Lets not forget about the Fells RMP!- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Lets not forget about the Fells RMP!

    Hey, fellow Massachusetts Mountain Bikers! as many of us probably know, the DCR is going to release the Draft RMP for the Fells tommorow at McGlynn School Auditorium, 3001 Mystic Valley Parkway, Medford. The meeting will be from 6:30 pm to 8:00 pm. Do not forget that this a meeting the future of fells mountain bike access depends on. It is important that anti-bike groups like the "Friends" of the Fells are not the only ones showing up. This has been dragging on for years now, but the mountain bikers must not give up! I am going to remain optimistic that the DCR will do the right thing.

    Also, I emailed the Friends of the Fells a few months ago to explain why their arguments about their views on mountain biking are not reliable. They have not responded to me, and I don't think they will. They avoid the facts and real studies about mountain biking.

    Mountain Bikers unite! The dcr has listened to us this year, let's make sure they continue to do so!

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    Good job!


  3. #3
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    Excerpts from "Friends of Fells" homepage...

    -------------------
    A message to mountain bikers!
    Enjoy nature, don't destroy it.

    For over one hundred years the Fells had been a protected conservation area enjoyed by lovers of nature. Today its varied terrain, flora and fauna are being damaged and in some cases destroyed by some irresponsible mountain bikers who ride without regard for DCR regulations.

    [Photo of Illegal trail riding on Rock Circuit trail]

    You can help solve this problem by setting an example for other mountain bikers. Respect signs, and remember that regulations permit riding on shared hiking/biking trails in the mountain bike loop and miles of fire roads, but mountain biking is not allowed on single track hiking trails in any other section in the Fells. And absolutely no off-trail riding.
    Don't become part of the problem; be part of the solution!

    Since Fells trails usage was authorized in the Fells, preservation of natural features of the Reservation and the ability of all visitors to enjoy nature has guided MDC and DCR policy. Unfortunately, due to the lack of enforcement by the agencies, there has been minimal adherence to regulations designed to protect nature and the safety of all Fells visitors. The result has been habitat destruction and disruption of walkers on designated hiking trails by the speed and volume of bikers riding on trails other than the 35 miles of designated bike use trails. See this document [link] for a survey of the damage caused by lack of enforcement.

    A true Resource Management Plan process is essential to protect
    Fells plant and wildlife, and for the safety of everyone who enjoys the Fells.

    The Fells Resource Management Plan must consider the environmental and safety
    impacts of opening walking trails to bike use, and must include plans for
    enforcement of all regulations to protect Fells resources and visitors.

    For over a century the Middlesex Fells has served as a Reservation where diverse plant and wildlife features have been protected to be appreciated by generations of visitors. What is now at stake is a change in use of the Fells from serving as a natural oasis into a wide-open recreation park.

    The Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) is proposing a Fells Trails System Plan to convert the majority of Fells Reservation hiking trails to bike use. This dramatic expansion of the 35 miles already open to bike use will destroy sensitive plant communities, remove the solitude and peacefulness of walks in nature, and threaten public safety. For a list of issues of concern regarding the future of the Fells as a Reservation click here [link].

  4. #4
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    The link to their pdf presentation.

    http://www.fells.org/file/Physics%20...tainbiking.pdf

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    If the fells was supposed to be 100% a "natural oasis", no form of recreation would be allowed there at all, Including hiking!

  6. #6
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    Wink

    I just moved to Boston recently and only started riding in Fells this summer. So I'm not so much familiar with the history or extent of the animosity between hikers and bikers.

    When I go ride the loop (both on weekdays and weekends), typically I pass by about total of 10 other users in trails: dog walkers, hikers, bikers, horse riders (in order of frequency). I always stop or slow down to walking speed, and be courteous to everyone.

    Sure, I can see their concerns on trail erosion and disruption of their "tranquility" during the hikes, and perhaps there may have been problematic incidents in the past. I just don't know how pervasive or troubling those (isolated?) incidents were or if they are just over-hyped rhetorics.

