Open Letter to a "Mountain Biker" in Mt. Top- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Upset Open Letter to a "Mountain Biker" in Mt. Top

    Read this article this morning.

    A trail of problems - Times Leader - timesleader.com

    Here's my open letter to this "mountain biker":

    Thanks, man. You did it. You're a hero....to yourself. Do you know what you've really done? You've angered a state agency that has the power to kick us off their land, and might just do so.

    You decided to make yourself the spokesman for mountain bikers in this area, without consulting any of the area advocacy groups/clubs, and wrote a letter harassing the Game Commission for posting signs on land they own. This letter found its way to the director of PGC's Bureau of Wildlife Management. You told PGC that they have no right to post signs on undesignated trails because you and your fellow MTBers "design and maintain the trails" without financial assistance from PGC.

    What are you thinking? When common knowledge is that you aren't allowed to build trails on PGC land without going through the bureaucracy of local and state government, why would you openly admit that these trails were "designed and maintained" by mountain bikers? When we were finally moving towards a scenario where we could use the trails under legitimate means and get a say in the use of Game Lands, why did you ruin this?

    Regardless of whether or not some people may agree with your feelings, the fact is most would disagree with your solution to the problem. One person asserting himself as a mountain biker writes an angry letter to the bureau? No. There's a reason we aren't allowed in Nescopeck SP and Hickory Run SP - someone had to go and confront the guy in charge, rather than rely on local trail advocacy groups/clubs that are meant to bridge the gap between what you want and what they want and will let you have.

    This person is NOT the spokesperson for mountain bikers in the area. What this individual did can NOT be what we do in an attempt to gain legal access to PGC land. If you've ever ridden Mountain Top, you know that some of NEPA's best trails can be found there.

    If YOU read this, I hope YOU see what YOU might have ruined for everyone in that area.

  2. #2
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    Hopefully, some of us (myself included) will send some emails to the right people to clarify the situation and explain that the biker you referenced is the exception, not the norm.

    It will serve to remind the game commission the ally most mountain bikers can be and that we are willing to work with them.

    Most bikers I know are respectful of land, property, hunters rights, and leaving the trail better than they found it.

  3. #3
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    Glahnb- Yes, I completely agree. 99% of the riders I know are respectful to other trail users, property owners, hunters, and so on. Like you said, mountain bikers need to be the ally, not the enemy.
    I'm the kind of person you need to keep your eye on or I'll wander off into the woods and forget to come back...

  4. #4
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    Completely agree. I think I speak for everyone when I say: the overwhelming majority of us do not support illegal trail building. We fought hard to build and keep the trails that we can legally ride. We value our relationships with land managers.

    This guy is not a member of the mountain biking community; he (and whoever else is with him) are lone wolves. He is acting without support from the community, from the law, from land managers. He does not speak for "mountain bikers."

    For this, I think he owes us about 100 hours of trail maintenance and education.

  5. #5
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    this..........................unbelieveable

  6. #6
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    agreed, respectful legal use and build relationships through mutual agreement

  7. #7
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    Precisely the kind of fodder people like Mike Vandeman (The Trial of Mike Vandeman | Outdoor Adventure Blog | OutsideOnline.com) will latch onto and use as "evidence" in his obsessive crusade against mountain biking. He popped up in the comments with his usual schtick. He must sit around scouring the internet for stories like this.

  8. #8
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    I don't know, might not be a "mountain biker" who wrote that letter. Might be a clever angle from a naturalist trying to paint us in the worst light....

    Kind of ridiculous the PGC and Author putting so much into 1 email.

  9. #9
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    "Mountain Biker" is William Capouillez?

    Laying the groundwork/ fabricating justification for a new user fee William?


    PA Director of Game Commission Double-Dipping with Gas Leases? | Marcellus Drilling News
    An extensive investigative article about the director for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, William A. Capouillez, appears in yesterday’s Philadelphia Inquirer. The article spotlights a potential conflict of interest between Capouillez’s day job and his moonlighting side job as an agent for property owners who lease their land for oil and gas development. The issue? He signs private deals with the same companies that often work with his state agency. For one driller–Range Resources–it’s become a serious (legal) issue.

