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· Registered
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Discussion Starter · #1 · (Edited)
Mctweek, an MTBR member, posted this on another page. But since I don't know how many of you visit the "Trails and Advocacy" page I felt it worthwhile to make a posting here.
There is a proposal to add nearly 30,000 more acres of the Wasatch mountains east of Salt lake city, to the Wilderness areas designations that already exist there.

Read more at www.saveourcanyons.org

If you look at the mapped proposal you'll see Desolation and Dog lakes as well as Mill D tr. are within the new proposals domain.
 

· Sugary Exoskeleton
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Shelbak73 said:
If you look at the mapped proposal you'll see Desolation and Dog lakes as well as Mill D tr. are within the new proposals domain.
I agree with some of the SOC party line, but I will fight this when it conflicts with established multi-use trails. Does anybody know who to contact to voice an opinion? Is it the Forest Service that currently manages these areas?

JMH
 

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SOC is national...

SOC is well organized. I am from Salt Lake but now live in the Bay Area. I have seen SOC propaganda out here at least three times that I can recall. I even saw a Heli Free Wasatch bumper sticker once. They have good intentions but they are way, way over the top IMHO. Said the mountain biker AND backcountry skier...
 

· Homer's problem child
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You don't like what SOC is doing? Send them a note here:

www.saveourcanyons.org/mail-rachael.html

That's what I did. I wonder why they are so careful about not posting an email address? Only way to contact them is through forms on their site. Here is what I wrote:

Hello,
I am not a member of SOC. I have lived in SLC for over 3 years now after moving from Colorado where I spent the first 27 years of my life. I am anxious to learn more about SOC. I do agree with most of what SOC stands for but I am extremely worried that your policies are anti-mountain bike. I would like to know more about SOC's stance on mountain bikes and if closing trails to mountain bikes is a major focus of your organization.

I can not support your other actions that I agree with (heli-free wasatch, watershed, resort expansion, etc....) when I know supporting those could just lead to me losing more trails that I enjoy biking. I am a strong believer that mountain biking when done right on well designed, maintained, and built trails causes no more erosion than hiking. I also see many trails more severely damaged by horses than any damage that could be caused by cyclists. Yet I see no focus of SOC to ban equestrians. The vast majority of the cyclists I ride with are very cautious about trail etiquette and maintenance and go above and beyond to be polite to other trail user groups and help keep the trails in good shape. I know this isn't always the case with bike riders but in my experience this is the majority of riders.

Please inform me on your stance on these issues. I am anxious to learn more and if I agree with you policies I'd be happy to become a member, donate money and volunteer my time. But if you are anti-mountain bike I am afraid this will not be possible.

Regards,
I'm not a fan of their bike policies for sure. I am for most of their other policies though (heli-free wasatch, watershed, resort development, etc...). Makes it tough, I can't support them until they relax their biking stance.

Until then - Save us from Save Our Canyons. Soon no one will be allowed in the canyon unless they float in on a non-damaging cloud of smug.

B
 

· Chumley for prez!
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I wrote a letter too. I think the hardest thing for me is that I don't really know where they stand as far as bikes are concerned. I just asked them for a straight answer. Because mtn. bikers represent such a huge group in the wasatch, and many of us are load and obnoxious, I just don't see this bill passing without our support. I'll write as many letters to senators/congressmen as I have to.
Sad thing is that I agree with a lot of their policies, they just need to learn to negotiate with other interest groups imho.
BY, perhaps I would be a little faster uphill if I had a cloud of smug. What must I eat to produce such a cloud?
 

· Calm like a bomb
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This is very unfortunate. I have a hard time as viewing this proposal as anything more than bickering among trail users, who do not want to share the trails, thinly veiled as legislation to protect the Wasatch.

The trails in these areas are very well maintained and much of that maintenance comes from mountain bikers. We need to make sure this does legislation does not pass.
 

· Chumley for prez!
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from SOC FAQ:
"What is SOC's position on mountain bikes in the Wasatch?

