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  1. #1
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    Can we work together, independant of political affiliations to make mtb in AZ better?

    I had a brief visit with Rockman today. As always it was good, he was funny, insightful, and eloquent... but, today he was also impassioned about the state of mountain biking and trails in central and Northern AZ.

    We talked about the need for new trails, the need for more and better maintenance, the challenges of a community divided along many different perspectives, and the pressing need for more participation from mountain bikers with regard to Public Comments related to proposed USFS trail projects.

    From my own vantage point, I feel that I understand why we are where we are; longstanding disorganization and a general lack of cooperation and trust between different interest groups.

    In Sedona there has been a very concerted effort to create a cohesive narrative that the changes over the past few years have been AWESOME. However, most of the people who read and believe these works of fiction don't live here, or haven't lived here very long, and therefore they do not know how all of the changes have manifested. The fact is that the stories do not match our reality. What is REALLY disappointing is that the bulk of these stories are 'puff pieces', written by presstitutes who work in cooperation with a few mtb businesses and non-profits, all of whom appear to pray at the altar of the almighty dollar.

    To be fair, all of the changes here have not been bad. However, looking at the big picture, quality of experience is decreasing, use conflict is increasing, and the place is just getting TRASHED. And, despite everything being AWESOME, it is still a monumental struggle to get permission to build the miles of new trail that we need (to address current demand) and to correctly perform the kind of maintenance that preserves the original intended experience while mitigating wear and tear. This despite us having the right... no, THE BEST people to do the work (design, build, and maintain trails) right under our noses, for a fraction of the price of the USFS or a grant funded trails group.

    Flagstaff has it's own challenges too. Thankfully there is a passionate group of dudes who have been working hard for several years to try and create legit gravity oriented trails their. But, they need our help too. I also know a bit about the other areas in the State but need to learn more.

    Let's face facts, land management agencies are bureaucracies, they have not evolved at the pace of change in outdoor recreational activity, they do not necessarily get more money for doing recreation at all or better, their work load is most likely increasing, and their budget is most likely shrinking. Is it any wonder they cannot see the forest through the trees?

    The good news is that we should all be stoked to be Arizona mountain bikers. We have some great trails and we are generally a rad bunch. When we meet on the trails we are WAY more friendly to one another than folks from the C states. So, why does the trailside bro and sis stoke fail to translate into collective action on important issues? Do we need to have political meet-ups with a ride and beer component to make things happen?

    If you've been reading these forums you know that there are quite a lot of different views about how to approach making change, think IMBA and STC. Two very different approaches for sure. For what it is worth I believe that we need to find a better way to help each other's community's, and support each others efforts.

    If it is helpful, think of Rockman as the proverbial canary in our AZ mtb coal mine. He's a cool headed, friendly, honest, smart, and a passionate mountain biker (and he actually rides pretty good too! ). When someone like Rockman says he's concerned, we all ought to listen and do something. Our community is lucky to have him.

    So, can we AZ mountain bikers actually park our different political affiliations / ideologies at the door and begin collectively working together for a better mtb az future
    ?

    I hope so. Things can certainly get better.

    Cheers,
    CB

    PS If anybody wants to help, both Flagstaff and Sedona have been seeking public comment from mountain bikers in support of new trail projects. I regret that I did not find the appropriate links at the time of writing this. If anyone from the community can post links about how to help that would be great.

  2. #2
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    Nice one Dave. Pretty good summary of what is going on in Sedona and the surrounding riding areas. It would be nice if the FS were to be a little more truthful about what is going on around here.

  4. #4
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    Things may not seem ideal but you guys have things a lot better than most of the country. San Diego has a lot more problems with access, losing trails, and enviro issues.

    There is a reason we drive to AZ numerous times a year to ride!

  5. #5
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    I went to the closure meeting and half of the Sedona RTCA meetings and the transition has not been seamless. But, I see a lot of action going on. I see promise. Maybe eventually some of those trails concepts identified in the RTCA meetings will get built and indeed on a small scale some have. So what if the FS isn't being transparent? Who says they have to or even that the should manage for recreation. It's not their primary mandate. It's resource protection and fuel suppression. Internally, recreation is a huge PIA.

    In contrast, just up the street in Flagstaff in the same farcking national forest no action. There is a huge lack of concern for managing recreation in the Flagstaff area. It's disturbing how glaring it is. The primary reason stated is they don't have the money but they don't care to go get it either. You guys in Sedona don't know how good you had it with Jennifer Burns. Even if you didn't agree with the methods or whatever, she was a "doer". She got things done. All of those user built trails could have been closed.

    There is an incredible, visionary trail plan in place for Flagstaff called MEDL. It's partway through NEPA compliance and has been through the comment period. That was two years ago. It's on hold. WTF? http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558...T3_1460493.pdf
    Flagstaff Biking Organization Proposed Trail Alignment Changes and Additions to the Proposed Action for MEDL Recreation Planning | Flagstaff Biking Organization

    A decision on the proposed action was supposed to be made Jan. 2016.
    Schedule Of Proposed Action -*01/01/2015 to 03/31/2015*-*Coconino National Forest


    The problem is the Flag equivalent of Jennifer Burns is not a doer. Good people but not going to go out on a limb. There's no direction from higher up the food chain to do anything with recreation in the Peaks District so why try? Well, it's time for the FS to follow through on it's promises. We could just start building wildcat trails and force their hand but the problem is, the low hanging fruit has been picked. You can't just ride and burn in a line. Anything sustainable requires a substantial and committing build.

    So, the best way to put on pressure is the old fashioned way which is launch a letter writing campaign. I know, yet another letter. As Canadianbacon suggests, things can get better but it requires work and effort. If you feel compelled to do anything and are not happy with the status quo then send a letter to the Coconino National Forest Supervisor Laura Jo West. CC it to the Flagstaff/Peaks District Ranger: Mike Elson.
    ljwest@fs.fed.us
    mtelson@fs.fed.us

    More contact info here: Coconino National Forest - Offices
    Last edited by rockman; 03-12-2016 at 07:45 PM.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Things may not seem ideal but you guys have things a lot better than most of the country. San Diego has a lot more problems with access, losing trails, and enviro issues.

    There is a reason we drive to AZ numerous times a year to ride!
    I'm with evdog on this one...

    Seriously AZ guys, what more do you want?! AZ (Central, at least) is a mountain biking mecca. It attracts riders from all around because it already is better than most other places. Drive up to Nevada and see how it is. Not even California compares to what you've got in AZ.

    Now, understand this. I am not at all opposed to making advancements. I'm just saying that you guys already have it DAMNED GOOD.
    life is... "All About Bikes"...

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    White people problems.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    I'm with evdog on this one...

    Seriously AZ guys, what more do you want?! AZ (Central, at least) is a mountain biking mecca. It attracts riders from all around because it already is better than most other places. Drive up to Nevada and see how it is. Not even California compares to what you've got in AZ.

    Now, understand this. I am not at all opposed to making advancements. I'm just saying that you guys already have it DAMNED GOOD.
    Seriously Hawg... dismissive much?

    This conversation isn't a bunch of mountain bikers whining about how bad we have it. It's about keeping what we've got and dealing with the aftermath of the absolutely HUGE influx of people like you... or as you so accurately stated "riders from all around". These folks enjoyment leaves more than just tire tracks.

    Mountain Biking Mecca's just don't happen. They are like the formation of life on earth... the perfect confluence of elements come together to create something remarkable.

