups from being involved in making decisions of trail use, you are creating conflict between groups.
    This is not a good start .
    Nor is it a productive way to have multi use trail users sharing the trails in harmony.

    I find it interesting in other states I have mountain biked in ( Colorado , Montana, Nevada, Utah, Oregon,) multi use trails work fine with all groups, and most
    other groups you share the trails with our quit polite in other states . So you can say multi trail use is a very workable amongst differnent users. Its proven.

    I think the friction you feel in California in certain areas between user groups starts from actions like Mr Fischer's decision to eliminate a group from certain trails or discussions of trail use .

    Eliminating certain users to trail use only leads to illegal use of trails and angry groups thinking they are different then other groups we our all the same with the same intent,
    It starts from the top . The officials at the top must stop thinking of separation and more about connection with groups !

    At this point in time the mountain biking communities are growing in large numbers and our not going anywhere and have lots to offer in the way of trail maintenance and contributions to keep these trails in good use and safe for all others . Use common sense and see how mountain bikers can help all of us.

    We our all the same and want to use the trails in harmony and I am sure no group wants to see others in harm on a trail.

    So lets consider keeping all your needs and values and concerns open to all groups so we can work together to meet each others concerns

    Mark DePonzi

  2. #2
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Wonder if the Sierra Club had a hand in day the horse people will be making similar posts on their forums how they've been shut out of the trails they shut us out.

  3. #3
    Bro Mountainbiker
    Reputation: Sheepo5669's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Edit, that video was beyond inappropriate.

    Yep, horse people are all a little crazy.
    Raised in a Chicken-Coop by Chickens

  4. #4
    zrm is offline
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    I'm a bit confused. The verbiage of the letter by Mark suggests that the group is pushing for all MTB use to be eliminated rather than just special use permits for races. As a race promoter myself I have had people speak against races on public trails but those same people, at least right now, aren't pushing to ban recreational use.

    As a former race promoter and one who staffs a lot of the local races, I understand that some people aren't thrilled with bike races on their favorite trails. Here in Breckenridge we have so many bike races as well as trail running races that I can see their point. We try to get word out, post notices at the trailheads letting folks know when the races will be run and when the last rider should be through. We also work hard to have course markings down the same day the race is over and have volunteers clean up race litter.

    That doesn't mean these people aren't over the top and the District Ranger isn't doing his job the way he should, but I do see the other side of people not liking competitive events on their favorite trails.

  5. #5
    more skier than biker
    Join Date
    Nov 2006
    The FS has no plans to change the status of the portions of the Western States Trail that are currently designated as multi-use.

    The issue at the moment is that they (the FS) are dragging their feet on the approval of the permit for the Tahoe-Sierra 100 which uses the multi-use sections of the Western States Trail. It is frustrating because the permits for the other races that utilize these same sections of multi-use trail...the Western States 100 for the runners, and the Tevis Cup 100 for the equestrians...have apparently not had issues. So the question is why is the FS not approving the permit for the MTB version of these races on the same multi-use trail....

    Race is not cancelled yet, but it is in danger this year. People are working hard to make sure it goes through.
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