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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
according to the forest service, if you can prove to them that trails used to exist, and were on the olds maps, then they don't need to go through the archeological and environmental assessment steps that are required to build a new trail, which means that if approved, then we can just corridor out these old trails.

there are dozens of ridges throughout the ranger district, and even more in the grandfather district with trails on them. and they are all on the old maps. the loop possibilities are endless. i've ridden most of them in the ranger district, and they connect and they would require little man power.

why we have gutter trails like long branch and bradley creek i have no idea, while all the up high fast ridges are shut down.

i am curious as to what the mountain bike community has to say about this, it seems that our service group is busy building things that no one really cares about in heavily trafficked areas. unfortunately we have to jump through the hoops to get the forest service to notice us, which means we have to go through sorba. i was unable to attend the last meeting, but i plan on bringing this up at the next one.

is anyone else in the bike world interested in opening up old trails to make new loops?

is anyone else interested in proposing a designated free ride area? it seems like people are going to do what they want regardless of the rules, so something legal, fun, and sustainable is really the only option.

its our forest, we should be able to do whatever we want within reason.
 

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Of course everyone wants more trails:thumbsup: And yes, maybe it could happen (not easily though). I commend you for taking some initiative by posting on the interwebs about this, now all that's needed is some walk. Your "service group" is you as part of we and we is volunteers.

I've got the old maps. Let's plan a meeting. Who's going to lead? BTW, PAS has a lot of room for more leaders.
 

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Hey Park, we've met before on the trail... I'm quite interested in this and have been exploring lots of old trails to see how accurate the old maps are and to see whether the old trails are even marginally navigable.

In several specific cases I've run across old trails that are being extensively used by ATVs - and I've made the argument to the FS that it makes no sense to keep these trails closed since it only enables the current illegal uses to continue. If there was more legal access to these trails that alone would cut down on the illegal access.

There is also a lot of "linear wildlife openings" that could be opened up to bikes without negatively impacting the wildlife. I've hiked plenty on those roads and don't ever notice that there is more wildlife on them than on other similar roads without the designation.

As for a designated free-ride area maybe we should focus on recently logged area as these aren't useful for much else and there would be tons of useful waste (logs mostly) to make features out of. There's a whole area off of 475B that's already been logged, and there's soon to be an area out near Devil's Courthouse (2010?) as they've been doing the assessment this year.
 

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Dig it!
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park baker said:
i am curious as to what the mountain bike community has to say about this, it seems that our service group is busy building things that no one really cares about in heavily trafficked areas. unfortunately we have to jump through the hoops to get the forest service to notice us, which means we have to go through sorba.

.
:madmax: What a load of crap. Are you serious? While you have some good points, you go for the nut shot on the single best thing to happen on the trails of WNC in the last 100 years. Is SORBA so bad? The forest service would love for you to open up new trails they can't maintain. No one cares about Greens Lick? Thats why the Greens Lick sabotage thread won't go away. No one cares about Squirel Gap or Laurel Mtn? No one cares about the entire reworking of the trail system at DSF? SORBA delivers a tremendious service to the community. And if you decide to get off your butt and champion something, SORBA will more than likely back your efforts 10 fold and give you the tools and manpower to make a difference. But then again maybe I misunderstood you. :nono:
 

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dead weight
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More trails are better and if pre-existence makes it easier to bypass the red tape then go for it. There's nothing wrong with not going through sorba to make it happen. It would be great to get some back woods trails official even if they don't get much traffic or much work beyond some brushing.
 

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There is a lot of interest and much discussion already going about reworking old trails. The trick is Land Managers and relationships. We all need to meet up and work out a few ideas...run them by PAS (Van), put in some local trail days...make ourselves more known in the Brevard side of Pisgah , then go for the Gold. There is definitely possibilities yo make these trails exist, but we have to plant a few seeds first.

Lets all who are interested get together soon in the Brevard Area and get things moving.
 