    Mountain Biking Mecca's don't remain great without TLC. If the locals could just sit in vortexes, meditating, and manifesting new trails, and trail maintenance we would have done this already. Maybe this works in your hood?

    One of the things that's needed is a snapshot in time of the current state of our trail system... so that mountain bikers now, in the near future, or in the distant future actually know how it was. No B.S. This way folks like yourself will realize when we are loosing something of great value.

    How do you know if things are getting better or if they are not in your trail system? Likes on Facebook?

    Change may be the only constant but, anyone who doesn't keep track of the balance of their bank account is a fool.

    As Mrwhlr said, "White people problems". No question, he's right. That said, it is undeniable that Sedona's mtb white people problems have created a lot of good in the world, for a lot of people (including hikers and equestrians).

    Now Hawg...
    Are you actually seeking to work together with your AZ mtb bro's and sisters to make things better...

    or are you just a troll?

    CB

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    Quote Originally Posted by CANADIANBACON View Post
    Mountain Biking Mecca's don't remain great without TLC.
    I respect your concern for the future but I think that the future will be handled appropriately with each coming day. It didn't get like it is now without careful planning, coordination, and cooperation. Clearly, that is recognized.

    However, if you are insinuating in any way that if we who come from other places to enjoy your trails should pay our dues in labor or money in order to enjoy them, I am sure that most who can, do, certainly in by supporting your economy while we visit, if not more. I am also sure that is a free country and that we who come from others places can come and go as we please.

    So, thank you for doing your part in your state and for your concern. You have a riding gold mine there and I doubt that it is any more danger there of failing than it is anywhere else.
    life is... "All About Bikes"...

  10. #10
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    To distill, the price of having access to mtn bike trails on public lands is always a combination of diligence, vigilance, and incredibly hard work.

    I think this is the point being made by the OP and Rockman and yes, they certainly would know that maintaining trails and relationships with land managers in their area requires ETERNAL vigilance.

    Would love to get to AZ for some trail work days. Hopefully next year.... During the non-snake months....

    Signed, A trail work loving Texan.



    THIS!
    One of the things that's needed is a snapshot in time of the current state of our trail system... so that mountain bikers now, in the near future, or in the distant future actually know how it was. No B.S. This way folks like yourself will realize when we are loosing something of great value.

    How do you know if things are getting better or if they are not in your trail system?

    Change may be the only constant but, anyone who doesn't keep track of the balance of their bank account is a fool.
    The best defense against bullsh*t is vigilance. If you smell something, say something.
    Jon Stewart

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    I'm with evdog on this one...

    Seriously AZ guys, what more do you want?! AZ (Central, at least) is a mountain biking mecca. It attracts riders from all around because it already is better than most other places. Drive up to Nevada and see how it is. Not even California compares to what you've got in AZ.

    Now, understand this. I am not at all opposed to making advancements. I'm just saying that you guys already have it DAMNED GOOD.
    We have people from all over the world come and ride our trails every year. Yet we have virtually no maintenance program. The trails are TRASHED from back wheel skidders from the festival weekend.
    More people like yourselves come every year, yet the FS takes away valuable trails, then doles them out slowly under a guise of gift of new trails. We have it good? The visitors have it great. The locals, some of who have put in a lot of volunteer hours to maintain the trails, perhaps not as good.

  12. #12
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    Hawg, part of it boils down to demand. You state that Nevada is woefully behind the 8ball but is the land manager meeting the needs of the various user groups? It appears to me that in Las Vegas and Reno there's a happening trail scene. Is there much demand for mtn biking elsewhere in the state? Ely perhaps but elsewhere I'm not so sure. Maybe you can speak to that rather than pointing out how good we've got it in central and n. AZ.

    Sedona is a can of worms. I'd argue that more trails are needed to disperse the use. Have a look at Slim Shady. It's trashed. But at least the land manager is doing something. Scotty points out that trails were taken away. That's true and it was because of a closure order, mostly directed at mtn bikers to point out who was in charge (after finally waking up) and to curb illegal trail building. Those trails are now coming back into the system and in less than 3 years which is pretty fast by most standards at which federal agencies get things done. The locals are still divided and there is discontent but trails are coming back into the system. Continued advocacy is needed to ensure that users like Scotty and others get to see the types of trails that address the experience they are looking for. But the land manager is at least actively involved.

    In Flagstaff the opposite is true. The current trail network is antiquated and in poor condition. There has been little to no maintenance. The only new trail constructed in the last 10 years in the peaks area has been the last segment of the AZ trail and that was by the AZ trail association with private contractors. The FS did little of the work. Yeah, we've got it pretty good but it could be so much better. And we need to plan for the future. The population of Flagstaff has doubled in the last 30 years. Visitation to Sedona and increased by 1000% in the same amount of time. They are coming. Hawg is coming. We want more and better trails. Is that so hard to understand? MEDL an incredible, visionary plan to build and maintain trails for the future. Sustainable well-built trails that preserve the integrity of the terrain and important habitat. Some don't want more trails but I would argue that by keeping the users on trails you minimize impacts to the resource elsewhere, including those to arch sites and endangered wildlife like owls.

    I see the progress that other western, mountain towns are making in terms of recreational access and it's frustrating. Moab, Crested Butte, Park City, Steamboat Springs, Durango, Sun Valley and Stanley, Idaho, and on and on. IMO, Flagstaff is not one but two decades behind the curve. It's not just about turning the place into our version of a trail Disneyland but planning for the future. The people are coming and so is Phoenix. And so are Evdog and Hawg.

    My question is, why can't we get this stuff funded? Take Steamboat Springs for example, the taxpayers voted to pay for new trails on public lands. Recreation is a huge industry there just as it is here. And now they are setting up an endowment fund to pay for trail maintenance. Accommodations Tax - Steamboat Springs Trails

    Flagstaff voted to fund a 10million bond for FWPA. I don't see why we can't do the same to create a world class trail network that is fun and safe for bikes, hikers, runners, and equestrians as well as protecting important habitat and maintain a healthy ecosystem. Can you dig?

  13. #13
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    Mike Vandeman

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  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    I respect your concern for the future but I think that the future will be handled appropriately with each coming day. It didn't get like it is now without careful planning, coordination, and cooperation. Clearly, that is recognized.

    However, if you are insinuating in any way that if we who come from other places to enjoy your trails should pay our dues in labor or money in order to enjoy them, I am sure that most who can, do, certainly in by supporting your economy while we visit, if not more. I am also sure that is a free country and that we who come from others places can come and go as we please.

    So, thank you for doing your part in your state and for your concern. You have a riding gold mine there and I doubt that it is any more danger there of failing than it is anywhere else.
    Hey Hawg,

    You say that you respect us AZ mtber's concern for the future of our community's and trails. Yet, again, your words are dismissive and naive.

    "the future will be handled appropriately with each and every day"

    O.k., let's apply this same thinking to you and your family's health and welfare?

    Why talk, plan, save, or work? Tomorrow will be just fine!

    Your second statement

    "It didn't get like it is now without careful planning, coordination, and cooperation."

    Is pure fiction. And is passively dismissive of Sedona's current REALITY, and challenges.

    For those of you who have not figured out what Hawg is up to here:

    Hawg's comments/posts are specifically worded to undermine the OP... an attempt to cast doubt on the OP's statements and their validity. Basically to erode any trust that the OP may have within this community.

