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Bummer. I think a bunch of $ was raised by SDMBA in support of this project.



What the new trail network was supposed to be:

The Vision:
Less than an hour from central San Diego, Pamo Valley boasts over 20,000 acres of contiguous Forest Service land that currently has little to no trails. The vision for the Pamo Valley area, north of Ramona, is to create a system wide concept plan for a sustainable and connected trail system that will become a valuable asset to the region and a place for people to experience and connect to their public lands.

Mountain biking continues to be a rapidly growing sport with an estimated 50,000 riders in San Diego. In addition, more people are finding hiking, trail running, backpacking and other outdoor activities a necessary release in the modern world. In a rapidly growing county like San Diego, more people are trying to use fewer trails leading to user conflict, user-created trails, environmental impacts and unsatisfied users. The need is great for a well planned and sustainable trail system in Pamo Valley so this pressure can be decreased.

SDMBA, in cooperation with the Palomar District of the US Forest Service, is working to produce a concept master trails plan that will include trails for all skill levels of mountain bikers from beginner to expert and downhill and will also include many miles of multi-use trails to be enjoyed by hikers, cyclists, equestrians, trail runners and other lovers of the outdoors.
 

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If you read the concerns, they (those who opposed) came up with every reason they could to not allow this to happen. From smokers in the parking lot starting fires to "use of form letter".

NIMBYism in SD County is pretty bad.

The concern about parking and restrooms might be the main reason. Who's going to pay for those and maintain them. USFS staff is already tapped out. That's a couple million dollars right there to build and maintain. As proven in Rock Climbing and hiking, there's a poop problem in nature right now.
 

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Bummer that the $65,000 raised for this study ended up being all for naught.


Funny how government agencies pull a stunt like this and then cannot understand why the community then goes ahead and builds, maintains and rides their own trails without Government involvement.

There is a real need for more trails in this County.
 

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Someone needs to explain to these opposition groups, that blocking new projects isn't helping themselves, but creating a bigger problem. If they want bikes off trails or less bikers, they need to support a top tier facility. ORV's get Ocotillo. Why not give MTB's some terrain up in the mountains?

Now this particular project may not be the solution, but a public trail system on public land is needed in that area. Not sure why Ramona isn't all about the tourist revenue either?

This is a great idea, but as pointed out in the scoping period it has more opponents vs supporters.

Ramona should be lobbying for this with a staging area that makes people drive through downtown.

A staging area off the 78 isn't a good idea, too many issues on that road. Move the staging area. Put it near facilities with food, rest rooms and provide plenty of parking. Also need to explain to people that MTB riders don't smoke cigs. They seem to be confusing the user group with old school off roaders.
 

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If you read the concerns, they (those who opposed) came up with every reason they could to not allow this to happen. From smokers in the parking lot starting fires to "use of form letter".

NIMBYism in SD County is pretty bad.

The concern about parking and restrooms might be the main reason. Who's going to pay for those and maintain them. USFS staff is already tapped out. That's a couple million dollars right there to build and maintain. As proven in Rock Climbing and hiking, there's a poop problem in nature right now.
Worth a read, page 3 gets really ridiculous, even recommending SDMBA purchase mitigation land. There's a "club" and we're not in it.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/109212_FSPLT3_4637118.pdf
 

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Worth a read, page 3 gets really ridiculous, even recommending SDMBA purchase mitigation land. There's a "club" and we're not in it.

http://www.fs.usda.gov/nfs/11558/www/nepa/109212_FSPLT3_4637118.pdf
Alternative is illegal trail cutting, crowded trails with fast bikers running them over.

OHV's have registration fees.
USFS has Adventure Pass. It's more $$ vs ORV Fees. Red Sticker is 50.00 every 2 years. Adventure is 30.00 and you need one for each of the 4 USFS zones in the state.
 

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If you read the concerns, they (those who opposed) came up with every reason they could to not allow this to happen. From smokers in the parking lot starting fires to "use of form letter".
These sort of comments show up during every comment period on every project. Some are legit concerns, many are people just spewing any BS they can think of against the project. If the Forest Service wanted this project to go ahead they could easily address or rebut pretty much every comment made without batting an eye. The problem here is a new district ranger who does not want the project and decided to kill it. The letter to SDMBA is an outright dismissal. I doubt any analysis was even done. She might have just as well said "I'm not interested, thx bye."

The point about form letters is somewhat valid - they don't carry as much weight as non-form letters and seem to be tallied but not given much more thought. A non-form letter doesn't have to be an essay, just a "hey my name's Timmeh I live in the area and this would be great for my kids to keep them out of trouble and give me a place to exercise, thanks!" Well maybe a few more lines than that would be helpful - why it's important to you, what's good about it and why you think it will benefit the community. But because the vast majority of riders were too busy to take the time, we had 551 form letters vs 55 non-form letters. The way the pdf is written doesn't say it outright (and it wouldn't be correct) but seems to imply all the non-form letters were all in oppositionto the project. If we had even 10% of form letter senders write a few sentences that would have doubled the number of non-form letters and made it harder for the district ranger to throw this back in our faces. This apathy is why we can't have nice things. It makes it a lot harder to get what we want when we as a user group aren't willing to put in the work to get it.
 