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park baker said:
...it seems that our service group is busy building things that no one really cares about in heavily trafficked areas. unfortunately we have to jump through the hoops to get the forest service to notice us, which means we have to go through sorba. i was unable to attend the last meeting, but i plan on bringing this up at the next one.
Any service group has to compare its resources (time, talent, and money) with its challenges, then decide where to apply said time, talent, and money. Usually such decisions are focused on delivering the 'biggest bang for the buck'. With volunteers active at Richmond Hill, Bent Creek, the southern section of the Pisgah District, and DuPont State Forest, SORBA would appear to be addressing things that MANY riders care about. Do I personally care about Richmond Hill?? I'll probably never ride it, but I think the project will produce an important riding venue for Asheville, and I'll show up for work days whenever I can. Likewise, I don't ride Bent Creek much, but I'll try to make some work days there, too, just to support the SORBA's efforts. My recent focus has been DSF and the District, because those are the places I usually ride... How do we decide what to work on there?? Well, how about working on heavily used areas that other groups (or individuals) aren't doing enough work on? If we haven't yet hit the project YOU care about, either be patient, or jump up and initiate that project yourself--perhaps that's just what you're doing here. If so, I wish you the best in your efforts, and encourage you to pick a single project, get some group support from SORBA (even if you hate dealing with the organization), and do your project in a way that encourages the District to invite you to do another one. If you need a sawyer, call me...

ridn29s said:
There is also a lot of "linear wildlife openings" that could be opened up to bikes without negatively impacting the wildlife. I've hiked plenty on those roads and don't ever notice that there is more wildlife on them than on other similar roads without the designation.
If the roads you're referring to have officially been designated as "Linear Wildlife Openings" (LWOs), there's no way (read: NWIH) they will be re-opened to bikes until another logging operation takes place on top of them. LWOs are a joint venture between the North Carolina Wildlife Resources Commission (NCWRC) and the USFS. NCWRC is involved as 'the owner of the wildlife', and the USFS is involved as 'the landowner and manager'. They began with agreement to close some 30 old logging roads to all but foot traffic and seed them with wildlife cover crops was made between Pisgah District and NCWRC officials 15 Feb '95. That decision was of the 'good old boy network' variety, and the proposal was not run through the USFS' public notification process. The first closure signs were posted Sept/Oct '96, and were discovered by a Blue Ridge Bicycle Club (BRBC) member 6 Oct '96. The first signs he found were on the extension of FS225 and the series of old logging roads that once connected FS225 with FS475B via parts of Siniard Ridge Trail. The closures were quickly contested by the MTB community, and the closure was reversed because the public notification process had not been followed by the USFS...

For a couple years the concept of LWOs remained buried in some bureaucratic file cabinet (or two), and the MTB community rode those old logging traces that made good connectors, but the concept of LWOs came up again when in Feb '98 the NCWRC again wanted to close many old logging roads as LWOs--this time a total of 42 rather than the original 30... The concept was kicked around for a while, then in May '00 the USFS issued a draft Environmental Assessment (EA) listing those 42 LWOs. Several members of the MTB community, working with BRBC and IMBA addressed each LWO's potential as a connector or a good ride in its own right. We also tried to emphasize the idea that food crops could be planted on old logging roads (which are typically 10-12 feet wide) and designate an 18" tread area for shared use--NCWRC would not even consider the concept. The MTB perspective was quickly delivered to the Pisgah District, and again the subject went underground. A couple years later (7 Jan '02) the District issued a "Decision Notice and Finding of No Significant Impact" (DN/FONSI) recommending that 34 of the 42 proposed LWOs be closed to all but foot traffic. Several of us in the MTB community filed official appeals to the DN/FONSI shortly after its release. On 11 May '02, those of us who appealed the DN/FONSI were sent (via certified mail, no less) letters (file code 1570-1) from Robert T Jacobs, Appeal Deciding Officer, Regional Forester, Hotlanta, GfockingA saying he supported the DN/FONSI. So those 34 roads have been duly declared LWOs and have been signed as closed to all but foot traffic. Some additional LWOs have been created via logging projects approved by the District (and having gone through the proper EA process) since Mr Jacob's decision. I don't know the total number of LWOs on the District now, but you can bet your arse that not a single one of them will be open for discussion or review UNTIL another logging operation is proposed on top of it...