    An attempt to passively undermine trust within a community is B.S. and weak sauce.

    Keep an eye on Hawg and his affiliations. The answer as to why he is "participating" here might become obvious.

    CB

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    Quote Originally Posted by CANADIANBACON View Post
    Hey Hawg,

    You say that you respect us AZ mtber's concern for the future of our community's and trails. Yet, again, your words are dismissive and naive.

    "the future will be handled appropriately with each and every day"

    O.k., let's apply this same thinking to you and your family's health and welfare?

    Why talk, plan, save, or work? Tomorrow will be just fine!

    Your second statement

    "It didn't get like it is now without careful planning, coordination, and cooperation."

    Is pure fiction. And is passively dismissive of Sedona's current REALITY, and challenges.

    For those of you who have not figured out what Hawg is up to here:

    Hawg's comments/posts are specifically worded to undermine the OP... an attempt to cast doubt on the OP's statements and their validity. Basically to erode any trust that the OP may have within this community.

    An attempt to passively undermine trust within a community is B.S. and weak sauce.

    Keep an eye on Hawg and his affiliations. The answer as to why he is "participating" here might become obvious.

    CB
    OK, you win.

    Let me spell it out for you in plain words:

    You are the biggest troll to come around these parts in some time now. I (we) don't get to give my opinion here and I think everyone else can see that because you automatically go on the attack. It's your way or no way.

    So why don't you go to hell you fvcken, worthless piece of shit!

    Neg repped and reported.
    life is... "All About Bikes"...

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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    OK, you win.

    Let me spell it out for you in plain words:

    You are the biggest troll to come around these parts in some time now. I (we) don't get to give my opinion here and I think everyone else can see that because you automatically go on the attack. It's your way or no way.

    So why don't you go to hell you fvcken, worthless piece of shit!

    Neg repped and reported.
    Seriously? Get a grip man.

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    Quote Originally Posted by mileslong View Post
    I passionately remove rocks and corners and other stuff I find too hard to ride.

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotth72 View Post
    Seriously? Get a grip man.
    +1

    He is hardly a troll like others are on this forum. You may not like what he writes and totally disagree with everything but he's not a troll.
    "We'll ride it until they pave it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhlr View Post
    MV

    MV

    MV

    I really don't know why you have brought up his guys name. I'm sure you know of his past and if you've read his latest reply to a Mt Bikers death you might rethink ever using his name again. That man is probably the one of the most hateful people I have ever heard of without being a crazed leader of a rouge country. The more he sees his name used the more he will continue his hateful cut & paste rants.
    "We'll ride it until they pave it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by Scotth72 View Post
    We have people from all over the world come and ride our trails every year. Yet we have virtually no maintenance program. The trails are TRASHED from back wheel skidders from the festival weekend.
    More people like yourselves come every year, yet the FS takes away valuable trails, then doles them out slowly under a guise of gift of new trails. We have it good? The visitors have it great. The locals, some of who have put in a lot of volunteer hours to maintain the trails, perhaps not as good.
    I fully understand and really do appreciate the hard work that all the locals do. I live in San Diego and also own a home in Prescott Valley. A couple of years ago I was at local trail build day when I was in AZ. Just got home minutes ago from going out on my own to build trails here in San Diego. We have been doing that for several weeks now and everyone is welcome to use them, even zonies

    Once again, Thank you all for building some amazing trails and I fully understand your passion to keep them that way
    "We'll ride it until they pave it."

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    Quote Originally Posted by CANADIANBACON View Post
    Keep an eye on Hawg and his affiliations. The answer as to why he is "participating" here might become obvious.

    CB
    This caught my skim, spell it out for those of us who sort of care. Is he trying to get stuff closed or worse, a fvcking god damn sanitizer?
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Dirtrider127 View Post
    I really don't know why you have brought up his guys name. I'm sure you know of his past and if you've read his latest reply to a Mt Bikers death you might rethink ever using his name again. That man is probably the one of the most hateful people I have ever heard of without being a crazed leader of a rouge country. The more he sees his name used the more he will continue his hateful cut & paste rants.
    Didn't see, but I get sort of aroused thinking about a Vandeman/Rockman session in here.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by Hawg View Post
    OK, you win.

    Let me spell it out for you in plain words:

    You are the biggest troll to come around these parts in some time now. I (we) don't get to give my opinion here and I think everyone else can see that because you automatically go on the attack. It's your way or no way.

    So why don't you go to hell you fvcken, worthless piece of shit!

    Neg repped and reported.
    So... that happened.


    Other than a few misunderstandings and cherished rivalries, most of the people I have ever interacted with here over the years are great. They are passionate about mountain biking and are willing to discuss and share the bad and the good with humor and tact, and are generally very supportive of one another. This is just one of the reasons mtbr.com is so cool!

    Although mtbr.com forums are mostly full of fun and geeky banter, interesting stories, and cool pictures, there is also room for the occasional serious discussion or gripe fest... when we want to have em.

    I've noticed in the last few years a trend where some more sophisticated participants are employing specific tactics, often in an attempt to derail and or undermine a discussion, post, or thread that they do not agree with. As a result I have a low tolerance threshold for these folks.

    If anyone is even slightly interested in understanding how Fallacious Arguments are employed tactically on mtbr.com to to manipulate a straight forward conversation here are a few links (zzzzzz sorry):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy
    A List Of Fallacious Arguments
    Logical Fallacies and the Art of Debate

    mtbr.com has worked great for organizing everything from group rides to "Beerduros"!... Let's try and use it to help one another, find common ground, shared principles, or cultural touchstones... whatever you want to call them, big picture stuff that we can all agree on.

    When we focus on issues and not affiliations and their positions we reduce drag, and move forward, sooner, and with less effort.

    Make AZ mtb better stoke on.

    Cheers,
    CB
    Last edited by CANADIANBACON; 03-12-2016 at 07:30 PM.

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    Why does mountain biking need to be looked upon as a "movement'? It's just riding bikes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Mrwhlr View Post
    Didn't see, but I get sort of aroused thinking about a Vandeman/Rockman session in here.
    Ahhh... The real troll in this thread appears on cue wherever discord rears its head, seeking to use others to entertain himself. Mrwhlr, the beloved child Jesse, emerges from the darkness, yearning for the Light. Yet his shriveled soul cannot bear the Light. Rather from the shadows, he stokes the fires of destruction with careless abandon. Pray, friends, for Jesse, that he may learn that sowing discord from the safety of anonymity will never bring him Peace, nor as he so fervently yearns, Power.
    Perrenially Peddling Pro-Pedaling Propaganda

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Progenitor View Post
    Ahhh... The real troll in this thread appears on cue wherever discord rears its head, seeking to use others to entertain himself. Mrwhlr, the beloved child Jesse, emerges from the darkness, yearning for the Light. Yet his shriveled soul cannot bear the Light. Rather from the shadows, he stokes the fires of destruction with careless abandon. Pray, friends, for Jesse, that he may learn that sowing discord from the safety of anonymity will never bring him Peace, nor as he so fervently yearns, Power.
    aaaaaaaaaand... on to our regular scheduled programming.

    Good point Phillbo. Sometimes the words get in the way of the intention.

    Cheers,
    CB

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    And on that note...why is it a simple appeal to the mtb community to help out is so easily derailed? Personally, I want more and better trails. Within reason and with regard to other important resources.