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The plan was brought to SDMBA by the forest service, so I doubt they would have done that if it was non viable. Is the new head ranger known to harbor anti-mountain biker bias? Because that is what it's looking like to me.

Another question: If you change and add your own words to a form letter, is it still counted as a form letter? I know many of us sent out emails to the head ranger when we found out she was putting the brakes on the project. Apparently, her mind was already made up about mountain biking.
 

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The Letter of Intent required that IMBA Trail Solutions be involved. SDMBA had to hire them to do the initial design. Then SDMBA and IMBA broke up in dramatic fashion like an episode of Housewives of Beverly Hills. That could have caused a bit of an issue with the USFS and approval.

Most likely the biggest issue is/was budget cuts and simply trimming non essential programs. Per the USFS website they have cancelled some upgrades to some facilities already this year due to budget issues.
 

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The whole idea behind having SDMBA raise funds for environmental studies and trail construction is this would eliminate budget concerns as an issue. As I s aid before if the forest service wanted this project they would find a way to make it happen. As it turned out they instead found a way to make sure it didn't happen, which is very telling. Perhaps we just wait out until this new ranger moves on elsewhere, then resurrect the project.
 

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The Letter of Intent required that IMBA Trail Solutions be involved. SDMBA had to hire them to do the initial design. Then SDMBA and IMBA broke up in dramatic fashion like an episode of Housewives of Beverly Hills. That could have caused a bit of an issue with the USFS and approval.

Most likely the biggest issue is/was budget cuts and simply trimming non essential programs. Per the USFS website they have cancelled some upgrades to some facilities already this year due to budget issues.
So many things to address....

1) IMBA Trail solutions is the for profit arm of IMBA and not part of the governance body we left. We will work with them on other projects in the pipeline.
2) We had an open bidding process and there were mulitiple firms that wanted the job. IMBA Trail solutions (Not IMBA) was awarded the bid becaue they offered the most for the dollar, given prior work.
3) IMBA standards were required in the Letter of Intent, not specifically calling out IMBA Trail Solutions having to be involved.
4) No NEPA could be started by the forest service until the trail plan (mapping) was complete.
5) Yes we walked away from IMBA as a governing agency in the middle of the process. It had no impact on our work with IMBA Trail Solutions. As stated before, we continued to work with them and will do so on other projects in the future.

Lets be clear on the causes why...

The Palomar District came to us at our advocacy meeting and asked us to do this project with them. I will say it again - unsolicited, the Forest Service came to us for the project. Unfortunately the Head District Ranger (who blessed this) as well as the Regional Manger (who created the letter of intent giving the project a #3 spot in their overall budget) both left their postions. The District Ranger was replaced by a new one that immediately put the brakes on the project and since there was not an immediate replacement of the Regional Manager, the interm one followed suit and together they killed the project.

In the same Cleveland NF we have a fantastic relationship with the Descanso District. There we are following a similar process with great success and cooperation. So it is not a overarching National Forest directive that is causing the problems.

I do agree that staff change in the district might help improve things but I have no idea on the timing of this considering that Ranger Amy Reed has been in place only one year.
 

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So many things to address....

1) IMBA Trail solutions is the for profit arm of IMBA and not part of the governance body we left. We will work with them on other projects in the pipeline.
2) We had an open bidding process and there were mulitiple firms that wanted the job. IMBA Trail solutions (Not IMBA) was awarded the bid becaue they offered the most for the dollar, given prior work.
3) IMBA standards were required in the Letter of Intent, not specifically calling out IMBA Trail Solutions having to be involved.
4) No NEPA could be started by the forest service until the trail plan (mapping) was complete.
5) Yes we walked away from IMBA as a governing agency in the middle of the process. It had no impact on our work with IMBA Trail Solutions. As stated before, we continued to work with them and will do so on other projects in the future.

Lets be clear on the causes why...

The Palomar District came to us at our advocacy meeting and asked us to do this project with them. I will say it again - unsolicited, the Forest Service came to us for the project. Unfortunately the Head District Ranger (who blessed this) as well as the Regional Manger (who created the letter of intent giving the project a #3 spot in their overall budget) both left their postions. The District Ranger was replaced by a new one that immediately put the brakes on the project and since there was not an immediate replacement of the Regional Manager, the interm one followed suit and together they killed the project.

In the same Cleveland NF we have a fantastic relationship with the Descanso District. There we are following a similar process with great success and cooperation. So it is not a overarching National Forest directive that is causing the problems.

I do agree that staff change in the district might help improve things but I have no idea on the timing of this considering that Ranger Amy Reed has been in place only one year.
Wall of text summarized.

Ranger Reid said NO! :)
 
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