If you build it they will come- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    If you build it they will come

    I want to thank everyone who is planning on helping out tomorrow on National Trails Day projects. It was because of previous volunteer trails activities that STA and friends were able to build Brown Bear Trail as a demonstration project.

    I'm pleased to announce that STA in partnership with Alaska Trails have been given preliminary approval to receive a grant to construct a network of singletrack trails on the hillside. We have about 1/2 of what we will need to build a truly fine system of stacked loops designed to sustain mt. bikes. This trail system will be designed by experienced singletrack consultants with input from local mt. bikers. It will be constructed with mini-mechanized equipment such as a sweco and a mini-excavator.

    In order to make it happen, we still need to raise more money, which means I will be applying for more grants and seeking private donations. We sure could use some help in this area. No amount, not matter how small, will be refused! If you, or someone or business that you know, would like to contribute to the construction of a durable project, please let me know. Contributions are tax deductible.

    Only with efforts from STA volunteers and collaboration with other user groups were we able to get this far in the process. So I just want to say "thanks" to all of you who have pitched in to give us the credibility as a user group deserving of true mountain biking trails!

    Let's go build it!

    QB

  2. #2
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    Still planning on trying to put the trail loops in documented habitat for sow grizzlies raising cubs Janice? Hope not, because I for one will do my best to stop it...BTW, you've never replied to my recent previous messages/questions about the status of the project and locations, which combined with posts leaves me a bit po-ed...maybe you're teaming up with the MEA and other big industrialists who like to sneak ill-thought projects under the publics nose? Maybe not, but I've put dozens of hours of work and time into STA, the Brown Bear Trail, and even the design of the trail systems you're talking about, and don't appreciate getting ignored (as it appears) for what are legitimate and important questions. The last thing the MTB trail effort in this town needs is a high visibility fight among MTBers that the whole community gets to watch. So, where's the location of the 'preliminary approval', or do I have to get that news from some 'public servant'? Kevin K.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrack99501
    Still planning on trying to put the trail loops in documented habitat for sow grizzlies raising cubs Janice? Hope not, because I for one will do my best to stop it...BTW, you've never replied to my recent previous messages/questions about the status of the project and locations, which combined with posts leaves me a bit po-ed...maybe you're teaming up with the MEA and other big industrialists who like to sneak ill-thought projects under the publics nose? Maybe not, but I've put dozens of hours of work and time into STA, the Brown Bear Trail, and even the design of the trail systems you're talking about, and don't appreciate getting ignored (as it appears) for what are legitimate and important questions. The last thing the MTB trail effort in this town needs is a high visibility fight among MTBers that the whole community gets to watch. So, where's the location of the 'preliminary approval', or do I have to get that news from some 'public servant'? Kevin K.
    Since sow grizzlies with cubs have been seen all over town over the years, wouldn't it be accurate to say that every road and trail in Anchorage, and most of Alaska for that matter, are in "documented habitat for sow grizzlies raising cubs"? Does that mean we shouldn't build a road or trail anywhere? I can understand not cutting a trail through a bear den, but you have to be realistic about these things. Bears are welcome to move about on our trails as they have in the past and always will do.

  4. #4
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    New MTB trails are very exciting!! I would say that from and ADFG perspective, the main concern would be the proximity to salmon streams and known denning sites. If they are entirely new trails there will have to be an impact statement reviewed by the Habitat folks. Like Anchkier pointed out, not many projects in the bowl have been hindered by wildlife assessments. Think about all those houses on the hillside - their impact is far more wide reaching.

    And STA, thanks for the trail work this weekend!! I had premarital obligations on Saturday and could not help out.

  5. #5

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    Good job! Great Day on Brown Bear

    Thanks to all the folks that put on the National Trails Day project on Brown Bear last weekend. We rebuilt a lot of trail, make the ride flow a bit bettter, and I really got a lot out of it. As a paid trails specialist for my job, I don't get to actually work on trails nearly enough. It was great to see folks riding the trail and enjoying it's technical features. I do know how much work it takes to put these on, and I really appreciate Christopher, Jack, Leonard, and the rest for your tireless advocacy and involvement.