A couple of my favorite LWO routes of the late '90s were left open to MTB travel, so for a while I felt like we might have won something through our 5+ year battle. One is the extension of FS225, which allows the cross-country rider to connect the upper reaches of Cove Creek with the top of Daniel Ridge. That once-threatened route is still a pretty nice ride, and I try to hit it every few weeks... The second, the afore-mentioned series of logging roads north of FS225 in the Siniard Ridge area (once known to locals as "Chuck's LWO Loop") was recently logged. I rode it this afternoon, stopping frequently to puke. Once 3 miles of shaded single- track taking the rider past two beautiful waterfalls, only 0.25 miles in the middle remains as single-track--the rest is 10-12' wide gravel road that won't see shade for many years, as the timber on both sides has been stripped... I suspect the two bridges constructed in the making of the lower road segment off-set any money made on the timber sale. So did we win anything???

This response was only intended to give some background on the process that resulted in the LWOs that now exist on the District, but the last bit is almost a rant. Forgive me--that wasn't my intent. I hope forum readers understand that the process through which those logging roads were granted LWO status was not fun for anyone involved, and neither the NCWRC nor the USFS Pisgah District will be willing to review the LWOs just because another mountain biker wants to ride them!

Regards,
TZ
 

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drunken pirate
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What specific trails do you have in mind to be opened to bikes? I'm not very familiar with the Grandfather district but some of the off map (#780) trails in the Pisgah district that I have HIKED would be interesting to bikes, but many of them would only be novel detours to the already available, and legal, bike routes.

Perhaps we could also work to get some of the existing mapped trails that are currently closed to bikes opened to us. Looking Glass Rock would never be suitable for bikes but Thompson Creek might. It very well could be easier to get these trails opened than those old usgs ones and would mean mtb riders would no longer have to poach them :rolleyes:

Bradley Creek is anything but a gutter. There is more to mountain biking than high speed ridge runs ;)
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
all of the ridges off of 215.

the ridge that comes back down to the intersection of bradley creek and yellow gap road off of laurel mtn trail.

ALL of the ridges on the old survey maps.

there is a ridge that goes from my house in strauss park all the way to fish hatchery. its up high, rocky, and fast. off that ridge there are two or three trails that come off it.

half of these trails are not illegal, they simply do not exist

iron mtn trail off of the top of heartbreak.

yes, bradley creek is a gutter. theres another ridge that bypasses all of bradley creek trail and stays up high all the way down to where it hits the river. i rode bradley creek once.

i cant say i consider crossing a creek 90 times whats left after removing high speed ridge runs from the equation.

i do consider a place like richmond hill a waste of resources. i give it a year before it is a campground for transients and a place where kids break beer bottles.

unfortunately sam, getting everyone together is probably more of a process. where do you suggest? in brevard i have only seen todd branham, mark allmond, thad walker and myself at any trail day. in 5 years.

i dont think i took a cheap shot at sorba. i admittedly have a bad taste in my mouth for the organization because every meeting i have been to has been a ***** fest with finger pointing and head butting. i've gotten influential riders/personalities to come to the meetings before, they wont be back. why? for the above mentioned reasons. the younger crowd simply isnt interested in anything that sorba has going on.

if the trails dont exist then its not considered poaching. some trails i agree are inappropriate for bikes. only because hikers should be able to enjoy the tranquility of the woods without interruptions.

i am more interested in trails built with jumps and berms. i think i speak for a lot of people.
 

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Park,

To get any of this that you're talking about done, in any form, is a process. You just can't wish it to be and WAZAMM it's there.

I want to point out a couple things and ask a few questions. First, I think your whole premiss that the FS may make opening trails that aren't on current maps but are on old USGS topos easier is based on one conversation I had with a FS employee and posted about on this forum. That's the only time they've ever mentioned this idea to my knowledge. And let me tell you something, I was speaking to him as a SORBA board member and SORBA trail coordinator. I don't think people could have had the conversation and not with those results a couple years ago before Pisgah Area SORBA was up and running at full steam. I think credit is due for that.

