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Many of you may be interested in an article found in the living section of today's Burlington Free Press. It is a good size article describing how the Vermont Mountain Bike Association is requesting access to certain trails and routes in the Green Mountain National Forest near Middlebury.

It is a positive article, including sentiments from the land managers.

They are requesting input via IMBA's website www.imba.com. From the home page, see the Take Action! field to get you to the right spot.

Cheers.

NW.
 

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It is usually a good idea to modify the suggested letter with your own personal words. Form letters, e-mail or otherwise, count for less than a well written personalized letter. If you can mention your use of the forest land, for hiking, photography, etc. and that you support mountain biking in the GMNF, it will help. All letters become part of the public record and factor into the decision making.
Thanks.....
 

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You can read the article here:
http://www.burlingtonfreepress.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080411/LIVING/804110307


Here is what has been up elsewhere about the effort in addition to what was linked on IMBA:

Hello all - a very simple request - in a nutshell the Green Mountain National Forest is 400,000 acres (not a typo) with practically zero mountain bike trails. VMBA have worked very hard with the Forest Service in 2007 to get access, and the National Forest are now seeking public comments regarding mountain bike access. It is a very simple equation, if we speak up, we will have more access in the future, if we do not speak up, we will not have access, period. Can each of you please take 15 minutes and write a simple letter (addresses below) stating that you would like to see more access for mountain bikes in the Green Mountain National Forest, specifically on the Oak Ridge and Chandler Ridge Trails (believe me, they are excellent trails, I'll lead a ride there once we get them legalized). I hope you can help with this. Thanks, Patrick

Patrick D. Kell
Executive Director
Vermont Mountain Bike Association
1949 East Main Street Richmond, VT 05477
802-434-3969 x 112
www.vmba.org


The Forest is requesting comments before April 21, 2008 on the best trails to provide such uses. Postal, hand-delivered, oral, electronic and facsimile (FAX) comments on the proposal will be accepted. Postal comments and hand-delivered comment can be submitted to the Rochester Ranger District, 99 Ranger Road, Rochester, VT 05767, the Manchester Ranger District 2538 Depot Road, Manchester, VT 05255, or the Middlebury Ranger District, 1007 Route 7 South, Middlebury VT 05753. Oral comments or questions about the project can be directed to David Harloff, North Zone Trails Manager, at (802) 767-4261 ext. 530, or Doug Reeves, South Zone Trails Manager at (802) 362-2307 ext 224. The office hours for those submitting oral or hand-delivered comments are 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, excluding holidays.

Electronic comments must be submitted in a format such as an email message, plain text (.txt), rich text (.rtf), Word (.doc) or Portable Document Format (.pdf), to [email protected]. Comments must have an identifiable name attached or verification of identity will be required.
 

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IMBA Canada
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Yep!

At ADSVMQ and VeloEpic, we made our parts by asking our members to "Take Action" and sending in a letter. We sure like to help out our neighbours to the south! (granted we all love the trails in Vermont also...)

Hope everyone here sends in a short e-mail of support!
 

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Lets RIDE!
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These are the proposed trails:

* Trails toward the end of Forest Road 273
* Glastonbury Fire Tower Loop
* Oak Ridge Trail from Route 125 to the Moosalamoo Trail
* Moosalamoo Trail to the Moosalamoo Campground
* Chandler Ridge Trail from to Silver Lake Campground to Leicester Hollow Trail
* Forest Service Road 797 (Caryl Brook)
* Forest Service Road 793 (from Upper Michigan Road to Forest Service Road 84)
* Forest Service Road 84 (California Road from the 793/84 intersection back to Lower Michigan Road)

Anyone know where the first two are? I know the last 3 are in the Pittsfield area, and the other 3 are east of Lake Dunmore.

I was messing around with my topo software last night and created this map of the Dunmore area trails. The red ones are already open to bike use, the others are the ones proposed to be opened.

Jim
 

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Dang. Getting the Glastonbury Fire Tower loop approved would be pretty sweet. Glastonbury Mtn is the southernmost BIG mtn in Vermont - at least 20 miles south of Stratton, and it's 3,738 feet high. I think the high point at the gap on Route 9 between Bennington & Wilmongton is somewhere around 2,200 feet, maybe a bit more. That would be one serious dirt climb.
 

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Glastenbury Mt.

Looking at the topo for that peak, it looks like the only trail going over the summit is the Appalachian Trail. They aren't going to approve mt. biking on the AT. I wonder what loop they're talking about. I see some other trails and a lot of old roads around the mountain.
 

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VT - National Forest

Great to hear that this is being discussed. Here's a condensed version to date:

VMBA have held 12+ meetings with the USFS over the past 18 mths. Let me say they are very accommodating folks to work with - positive, progressive, understanding of access issues for mt bikes, want to help develop singletrack loops in the GMNF, a pleasure to engage with. The USFS do not want to build new trails, but rather re-work and re-designate existing trails, works for VMBA too.

