Help Save the North Fork trail system in Whatcom County (Washington)

Mar 29, 2012
by Thad Quinn  
Source: Whatcom Trails Co-Op www.whatcomtrails.com


What is happening?

Beginning on April 2nd the Washington State Department of Resources (DNR) will be decommissioning all user-built bike trails on Slide Mountain at the North Fork Nooksack in Whatcom County.

The work, estimated to cost $23,000, will begin on April 2nd and will be done by the DNR and a crew from Washington Conservation Corps. Work will include closure signage, removal of larger structures, blocking and revegetating trail entrances, and a gate to block all motorized access to Slide Mountain.

-Closure of all user-built bike trails at the North Fork in Whatcom County.
-Work begins on April 2nd by the DNR and a volunteer crew from Washington Conservation Corps
-All trails will be signed closed.
-Bigger structures will be decommissioned.
-Trails will be blocked off and re-vegetated near the exits/entrances.
-A gate will be constructed at the bottom of the hill blocking all motorized access to Slide Mountain.
-Increased enforcement patrols by DNR.
-Riders caught on these trails will receive a warning on the first occurrence (starting April 7th 2012), a ticket of $120 the second time and will be arrested the third time.


Why is this happening?

Whatcom Trails Co-op and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance were informed of the trail decommissioning two weeks ago by DNR. At that time the explanation for the closure was that an individual from a motorized user group was insisting that if motorized use wasn’t allowed on Slide Mountain, then all unauthorized trails must be closed down.

In an effort to learn more about DNR concerns and find a way to address them while keeping trails open, we arranged a meeting that was held Friday, March 23rd. What we heard from DNR was that there was no solution short of complete closure, a position which is made all the more difficult to accept given that much of this area is currently being logged—a scale of impact beyond anything non- motorized recreation could ever cause.

The DNR was represented at the meeting by Region and Division staff and by the statewide recreation manager. The primary concerns expressed by DNR, and our responses, were:

-Unauthorized Trail Construction – Certainly it is true that there are mountain bike trails on the hill and DNR has difficulty managing unauthorized trail areas. However, it is also true that there are hundreds or thousands of miles of unauthorized, non-motorized trails on DNR forests across the state and very little effort is made to decommission or enforce closures on those trails, even those with clear environmental impacts. It is important to note that there are no authorized areas to recreate on DNR land in Whatcom County. Unauthorized areas like North Fork are reflections of the huge unmet need for recreational access.

-Structures – Most "structures" are simple bridges, built to span wet zones or creeks that were constructed in accordance with industry-leading trail building standards. We offered to decommission any structure that wasn't built to address sediment or erosion concerns.

-Sediment / Erosion – The North Fork was closed to motorized use roughly 7 years ago because of heavy sediment runoff from the trails and four-wheeling in or near the North Fork of the Nooksack. Sediment transport is not a real issue for the trails constructed by mountain bikers because:
1. We have no trails near the river.
2. Our trails were specifically routed to avoid creeks and riparian zones wherever possible and were built sustainably to avoid erosion and reduce maintenance.
3. When necessary, bridges were constructed from blowdown (not live trees) for spanning any small creeks or wet zones.
4. Put simply, it would be difficult and unenjoyable to ride a mountain bike in such overtly muddy areas, resulting in a low-quality recreational experience and an obvious detrimental effect on the environment.

-Popularity - Despite our attempts to keep the area from becoming widely known, it has become too popular. Riders are now coming not just from Bellingham but from across the state and even Canada - a testament to the quality of the trail network and the need for such human-powered recreational areas.


What can you do?

Whatcom County residents and business owners:
If you live in Whatcom County and access to outdoor recreation is a quality of life issue for you, please contact the people listed below to voice your displeasure about this decision and ask them for an interim solution which keeps trails open while working towards a formal Recreational plan for the North Fork area.

Seattle/Tacoma Mt. bikers:
Contact DNR staff and Whatcom County Tourism and voice your displeasure with this decision and ask them for an interim solution to be determined while working towards a formal Recreational plan for the North Fork areas. Also, please let them know that you spend money at businesses in Bellingham and Whatcom County because of this trail network.

Canadian riders:
If you live in British Columbia and ride the North Fork, please email Whatcom County tourism, Whatcom County commissioner and Whatcom County council members letting them know that you ride the area and spend money at businesses in Bellingham and Whatcom County because of the trail network.


Contact Information Legislators:
The area impacted is represented by legislators in the 40th and 42nd districts—if you are unsure which district you live in, you can look it up here.