    Below is the letter I sent to the forest supervisor. Feel free to use it as a template to revise and send in your own comments or simply cut and paste or write your own if you wish to support the trail plan using the FS comment form: Coconino National Forest- Contact Us

    Dear Coconino National Forest Supervisor,

    I am writing regarding the Mount Elden Dry Lake Hills Recreation Planning (MEDL) proposal that is currently on hold by the Flagstaff Ranger District. I am a geologist at Northern Arizona University and have lived in Flagstaff since 1986. I am an avid hiker and mountain biker and the demand for both activities in the Peaks District has increased 100-fold or more since I became a Flagstaff resident. In addition, mountain biking as a sport has diversified with a significant increase in demand for more technical bike oriented trails as well as those intended for multi-use similar to other popular, outdoor destination areas in the interior western US (eg., Jackson, WY, Sun Valley, ID, or Park City, Utah). Addressing the increasing demand by taking steps to properly plan for the future is a key step in managing this portion of the Coconino National Forest for these activities.

    More than two years ago I sent in comments expressing my support for the planning of additional non-motorized trails in the Mount Elden and Dry Lake Hills area. The area is not only important to my family (and me), but is the most popular area for mountain biking in the greater Flagstaff area. The existing trail network is antiquated and sorely in need of maintenance, reroutes are needed where sections of trail are unsustainable and new trails required to better accommodate the ever increasing population of Flagstaff and visitors alike. The MEDL Recreation Planning NEPA addressed those concerns and following formal scoping and a public comment period in which the comments were overwhelmingly in support of the project, further progress on NEPA studies has stalled and the project placed on hold.

    I understand that at present time the Flagstaff Watershed Protection Project (FWPP) has been prioritized over MEDL planning, but now that FWPP Record of Decision has been signed and the project planned for implementation in 2016, it is time to shift priority back to MEDL Planning. I and many others would like assurance that MEDL remains a priority with the District. I am asking that you, as our new Forest Supervisor, do whatever you can within your powers to help to find the means to fund the MEDL Planning to completion as soon as possible. The mountain bike community and others have been waiting for this effort for more than a decade. The need for well-managed recreation opportunities and recreation infrastructure (for example, an established trailhead with pit toilets at Schultz Creek) is increasingly apparent each time I visit the area.

    Thank you for your consideration.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    And on that note...why is it a simple appeal to the mtb community to help out is so easily derailed? Personally, I want more and better trails. Within reason and with regard to other important resources.

    Below is the letter I sent to the forest supervisor. Feel free to use it as a template to revise and send in your own comments or simply cut and paste or write your own if you wish to support the trail plan using the FS comment form: Coconino National Forest- Contact Us
    +1
    "You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to rockman again."

    dang system....
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  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    And on that note...why is it a simple appeal to the mtb community to help out is so easily derailed?
    Well to that point we all know there are a handful of serial offenders, though I can only speculate about their motives.

    As to the larger issue here, as an Alaskan who enjoys the outdoors in a variety of ways, but primarily mtb, I've responded to several surveys, commented on management plans, and written to land mangers on mtb and related access issues on AZ and the SW pubic lands and will continue to. When I move back to Prescott in the fall I plan to take a more directly active role through local cycling organizations. CB, Rockman keep up the good work.
    Veni vidi velo!

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    And on that note...why is it a simple appeal to the mtb community to help out is so easily derailed? Personally, I want more and better trails. Within reason and with regard to other important resources.

    Below is the letter I sent to the forest supervisor.
    Thanks Rockman, and thanks to raisingarizona and all the folks who have been involved with this project. I'm on it.

    CB

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    Quote Originally Posted by Progenitor View Post
    Ahhh... The real troll in this thread appears on cue wherever discord rears its head, seeking to use others to entertain himself. Mrwhlr, the beloved child Jesse, emerges from the darkness, yearning for the Light. Yet his shriveled soul cannot bear the Light. Rather from the shadows, he stokes the fires of destruction with careless abandon. Pray, friends, for Jesse, that he may learn that sowing discord from the safety of anonymity will never bring him Peace, nor as he so fervently yearns, Power.
    I'm not that anonymous, you moron. I introduce myself as Ray on teh gnars.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  32. #32
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    Quote Originally Posted by CANADIANBACON View Post
    So... that happened.


    Other than a few misunderstandings and cherished rivalries, most of the people I have ever interacted with here over the years are great. They are passionate about mountain biking and are willing to discuss and share the bad and the good with humor and tact, and are generally very supportive of one another. This is just one of the reasons mtbr.com is so cool!

    Although mtbr.com forums are mostly full of fun and geeky banter, interesting stories, and cool pictures, there is also room for the occasional serious discussion or gripe fest... when we want to have em.

    I've noticed in the last few years a trend where some more sophisticated participants are employing specific tactics, often in an attempt to derail and or undermine a discussion, post, or thread that they do not agree with. As a result I have a low tolerance threshold for these folks.

    If anyone is even slightly interested in understanding how Fallacious Arguments are employed tactically on mtbr.com to to manipulate a straight forward conversation here are a few links (zzzzzz sorry):

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fallacy
    A List Of Fallacious Arguments
    Logical Fallacies and the Art of Debate

    mtbr.com has worked great for organizing everything from group rides to "Beerduros"!... Let's try and use it to help one another, find common ground, shared principles, or cultural touchstones... whatever you want to call them, big picture stuff that we can all agree on.

    When we focus on issues and not affiliations and their positions we reduce drag, and move forward, sooner, and with less effort.

    Make AZ mtb better stoke on.

    Cheers,
    CB
    So.....Sedstaff drama? Sweet, carry on with yer bad selves. Jesus.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by CANADIANBACON View Post
    Hey Hawg,

    You say that you respect us AZ mtber's concern for the future of our community's and trails. Yet, again, your words are dismissive and naive.

    "the future will be handled appropriately with each and every day"

    O.k., let's apply this same thinking to you and your family's health and welfare?

    Why talk, plan, save, or work? Tomorrow will be just fine!

    Your second statement

    "It didn't get like it is now without careful planning, coordination, and cooperation."

    Is pure fiction. And is passively dismissive of Sedona's current REALITY, and challenges.

    For those of you who have not figured out what Hawg is up to here:

    Hawg's comments/posts are specifically worded to undermine the OP... an attempt to cast doubt on the OP's statements and their validity. Basically to erode any trust that the OP may have within this community.

    An attempt to passively undermine trust within a community is B.S. and weak sauce.

    Keep an eye on Hawg and his affiliations. The answer as to why he is "participating" here might become obvious.

    CB
    Really? Have you read Hawg's posts all over this site? I don't think he has any intentions "to undermine the OP" and I think people just took what he and evdog were saying out of context. As a fellow Southern Californian (and new land owner in Prescott ), I feel they were more or less saying they wish they had your problems. I know I'd gladly deal with more tourists, ore trash & more skid marks on my trails to have access to the trails you guys have.

    None of that means that people don't respect the hard work and effort it takes to build & maintain great trail systems. As one of those "tourists" who probably spends $5-7000+ a year just on MTB travel, I truly appreciate your efforts. To show my appreciation, I join IMBA groups (COPMOBA in Fruita, Kokopelli in Cortez & Dixie IMBA in St George) even though I live up to 14 hours away.