    Though It's a great event, after high-tailing ot over to the science center after working, and finding all the pizza gone, and some bald-eagle demonstration in progress, I have to say that perhaps we should provide our own food next year and plan to work all day. We could really hammer out some big-time work.

    I noticed that nearly the entire SAGA organization was at the science center and really helped out with their experience and muscle-power. Perhaps we should try to tap into them next year. They would really be an asset.

    Pencil out - or better yet, mark it in pen - the first weekend of June. I'll be there.

  6. #6
    Diaskeuast
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    Quote Originally Posted by anchskier
    Since sow grizzlies with cubs have been seen all over town over the years, wouldn't it be accurate to say that every road and trail in Anchorage, and most of Alaska for that matter, are in "documented habitat for sow grizzlies raising cubs"?
    Well put. The trail system that is being planned has been carefully thought out, and would be built to responsible, sustainable standards. It's a good use of the land.

    There is no way to build anything in wooded country without having some impact on wildlife. Either we accept that fact, or we try to make the world stand still. There's a big demand for such recreational use of FNBP, and I don't think it's realistic to set a large area of a municipal park off limits because we're afraid to displace a single breeding bear.
    Enjoying the meaningful pursuit of meaningless fun.

  7. #7
    ABC Rec Div / STA Trails
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    Good advice.. duely noted.

    Quote Originally Posted by banderson

    Though It's a great event, after high-tailing ot over to the science center after working, and finding all the pizza gone, and some bald-eagle demonstration in progress, I have to say that perhaps we should provide our own food next year and plan to work all day. We could really hammer out some big-time work.
    Thanks again for your help and advisement Blaine, I will note that and try to plan for that next time.

    Christopher

  8. #8
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    No wonder my ears were burning yesterday!

    Gee, Kevin, maybe if you would pick up the phone instead of posting hostile personal attacks on a public forum, you'd find out what action I have taken to gather information regarding your concern.

    In your earlier email dated May 4th you suggested that I talk with Sean Farley about his study of brown bear behavior and habitat. On May 24th I met with Sean and wildlife biologist Rick Sinnott to do just that. (Sorry it took nearly 3 weeks to get an appointment, Kev, but these guys were busy playing with the bears you mention as 'tis the season. I was delighted that they could carve out an hour to sit down with me). The conversation was informative and enlightening, and I was pleased that they gave recommendations to consider when identifying areas to build trails. I showed them maps and identified the areas that we're looking at, so they know what we have in mind.

    How did I get associated with the Matanuska Electric Association? Dang!

    BIWLTSITPUTPN

    "Big Industrialist Who Likes To Sneak Ill-thought Projects Under the Public's Nose"

  9. #9
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    I think what I said was, "preliminary approval to receive a grant to construct a network of singletrack trails on the hillside." In other words, preliminary approval to get money. I didn't say anything about preliminary approval to commence digging.

    If you want to stay in the loop, you might consider cleaning out your email box or provide a more reliable address. My emails were returned as "undeliverable. Over quota."

  10. #10
    HowtoOverthrowtheSystem
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    Funding / Grants

    STA Crew,

    Have you seen this resource for funding/grants?

    http://www.americantrails.org/resour...ing/index.html

    Grants for Alaska last year - http://www.americantrails.org/resour...tgrants06.html

  11. #11
    Caveman
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    Queen Bee's other ride!

    watch out!
    back by popular demand!
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    Last edited by Bearbait; 06-08-2007 at 09:27 AM.

  12. #12
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    A voice in the wilderness

    Janice:

    Glad to hear you talked to them. Yes we're all very busy; on Nat. Trails Day I was leading a crew of 42, three days before that managing helo recon in Rainy Pass, family sickness on top of it, so there's little time to pick up the phone. What's readily visible/posted/responded to is all I have to form an opinion on. All too many times projects done by/with the Muni in FNBP suffer for lack of public process--I've seen too many get approved (and completed FAST!) with little meaningful public involvement in design, and the result is marginal at best and significant failure of stupid design at worst: Campbell Creek Connector Trail (behind APD,) Muni gravelling the Tour of Anch. trail north of the Sci Center, the Multi-use trail around the edge of FNBP, clearing firebreaks right on top of trail corridors, allowing the Ski Club to widen trails to 24 foot, taking money from AWWU for the parkland used for water tanks and putting it into ballfields rather than acquiring new replacement parkland...

