So Cal Trail Access TONIGHT (and beyond)- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    So Cal Trail Access TONIGHT (and beyond)

    Sorry about the last minute nature of this alert but we've been waiting for details from US Forest Service. Even if you can't make it to Idyllwild TONIGHT, this is critical info. Spread the word.

    Dear Southern California Mountain Biker:

    As you may know, last month the US Forest Service published the final Forest Management Plans for the four Southern California National Forests (Los Padres, Angeles, San Bernardino and Cleveland). These areas represent some of the best mountain biking opportunities in the area, in the state and in the world.

    While IMBA has been supportive of the Forest planning process, and is generally supportive of the final plans, there remain areas of deep concern. Extensive riding opportunities may be lost. We are asking you to get involved. Here’s the background and here’s what you can do about it.

    The Forest Management Plans state, in part:

    “Motorized and non-motorized vehicle travel is restricted to National Forest System roads and trails…”

    While this concept is reasonable, the problem revolves around the definition of “System” roads and trails. While the Forest Management Plans are now final (although still subject to formal appeal through December 20th), the process to identify, inventory, map and analyze “System” trails has barely begun in many areas. That process isn’t scheduled to conclude until September of 2008.

    What that all means is that many trails and even roads where we may currently be enjoying access may not be considered as “System” trails and therefore may be closed to bicycle use. And, of course, there is no guarantee that they will be successfully identified as “System” trails or that they ultimately will be designated for shared use. In making those final decisions, USFS must consider a range of legitimate criteria including recreational, environmental and other resource considerations.

    Meanwhile, it is IMBA’s position that existing uses should continue until the inventory of trails is complete. Just as is the case for hikers and equestrians, all trails we are currently enjoying should remain open until the inventory, mapping and designation process is complete. And that process must include extensive public involvement and input. We are urging mountain bikers to express their support for that approach and to involve themselves in this important process.

    An immediate opportunity to have your voice heard is Nov 9th, 2005 when the San Jacinto Ranger District of the San Bernardino National Forest will be hosting a meeting to discuss these critical issues. The Herkey Creek area is located within this District. The meeting will take place at the Idyllwild Town Hall from 7pm-9pm. The last minute nature of this meeting is regrettable but the District has hurriedly put this schedule together to address the concerns of cyclists and IMBA is encouraging your involvement.

    Major Points:

    1. Mountain bikes will be allowed on "System” trails only.
    2. USFS need to identify non-system trails we ride so that decisions can be made about bringing those trails into the system, rerouting, or closing.
    3. No trails should be closed until after the trails inventory and assessment have been completed.
    4. Let's help USFS with this process. If we don't, trails will close.

    San Jacinto District
    November 9, 2005 7-9- p.m.
    Idyllwild Town Hall
    AGENDA

    Welcome: Laurie Rosenthal
    Background/Why We’re Here: Fran Colwell
    Identify System Trails: Melinda Lyon
    Identify Non-system Trails to be evaluated – Group Discussion

    Resource surveys/known resource issues
    Wildlife: Anne Poopatanapong
    Botany : Kate Kramer
    Archeology: Daniel McCarthy

    Questions: Group

    Develop Action Plans: Small Groups (by area)

    Report out to large group: Group Spokespersons

    Daniel Greenstadt
    International Mountain Bicycling Association
    California State Representative - Southern Region
    www.imba.com

  2. #2
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    Hi Daniel,

    Glad you are still hard at work.

    After being on the Anza Borrego Desert State park trails assessment team, I have come to the conclusion that these people are going to do what they want to do.

    Our team started out great guns and we might have made some difference but in the middle of everything they shut the whole thing down, without even a final good bye meeting. I e-mailed the other members of the commitee and they were as surprised as I was concerning the end of our meetings.

    When I see archeologist speaking and the hear the whole CEQA thing I get an upset stomach. Now I am a tree hugger as much as the next guy but can't these people give us a little slack and not lump us in with jeeps and motorcycles and quads????

    As Edward Abbey said they should open up parks to only horses, hikers and bikers. Seems to make a lot of sense to me. Most of the Rangers I know are fat, out of shape and burn tons of gas in their "effort" to protect the environment. How about putting their rumps on a bike to do some patrolling??

    Here in our local community they have been threatening to open a local ranch that the County bought years ago but it is still closed and now they are blaming the Indians. For the longest time they took their quads and 4 wheel drive trucks in there to do their stupid assessments. But dare take your body or bike in there and you incur their wrath. Then they tried to kick out the cattle from grazing but they found out the grasses got out of control. Geez, when these people start messing with their version of mother nature, they do more harm than good. Can you say Cuyamaca park and years of just letting the forest go with no fires or brush management???? The people in charge of that policy should be shot or at least fired.

