Trail Destruction- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1

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    Trail Destruction

    Just wondered if anyone has had a similar experience - This past WE, the National Park Service enlisted a bunch of volunteer organizations to go out and destroy the single track in Valley Forge park. It's multi-use and not too technical. I talked to a park ranger who told me the motivation is to preserve the natural state of the park and control errosion. The problem is, instead of actually addressing the problem, they've chosen to make the trail MORE DANGEROUS to try to limit access. They've been purposefully placing tree limbs, scrub and such at odd angles to make them impassable. I'm afraid someone's going to get hurt coming fast around a corner and finding a bunch of sticks pointing straight up into the trail that weren't there yesterday! Besides, my guess is folks will just find ways around blocked sections, making the erosion problem worse. Does anyone know of any local MTB clubs that might have an interest in VF single track? Speaking through an organization would be more productive than me calling the park service alone. Has anyone had a similar experience in their backyard? How did it turn out? Thanks.

  2. #2
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    I've never been to Valley Forge, so I'm just guessing a little here.

    My understanding is that the National Park Service has several types of parks; things that are historic, natural wonders, and maybe one or 2 other categories. I would think Valley Forge is a NP because of history, and they want it, and the public's experience, to be quiet and educational. So they don't see recreational activites, such as bike riding, to be part of the mission at that park.

  3. #3

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    I think that fundamentally, you are right. The park has 10,000 acres, only a fraction of which are dedicated to monuments and such. The vast majority is "wild". I'm sure the managment has decided it no longer welcomes mountain biking, but I'm afraid it has more to do with tension between bikes and horses. What really gets me is that, over the past few years, I've had great conversations with multiple rangers about trail conditions, storm related debris, need to clear fallen trees, etc. I'd like to have a discussion with those in charge about their current issues, but feel powerless without an organized group to represent the interest. Any suggestions?

  4. #4
    beer thief
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  5. #5

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    Hey thanks for the links. Very helpful.

  6. #6
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    I think they were talking about putting up "Carsonite' (brand name) signs that prohibit bikes etc.

  7. #7

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    Found this, describing a Bureau of Land Management plan for carsonizing in CA.

    http://www.blm.gov/ca/pdfs/palmsprin...CSigningCX.pdf

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by frank11
    I think that fundamentally, you are right. The park has 10,000 acres, only a fraction of which are dedicated to monuments and such. The vast majority is "wild". I'm sure the managment has decided it no longer welcomes mountain biking, but I'm afraid it has more to do with tension between bikes and horses. What really gets me is that, over the past few years, I've had great conversations with multiple rangers about trail conditions, storm related debris, need to clear fallen trees, etc. I'd like to have a discussion with those in charge about their current issues, but feel powerless without an organized group to represent the interest. Any suggestions?
    Hi Frank,

    I've got one idea, but first some background. Of the 3 big federal public land agencies, the NPS is traditionally the least friendly to mountain biking. Both BLM and the USFS have multiple use as part of their charters, and are used to public lands being managed for a variety of purposes and adapting to local conditions within certain parameters. NPS, on the other hand, has as part of it's charter language that they will manage the land unimpaired for future generations. They are very conservative in the sense of tradition, and they are aware that doing something in one place could be a precedent for doing it in another.

    The idea I have is that maybe they would be open to an "interpretive" trail that would be open to bicycles. That might be an easier sell than a purely recreational trail. The obstacles they are now putting on trails should be re-thought and re-placed, so they are not safety hazards or obstructions, but rather speed control features.

    HC

  9. #9

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    Thanks HC-

    I'm thinking about calling them and using your strategy. Maybe offer to raise a few funds to offset supplies. At the end of the day, it would make some sense to offer access to the natural landscape they are trying to preserve.

    - F

  10. #10
    Ride Responsibly
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    are you sure they are not trying to "reclaim" the trail? Which would mean they no longer want any trail there and are covering it up to aid in it returnning to a "natural"state. this is done with "illegal" trails as well as erosion prone trails after a reroute. Should be signs saying keep out.

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