Subject: 007 trails follow up
Hey Everyone, Kristi Eastin here with a follow-up on the USFS meeting and
the 007 trails. The meeting was very informative and productive--thank you to everyone who attended! The FS was stunned by the number of concerned mountain bike riders who came and it made a distinct impression. More would have been better, so please consider getting involved! Now is the most important part: we need to submit comments to the FS regarding these trails. It is KEY that we are vocal about our concerns. I spoke with the director of this project briefly after the meeting, and she said repeatedly and emphatically, "You all need to be vocal!" (She must have said it seven or eight times!) The way to do this is for *EVERYONE* to submit a comment. The deadline for submission is JUNE 17th at midnight.
Attached are some notes regarding our concerns and a document from the FS on how to write a useful comment and where to send it in a following text. We really (really!) need everyone to participate, if for no other reason than to let them know the number of mountain bike riders who use and care about these trails. Our meeting attendance was but a mere fraction of all the riders who enjoy these trails, and we need to let them know this is true. As before, this is an important call to action, so please take the time to submit a comment, and please do forward this along to other mtb riders in your group!
The USFS link for the project (specifically the official letter and scoping document) can be found here:
• Here is a draft opening paragraph with the correct names and trail numbers (feel free to cut and paste this part):
Dear Dean Gould and Jody Nickerson,
My name is ----, and I am a mountain biker writing to express concern over the USFS’s Motorized Recreation Project, Proposed Action (May 19, 2019), and specifically the prospect of legalizing moto use (<50 inches) on the following five trails: BP-82 (the so-called “007” trail), and associated trails BP-100, BP-101, BP-81, and BP-80.
The following points are to assist you in crafting your letter.
• Trail numbers and names
BP-82 = this is the bottom section of 007, section 1
BP-81 = Section 2
BP-80 = Top of section 3, giving access to Octopussy.
BP-100 = Octopussy
BP-101 = connector trail, beginning just across Central Camp road from the bottom of Octopussy and terminating below the rock garden on section 2. This is only a concern in that it will be a “spur” trail that encourages motos to go up or down 2 (a trail to nowhere, so to speak).
1) It is currently illegal for motos to use any of these trails. The top section of 007 is legal for one mile, then a moto must turn around and head back up the trail (a hold-over from when they needed to be able to access a helipad, which has now been relocated entirely); all other parts of these trails are closed to motos.
2) The MRP is proposing the addition of 45 miles of trails and 12 areas (11 acres) into the OHV system (see scoping document for details). Of this, we are concerned with 5 trails constituting 4.1 miles. This is less than 10%, so if these trails only are not legalized, the motos get 90% of what they want.
• Key points
1) Preservation: The scoping document addresses damage to soil, watershed, vegetation, etc. Increased motorcycle use, as has been demonstrated over the past seven years with the large increase in motorcycle traffic, has greatly impacted the erosion of these trails. The soil is too sandy, and, as an example, the water-bars that survived some 35+ years of mountain bike use have been worn down and, in many cases, destroyed by motos traveling up the trail. Moreover, the trailwork that moto-users do is limited to motorcycle-only needs, and what constitutes a good uphill trail for motos is the opposite of what constitutes a good mountain bike trail. Therefore, while moto-users may do trailwork, it will not be the work necessary to sustain the trails for mountain bike users.
2) Safety: The scoping document addresses safety and minimizing conflicts between users. Motos present a hazard to non-motorized traffic on the trail: they like to go uphill fast; we like to go downhill fast: that’s a combined speed of 30-60 miles per hour upon impact, with little or no reaction time for either user.
3) User-Friendly Access: BP-82  is not only the best beginner/intermediate MTB trail in the region, it is the only one. The exposure on both the Willow Creek and Goat Mountain trails places these into a category more advanced than any of the trails under consideration, and, in a region that has very few mountain bike trails at all, BP-82 is the only trail that is accessible to new riders.
Conclusion: There is some talk among mountain bike users of a compromise, with riders suggesting that the trails be directional—downhill only. This would decrease the moto impact regarding trail erosion, etc., and also make it safer for all users. There is equal talk of maintaining the status quo: legal to mountain bikers (hikers, and runners); illegal/closed for motorized vehicles (with USFS signs and trail markers posted to assist with enforcement).