While the use of mountain bikes does create potential user conflicts, there are well-established rules for the right-of-way on Forest Service paths. SOC believes that the presence of mountain bikes does not represent any irreversible change in the character of the canyons or mountains. Local governments and the Forest Service need to manage user conflicts. Using the best preservation tool at hand, SOC is actively working toward the expansion of the boundaries of the wilderness areas in the Wasatch and bikes are not allowed in such areas. Mountain bike enthusiasts, when they review SOC's wilderness proposal, will find that the proposed restrictions on mountain biking are minimal."​

I guess this sort of answers my question. Although I am sort of missing the part where increasing wilderness land will have a "minimal" impact on mountain biking in the wasatch.
 

· Grizzly
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695 Posts
It's not enough to list the different animals and plants in the Wasatch, juxtaposed with the fact that the population in SLC is growing. Where is the data to show that these plants and animals are being impacted in a negative way? Propaganda groups like SOC love to make blanket statements about how animals are being driven out of habitat because of a human presence.

Without permanent protection the populations of these sensitive species are at risk due to habitat destruction and degradation.
Am I missing where this is actually demonstrated? Where are the studies, the numbers, the actual impact?
 

· Calm like a bomb
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mr. welcorn said:
from SOC FAQ:
"What is SOC's position on mountain bikes in the Wasatch?

I guess this sort of answers my question. Although I am sort of missing the part where increasing wilderness land will have a "minimal" impact on mountain biking in the wasatch.​


I'm with ya.

Wilderness = No mountain bikes. Plain and simple. There's no minimized or reduced access options. It's all or nothing when you speak in terms of wilderness designation.

I'm having trouble pulling PDF's off their website right now. Were you guys able to download them? Could someone email me a copy if you already have it downloaded.​
 

· Homer's problem child
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Here is the response I got back:

Thanks you for contacting us regarding mountain biking in the Wasatch.
Rachael passed along your email and I am happy to address some of your
concerns.

We are not by any means anti-mountain bike group or really anti any user
group, but rather an environmental group. Many of our members are mountain
bikers as are many members of our board and staff. Since our beginning in
1972, we have been dedicated to protecting the wildness and beauty of the
Wasatch mountains, canyons, and foothills. Some of this work has been done
at the county level, some at the city level, and then we also work at the
federal level too. We seek to protect access to public lands while working
toward the long term protection of those lands.

When protecting lands at the federal level, it has been our experience that
the best way to do so is under the Wilderness Act of 1964. This provides the
highest level of land protection that currently exists in the United States.
It is this act that guides the management of Wilderness lands. It has never
been the goal of our organization to close trails to mountain bikes. Last
fall, we carved out nearly 2,000 acres of our wilderness proposal in
response to concerns about popular mountain bike trails from our membership,
board, staff and other community members. We have also, for the past 5 or 6
years, done trail maintenance on many mountain biking trails to help repair
any damage done to the environment.

As our wilderness proposal currently stands, 1.6 miles of the Mill D trail
would be closed to mountain biking. Big Water, Little Water, all of the
Wasatch Crest Trail (or Great Western Trail) and the segment of the
Desolation Trail which connects dog lake and Desolation Lake all lie outside
our current wilderness proposal. Mill D has been the hardest part of our
proposal because it cuts the Mt. Olympus Addition in half, thus leaving a
large portion of the proposal unconnected and under 5,000 acres. We have
tried everything from a trail reroute to cherry stemming but those will
still result in a loss to some of the most unique terrain in the Central
Wasatch.

As far as your comments regarding the damage of equestrian use in the
Wasatch I would again say that we don't advocate or align ourselves with any
user group. Equestrian use is permitted under the Wilderness Act of 1964,
however, it is not permitted in the Salt Lake City Watershed. Our Wilderness
Proposal is based on data gathered from Salt Lake City Public Utilities, the
water manager for over 400,000 Salt Lake residents. We are hoping that
between Wilderness designation and the purchasing of private lands within
the canyons we can reduce the amount of pavement and protect our water and
natural resources.

I hope that you can support our work as we are very excited to be working
toward additional Wilderness in the Wasatch. We are committed to relocating
trails that lie within our wilderness proposal so that their will not be a
loss in mileage to mountain bike trails in the Wasatch.

I look forward to speaking with you again.