  34. #34
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    It's great that you spend 5-7k on mtg vacations every year. I know as a local in a place where we have no access, the last thing I would want is a bunch of yahoo's ripping up my local trails. It's nice for the hotel and burrito shop that you spend the money but I just get ripped up trails and no one helping me fix them up. (not to say you rip up trails)
    I'm sick of all the Irish stereotypes, as soon as I finish this beer I"m punching someone

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by sfgiantsfan View Post
    It's great that you spend 5-7k on mtg vacations every year. I know as a local in a place where we have no access, the last thing I would want is a bunch of yahoo's ripping up my local trails. It's nice for the hotel and burrito shop that you spend the money but I just get ripped up trails and no one helping me fix them up. (not to say you rip up trails)
    I'd guess that the folks in Fruita don't share your opinion. MTB tourism saved that city from being a ghost town. No other cities, such as Steamboat Springs that Rockman mentioned, are investing in more (and better trail systems). I can guarantee you that the end game is to lure MTB tourism to the city first and foremost.

    You are right about one thing, I don't rip up trails. I even pick up trash that doesn't belong to me. I spend $$ at local bike shops.

  36. #36
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    .........
    Last edited by raisingarizona; 03-13-2016 at 03:07 PM.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by k2rider1964 View Post
    Really? Have you read Hawg's posts all over this site? I don't think he has any intentions "to undermine the OP" and I think people just took what he and evdog were saying out of context. As a fellow Southern Californian (and new land owner in Prescott ), I feel they were more or less saying they wish they had your problems. I know I'd gladly deal with more tourists, ore trash & more skid marks on my trails to have access to the trails you guys have.

    None of that means that people don't respect the hard work and effort it takes to build & maintain great trail systems. As one of those "tourists" who probably spends $5-7000+ a year just on MTB travel, I truly appreciate your efforts. To show my appreciation, I join IMBA groups (COPMOBA in Fruita, Kokopelli in Cortez & Dixie IMBA in St George) even though I live up to 14 hours away.
    Hey k2rider1964

    Yes... Really.

    I've have read Hawgs posts over the years. However, on this occasion I we will have to agree to disagree. Hawg had posted three times and each time it was commentary. Commentary is cheap and help is expensive and rare. I think his last response speaks for itself.

    As to whether or not Hawg or evdog respect the "hard work and effort it takes to build and maintain great trail systems", that is not what we are discussing. Let Hawg and evdog start a thread on that subject.

    I appreciate your comments about the economic development piece. That said, it is naive to think that ALL towns work exactly the same way, A solution elsewhere for sure is not a solution here. If you are interested I have quite a bit of depth on the subject.

    Many people think that by joining a national advocacy group that they are "helping", that too is naive. Some places advocacy is making huge progress and in some places it is a cancer. But that my friend is for another thread.

    For those of us living and riding in AZ, we can get much more done by working together without the ideological baggage.

    Thanks for keeping things positive.

    Would you consider using Rockman's letter to write a letter to the Coconino National Forest?

    Cheers,
    CB

  38. #38
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    Quote Originally Posted by CANADIANBACON View Post
    For those of you who have not figured out what Hawg is up to here:
    A bit dramatic...
    Luke, this is your father's lightsaber. I cut him in 1/2 to get it.

  39. #39
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    Ok, I tried to read, short attention span here. Can someone give me a cliff's notes synopsis? My takeaway from this thread is Sedona does not have enough trails to satisfy the locals or too many people riding skidding, ruining the trails and outsiders not really welcome since they don't do any work?
    Make Flagstaff RAD Again.

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    sinatorj , they are describing many different problems across different regions of AZ and how best to deal with them.

    Phoenix sounds like SoCal (where I live). They have an urban sprawl issue (developers buying up land and paving it)

    Sedona has an issue with not enough trails (and lack of recent maintenance)

    Sounds like Flagstaff has great potential but no one in charge seems to care hence their trail system is trashed and old (like 20+ years old) with no vision for the future.

    At the end of the day it's all politics. I know that many mountain bikers want to just ride in a trail utopia and forget about the world's problems (some of us do ride to clear our heads like that), but now those problems are making their way on to very trails we ride.

    What's needed is education, activism and getting involved locally.

    I'll send a letter.

    PS I love AZ!

  41. #41
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    Writing letters is okay, encouraged. Paper trails in government is one way to make an actual trail, someday, maybe.
    Direct action in the field is better. Giving back to the trail each and every ride is free, fun, and your riding partners may pick up the habit as well. Carry a mason's hammer, or a collapsable shovel, stash stuff, or such. Every ride, spend 20 minutes fixing a skidders rudeness, clean drains, build up the tread, little things. Don't give a Sh*&%T what others think, just take little actions. Little fixes along the way. Little things add up. People *****, may tear your stuff down. Outlast them, ride more, don't take pictures, don't spray on the interweb. Most notice nothing anyway, riding or walking while checking their social media.
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  42. #42
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    wjphillips hit the nail on the head. This whole thread originated with a discussion between Canadianbacon and I regarding why the two communities are not more unified in voice despite being in the same national forest and located only 25 miles apart. I pointed out that only 3 comments were filed on the Flag trail plan by Sedona mtn bikers. Personally, Ive built trail in Sedona and was actively engaged with the recreation officer and have discussed erosional concerns with the staff hydrologist. Others are active as well. Arguably the coolest trail in Sedona was built by a Flag rider. Yet, theres a vibe of being just another Flag rider talking shyte about Sedona trails and sticking our noses in Sedona business. Whatever, we need a more unified voice. We can do better. I get all the bad blood in Sedona, lack of transparency with the FS, and how IMBA sold out the newly formed chapter club. These things are not to be forgotten but I believe we need to look forward. Im most interested in Flagstaff and from my POV nothing is happening in Flag while at the same time the Red Rock District is making things happen (albeit not all are happy with how maintenance and trail concepts are being implemented).

    Maybe thats a nave POV and things will always be this way. I was just trying to garner support for Flag trails from our Sedona brothers and sisters. We ride their trails all winter long and they ride ours all summer long. That said, there's an awesome trail proposal for Sedona that was recently out for public comment. Apparently it has a soft deadline so if anyone cares to send in a supporting letter there is still time. The plan was scoped out by the same guy that routed Ahab in Moab. http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...eprd489167.pdf

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    And these are the details on the Flagstaff MEDL trail plan. It's really worth fighting for.

    New Trail Construction


    *8 miles of trail designed for equestrian use that connects Little Elden Springs Horse Campground and provides loop opportunities. Comment: Horsey folks get their own trail and stay off others that are heavily used by bikers and hikers.
    *Up to 3.5 miles of 1-way downhill-mountain biking trails with natural features technical challenge. Comment: Wasabi would be closed and that area given up to the owls. A new Wasabi would be constructed in a different drainage that could be potentially just as awesome. Private Reserve would be rerouted with another trail planned for the area as well.
    *5 miles of new trail on the South Face of Mt. Elden to loop opportunity for hikers and runners that use the Elden Lookout Trail and to connect to the Flagstaff Loop Trail near Buffalo Park. Comment: I believe dh use would be discouraged but this trail would be climbable by bike with grades less than 7%.
    *Scenic Loop Trails on the top of Mount Elden and in the Dry Lakes to connect to Brookbank Trail.

    Reroutes

    *Relocate approximately 3 miles of Brookbank Trail.
    *Relocate approximately 2 miles of Upper Oldham Trail.
    *Relocate approximately 1 mile of Little Elden Trail.