    Sorry about venting, but instead of working with these fools, I think IMBA should consider some civil disobediance.

    The above thoughts are just my opinons and are not the part of some greater good or bad.

  3. #3
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    Balancing Good and Bad Trails Management

    Rich, et al:

    I feeeeel your frustration. I've also never heard an explanation from State Parks regarding the collapse of the Anza Borrego assessment process. Thanks for reminding me - I'll follow up.

    But, of course, this thing with USFS is a different animal. I do believe that USFS Region 5 has been handling this badly in a general sense. But the San Jacinto District is actually trying to do the right thing by at least inviting trail users to chime in about the trails that they are using but may not be "system" trails. It may all seem a bit out of order considering the Forest Plans have just been approved, but as long as they are taking steps in the right direction we want to support that trend. Ideally, if successful, we would like the San Jacinto District to be a model for other Districts and other Forests in the Region.

    -Daniel

    Quote Originally Posted by richwolf
    Hi Daniel,

    Glad you are still hard at work.

    After being on the Anza Borrego Desert State park trails assessment team, I have come to the conclusion that these people are going to do what they want to do.

    Our team started out great guns and we might have made some difference but in the middle of everything they shut the whole thing down, without even a final good bye meeting. I e-mailed the other members of the commitee and they were as surprised as I was concerning the end of our meetings.

    When I see archeologist speaking and the hear the whole CEQA thing I get an upset stomach. Now I am a tree hugger as much as the next guy but can't these people give us a little slack and not lump us in with jeeps and motorcycles and quads????

    As Edward Abbey said they should open up parks to only horses, hikers and bikers. Seems to make a lot of sense to me. Most of the Rangers I know are fat, out of shape and burn tons of gas in their "effort" to protect the environment. How about putting their rumps on a bike to do some patrolling??

    Here in our local community they have been threatening to open a local ranch that the County bought years ago but it is still closed and now they are blaming the Indians. For the longest time they took their quads and 4 wheel drive trucks in there to do their stupid assessments. But dare take your body or bike in there and you incur their wrath. Then they tried to kick out the cattle from grazing but they found out the grasses got out of control. Geez, when these people start messing with their version of mother nature, they do more harm than good. Can you say Cuyamaca park and years of just letting the forest go with no fires or brush management???? The people in charge of that policy should be shot or at least fired.

    Sorry about venting, but instead of working with these fools, I think IMBA should consider some civil disobediance.

    The above thoughts are just my opinons and are not the part of some greater good or bad.

  4. #4
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    Daniel,

    Thanks for the quick reply.
    I am amazed that you have the patience that you do. You are right, they do things backwards.

    I think that is the reason they put together the Anza Borrego Trails Assessment Team. They had come up with their own general plan well before that but from my understanding caved in a little bit when they had a public hearing that was super well attended due to the different user groups getting up in arms.

    I got the feeling from the beginning that the people in charge felt that it was "their' park and "their" land and that they knew best. I am sure I was a fly in the ointment but they had to accept me as a member to the commitee because no one else volunteered. Hey I was actually pretty good and went along with the program but got super disenchanted when they shut it down.

    One of the ideas that I presented was to work with the forest service to get access to the new Lucky 5 land that they had purchased right adjacent to forest service land. I even offered to contact the forest service, but one of the heads said they would do it. I am sure that idea was dropped el pronto.

    Another example is the Volcan Mountain Preserve Foundation in Julian. It was a group of local people who got the county to fund the land so the owner would not build luxury homes on it. They didn't want other people looking down on their luxury homes. Well they got it through, kept it closed forever, then kept the top closed forever unless you were on a docent led hike. Then they banned bicycles from it, although it is ok to take 4 wheel drive service vehicles up there and ok for them to hack in their own hiking trail.

    This type of thing is going on all over, and although I am for preservation I am not for private groups dictating terms without some sort of public forum or public vote.

    I really think it is time for people to get a little more vocal about things and not try to be so PC about the whole thing. They use to have a sign at state parks that said "Welcome to your state park" Do you see those signs or attitudes any more??

    And his whole thing of lumping bikes in with motor vehicles has got to stop. Bikers are told they don't belong on the road and they don't belong off road. What gives with that?

    When I was in France this spring, the people treated road cyclists like gods and most of the hiking trails were open to bikes. I sure would like to see more of that attitude over here. With kids getting fatter and out of shape and with their only outlet being organized sports, where are the facilites to introduce them to a lifelong positive experience like cycling?

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