Second, on trail work in the national forest. The FS has a system for assigning trails to differant user groups. We can't just go out and do what we want on any trails in the national forest. A couple years ago mt bikers wheren't assigned hardly any trails. Now we have Farlow, Laurel, Squirel, and all of Bent Creek. I think credit is due for that.

Third, I know some Brevard area guys are VERY active in trail work and otherwise with SORBA. I've never met you at a trail work day in the few years I've been doing them. Not that you're not out there, but appairently you're not at a lot. So to say those few guys are the only ones from Brevard to show up is just false.

Fourth, you need more fortutude to get something done if you've been turned off of SORBA by your attendence at that ONE SORBA meeting you attended a year ago. I know the ONE you're talking about. And if you're "influential riders" are of the same feeling I'd tell them the same thing...sounds like an excuss to me.

Fifth, I disagree with you about Richmond Hill, but that's okay. Like someone said, there's enough woods to go around.

Sixth, find a landmanager who will let you build jumps and berms. Good luck. You're not the only one who would like to ride that stuff. I would too. And so do many of the young people already helping in the club who are gravity oriented. But mtbers need to build cred with the landmangers before they'll even think about going all out.

Seventh, opening some new trails is a great idea. I've talked with the FS about it and if some people want to form a team to get on it, let's do it. You don't need to reinvent the wheel though. SORBA's talked to them about it and we (mountain bikers) have a foot in the door. Seriously though, we just need more active people, not people whining on a message board. When we meeting?

~Shaun
 

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I agree that Richmond Hill is not relavent for people living in Brevard, except that we're planning on hosting a weeknight XC race series there when done, which might be of interest to some.
It's super relavent for those of us who live in Asheville and have to drive around 40 minutes-plus to ride anywhere besides Bent Creek or Black Mountain (town) trails. Bent Creek looks like CRAP in a lot of places because of overuse- we need more options. Moreover, Richmond Hill would be a safe place to ride your bike to from town, something that is important moving forward for a less fossil fuel dependent society.

That's why everyone of my posts have emphasized the Asheville MTB community- that's who it's relavent for. In truth, it'll also be a great place for kids, runners, school groups, birdwatchers, anybody who wants to get out into the woods. There's a lot of value in having venues like that and we've been promoting the trail system to those user groups as well. For example, we're going to host trail work days specific for kids involving several Boy Scout troops and a city version of Outward Bound. Where's the negative in something like that?

Secondly, I personally would love to see more "youth" involvement and more involvement from the freeride/DH community with PAS. Would you like to be nominated to the PAS board so that community could be represented?

Finally, if you just don't want to be involved with PAS at all, start your own group and establish your own relationship with the FS. I'd be happy to send you the contact info for the person who coordinates volunteer work in Pisgah district.
 

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Park -

I don’t like the PAS bashing. I am PAS SORBA member, and have become a big advocate for what they have done and are doing.

Some facts about me.
· I go to some of their meetings.
· I attend some of their trail workdays, mainly the ones in DSF.
· I most likely will never ride Richmond Hill unless it is for a race.
· I live in Tuxedo.
· I dont give as much time or $$$ as I can or should.
· I like riding on my time off.
· I have yet to go to a planning meeting by anyone (city, forest service, etc).

What I have learned about PAS SORBA
· A lot of people give a lot more time than I do and appropriately their wants get more time.
· PAS / People have developed good relationships with DSF, Forest Service, City of Asheville. This gives mountain biking a good name. It is a group they can speak when they want to get the word out, or bounce ideas off.
· PAS gets things done, lots of trails rebuilds at DSF, Pisgah trail maintenance, Richmond Hill as a few examples.
· PAS will most likely back and support an endeavor I want to pursue so long as I lead it and put in the time.
· It is filled with a lot of independent thinking intelligent people.
· I am very thankful for all the time put in by others.

PAS is not
· David George mountain biking club.
· It is not a bunch of people sitting around waiting for me to tell them what to do and what to work on.

I feel that PAS has given a good name to mtbing in DSF (my backyard riding spot), and if mtbing was ever threatened there, PAS would be there to help. I think a name organization is help over random individuals for getting things done, especially when dealing with the govt.
 

