Pa state wide trail info and input- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Good job! Pa state wide trail info and input

    http://www.paoutdoorrecplan.com/index.html

    Comments? Observations? Is anyone attending any of the public meetings?

  2. #2
    Prez NMBA
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    im heading to the one here in State College tomorrow. We should have a few other local folk at it. Seems like over all the plan is favorable towards mtn bikers, as far as trails go they seem to be favoring multiuse rather than dedicated hiking trails etc.

  3. #3
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    lee

    were you going to any? i could maybe go to the one on wednesday.

    karen

  4. #4
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    Smile

    Quote Originally Posted by redheadrider
    lee

    were you going to any? i could maybe go to the one on wednesday.

    karen
    I would like to, but business comes first. If you go please let me know how things go if you don't mind. [email protected]

    How about we come down for a ride in July, or a Saturday in June? All our Sundays are racedays so we have none open.


  5. #5

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    dont bother going

    I went to the on in the burgh tonight and it was quite worthless. It had nothing to do with the park closings or how to get more trails in your area open to bikes. I left after the presentations were done b/c they had already wasted 1:45 minutes of my life. I am sure there was some discussion of what can be had in parks afterwards, but the overall feeling i got was that these werent the people that were going to make all your singletrack dreams come true. The presentations were geared to a survey they did that was pretty poor in my estimate. They talked about data and green spaces, and green playgrounds, and trail towns (but not with any amazing plan in place). Honestly, in general it was amazing to see how much they were talking about getting done, while i was lured there under the pretense that they had no money. I was hoping to offer solutions to trail stewardship and tell them about how much free work i could get done for them, but they were too busy talking about survey data. The big thing that came out of their survey was that people wanted more/better trails, but these guys didnt seem to understand how to make that happen. There was more discussion about getting urban kids invovled with the outdoors than how to build /maintain trail access. Bikers figure pretty low on their radar when it comes survey time and the vast majority is filled with atv/snowmobile access, horses, and hiking. Seems like the equine counsel of pa was heavily invovled with helping out with all this data...


    I guess i am a bit jaded b/c i went with solutions to local problems, but once again dealing with the state has proven to be futile. Thank God our local Managers at Moraine State Park see the benefit of working with bikers. For all the talk of equine, atv/snowmobilers, hikers, birdwatching....the list goes on, these trails they wanted to add would actually cost them a boat load of money and a user group like bikers who build and maintain the trails for free are a cursory side note. I guess i am a bit upset that this 5 year plan looks more like a 5 year farce.

    Old people, urban kids, green parks (werent they green to begin with?), and not a word on how to pay for it all. Free labor like bikers isnt really brought up. Honestly, i have no idea what these people were even doing, and i am not a newb of meetings, trails, or parks. They just sat around a presentation about all the stuff they want to get done over the next 5 years and not one bit of it seemed to be geared towards trails. maybe i should have stayed for the breakout sessions to voice my concerns about them squandering a chance to talk to people that could offer solutions....i just didnt want to sit through 3 roundtable discussions on green initiatives, bathrooms, web based solutions, or whatever else to actually get to talk about the thing i was there for. Work with your local manager and find out what you can do to take a burden off of them for trails and you will go further than 1000 trails meetings.

    There was one mention of gamelands being opened up to other users, but it was so mixed into the middle of the pack i didnt see any hope of broaching that topic with them. maybe someone else can go to these meetings and tell me i am full of it. Sorry for the rambling email with poor gramar and punctuation, but Firefox doesnt work and play well with MTBR.

  6. #6
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    Good job!

    My personal thanks to you for posting your input.



    Let's just say I know the guy who deals the money, and he has to decide which trails get approved. I can imagine one of his criteria is how many people show up to support a certain trail. I know as well as you do very little will come from any meeting or group assembly, even with joyous rambling, heck it's the government for Pete's sake, and when it happens it's like a parade of snails wearing snowshoes slogging through peanut butter.

    But, none the less and I do support all they do even if it takes a long time. I have never been party to a park manager who flags down mt bikers on the trail, jumps up and down and says "hey let's go build a new trail today" Our local guys are very good to us, but they have the regiment as all do to go through the paces and processes designed by higher ups in control, and we as mt bikers are just recreating. If we get a flat or don't show up for a trail day it no biggie, while it's their job to act and do accordingly....

    I have to say huge strides have been made to educate and involve everyone(mt bikers/park managers) as in the past it was not this way. There was a time you didn't approach anyone about riding in a place. You just did it, and I'm talking "legal" trails, but there was no solid definition of what a mt bike was or where it fit in, and you never said "hey I trimmed the trail today where's my cookie?"...LOL
    Last edited by NEPMTBA; 06-01-2009 at 11:00 PM.

  7. #7
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    I think the real benefit from attending meetings like this one is that if enough of us do it and we get the state wide mtb group going well, that eventually we will be on that list "equine, atv/snowmobilers, hikers, birdwatching....the list goes on" by name and have more input/consideration when it comes to trails, money etc. The other part of it is that we as mountain bikers really have it pretty good with respect to current trail access as well as authorization to build new trail and its important that we don't let any of that slip away. We also need to stay on top of the PGC/ gamelands in what ever manner we can as there is a real potential in the future for the PGC to become part of the DCNR, so we want to be in a good position if/when that happens. I would totally agree that if anybody is going to one of these meeting with the intention of getting something specific done, you're going to be sorely disappointed but we need to be looking at the bigger /longer term picture.

