Tuesday, November 16, 2004

Nisene Marks - Important Mountain Bike Issue

Fellow ACTC members. We are a mixed road and MTB club. Is this an issue somebody would like to take on?


Dear California Mountain Bikers,

Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz and IMBA are asking you to get involved in saving trail access at Nisene Marks State Park. Please take the time to write a letter or send an email to the California Department of Parks and Recreation asking them to appeal a recent court ruling that would close bicycle access to existing and future trails.

A Brief History:

Mountain biking has been successfully managed at Nisene Marks for more than 15 years. In 2003, the California Department of Parks and Recreation adopted a new General Plan that expanded mountain biking opportunities on existing and future trails in the park. Shortly after the plan's adoption, a group called Citizens for the Preservation of the Forest of Nisene Marks State Park filed a lawsuit to restrict mountain biking.

In September 2004, the Sacramento Superior Court sided with the Friends group. The decision will prohibit biking at the park.

Mountain bikers are urged to ask State Parks to appeal this ruling. If an appeal is successful, State Parks will be allowed to proceed with its General Plan and allow mountain biking on fire roads and on appropriate singletrack. The importance of this potential appeal cannot be over emphasized.

What You Can Do

Please write a letter or send an email ASAP to:

David Vincent, Superintendent
Department of Parks and Recreation
Santa Cruz District
303 Big Trees Park Road
Felton, CA 95018

Points to make:
* Thank State Parks for all the work they have done to suggest expanded mountain biking at Nisene Marks State Park.
* Thank them for supporting mountain biking for the last 15 years at the park and for defending shared-use trails.
* Ask them to please appeal the Sacramento Superior Court ruling that would limit mountain biking at the park.
* In your own words, tell them how you value these trails and appreciate the opportunity to experience nature by riding at Nisene Marks.
* Ask them to please defend (again) shared-use trails and mountain biking (one of their largest constituency groups).
* Mention that mountain biking is a popular sport in California with 5.2 million participants last year (2003 Outdoor Industry Association Participation Study).
* Ask them to please defend (again) existing research that demonstrates the impacts of hiking and biking to be similar and that mountain biking is a legitimate, low-impact, human powered sport that is compatible with other trail users.
* In your own words, note the stress this closure will put on other trail systems throughout the area with increased bike traffic.

For more detailed information on this issue visit Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz at: http://www.mbosc.org.

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