Thanks again for contacting us,

Carl Fisher
Issues Coordinator
Save Our Canyons
I read it as "quit your *****ing, we are just going to make it so you can't ride one of the funnest parts of the Crest trail, you'll still have the rest, and an exit on odd days, but the Crest will be an out and back to mtb'er on even days". What they forget is that as far as I know Mill D is the only way off the crest back into BCC. So new pirate trails will emerge to replace the Mill D exit into BCC from the Crest. Causing further conflicts. They say they are going to build new trails so no mileage is lost. But that will take longer than it takes for people to cut pirate trails.

My $0.02.

B
 

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I agree that SOC have clearly missed some key points, though in fairness they probably haven't realized it. I would expect something more from a public interest group who claim to act in the interest of the "long-term good of Salt Lake City whose residents and visitors depend on these mountains as an escape from the hectic city". Simply asking for feedback would have done it.

I actually think Carl's response is quite measured. But at the end of the day, let's not forget one simple thing: is commercial development around the Mill D trailhead really a serious issue? Is there ever really going to be a 7-11 at Beartrap or some Multi-level parking lot plans? No, the only reason to make this a wilderness area is simply to reduce traffic. Bike traffic, to be specific.

The really unfortunate thing is that SOC have completely misjudged the will of the many dedicated bikers out here who will now be obliged to shuttle from Mill Creek to Guardsman's, thus greatly increasing car-miles and vehicle traffic in the canyon, a problem which gets worse every year (and, ironically, which SOC claim to be committed to alleviating but which they appear to have had little or no affect). And don't forget the problems at the Mill Creek end. Additional shuttle traffic, extra demand on an already insufficient parking system and of course increased potential for user conflict due to much heavier bike traffic.

Nice going, SOC. To paraphrase another genius of planning who favors the unilateral approach and has his finger on the pulse of the people "Mission accomplished!" https://forums.mtbr.com/images/smilies/mad2.gif
 

· Homer's problem child
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SingleWhiteCaveman said:
I actually think Carl's response is quite measured.
Agreed. I was pleasanlty surprised at the response as a whole. He put it to me as politely as he could have.

SingleWhiteCaveman said:
But at the end of the day, let's not forget one simple thing: is commercial development around the Mill D trailhead really a serious issue? Is there ever really going to be a 7-11 at Beartrap or some Multi-level parking lot plans? No, the only reason to make this a wilderness area is simply to reduce traffic. Bike traffic, to be specific.

The really unfortunate thing is that SOC have completely misjudged the will of the many dedicated bikers out here who will now be obliged to shuttle from Mill Creek to Guardsman's, thus greatly increasing car-miles and vehicle traffic in the canyon, a problem which gets worse every year (and, ironically, which SOC claim to be committed to alleviating but which they appear to have had little or no affect). And don't forget the problems at the Mill Creek end. Additional shuttle traffic, extra demand on an already insufficient parking system and of course increased potential for user conflict due to much heavier bike traffic.
Yep again.

I also think it is crazy for SOC to say
"We have tried everything from a trail reroute to cherry stemming but those will
still result in a loss to some of the most unique terrain in the Central Wasatch." Hmmm, maybe we bikers like it because it is unique too.

So in order to work around this SOC says:
"We are committed to relocating trails that lie within our wilderness proposal so that their will not be a loss in mileage to mountain bike trails in the Wasatch"

So I read that as "we are going to close an existing trail to bikes and then cut a new one for bikes" How does closing a single existing trail to some users and then cutting a new trail to all users minimize our impact on the environment? Now there are 2 trails to maintain and cause problems and have user conflicts on. Is the new trail goig to be in a similar area just outside the new Wilderness area? Or is it going to be along the Jordan river near the SLC Fairgrounds next to the homeless corpses? :confused: :nono:

I don't know. I know they mean well, but they are just a bit over the top in my opinion. I am going to reply and point them to this thread so they can get a feel for what the local bike community thinks and try to correct us all if we are out of line.

B
 

· Homer's problem child
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alizbee said:
Am I missing where this is actually demonstrated? Where are the studies, the numbers, the actual impact?
Studies, numbers? Sheesh................come on man, this SOC thing survives on donations, you think that generates enough $$ to do studies and gather real numbers?

Besides, 76% of all statistics are made up, 14% of all people know that. :p :thumbsup:

B
 
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