  8. #8
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    I will admit that the public input process can be frustrating, but the powers that be can only respond if they know you are out there. Yes, you may have a good relationship at one park, but this plan is about an entire system, not just your backyard.
    Lee, I like the snails in snowshoes image, sweet.
    As a part of the 5 year management plan, these meetings have little to do with the current budget crisis, but it is good to show that you value the public lands that are around you. You may have felt like you wasted your time, and in some ways you did, because you left before you had a chance to give your two cents. Nothing is easy.
    Portions of the plan that are positive for bikes and trails -
    Overall, there is a push to make long connector trails across the state. In general, the state doesn't want to make anymore trails single use, so we as the bike community need to tell them that, yes, a mountain bike version of the AT would be cool. There is a plan for an AT alternate coming through VA right now called the Great Eastern Trail which in VA at least is open to bikes. Right now, when it reaches PA, it links up with the Mid State so its not open to bikes. Wouldn't it be great if we could push for the trail to use some other route, that was open to bikes? There is talk of creating a 70 mile trail from Johnstown heading north along the Laurel Ridge, and right now that looks like it would be open to bikes. We need to make sure it is and let the planners know that trails like that are a good idea.
    There is also language in the plan to ear mark grant money for "brown field recreation projects", which are to turn polluted sites into parks. This should be something that it would seem like clubs could tap into to create skills parks and such in their town.
    The other important part of the plan for bikes is the long term funding of projects. State Rec Planners need to have a reference to see where to allocate funds for trails. If other groups get there wish list in, and mountain bikers don't, any requests go to the bottom of the pile.
    And lastly, there is a part of the plan that talks about making agencies cooperate more, including the PGC. Right now, the PGC doesn't really want to be a part of it, but as a public, we need to push for the PGC lands to be managed more like other state lands (god, I can't believe I opened that can of worms).
    The funding stream I am talking about is completely separate from the state funds that are being battled over right now. The Federal Highway Administration has a gas excise tax fund called Recreation Trail Projects, which is administered through the state as the Growing Greener fund. This is where the pool of money comes from, not from general tax revenues which is what the budget battle is over.
    To the best of my knowledge, the only Mountain Bike specific project to come from Growing Greener was Raystown Lake, and it wasn't mountain bikers who asked for the money. We need to learn how to play the game better.
    Admittedly I have a strong stomach for this stuff, I am a bit of a policy nerd. I sit on DCNR's Recreation Advisory Committee and was on the Technical Advisory Committee that helped draft this plan. I will say that me and the Equine Council folks were the only volunteers at these meetings and it was pretty hard sometimes to follow the bureaucratic-ease, but in the end the agencies are really looking for feedback and input from the people that are actually out in the woods.
    For those of you who don't know me, my name is Frank Maguire, and I am now the Regional Director for IMBA in the Mid-Atlantic. If you have questions, feel free to email me directly Frank dot Maguire at IMBA.com

  9. #9
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    Thanks for your insights Frank. Very informative post!

  10. #10
    ganginwood
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    Quote Originally Posted by mnwfrank
    Right now, the PGC doesn't really want to be a part of it, but as a public, we need to push for the PGC lands to be managed more like other state lands (god, I can't believe I opened that can of worms).
    he said
    "PGC"
    Quote Originally Posted by Mike Aswell
    the 5th poster, ganginwoods, is correct

  11. #11
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    "PGC" = Pennsylvania Game Commission

  12. #12
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    so i went to the meeting here in state college. there were a few of us mtn bikers, a handful of hanglider guys (never even heard of them before), some penn state geography guys and a few other state agency guys. kind of suprising, no atv, snowmobile, etc. I don't know if it was of any help or not, but figure it can't hurt getting our presence out there. Its was definitely "globally centered" that is everything from local parks through state forest trails. from a mtn biker perspective I was able to reinforce their action item of working the PGC to play nice (i know, i said pgc). just to gain some perspective, I did ask in the first round table discussion how the PGC had participated in the meetings leading up to the public sessions, attend by everybody from AG to PennDot. Sounded like they showed up at a couple of the meetings, did not get a good vibe from either of the people that I brought them upto, seems they are less than thrilled with the pgc too.
    As far as trails go, they seem to be focusing on "big picture" trails, long rail trails, etc, not a bad thing but not necessarily what we are really interested in. I made some comments about making sure things looped well etc. Trails generically scored high in what people want in their surveys, so hopefully our local land mangers will get that message and be responsive to requests for new stuff. They also are looking at putting together some resources with regards to the economic impact of trails so we may be able to use that to our advantage in the future as well. There was also good stuff about trying to get kids more involved in outdoor recreation etc.

  13. #13
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    Listen! Trail consumers...

    ...let's make it simple, cause it doesn't have to be complicated.

    I think we can agree everyone likes trails and wants more of them. Like money we all need it and want it!

    So,

    Be seen as a trail consumer... you want trails then expect to give to get!

    Your price for a trail?
    Think of your "work" as your "money"

    Spend your "work" to do any of the following:

    Organize, meet with, talk about, get permission, join your local group, build, maintain, advertise, keep it open, promote, most important ride it often...

    OK. no one expects you to do all that, but pick what "work" your willing to "spend" then pick one item and go get it... be a trail consumer.

  14. #14

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    I'm trying to catch up with this thread and found some of the PGC comments intresting. First, my understanding is all SGL's were purchased using hunting license revenue so they should be managed for that group of users as a priority. I know from some aquantinces in the PGC that their hands are somewhat tied from a manpower/budget perspective due to the deer issue being used as a football by some politicians who will not approve license fee increases (which I don't think many hunters would have a problem with) until they get back to the policy of an artifically high deer herd that excludes other species. I also heard (but can't confirm) that if the PGC charged a user fee that was not hunting related it would lose out on federal dollars from sale of hunting equipment.

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