Eastern PA Mountain Bike Action Alert: April 2007
For release:
Joe Transue
Eastern PA IMBA Rep
610-533-0942
[email protected]

Deadline for Public comment: April 6th, 2007

Recently Valley Forge National Historic (VF) Park has published its general master plan and the Eastern PA mountain bike community has become extremely concerned about the verbiage in the VF master plan. The park management is recommending closure of the trails to mountain bikes with no exclusions. There are three options in the master plan which can be viewed at http://parkplanning.nps.gov/projectH...rojectId=11314
VF has had a long history of challenges through budgetary concerns, not devoting resources to trail management which has affected the very cause of this alert. The trail system at VF desperately needs the help of not only other user groups but more importantly the mountain bike community. These trails are under-designed and doesn’t have the protocols in place to address trail degradation. Since the trails are closed to mountain biking we feel the park management is excluding one of the most proactive user groups here in Pennsylvania. Mountain Biking in PA has a long history of riders who embrace our state’s rich tradition of outdoor recreation. On countless state parks and other permissible lands you can find PA mountain bikers riding, maintaining and recently assisting in designing of sustainable trail systems that can be used by all user groups with minimal impact. Land managers, state agencies and private land owners are realizing that the mountain bike community is organizing itself and educating its users and other users on sustainable trail design.

The PA mountain bike community is asking your help to encourage the park management to proactively sit down with PA mountain bike advocates to create a partnership in rebuilding and designing the trail system at VF.

Please take time to comment and encourage others to do so based on your own personal feelings and based on the following talking points:
• Please consider land prescriptions that protect natural resources and allow bicycle access.
• Mountain bikers value singletrack experiences in all trail systems like state parks and national park areas.
• Shared-use trails are the most efficient use of agency resources and help build a community of trail users.
• Please implement policies allowing local clubs to form volunteer partnerships with their local park managers.
• Focus on multi-use and bike trails in areas that aren’t being currently used i.e. land across river from non-historic parts
• Recognize that trails designed correctly can dramatically decrease impact and better provide users with a more pleasurable experience
• Institute a multi-user community patrol system which can be implemented by IMBA.
• Many users now utilize national historic parks to recreate and without trail opportunities patron usage can not be fully embraced.
• Not allowing bicycle usage can negatively affect other parks and trails systems by shifting usage to other areas.
• Reach out to local mountain bike advocates like the local PA IMBA representatives and local advocates to help implement all parts of trail design and construction.
To make public comments online please go to:
http://parkplanning.nps.gov/commentF...cumentId=17583



Please contact with your comments to:
Mike Caldwell
Superintendent; Valley Forge National Park
1400 North Outer Line Drive
King of Prussia, PA 19406
Phone
Welcome Center
(610) 783-1077
Fax
(610) 783-1060