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High Alpine Adventure
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1,842 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi Kerry,

I want to applaud the NFS Sandia Ranger District for improving their focus on Recreational Trail Development. Over the last 10 years or so, the Mt. Bike Community here in the Albuquerque Area has felt that this focus has diminished to a degree and we are happy to see new individuals bringing a fresh perspective to the trail network. As you and I have discussed, FooMTB as an IMBA Affiliated Club stands ready to assist you in the improvement and continued development of the Sandia District Trail network for all to enjoy.

With that being said; I would like to take this opportunity to clearly re-state the position of the Mt. Bike Community in general and FooMTB specifically with regards how the trails of the Sandia District are being managed. I realize you have very little leeway in addressing the issues I am about to raise. This is why I have also addressed this email to Tyler and Francisco. Hopefully between the three of you, we can perhaps get some focus on these issues and the impact they have on the district.

The FooMTB position is that:

• We feel the NFS needs to understand the context of trail designations as incorporating three elements;
1. Motorized (Segmenting Jeep, ATV and Motorcycle use)
2. Non-Motorized/Non-Wilderness (Mt. Biking, Hiking and Equestrian use only)
3. Wilderness (Hiking and Equestrian use only)
• We believe that all recreational users of the National Forest Lands should have an opportunity to enjoy their respective sports and passions. We as a club are not actively trying to restrict access by ATV and Motorcycle owners to utilizing properly designated areas of the district.
• We do however, believe there is a distinct difference between ATV and Motorcycle Trail use and that the focus should be on “keeping single track single”. This is a perfect description of many of the trails in the Cedro Peak Area and we believe the Travel Management Plan and subsequent barrier projects will address that issue.
• While some of our members relish the idea of challenging themselves on the rugged trails frequently used by motorcycles, many do not. As such we are concerned about the perceived decision to lump Mt. Bike activity together with Motorized trail use when it came to finalizing the Sandia District Travel Plan.
• When the overall trail system in the Sandia District is reviewed, most of it is divided into two designations. Wilderness for Hiking and Equestrian use and the rest open to various forms of Motorized Travel.
• While one may argue that the Sandia Ski Area and connecting trails (Faulty, 10K, etc) represent Non-Motorized/Non-Wilderness designations, they are a small percentage of the overall trail inventory and would be considered Advanced-Intermediate to Expert level Mt. Bike trails. As such the Beginner to lower level Intermediate Mt. Biker has not been served well.
• During the Travel Management Review, we were under the impression that Otero, Tunnel and David Canyons would be designated “Hiking, Equestrian and Mt. Biking” only (effectively Non-motorized/Non-Wilderness). This made perfect sense in that Highway 337 is a natural boundary separating the Motorized from Non-motorized trails systems. In addition, because of past trailhead signing, the Motorized recreational users considered this area off limits. However with the new Travel Management plan, it has now come into their focus as an option for recreational use.
• Because of the limited amount of Non-Motorized/Non-Wilderness trail designations, our desire as a Club to partner with the National Forest Service to build and maintain many of the trails in the Sandia District has been significantly impacted. Please understand that it is extremely difficult for us to mobilize our Volunteers to come out and work on trails that will only be torn up again by motorized travel.

In closing I would like to emphasize that we are very active in supporting the BLM and AOS because of the fact that they do support extensive trail designations of “Non-Motorized/Non-Wilderness”. I would encourage the NFS to consider the decisions that have been made and the impact it has on the level of “Volunteer interest” from the Mt. Bike Community. We are here and ready to support you, but feel we need to have more extensive trails that reflect the desire of many in our community for a “Non-motorized experience”.

I sincerely hope that the NFS can understand our position,
 

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The Weatherman
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304 Posts
Nice letter. Couldn't agree more.

BTW, come on down to Alamogordo/Cloudcroft if you want direct proof of what trails look like when you allow all motorcycles, ATV's and horses to use every trail. Washout rock city.

I've got no beef with other trail users. They deserve to enjoy their hobbies just as much as the next guy. I just wish land managers considered that sometimes more access means less access...unless you like riding sand and rocks.
 

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High Alpine Adventure
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1,842 Posts
Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Fox402 said:
Well written, but...there is no NFS. Its the USFS. Don't want to confuse them, lol.
Thanks, you are right, I call them the National Forest Service, but technically they are the US Forest Service, or even more accurately the USDA Forest Service.

Anyway, I would like to encourage anyone who is interested in this issue to diplomatically write to Kerry, Tyler and Francisco re-enforcing the points that have been made.

Their emails are:

Kerry Wood ([email protected])
Tyler Albers ([email protected])
Francisco Valenzuela ([email protected])

This will improve the chance we have of them considering a review of the existing Sandia Travel Plan. Remember, they don't have to change a thing, so we need to be respectful, courteous and stress the lack of non-motorized recreational opportunites for entry level Mt. Bikers in how the plan is presently designed. Re-enforce the aspect of Highway 337 being a natural boundary between the Motorized and Non-Motorized Trail Designations.

Fight like Foo! Save Otero! :thumbsup:
 

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Bandolero
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2,438 Posts
Deep Forest Meditation

Actually, the title is "US Forest Service" as displayed on their web site.

And if anyone needs info on what/where DaGoat's referring to and where the motorized group can/will go, please look at this KMZ file from their website, http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/gis/cib/TrailJoin.kmz - and of course rendered in Google Maps - http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...03,-106.356926&spn=0.161346,0.286674&t=h&z=12. You can get their ARC GIS data from the Cibola web portal

Please note that this trail Join connector file shows trails that are currently within DOE exclusion areas as motorcycle travel.

DaGoat said:
Thanks, you are right, I call them the National Forest Service, but technically they are the US Forest Service, or even more accurately the USDA Forest Service.

Anyway, I would like to encourage anyone who is interested in this issue to diplomatically write to Kerry, Tyler and Francisco re-enforcing the points that have been made.

Their emails are:

Kerry Wood ([email protected])
Tyler Albers ([email protected])
Francisco Valenzuela ([email protected])

This will improve the chance we have of them considering a review of the existing Sandia Travel Plan. Remember, they don't have to change a thing, so we need to be respectful, courteous and stress the lack of non-motorized recreational opportunites for entry level Mt. Bikers in how the plan is presently designed. Re-enforce the aspect of Highway 337 being a natural boundary between the Motorized and Non-Motorized Trail Designations.

Fight like Foo! Save Otero! :thumbsup:
 

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Single Speed Junkie
Joined
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3,116 Posts
notaknob said:
Actually, the title is "US Forest Service" as displayed on their web site.

And if anyone needs info on what/where DaGoat's referring to and where the motorized group can/will go, please look at this KMZ file from their website, http://www.fs.fed.us/r3/gis/cib/TrailJoin.kmz - and of course rendered in Google Maps - http://maps.google.com/maps?f=q&sou...03,-106.356926&spn=0.161346,0.286674&t=h&z=12. You can get their ARC GIS data from the Cibola web portal

Please note that this trail Join connector file shows trails that are currently within DOE exclusion areas as motorcycle travel.
Wealth of information there. Needs some clarification as clicking on the trails it would appear as if they are all open to motorized travel in the Otero Cedro area. Was attempting to locate a property ownership map for the area as well defining the boundary. Using a topo program it would appear as if we have quite a bit of land in which to work with out there, however I know the military signs are quite a bit closer than the map indicates. Track I believe is a downloaded version of Otero.
 

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