    Part of my frustration is that STA is doing exactly what it had complained about previously; Far North being incrementally developed by (other) special interests. Now it's MTBers special interest so that's OK?

    Maybe this reveals my own bias that STA should be fixing existing trails and learning how to do trails right before disturbing virgin landscape while still an amateur organization. It's better to make mistakes on something that's broke already than take something that's pristine and screw it up, in my opinion.

    To others on the bear issue, I'm not talking about one bear being seen occasionally. ADFG has documented over a three year period the repeated continuous occupancy of the 'triangle' (initially proposed for the MTB system) by a sow with cubs. Basically the sow spends most of the time in that area, hiding from big bruins, except to run down to the stream to grab some salmon. That sow is one of two or three raising cubs in FNBP, and there are about three other boars that roam the area, making it in the words of Sean Farley "an urban Brooks Camp". And yup, it's because lots of other lands on the lower hillside are filled with houses, and moreover, because ADFG fishing freaks put salmon back into the otherwise urbanized Campbell Creek, ignoring the potential for human/bear run-ins, that we have this issue. I just don't wanna' get smacked by a brownie...

    (J: If you could change my email address to '[email protected]' messages won't get bounced due to space. Sorry if the quip sounded personal; it wasn't meant to--I refer to myself all the time as a bureacrat and worse.) kk

  13. #13
    Wood chips are stupid
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    two part message

    Quote Originally Posted by singletrack99501
    Janice:

    Glad to hear you talked to them. Yes we're all very busy; on Nat. Trails Day I was leading a crew of 42, three days before that managing helo recon in Rainy Pass, family sickness on top of it, so there's little time to pick up the phone. What's readily visible/posted/responded to is all I have to form an opinion on. All too many times projects done by/with the Muni in FNBP suffer for lack of public process--I've seen too many get approved (and completed FAST!) with little meaningful public involvement in design, and the result is marginal at best and significant failure of stupid design at worst: Campbell Creek Connector Trail (behind APD,) Muni gravelling the Tour of Anch. trail north of the Sci Center, the Multi-use trail around the edge of FNBP, clearing firebreaks right on top of trail corridors, allowing the Ski Club to widen trails to 24 foot, taking money from AWWU for the parkland used for water tanks and putting it into ballfields rather than acquiring new replacement parkland...

    Part of my frustration is that STA is doing exactly what it had complained about previously; Far North being incrementally developed by (other) special interests. Now it's MTBers special interest so that's OK?

    Maybe this reveals my own bias that STA should be fixing existing trails and learning how to do trails right before disturbing virgin landscape while still an amateur organization. It's better to make mistakes on something that's broke already than take something that's pristine and screw it up, in my opinion.

    To others on the bear issue, I'm not talking about one bear being seen occasionally. ADFG has documented over a three year period the repeated continuous occupancy of the 'triangle' (initially proposed for the MTB system) by a sow with cubs. Basically the sow spends most of the time in that area, hiding from big bruins, except to run down to the stream to grab some salmon. That sow is one of two or three raising cubs in FNBP, and there are about three other boars that roam the area, making it in the words of Sean Farley "an urban Brooks Camp". And yup, it's because lots of other lands on the lower hillside are filled with houses, and moreover, because ADFG fishing freaks put salmon back into the otherwise urbanized Campbell Creek, ignoring the potential for human/bear run-ins, that we have this issue. I just don't wanna' get smacked by a brownie...

    (J: If you could change my email address to '[email protected]' messages won't get bounced due to space. Sorry if the quip sounded personal; it wasn't meant to--I refer to myself all the time as a bureacrat and worse.) kk
    1st. I took it personally, STA has gone to great lengths to do this trail stuff right. Not stepping on anyones toes...including the local wildlife. Read STAs mission statement again. Don't turn this forum/issue into a joke by posting negative, knee jerk messages towards groups or individuals who are doing the best they can with limited resources. This is a learning proccess for us and we are following the best path to reach our goals. 2nd part...Take it somewhere else or at least proof read your "worse" postings.