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park baker said:
all of the ridges off of 215.

the ridge that comes back down to the intersection of bradley creek and yellow gap road off of laurel mtn trail.

ALL of the ridges on the old survey maps.

there is a ridge that goes from my house in strauss park all the way to fish hatchery. its up high, rocky, and fast. off that ridge there are two or three trails that come off it.

half of these trails are not illegal, they simply do not exist

iron mtn trail off of the top of heartbreak.
Good to hear that you don't want much. And I am beginning to think that you prefer ridge top trails (personally I enjoy riding a wide variety of trails)...

But if you are serious about this endeavor I would encourage you to narrow down your wish list and start with one or two old trails and work to get them open. Once you are successful with those then move on to a few more.

I don't have the usgs maps but I know there are some old trails on Lickstone Ridge and wouldn't be surprised if there is a trail that goes from Balsam Knob all the way to 276. If you get that trail open and built it could be the best run around and could get you a lot more support. That would be my suggestion of where to start (since you are dreaming big).
park baker said:
yes, bradley creek is a gutter. theres another ridge that bypasses all of bradley creek trail and stays up high all the way down to where it hits the river. i rode bradley creek once.

i cant say i consider crossing a creek 90 times whats left after removing high speed ridge runs from the equation.
I like Bradley Creek :) . It is absolutely gorgeous and fun to ride. I like to link it up with other trails. But like I said I enjoy a variety of trails. The variety is one of my favorite things about Pisgah. You might want to give Bradley another try, maybe on a hot August day. Or maybe you should just stick to your ridges...
park baker said:
unfortunately sam, getting everyone together is probably more of a process. where do you suggest? in brevard i have only seen todd branham, mark allmond, thad walker and myself at any trail day. in 5 years.
If getting "everyone" together is a process you might be surprised to find that getting all those trails built and open is a slightly bigger process ;)

Good luck.
park baker said:
i dont think i took a cheap shot at sorba. i admittedly have a bad taste in my mouth for the organization because every meeting i have been to has been a ***** fest with finger pointing and head butting. i've gotten influential riders/personalities to come to the meetings before, they wont be back. why? for the above mentioned reasons. the younger crowd simply isnt interested in anything that sorba has going on.
If you didn't take a cheap shot before you sure did now.
 

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If you are referring to the Haywood County side of Highway 215, most of the ridgelines between the Blue Ridge Parkway & Sunburst Campground are within either Middle Prong or Shining Rock Wilderness Areas which = no bike access. The ridgeline running from Richland Balsam along Lickstone to highway 276 is either USFS land(that is not within the wilderness areas) or within the Town of Waynesville's Watershed( it depends on which side of the ridge you are on), and as you approach Pigeon Gap at highway 276, private property. The one old roadbed located on the USFS lands above the Lickstone Ridge Road( the gated road that starts at Sunburst) that provided access to Lickstone Ridge is now, (along with a couple of other old road beds in that area) a Linear Wildlife Clearing and is closed to all traffic, but foot traffic.
 

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Mike Brown said:
Secondly, I personally would love to see more "youth" involvement and more involvement from the freeride/DH community with PAS. Would you like to be nominated to the PAS board so that community could be represented?
Myself and 2 other "downhillers" attended the SORBA meeting last year in which (after the subject of a freeride park got mentioned), you stood up and proudly asked the group if anyone actually wanted a freeride park. The entire reason that I went to that meeting - and convinced at least one other person to go - was because of a conversation I had with Woody regarding the feasibility of a dedicated Freeride/DH park. After that (and a few other comments to be fair), it was hard to go back.

Just my opinion - and take it for what it's worth (nothing) - but until we get past the classification/stereotyping of other riders then we'll never organize a diverse group of people to accomplish a well-rounded approach to trail management.

Park - there is a group based out of Atlanta called SOFA (SORBA Freeride Alliance). I think there are a lot of people in this area that would love to see a nice DH/FR trail but IMO the only way to get this done is to form a SORBA chapter devoted to the discipline. That way, the 2 SORBA chapters could (hopefully) work together and each one would respect the purpose of the other.
 