    Me, originally from California and New York, I say Fells is very very quiet and underutilized for a park that is located very close to the city.

    IMO, it only takes civility on users and some trail maintenance work to solve these issues... easily.

  7. #7
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    The problem with the "Friends" of the Fells is that they have a history of not liking the mountain bikers and trying to make them look bad. And you'd think that if they thought bikes did all the trail damage they said they did, then they'd want us to do trail maintenance to clear up the damage. The fact that instead they have tried to block NEMBA's trail maintenance projects in the past shows that this isn't just about trail damage. It's partly about bigotry towards the mountain bike community.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jodebane View Post
    The problem with the "Friends" of the Fells is that they have a history of not liking the mountain bikers and trying to make them look bad. And you'd think that if they thought bikes did all the trail damage they said they did, then they'd want us to do trail maintenance to clear up the damage. The fact that instead they have tried to block NEMBA's trail maintenance projects in the past shows that this isn't just about trail damage. It's partly about bigotry towards the mountain bike community.

    Exactly!
    Lynn Woods:yikes:
    JRA cycles

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Astroboy View Post
    Me, originally from California and New York, I say Fells is very very quiet and underutilized for a park that is located very close to the city.

    IMO, it only takes civility on users and some trail maintenance work to solve these issues... easily.
    Give it a week or two, once the leaves start changing color the Fells is packed.

    The frustrating part is that bikers enjoy the park and would be willing to put the time and resources into making it a better place, but they get shut out. Not to mention they run the bike trail through the most used trails and then complain about shared usage and safety risks.

    At the same time, there's the irresponsible dog owners and Deliverance extras down by Sheepfold that make the place unfriendly to everyone, yet they're hardly ever recognized as an issue.Don't get me wrong, it could be worse (they could keep us out altogether), but the Fells really falls short when compared to all of the other amazingly bike friendly state parks and forests in the area.

  10. #10
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    Most people who are walking and running do so on the main trails that you can bike on. If they opened up the less used trails they wouldn't see nearly as many bikers. They just don't want to be inconvenienced to have to maybe move to the side a little.

  11. #11
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    35 miles of dedicated bike trails at the Fells? I must be missing a lot of the park...

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    Quote Originally Posted by danhasdrums View Post
    35 miles of dedicated bike trails at the Fells? I must be missing a lot of the park...
    Bikes are allowed on all the fire roads, which I assume they include in the milage. The "bike loop" itself is 7ish, I believe.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by fireball_jones View Post
    Bikes are allowed on all the fire roads, which I assume they include in the milage. The "bike loop" itself is 7ish, I believe.
    Ah... Seems that a lot of those fire roads run through areas where there are signs posted everywhere that say no trespassing, so, those are legal to ride and hike on? That place is rather confusing and full of the m*******s...

  14. #14
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    It is confusing, because some of the trails skirt right along the reservoir land. This map might help:
    http://www.mass.gov/dcr/news/publicm...pEmidfells.pdf

    Last time I was there, some of the more questionable trails were more clearly marked. Honestly, none of the fire roads are very interesting for biking on anyway.

  15. #15
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    Good comments here. The RMP is out and the 60-day public comment period is under away.

    PLEASE send in your thoughts - public comment will help seal the deal.

    There's a lot of good in there, you can read it yourself here:
    DCR RMP - Middlesex Fells

    Picking up on things mentioned in this thread, it includes:
    * recognition that biking and hiking erosion impacts are similar!!!
    * more single track for cycling. Of the 7mile loop we have today, only 1.5 mi is single track
    * better signage
    * separation of overlapping trails

    GB NEMBA has an initial summary of what we think (Initial Impressions on the Draft RMP for the Fells - Welcome to GB NEMBA! - GBNEMBA - NEMBA Greater Boston Chapter), but please read the RMP for yourself and send your comments to the DCR.

    Thanks!

  16. #16
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    Had a nice ride in the Fells today. Thanks to you guys who keep it legal for us!

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