    Comment: FBO made recommendations to add Jedi, Ginger, and Red Onion into the system and a new trail called Buckrut that would be routed in between Schultz Creek trail and the proposed Dry Lakes Scenic Loop. Comment: This one is critical to disperse use and provide an alternative to Schultz. Ive walked this area with Chalkpaw and it could be really awesome. There is currently unauthorized trail building going on the area which is being ridden but its unsustainable crappy trail. Red Onion is a critical connector and a new upper Oldham and Lower Brookbank that can climbs at a gentler grade will allow any number of loop opportunites. These two are the keystones to the project IMO and make the area a world-class riding area.

    Trailheads

    *Consolidate Schultz Tank and Sunset Trailheads
    *Relocate Little Elden Trailhead
    *Decommission the trailhead at Little Elden and relocate near Highway 89 on FR 556.
    *West Elden Trailhead at the climbing area
    *Elden Scenic Trailhead on the top of Elden
    *Established TH at the bottom of Schultz Creek trail with pit toilets

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    And these are the details on the Flagstaff MEDL trail plan. It's really worth fighting for.

    New Trail Construction


    *8 miles of trail designed for equestrian use that connects Little Elden Springs Horse Campground and provides loop opportunities. Comment: Horsey folks get their own trail and stay off others that are heavily used by bikers and hikers.
    *Up to 3.5 miles of 1-way downhill-mountain biking trails with natural features technical challenge. Comment: Wasabi would be closed and that area given up to the owls. A new Wasabi would be constructed in a different drainage that could be potentially just as awesome. Private Reserve would be rerouted with another trail planned for the area as well.
    *5 miles of new trail on the South Face of Mt. Elden to loop opportunity for hikers and runners that use the Elden Lookout Trail and to connect to the Flagstaff Loop Trail near Buffalo Park. Comment: I believe dh use would be discouraged but this trail would be climbable by bike with grades less than 7%.
    *Scenic Loop Trails on the top of Mount Elden and in the Dry Lakes to connect to Brookbank Trail.

    Reroutes

    *Relocate approximately 3 miles of Brookbank Trail.
    *Relocate approximately 2 miles of Upper Oldham Trail.
    *Relocate approximately 1 mile of Little Elden Trail.

    Comment: FBO made recommendations to add Jedi, Ginger, and Red Onion into the system and a new trail called Buckrut that would be routed in between Schultz Creek trail and the proposed Dry Lakes Scenic Loop. Comment: This one is critical to disperse use and provide an alternative to Schultz. Ive walked this area with Chalkpaw and it could be really awesome. There is currently unauthorized trail building going on the area which is being ridden but its unsustainable crappy trail. Red Onion is a critical connector and a new upper Oldham and Lower Brookbank that can climbs at a gentler grade will allow any number of loop opportunites. These two are the keystones to the project IMO and make the area a world-class riding area.

    Trailheads

    *Consolidate Schultz Tank and Sunset Trailheads
    *Relocate Little Elden Trailhead
    *Decommission the trailhead at Little Elden and relocate near Highway 89 on FR 556.
    *West Elden Trailhead at the climbing area
    *Elden Scenic Trailhead on the top of Elden
    *Established TH at the bottom of Schultz Creek trail with pit toilets
    Sounds cool, I got a pick and a shovel, when do we get started...
    Make Flagstaff RAD Again.

  45. #45
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    Okay, Its been a couple of weeks since I sent in two different trail support letters to the USFS managment and have two responses.

    On my MEDL email, I have had no response since the mailing on March 18th. Ooh, what a cold shoulder response Mr. Govt! Seems like they don't give a flying F about bikes and recreation??

    My second trail email sent on March 20th did get a response. Out here in Mountainaire one of the trails on the E. Barks topo map is now closed due to a property owner, gating and posting a no tresspassing sign. No more public use.
    Its a little trail that leads out of the neighborhood, and only a fool like me would ride it on a bike. Anyway, the response was something to "We can't do anything, so get over it". Yeah, I understand, but to me the email was again worded to not work with the public but to leave our land managers alone...

    Any thoughts?
    There is a big difference between ripping and skidding.

  46. #46
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    Time to take matters into our own hands. Get in after the loggers leave, make it better than it was before.
    Make Flagstaff RAD Again.

  47. #47
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    I have sent in letters in support of the Gateway Trails project in Sedona and MEDL here in Flag and didn't get a response to either.

    I think sinatorj is on to something. After taking a peak at the thinning operations and seeing the super-highway they graded that destroyed a short section of AZ trail and the old Meadow Trail it it appears to me that a nice singletrack trail would be a nice remediation project to lessen the environmental impact of the thinning. I believe the plan is to remediate the roads when the project is done but holy cow it's blasted in there. The resource damage resulting from a nicely aligned, sustainable, benchcut trail snaking through the woods pales in comparison.

    The drainage just west of Dogfood would make for a nice trail alignment once Dogfood Engineer get's the same road treatment.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    I have sent in letters in support of the Gateway Trails project in Sedona and MEDL here in Flag and didn't get a response to either.

    I think sinatorj is on to something. After taking a peak at the thinning operations and seeing the super-highway they graded that destroyed a short section of AZ trail and the old Meadow Trail it it appears to me that a nice singletrack trail would be a nice remediation project to lessen the environmental impact of the thinning. I believe the plan is to remediate the roads when the project is done but holy cow it's blasted in there. The resource damage resulting from a nicely aligned, sustainable, benchcut trail snaking through the woods pales in comparison.

    The drainage just west of Dogfood would make for a nice trail alignment once Dogfood Engineer get's the same road treatment.
    Same thought process for the dry lake hills trails after the thinning is complete.
    Worked in Red Rock country. Same forest, same difference.
    Make Flagstaff RAD Again.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    And these are the details on the Flagstaff MEDL trail plan. It's really worth fighting for.

    New Trail Construction


    *8 miles of trail designed for equestrian use that connects Little Elden Springs Horse Campground and provides loop opportunities. Comment: Horsey folks get their own trail and stay off others that are heavily used by bikers and hikers.

    *Up to 3.5 miles of 1-way downhill-mountain biking trails with natural features technical challenge. Comment: Wasabi would be closed and that area given up to the owls. A new Wasabi would be constructed in a different drainage that could be potentially just as awesome. Private Reserve would be rerouted with another trail planned for the area as well.

    *5 miles of new trail on the South Face of Mt. Elden to loop opportunity for hikers and runners that use the Elden Lookout Trail and to connect to the Flagstaff Loop Trail near Buffalo Park. Comment: I believe dh use would be discouraged but this trail would be climbable by bike with grades less than 7%.
    *Scenic Loop Trails on the top of Mount Elden and in the Dry Lakes to connect to Brookbank Trail.

    Reroutes

    *Relocate approximately 3 miles of Brookbank Trail.
    *Relocate approximately 2 miles of Upper Oldham Trail.
    *Relocate approximately 1 mile of Little Elden Trail.