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drkenan said:
Myself and 2 other "downhillers" attended the SORBA meeting last year in which (after the subject of a freeride park got mentioned), you stood up and proudly asked the group if anyone actually wanted a freeride park. The entire reason that I went to that meeting - and convinced at least one other person to go - was because of a conversation I had with Woody regarding the feasibility of a dedicated Freeride/DH park. After that (and a few other comments to be fair), it was hard to go back.

Just my opinion - and take it for what it's worth (nothing) - but until we get past the classification/stereotyping of other riders then we'll never organize a diverse group of people to accomplish a well-rounded approach to trail management.

Park - there is a group based out of Atlanta called SOFA (SORBA Freeride Alliance). I think there are a lot of people in this area that would love to see a nice DH/FR trail but IMO the only way to get this done is to form a SORBA chapter devoted to the discipline. That way, the 2 SORBA chapters could (hopefully) work together and each one would respect the purpose of the other.
These are very fair statements. I also hate the stereotypes- I was at an event last weekend that included XC, time trials, DH, dirt jumps, skinnies, trials, what have you. It was a blast.

I'd like to point out the context of my question. The meeting was a "planning" meeting and another active member had just spoken up about needing people to lead their passions if they want stuff to happen. I was trying to ask to see who would raise their hand and lead freeride development. It's not going to be me- it's not my passion because while I'm relatively fast in a woods/trail environment I can't ride the stunts to save my life. I'm sorry if it came across some other way- wasn't my intent.

EDIT: Note I say "not lead." I'd be happy to lend my labor to efforts led by somebody else.

I'd prefer to see us able to work together as one group because I think two groups just encourages the divisions, but that's just me. If it's going to take two groups, sweet, let's see it happen.

Mike
 

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extrmtao said:
I think to get anything done, all mountain bike forums must be shut off so people will step away from the computer and pick up a shovel..
Beautiful!
I unsubscribed from the Green's Lick thread a week ago so (hopefully) I could restrain myself from reading it. So far, so good.
If the internet wasn't necessary for my work and, at this point, information dissemination, I'd cancel it in a fricking heartbeat (although my post count certainly belies that statement).
 

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Mike Brown said:
The meeting was a "planning" meeting and another active member had just spoken up about needing people to lead their passions if they want stuff to happen. I was trying to ask to see who would raise their hand and lead freeride development. It's not going to be me- it's not my passion because while I'm relatively fast in a woods/trail environment I can't ride the stunts to save my life. I'm sorry if it came across some other way- wasn't my intent.

EDIT: Note I say "not lead." I'd be happy to lend my labor to efforts led by somebody else.

I'd prefer to see us able to work together as one group because I think two groups just encourages the divisions, but that's just me. If it's going to take two groups, sweet, let's see it happen.

Mike
Kenan, and others,

As a PAS Board member I'd say I agree totally, at the same time, with Mike's assesment and with Kenan and Park's expression of the desirability of more freeride type features in the area.

I want to stress what Mike said about needing someone to step up within PAS to lead that effort. That's really ALL it takes. And I'd also stress that these things don't happen over night unless you have a private landowner and a pile of money that wants it done. Anyone has to also understand that there is quite a bit of resistance from land owners about building trail features and upping the anty so to speak. That results in a hard row to hoe and some sceptism from people who have to deside were to put in their volunteer efforts. BUT if there are people who want to put there time there, more power to them. I'll help.

I dont' think there is as much "division" as many think within the WNC bike community. And I'm also confident that the current PAS Board of Directors would be very supportive of any one with passion, dedication, and tact, who steps up with-in the club and leads the efforts you're talking about (heck, there are two openly stating that right here). And to be frank, if people think there aren't riders within PAS's ranks who ride the stuff you're talking about then they really don't have a clue who PAS is.

No need to create another division. I really don't think it'll help our cause with is more more riding opportunity and preserving what we've got.

~Shaun

P.S. I think you'll be seeing info about the PAS BOD nomination process coming up soon here and/or on the PAS forum. If you want to get organized, I'd hope you'll organize around that.
 
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