HPT trails closed to mtn biking ( ?? )- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    HPT trails closed to mtn biking ( ?? )

    anybody know the story on this ??

  2. #2
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    Reputation: ~gomez~'s Avatar
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    There is a story about it at Silent Sports Magazine

  3. #3
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    thanx gomez

    i saw that. i was wondering about any possible inside or end-user perspective on how this all went down, and the ramifications after the fact.

  4. #4
    Bear
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    I think...

    Somebody will correct me if I am wrong but the way I understand this is that most of the original 8-10 miles of trail is unaffected. What is sad is that Lax had plans for, I think, 30-40 miles of trail and that new construction is effectively thwarted unless this can be worked out.

    Bear

  5. #5
    Witty McWitterson
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    I'm really curious to see what happened at the meetings that were mentioned in the article. I'm of the firm belief that the DNR is being obstructionist in this whole endeavor. They are completely in the pockets of the Hunting lobby[keep in mind, I have NOTHING against hunting]. Down here, there are VAST areas of green space that could easily accommodate a trail system, but because of DNR [mis]management, access is denied. Cycling really does need to be added to the acceptable use list. The economic benefits for allowing such use I think are clear.
    Just a regular guy.

  6. #6
    I need skills
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    rumour and gossip

    I ran into a guy from LaCrosse this past Fall and asked him about it. Per this guy, "the Mt bikers were stunned as they had permission from the DNR. They did formal studies, so the point that it was not approved at a high enough State level rings untrue and unethical. (there were public meetings, reports, emails, and letters flying back and forth to get it all approved. ) Which is backed up by the request (not order) by the State to no longer ride the trails. Also, the State later contacted HPT and asked why trail construction stopped? The State was surprised HPT wasn't going to build trails they couldn't ride."

    It was just a guy in the woods riding a bike I talked too. I think he had some credibility as I have seen a copy of at least one letter/memo from the DNR. The letter did in fact say "please do not ride..." as opposed to saying bikes are not allowed. Makes a person wonder if the State may think they are on some shaky ground. But of course, this is just speculation on my part.

    Talk about a sock in the gut. Hundreds of hours devoted to that project. They bought a $30,000 machine............ Efed up, all because some beauacrat (sp) got all pissy.

  7. #7
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    Bear,

    I believe you're right...the original 8-10 miles of HPT trails are unaffected. It's the expansion project that was previously approved that is up in the air.

  8. #8
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    I've sent an email to the moderator of the HPT Discussion Boards, asking him to post an update of the situation and any suggestions on how we can help. I've asked that they post the news here on this thread, but it will probably take a few days, so stand by and stuff.

  9. #9
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    Update from Gene Roberts of the HPT

    Human Powered Trails, Inc. (HPT) is an organization whose mission is
    to develop and maintain sustainable and environmentally correct human
    powered shared-use trails. As an organization we have logged over 4500
    hours of volunteer hours in trail building and reclamation and other
    public service activities. Our trail builders have been educated in
    trail development by the DNR’s Trail Master Training course, the
    International Mountain Bike Associations Trail Care Crew, and Trail
    Solutions courses.
    HPT worked cooperatively over a two year period with the Mississippi
    Valley Conservancy (MVC), the City of La Crosse, Myrick Hixon ECO
    Park, and the DNR to develop a plan to join together to protect the
    community's blufflands for natural, scenic, and recreational purposes.
    This plan, the La Crosse Bluffland Protection Plan (LBPP), was put
    into operation with assistance of the local DNR representatives.
    Parcels of the land within the LBPP area were parcels of land
    purchased with money from the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship fund.
    On April 17, 2009 after several miles of trail construction HPT was
    instructed to cease trail construction which we complied. A meeting of
    the groups involved in the development of the LBPP master plan,
    members of the DNR consisting of the Regional Land Program Supervisor,
    the Stewardship Grant Program Manager, and DNR legal counsel was held
    May 1, 2009. Each party was given an opportunity to explain their
    position. HPT’s position reaffirmed that a state goal for the for the
    tract of land in question on the LBPP was to have trails that provided
    better protection for the natural resources by helping direct the flow
    of human-powered traffic as from the most sensitive areas rather than
    rogue trail development. The conclusion of this meeting resulted in
    the agreement the DNR “would review the issues presented, revisit the
    properties, and relook at the biking issue with the information
    provided to be taken into consideration. It was understood that HPT
    would be included in the DNR’s review and tour of the property”. A
    follow-up meeting was scheduled for May 21, 2009 to allow adequate
    time for department review and group tour of the property”.
    On May 21, 2009 representatives of HPT, MVC and the City of La Crosse
    entered that meeting in good faith. It was apparent from the onset
    that there was to be no compromise and that we had been called
    summarily to be hand delivered a letter from the DNR dated May 13,
    2009 directed to MVC restating the DNRs rational for terminating
    trail construction and further defining timelines for reclamation of
    the newly constructed trail. Neither HPT nor the biologists from MVC
    were given the opportunity to tour the property in question as had
    been agreed. To date HPT has complied with all of the demands of this
    letter. At this time we continue to work with all LBPP parties and DNR
    representatives in La Crosse and Madison in hopes of arriving at an
    amicable solution.
    As stewards of the land we recognize the need to maintain the
    integrity of the Knowles-Nelson Stewardship program. We understand
    that the Knowles-Nelson program has the dual purpose of protecting
    wildlife habitat and natural communities while at the same time
    providing the required recreational opportunities (the five nature-
    based outdoor activities: hunting, fishing, trapping, hiking, and
    cross-country skiing) as defined in SS Conservation 23 but also
    considering other allowable outdoor-based recreational opportunities
    (including bicycling) as defined in Administrative Code NR 51. We
    believe that we complied with the master planning process defined by
    the DNR to allow bicycling on these lands only to have the agreement
    violated.
    The proposed Administrative Code NR 52 was to provide the DNR with a
    well defined process to exclude one of the NBOAs. HPT objected to this
    proposal on the grounds that it did nothing to address the loophole of
    “other allowable activities” defined in their own administrative code
    NR 51. The proposal had passed through all of the necessary
    administrative requirements and was presented to the Natural Resources
    Board (NRB) on January 26, 2010. Thirty-four speakers that included
    State Senator Dan Kapanke of La Crosse and a representative from HPT
    provided testimony. Following testimony and open debate the NRB voted
    unanimously to forward this proposal to the legislature for further
    debate/approval.
    A leadership group comprised of the Bike Federation of Wisconsin, HPT,
    IMBA, and WORBA has been working closely together and are planning to
    address the legislative committees and key Assembly and Senate members
    as this issue comes before them for review. HPT feels that this is an
    issue that is important to all off-road cyclists in the state as the
    outcome is significant to the future development of trails not only in
    La Crosse but the state of Wisconsin.
    Thanks for reading and I hope to keep you all abreast of future
    developments as they occur.
    Gene Roberts,
    Human Powered Trails

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