    The article begins this way:

    William A. Capouillez may be the hardest-working man in Harrisburg.

    From 7:45 a.m. to 4 p.m. each day, Capouillez works as a director for the Pennsylvania Game Commission, where his responsibilities include overseeing leases for oil and natural gas development on 1.4 million acres of public game lands.

    During his lunch breaks, coffee breaks, evenings, and holidays, Capouillez has a profitable side job. He acts as an agent for property owners who lease their land for oil and gas development, signing private deals with the same companies that often work with his state agency.

    Business rivals, including other leasing agents and drilling companies, have complained for years to legislators and to the Governor’s Office that Capouillez’s dual roles represent a conflict of interest. They say Capouillez is in a position to trade on inside information from his public job by signing up private landowners near state game lands.

    But Capouillez, who is paid $75,834 as director of the Bureau of Wildlife Habitat Management, says the state has been unharmed by his outside activity. The commission has approved his supplemental employment on the condition that he doesn’t exploit confidential information and that he doesn’t use state time or equipment for his private practice.

    “If you understood the facts, the appearance wouldn’t look the way it does,” Capouillez, 48, said in a recent interview. “There’s nothing hidden beneath the blanket, there’s no smoking gun.”

    The Governor’s Office takes a dim view of Capouillez’s consulting work.

    “This type of conflict, or an appearance of a conflict, wouldn’t be tolerated in the Corbett administration,” said Eric Shirk, a spokesman for Gov. Corbett.

    There is little the governor can do. The Game Commission is an independent agency, much like the Turnpike Commission and the Public Utility Commission. The Game Commission’s eight members are gubernatorial appointees, but the governor does not control the agency’s activities.

    The Game Commission holds Capouillez in high regard.*

    Click the link below to finish reading the rest of this extensive article, including details of a lawsuit filed by Capouillez against a private hunting club and Range Resources for cutting him out of a lease agreement that would have netted him millions.

    *Philadelphia Inquirer (Aug 18, 2013) – Double-dipping in Pa. gas leases

  10. #10
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    I hate that I just got exposed to the thoughts of Mike Vandeman.

  11. #11
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    I've seen many, many Vanderman's in Wiss. It seems the likes of him thrive in parks with close urban proximity. You think he would try that out in central PA? I suppose he would be pummeled in self defense and left for the raccoons.
    Buy the ticket, take the ride. -HST

  12. #12
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    Vandeman's comments, I just read them, infuriated me so much that I don't even know where to begin to respond, his trolling is well-honed. I just had to close the window and take a deep breath. **** that guy.

  13. #13
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    This is the last thing we need

    Mtn top is my home court & I know there has been tension
    Since the posting of the signs, I certainly don't agree with
    Writing a letter such as this. It's unfortunate someone took
    Matters into their own hands and now risk loosing it all.
    "foot to pedal, wheel to dirt, there is no substitute for the act of riding "

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by XJaredX View Post
    Vandeman's comments, I just read them, infuriated me so much that I don't even know where to begin to respond, his trolling is well-honed. I just had to close the window and take a deep breath. **** that guy.
    There's a much longer version of that piece, I think in an issue of Outside. The guy is right out of his head. He's on a religious mission to stop mountain bikers and, as you can see, there is no rest in him.

  15. #15
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    Open Letter to a "Mountain Biker" in Mt. Top

    Meh, the guy writing the article is a guy that writes editorials for the "Outdoors" section of the times leader ("outdoors" at the TL is reserved for "hunting, trapping and fishing", no other sports need apply.) So it's no surprise he writes an Op-ed that makes MT bikers look bad.

    When I first read about the PAGC exploring user fees for non- hunters on SGLs earlier this year, my first thought was that tough times could be ahead for Mt Top. Hope not, it's an awesome trail system.
    Last edited by jonz; 12-26-2014 at 05:24 AM.

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