    Leonard
    "Trust me,you don't want a big baby."

    JT

  14. #14
    Wood chips are stupid
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    Akdeluxe you're signed into my computer!
    "Trust me,you don't want a big baby."

    JT

  15. #15
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    Bring it Back!

    No No!!! Bring it Back! I LOVED IT!!! Bearbait, have you been peeking into my garage? I want to switch my icon to that photo--I can totally identify with it. Especially those guns painted across the side door.

    Besides, it gave me a huge belly laugh, which was appreciated given the circumstances.

    Repost! Repost!

    QB

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by singletrack99501
    Janice:


    To others on the bear issue, I'm not talking about one bear being seen occasionally. ADFG has documented over a three year period the repeated continuous occupancy of the 'triangle' (initially proposed for the MTB system) by a sow with cubs. Basically the sow spends most of the time in that area, hiding from big bruins, except to run down to the stream to grab some salmon. That sow is one of two or three raising cubs in FNBP, and there are about three other boars that roam the area, making it in the words of Sean Farley "an urban Brooks Camp". And yup, it's because lots of other lands on the lower hillside are filled with houses, and moreover, because ADFG fishing freaks put salmon back into the otherwise urbanized Campbell Creek, ignoring the potential for human/bear run-ins, that we have this issue. I just don't wanna' get smacked by a brownie...
    Yes there are many resident bears raising their young in the front range and there are many more bears then what Sean and the Department of Defense have been able to collar both actively and passively over the last 2.5 years. The data depicts resident bears' movements and ranges but there is no documentation for the number of transient bears that move through seasonally.

    In regards to the trail construction, line of sight is going to play a pretty important role as more mtb trails are constructed, however, tight,fast single doesn't always lend itself to that. Aside from development and trail construction issues, making discernable noise while flying through bear country is, as always, critical. Too bad very few take on that responsiblity beyond the occasional and mostly useless bear bells.

    And just for the record, it is not the "ADFG fishing freaks" that are pushing to have the dams dismantled and more salmon stocked. The Alaskan political machine; fishing lobbyists, legislators and senators, the ignorant municipality, the cruise ship industry and the Board of Fish are the key players pushing this through. Campbell Creek already has salmon in it (as does most of the Anchorage drainages0 and the Muni wants to add to their "Big Wild Life" by offering more salmon fishing opportunities within skipping distance from the major hotels and the cruise ships. ADFG always gets the butt end of these things but the agency is not always in control of management decisions especially if the data is counter to what the powers that be want. The increased wolverine harvest in the Chugach State Park and increasing Statewide bear and wolf culling are two prime examples.

  17. #17
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    Leonard:

    My comments weren't meant to be personal; they're a result of my frustration with thinking I'm not being heard over a period of about 5 months. When I brought the bear habitat info to STA at January meeting most people just poo-pooed it and said it wasn't a big deal...that leaves a pretty strong impression, especially after spending 3 or so hours drawing up some prelim trail loop routes. I brought it up a couple of months later when there was STA steering committee discussion on it via email, and there was little response.

    So QB tried to respond directly at an e-box of mine that was full, we're all busy, and so when she pops out the note that the project has got the OK to go after funding from a municipal govt. that is, let's say, not very accountable, is yanked around by the politicos like Valhalla mentioned on the fish, and technically pretty marginal when it comes to wildland trails, in my book it's time to do what it takes to get a response...

    I think when people in a special interest group (like MTBers) play with public resources for it's own benefit, they need to have a thick skin for the decision making process. Wait til some "Committee to Protect Brown Bears So They Can Eat Moose Calves on Suburban Lawns" or whoever decides to take on more proposed trails in Far North and make it there most recent call to action/donate, etc!

    (But the real source of this issue is the the Muni govt. has failed it's citizenry for years when it comes to Parks and Rec, letting the users fight among themselves, and have blown off almost all real planning and management of Far NorthBP.

    So what's this forum for I think It's a chance for us to communicate, and bring in lots of others who might not know what's happening-- the best decisions are made by including differing (and conflicting) opinions. And this is the place to do it--better here than on the front page of the Daily News! Although we could be havin' on-bike forums with this new ride--it's the cool way to come up with smart projects:
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