Monday, November 22, 2004

Nisene Marks Info

From the ROMP List by Mark Davidson:

Hey Everyone,

There seems to be quite a lot of momentum and activity surrounding the Nisene Marks (pending) ruling against mountain bikes. I'd just like to summarize some of the activity so far.

Gary Sprung - senior national policy adviser from IMBA (International Mountain Bicycling Association) has formally written a letter to Dave Vincent, Ruth Coleman and Tom Ward urging them to appeal the ruling banning bikes in Nisene Marks. His well written letter summarizes the representational reach of IMBA, mountain bike participation in California (5.2 M participants, $2B/year to the California economy), perceived user conflict and comments about the interpretation of the Nisene Marks deed. I've posted his letter here:

I would encourage those interested in this issue to read it. If you haven't sent your letters yet then this can act as a template for your own letter.

Gary also included a really informative paper summarizing the impacts of mountain biking on the environment when compared to other forms of trail travel:

The paper concludes that mountain biking doesn't cause any more environmental impact than hiking.

Elayna Caldwell-Grim a marketing manager at Fox Racing Shox is working on the "Free the trail" campaign. Fox is selling T-shirts and the proceeds will go to a legal defense fund for MBOSC (Mountain Bikers of Santa Cruz) and IMBA to help with the appeal. T-shirts are available at local bike shops or bought online at:

Fox also includes a letter with each T-shirt that you can sign and mail to David Vincent (be sure to include Ruth Coleman and Tom Ward).

Our very own David Baskin will be contacting the attorney from State Parks to get an update on the Nov 19th hearing in which the Judge was expected to issue her formal ruling banning bikes from Nisene Marks. This is the ruling that State Parks needs to appeal. Dave will let us know what the ruling is.

The *best* course of action for us as a user group is to write to Ruth Coleman, Tom Ward and David Vincent of State Parks to appeal the ruling. If they don't appeal then all this activity is moot and biking is banned in Nisene. Period. I have included more details and contact information at the MBOSC website:

Finally, at the next MBOSC meeting on Monday December 13, 2004 7 pm at Seabright Brewery we will be discussing the Nisene issue. I'll send an agenda later but please mark that date in your calendar. Hopefully by then we may know if State Parks has filed an appeal - they have 60 days. If the appeal is filed then we would need to figure out a strategy for the next phase which probably includes filing an amicus brief and may include fund raising for the legal battle.

We still have recourse to ensure that biking remains legal in Nisene. If it does then State Parks can implement their general plan - which includes new multi-use trails.

Many of you may be saying: "So what if biking is banned? The riding at Nisene sucks. It's just fireroads". That may be true now but the general plan allows for the development of additional trails - singletrack - which would be open to bikes, and possibly open existing trails as well.

The fight for Nisene Marks is an investment in the future trail systems in northern California. This is a marathon, not a sprint.

Thanks for your time.

President, MBOSC
BTW, write those letters!

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