    Red Onion is a critical connector and a new upper Oldham and Lower Brookbank that can climbs at a gentler grade will allow any number of loop opportunites. These two are the keystones to the project IMO and make the area a world-class riding area. [/I]
    It would be astonishing if the FS could get all of this done in the next few years. ACE is gearing up and has purchased a second mini-excavator and they may have bought another Sweco trail dozer, to use along with the 100+ corps members they spread out on various projects each season. The new Brookbank alignment has been needed for decades. If Lower Oldham can be better maintained, and a new single track trail built to tie west Fort Valley at FR 164B to the west end of Rocky Moto, the options for 30+ mile XC rides will be endless. The beauty of a new horse trail near Elden Springs, leading up to Schultz Tank, is Little Elden isn't deep powder in May and June, prior to the monsoons. I plan to hold on to our Flagstaff home for another ten years to reap the benefits of what is hopefully to come. I'd like to believe the years of illegal trail building are what finally motivated the FS to get off their backsides and create a plan to accommodate the mountain bike community. Please continue to post updates and construction time frames as they become available.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    I have sent in letters in support of the Gateway Trails project in Sedona and MEDL here in Flag and didn't get a response to either.
    I don't think they answer letters but typically the letter will appear with the Project Documents. I've been able to browse through the Coconino Forest projects and find the letters (and the FS response) I've sent in the past.

    I, too, wrote concerning the Gateway Trails and the long-delayed MEDL.

    -db-

  51. #51
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    Here's the reply to that Traildoc received from the District Ranger:

    On Mar 18, 2016, at 11:58 AM, Elson, Mike T -FS wrote:
    Thanks for your email John. MEDL is still very much a priority for the district, the challenge has simply been funding the effort. We receive our funding in very specific categories (fuels reduction work, fire suppression, engineering, recreation, etc.) and we are very limited in our ability to use funds for anything other than those purposes. The funds available in recreation just have not allowed us to fund a planning effort for MEDL to this point. We are continuing to look at all of our options for finding a way to move forward, such as reducing the scope of the project or using a phased approach. Please check in with Brian Poturalski periodically for updates, we appreciate your interest in seeing the effort move forward.

    Mike Elson
    District Ranger
    Forest Service
    Coconino National Forest, Flagstaff Ranger District
    p: 928-527-8231
    mtelson@fs.fed.us

    5075 N. Hwy 89
    Flagstaff, AZ 86004
    US Forest Service


    Caring for the land and serving people

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    I found this email from the FS in my inbox today.

    It has been a while since our last update. Since the conclusion of the 90-day comment period on the draft plan and draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), we have been focused on reviewing all the comments we received on those documents and determining how to address those comments. Thank you for your patience over the last two years as we have reviewed and responded to your comments. As we near the completion of this phase of our forest plan revision effort, we want to share our progress with you.
    Recap of the Comment Period
    During the comment period, we hosted a total of 7 public meetings spanning 2 rounds (3 meetings in January 2014 and 4 meetings in February 2014) which were held in Flagstaff, Sedona, and Happy Jack; 20 internal meetings with different resource specialists and district staff; and other meetings requested by the Hopi Tribe, San Carlos Apache Tribe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and a handful of local organizations.
    For round one of the public meetings, our purpose was to inform participants of the contents of the draft plan and DEIS and share tips for reviewing these documents. We also used it as an opportunity to ask participants what topics they wanted additional information on during the following round. Based on their feedback, we narrowed the focus of round twos discussion to the following topics: dispersed recreation, wildlife and water resources, motorized recreation, wilderness and special areas, and forest uses under permit.
    We consider these public meetings a great success as we were able to meet and interact with over 150 people interested in plan revision, discuss important topics identified by meeting participants, and gain a better understanding of different and conflicting perspectives on forest management.
    By the end of the comment period, we had heard from over 1,700 commenters through 100 unique comment letters, which included over 1,100 individual comments. Commenters included: city, county, and State governments; other Federal agencies; the Navajo Nation and White Mountain Apache Tribe; utility companies; various environmental and user-related organizations; and individual citizens.
    Comments ranged from expressing a preference for a specific plan alternative, to providing alternate analyses, to pointing out typographical errors in the documents. Some of the most common topics included: wilderness recommendations, proposed wildlife habitat management areas, motorized access, recreational shooting, management areas, climate change, species viability, municipal watershed and water supply, use of reclaimed water, management indicator species, and specific language within the plan components (i.e., desired conditions, objectives, etc.).
    We want to thank all those who participated in our public meetings and those who provided comments on the plan and DEIS! We appreciate the time and energy you devoted to be involved in this important step of the plan revision process and in helping us create a plan for a healthy and sustainable Coconino National Forest. We have tried to honor your efforts by thoughtfully considering all of these comments.
    Since the Comment Period
    After the comment period closed, we went to work on reviewing the comments and determining how to respond to them. This effort resulted in a comprehensive review of all the action alternatives. In response to the comments we received on the alternatives, we have been adjusting some plan components included in those alternatives. The adjustments are designed to address specific comments, integrate duplicative or redundant plan language, and reorganize the plan to make it easier to use. Taking the public comments and feedback into consideration, the Regional Forester has instructed the Forest to develop and analyze a modified version of Alternative B.
    Next Steps
    After we complete our internal reviews of the modifications to Alternative B, we will share this near final iteration of the revised plan with you. We hope to have that available in Spring 2016. In the coming months, we will begin preparing the final EIS, which will analyze the effects of the alternatives with their modifications. As a part of formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service required by the Endangered Species Act, our team is beginning to compile a biological assessment to analyze the impacts to federally listed threatened and endangered species from implementing the preferred alternative. We expect to formally start the consultation process this summer. Once these steps are complete, the plan and EIS will undergo any necessary final adjustments. This puts us on track to distribute the new revised Plan and the final EIS in Spring 2017.
    Personnel Changes
    Since our last update, there have been several personnel changes related to the forest plan revision effort. Yewah Lau, Sara Dechter, Emily Stoddard, and Adriane Ragan all left the forest plan revision team to pursue other career opportunities. In June 2014, Vernon Keller joined the forest plan revision team as the Forest Planner. The other vacancies on the forest plan revision team have not been filled. In August 2015, Laura Jo West became our new Forest Supervisor.
    Contact Us
    As we finalize the plan and EIS, we will continue to keep you informed of our progress. If you have questions, please contact Vernon Keller, Forest Planner, at (928) 527-3415 or vkeller@fs.fed.us. To update your existing contact information, please email us at: coconino_national_forest_plan_revision_team@fs.fed .us
    Thank you again for your continued interest in the future of the Coconino National Forest!

  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    I found this email from the FS in my inbox today.