VMBA have permission to ride certain trails, to assess suitability and report this back to USFS, mostly in the Moosalamoo NRA and more in southern VT, Manchester area. Let me say they are very suitable! VMBA now have chapters in Middlebury, Pittsfield, Bennington and fledging groups elsewhere in and around the National Forest

I had 2 meetings with USFS last week. On Friday, I walked the Oakridge Trail (of Rt 125 in Ripton) with the prez of our Middlebury club, and developed a specific list of projects (benching, bridges, rock armoring, etc.) This will be the first trail to be designated for mt bike use (From Rt 125 to FR 92). USFS and VMBA are assessing the suitability of the southern section on Oakridge, the Moosalamoo Trail and Chandler Ridge for mt bike access too. We have $9,200 in the bank from the Bikes Belong Coalition for work in the National Forest (lumber, tools, etc,), and are waiting to hear on a larger grant which may pay for several weeks of VYCC crew time in '09 to complete some bigger projects.

Most importantly - these trails are still currently off limits, please do not ride them until official notice is given. Even more importantly is the trail work session on the Oakridge Trail - Sunday Oct 19 @ 9am at the Oakridge parking lot (Rt 125, west of Ripton) - feel free to come along and be part of this highly significant mt bike project, this will be a very important day for mt bike access, we need to prove to USFS that we have numbers of volunteers to work on trails - with access come stewardship responsibility. We will be clearing blow downs and overgrowth of brush, installing a 10' and a 25' bridge, benching two switchbacks, and armoring a 60' wet section. BBQ afterwards too. Hope to see you there, PK
 

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Good news....thanks for the update.

I heard that the Leicester Hollow trail (one of the only trails in GMNF currently open to bikes) was mostly destroyed by flash flooding during this summer's monsoon season. Any news on that?

JZ
 

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Vt Gmnf

Leicester Hollow Trail (cool trail, more of a greenway than single-track, but killer location, none the less), is completely destroyed, it got hit with 7" of rain in 2 hrs during a summer storm, I walked it last week, the trail is gone, all is left is a bedrock gully, even the stream course has changed, the flood was so bad. Closed to snowmobiles this winter, it may be permanently closed as the damage is so extensive.

The other singletrack trails which may be approved for mt. bike access in the GMNF, have to be some of the coolest back-country adventure riding i've seen in VT, very cool location, very remote. I'll be researching and checking out the southern VT stuff in October, probably a weekday, all-day ride, others are welcome to join me. I hope to post final approvals here soon, maybe even with a little smiley face added! PK
 

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horseman
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USFS grant writing workshops

There is a grant writing workshop in the Manchester area on 10/14-15 and I believe that they are being held in a couple of "their other locations" as well. I thought it would be good to mention it.
 

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Green Mountain National Forest

Another update - we just got a grant of $26,000 to work in the Green Mountain National Forest. This money will be used in 2009 to pay trail crews to do the work, and we have $9,200 from the Bikes Belong Coalition for tools and materials. Before then, and in order to stretch the dollars as far as possible, we are having a volunteer work day on Sunday Oct 19 at 9 a.m. at the Oakridge trailhead of VT Route 125 in Ripton. Join us for this monumental day in mountain bike access, it will go down in history as the beginning of much increased access in an area where have traditionally been excluded. Who wouldn't want to be part of that! Hope to see you there. Patrick
 

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Green Mountain National Forest

Hello all - the first VMBA trailwork session in the Green Mountain National Forest will take place on Sunday October 19, 2008. We will meet at 9 a.m. at the Oakridge trailhead, which is located on Route 125, just west (downhill) from the town of Ripton. We will meet at 9 a.m. at the trailhead to discuss safety procedures and assign duties for the day, which will include carrying in bridge lumber, assembling bridges on the trail, rock armoring sections of the trail, bench cutting 2-3 switchbacks, raking leaves and clearing blown down tree limbs. Please spread the word and RSVP in order that we can plan tools and work crews, and in order that we can know numbers for a BBQ that afternoon!

Please wear long pants and boots, and bring work gloves and safey glasses if you have them. You should also pack enough water and snacks/lunch for the day too. I hope to see you there for this monumental day in mountain bike advocacy, and thanks to everyone who has worked so hard to get us to this stage, much appreciated! Patrick

Patrick D. Kell
Executive Director
Vermont Mountain Bike Association

1949 East Main Street Richmond, VT 05477

802-434-3969 x 112

www.vmba.org
 

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Good stuff Patrick! VMBA has done some awsome work in the last couple of years. This is a great step for mountain biking advocacy in Vermont (as well as an exemple for other states and provinces nearby).

It would be nice to get some pics from the upcoming weekend and maybe a sort of "TR" so the event carries great momentum!
:thumbsup:
 

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Green Mountain National Forest

Anyone available to help in Ripton, VT this coming Sunday (Oct 19)? We have a ton of lumber to carry in to the bridge sites - all assistance will be very much appreciated. Thanks in advance, Patrick
 
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