Hey Sedona riders,
JF sent this over for publication and we agree we need to take action to get these important trails added to the system.. Follow the below guide he created to take ACTION now!
All of the SMBC members have to do is click on this link ( firstname.lastname@example.org ) and title an email to Jennifer as 2014 Scoping Comment.
Then they could send a comment similar to one listed below or compose their own comment based on their own personal feelings and insights from either going to the RTCA meetings or from their own personal experience.
RE: 2014 Scoping Comment
As an SMBC club member I appreciate all of the work the Forest Service has done previously to adopt user created trails to a system status. I am also aware that the Forest Service would like to create a cross country closure to all off trail riding in all areas currently legal for mountain bikers to transit cross country and I am against such a trail closure.
Currently equestrians and hikers have no restriction on anywhere they can travel in the 500,000 acre Red Rock Ranger District. As an SMBC member I believe a cross country closure to mountain bikers is discriminatory. Ranger Burns has admitted that she realizes that it is discriminatory to a fellow mountain biker who attended a number of RTCA meetings. She recently admitted to Rama that she would like the closure to continue to exist, so that gives members something serious to think about.
My hope is that the current Cross Country Closure is lifted when it is determined that the reasons for the closure have never been proved and were based on a Forest Service model that seem to be inaccurate at this point in time. Currently all archeological studies have been requested of trails in the closure area to discover what significant impacts user created trails have had to this point.
Trails I would like to see given the highest priority for adoption are: Special Ed, Pyramid, Witch Doctor, Catwalk, Bike Path, Under the Radar, Cakewalk, Double D, Windsurfer, Bogus, Airport Connector, Upper Ramshead, Stay High, Ledge’n’Airy, Drano, Last Frontier, Western Civilization, Sketch and Old Ramshead. All of those trails make great connector trails and would reduce the user conflicts due to heavy usage of the other popular system trails in the West Sedona area. If it were to be determined that any of those trails were to cause significant impact to archeological sites or proven to significantly create erosion that leads to silt in the pristine Oak Creek, those trails should be re-routed or armored to eliminate significant impacts to the watershed like other adopted or newly constructed trails have under gone.
Lower priority trails to be adopted would be Transcept, Red Rock Crossing, Jump Trail and Harms Way. The last new trail priority would be the new Equestrian Bypass trail that parallels the Bell Rock Pathway Trail and ends up in the Bell Rock Vista Parking lot at the north end of the parking lot. The concept behind this trail is that it would hopefully reduce the user conflict being experienced on the very popular Slim Shady user created trail which serves as a major north and south connector from Bike and Bean and Absolute Bike shops.
The reason for listing the Equestrian Bypass project as a lower priority is that it was never listed as a concept during the RTCA Trails Planning process. The Village of Oak Creek riders who are now in favor of that new connector trail gave up on the RTCA Trails Planning Process only after attending the first couple meetings. It seems odd that that connector concept should be listed as Ranger Nicole Branton’s number one priority when she didn’t even attend any of the meetings.
Possibly, the critics of the trail planning process were correct that public input in those meetings was meaningless, but my hope is that they were not correct in that early assumption. If the Equestrian Bypass trail gets the highest priority it will just help prove those critics were probably correct about the process.
SMBC Member or Joe Blow Sedona Trail User