    It has been a while since our last update. Since the conclusion of the 90-day comment period on the draft plan and draft environmental impact statement (DEIS), we have been focused on reviewing all the comments we received on those documents and determining how to address those comments. Thank you for your patience over the last two years as we have reviewed and responded to your comments. As we near the completion of this phase of our forest plan revision effort, we want to share our progress with you.
    Recap of the Comment Period
    During the comment period, we hosted a total of 7 public meetings spanning 2 rounds (3 meetings in January 2014 and 4 meetings in February 2014) which were held in Flagstaff, Sedona, and Happy Jack; 20 internal meetings with different resource specialists and district staff; and other meetings requested by the Hopi Tribe, San Carlos Apache Tribe, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Arizona Game and Fish Department, and a handful of local organizations.
    For round one of the public meetings, our purpose was to inform participants of the contents of the draft plan and DEIS and share tips for reviewing these documents. We also used it as an opportunity to ask participants what topics they wanted additional information on during the following round. Based on their feedback, we narrowed the focus of round twos discussion to the following topics: dispersed recreation, wildlife and water resources, motorized recreation, wilderness and special areas, and forest uses under permit.
    We consider these public meetings a great success as we were able to meet and interact with over 150 people interested in plan revision, discuss important topics identified by meeting participants, and gain a better understanding of different and conflicting perspectives on forest management.
    By the end of the comment period, we had heard from over 1,700 commenters through 100 unique comment letters, which included over 1,100 individual comments. Commenters included: city, county, and State governments; other Federal agencies; the Navajo Nation and White Mountain Apache Tribe; utility companies; various environmental and user-related organizations; and individual citizens.
    Comments ranged from expressing a preference for a specific plan alternative, to providing alternate analyses, to pointing out typographical errors in the documents. Some of the most common topics included: wilderness recommendations, proposed wildlife habitat management areas, motorized access, recreational shooting, management areas, climate change, species viability, municipal watershed and water supply, use of reclaimed water, management indicator species, and specific language within the plan components (i.e., desired conditions, objectives, etc.).
    We want to thank all those who participated in our public meetings and those who provided comments on the plan and DEIS! We appreciate the time and energy you devoted to be involved in this important step of the plan revision process and in helping us create a plan for a healthy and sustainable Coconino National Forest. We have tried to honor your efforts by thoughtfully considering all of these comments.
    Since the Comment Period
    After the comment period closed, we went to work on reviewing the comments and determining how to respond to them. This effort resulted in a comprehensive review of all the action alternatives. In response to the comments we received on the alternatives, we have been adjusting some plan components included in those alternatives. The adjustments are designed to address specific comments, integrate duplicative or redundant plan language, and reorganize the plan to make it easier to use. Taking the public comments and feedback into consideration, the Regional Forester has instructed the Forest to develop and analyze a modified version of Alternative B.
    Next Steps
    After we complete our internal reviews of the modifications to Alternative B, we will share this near final iteration of the revised plan with you. We hope to have that available in Spring 2016. In the coming months, we will begin preparing the final EIS, which will analyze the effects of the alternatives with their modifications. As a part of formal consultation with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service required by the Endangered Species Act, our team is beginning to compile a biological assessment to analyze the impacts to federally listed threatened and endangered species from implementing the preferred alternative. We expect to formally start the consultation process this summer. Once these steps are complete, the plan and EIS will undergo any necessary final adjustments. This puts us on track to distribute the new revised Plan and the final EIS in Spring 2017.
    Personnel Changes
    Since our last update, there have been several personnel changes related to the forest plan revision effort. Yewah Lau, Sara Dechter, Emily Stoddard, and Adriane Ragan all left the forest plan revision team to pursue other career opportunities. In June 2014, Vernon Keller joined the forest plan revision team as the Forest Planner. The other vacancies on the forest plan revision team have not been filled. In August 2015, Laura Jo West became our new Forest Supervisor.
    Contact Us
    As we finalize the plan and EIS, we will continue to keep you informed of our progress. If you have questions, please contact Vernon Keller, Forest Planner, at (928) 527-3415 or vkeller@fs.fed.us. To update your existing contact information, please email us at: coconino_national_forest_plan_revision_team@fs.fed .us
    Thank you again for your continued interest in the future of the Coconino National Forest!
    What does that even mean?
    Make Flagstaff RAD Again.

  54. #54
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    What does that even mean?
    I'm reading it like they are trying to buy more time with the community. It's to sound like things are happening (and in some ways they are but at glacial speed) but in reality they are scrambling to find money for the project because everything is going towards fire suppression.

  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by sinatorj View Post
    What does that even mean?
    It means they know their audience very well.
    Nice KOM, sorry about your penis.

  56. #56
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    Reputation: rockman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    I'm reading it like they are trying to buy more time with the community. It's to sound like things are happening (and in some ways they are but at glacial speed) but in reality they are scrambling to find money for the project because everything is going towards fire suppression.
    That may be true but it's so easy to blame lack of funding but I don't see them actively going and getting it either. The city of Sedona gives a sizeable amount to the FS for trail maintenance. Not sure why Flagstaff can't do the same. Really, what it all begs for is an organization that is actively going after funding. It's not the FS, and not to take anything away from the substantial contributions they've made to trails and cycling advocacy, I'm not sure it's FBO either.

    edit to add: the fact remains, Flagstaff is not one but two decades behind the 8 ball in comparison to most other western towns.

  57. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by rockman View Post
    That may be true but it's so easy to blame lack of funding but I don't see them actively going and getting it either. The city of Sedona gives a sizeable amount to the FS for trail maintenance. Not sure why Flagstaff can't do the same. Really, what it all begs for is an organization that is actively going after funding. It's not the FS, and not to take anything away from the substantial contributions they've made to trails and cycling advocacy, I'm not sure it's FBO either.

    edit to add: the fact remains, Flagstaff is not one but two decades behind the 8 ball in comparison to most other western towns.
    Become that guy rm, I'm way too busy for now.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    Become that guy rm, I'm way too busy for now.
    It's easier to just complain.

    At the very least we keep the pressure on to complete the modifications to Alternative B as indicated in that letter, available in Spring 2016. Last time I checked it's now spring 2016.

  59. #59
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    Quote Originally Posted by raisingarizona View Post
    I'm reading it like they are trying to buy more time with the community. It's to sound like things are happening (and in some ways they are but at glacial speed) but in reality they are scrambling to find money for the project because everything is going towards fire suppression.
    Rockman has a good grasp of how the FS runs. There are many things they fail to tell you, like how much of thefederal disaster funding they got after the Shultz Fire that was only to be used for trail restoration. Have you asked or have they ever told you how many grants they have written in the last ten years to fund trail projects? ACE has offered to write the grants for them and they refuse. How often do you see the volunteer coordinator out on the trails with volunteers? The old volunteer coordinator never attended a single volunteer trail event. Not one. How about the former mobile trail crew that FBO started. Where are they? I offered to work with the crew and train new members and Anthony felt is was better to disband them then to allow me to steer them to do work where he had no say so. National Trails Day on the first Saturday in June generates more volunteers than all other volunteer events combined for the entire year, yet it has often been scheduled for trails most of us do not ride frequently, like Rogers Lake or Ashurst Lake, or one year it was Buffalo Park?? How many times have you been out riding and come across the hotshot crew doing trail work? There was a time they would be out doing trail work until they were sent on a fire. Now they don't even communicate with Sean Murphy and discuss doing trail work. They get paid to go to a gym or simply train by jogging on trails while carrying their pulaski tools, while never stopping to do maintenance.

    Funding is the least of their problems. They Are poorly managed and lack motivation. Sean is disinterested. Brian is burned out. Justin won't give up his weekends because he has kids. Mike Elson is part of the revolving door of Rangers who come in and then retire a couple years later before they get to know what is going on, or care what is going on. Yes, fire suppression is where the employees make bank. They all want to go out, even the guy without red-card training. They can make more money doing support work like delivering grocery supplies to fire camps than working on a trail crew. Plus it's a lot easier. It's almost like Brad is the only person getting anything done.

    Boulder City initially wrote a check for $50k to get their downhill trail system started. They have since ponied up a lot more. The City of Flagstaff has not contributed to anything other than the urban trail, that I know of. I know Randy Wilson is a bit of a rider. I can't understand how he has kept silent all these years at the AZ Daily Sun. The FS has a history of responding to negative news stories critical of them by quickly going out and building new trails. That's how we got Campbell Mesa Trails. I would think the FS could just stand aside and allow us to construct a new trail on an alignment they approved and did NEPA on. Can you imagine how they'd feel watching us build a perfect trail without their help?

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