Contacts

Whatcom County Executive:
Jack Louws - JLouws@co.whatcom.wa.us

Whatcom County Council:
•Bill Knutzen - bknutzen@co.whatcom.wa.us
•Kathy Kershner - kkershne@co.whatcom.wa.us
•Ken Mann - kmann@co.whatcom.wa.us
•Sam Crawford - scrawfor@co.whatcom.wa.us
•Carl Weimer - cweimer@co.whatcom.wa.us
•Barbara Brenner - bbrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us
•Pete Kremen – pkremen@co.whatcom.wa.us

Whatcom County Tourism:
tourism@bellingham.org


Talking Points

We are intentionally not crafting a form letter because they do not make the same impact as personal letters. If you care enough about the trails and the area, please take 10 minutes to write something and send it to the appropriate folks above.

Your letter should state what you want and why, and should ask for a response. We've highlighted a set of goals below that you can use in your letter.

This issue is a passionate one for many of us but remember that the goal is to change the outcome not to vent our anger and frustration. Please be honest but civil in your communications.

IMPORTANT: To be even more effective, take an extra 5 minutes to also print out your emails, sign them and send a hard copy.

The primary Issues:
1. There are NO legal areas to recreate on DNR land in Whatcom County
2. No planning process has begun to address recreation needs in Whatcom County despite our continued meetings with DNR over several years. We were the largest user group at all of the recreational planning meetings in Burlington.
3. Closing the trails doesn’t address the issue, rather it disperses the use and creates additional management and enforcement issues.
4. Trails will likely spring up in other areas.
5. Using $22k for closing trails when that money could be better spent on planning or other items.

Short-term goals:
1. Continued access to the trail network.
2. Conduct a full site evaluation to determine any non-essential structures that could be removed.
3. Conduct a full site evaluation of any wetland or erosion issues. Sean Curran, a certified wetland delineator, has agreed to do a full site survey for Whatcom Trails Co-op pro bono. www.curranenvironmental.com/home.htm
4. Within a few months, we’d like to determine the framework to begin the recreational planning process so ALL recreationalists can gain formal authorization for this (and potentially other) area.

Long-term goals:
1. Complete the formal planning process for North Fork recreation for ALL users. This is the biggest issue and why there are user-built trails all over Whatcom County.
2. Establish the ability to rebuild trails post harvest.

Benefits:
1. Mountain bikers are good stewards of the areas in which we recreate. We've held annual clean-up days in the area and removed tons of trash left by other users. Additionally, the presence of mountain bikers and other responsible users keeps undesirable users away.
2. We’re a low maintenance user group.
a. We have built and continually maintained high-quality trails, using volunteer labor and private funds.
b. We close trails down if necessary during the wet season.
c. Our trails and activities do not interfere with timber harvests. In fact we are one of the few groups that would chose to recreate in a working forest environment.
3. Economic Benefit to local businesses
a. Seven bike shops in Bellingham
b. Two bike manufactures in Whatcom County (Transition and Kona).
c. Restaurants and other businesses in Bellingham and Whatcom County get increased business from riders who use our trail network.
4. Immediate access would provide a legitimate riding area and allow time for a larger planning process that could also address other areas and other user groups.


Summary:
- North Fork is a trail network in Bellingham
- Washington DNR is a state agency who owns the land
- We want to keep the message positive.
- No disrespect to DNR, but MTB is a healthy, low impact, legitimate form of recreation, and we should be able to do it on public land
- DNR has a mandate to provide the public access to recreation on their land when it does not conflict with resource management (ie logging which is the main activity in North Fork)
- DNR owns half the land in Whatcom county, yet has no recreation areas.
- Bellingham is world famous mountain bike destination, yet the only legal trails on public land are 5 hiking trails on Chuckanut.
- DNR does not have money for recreation. We are not asking for money, simply a place to volunteer


150 Comments

  • 33 1
 Thanks for the support. I want to thank Eric and Courtney Brown, Glenn Glover, and Matt Shelton for their tireless efforts on putting this press release together. Props due to them.
  • 5 1
 Indeed. Emails sent to the various folk. Word them respectfully, and a barrage of emails and notes can actually do good. Thanks for getting the word out.
  • 3 0
 I was just wondering how you found out about their plan.... Is it on the website? Emails sent.
  • 5 0
 Anotherbikelover, surprisingly, we do have a great relationship with our local DNR folks, so they called us to let us know the closure was being mandated from Olympia (head office). We've been attempting to get formal authorization for almost 5 years now and attend monthly meetings with the DNR, so they did know who to contact. This decision is especially sad for the entire community considering the amount of effort we've put into working with the land manager towards authorization.
  • 3 1
 Very sad for the community. At some point you have to wonder if working with or against is more effective. DNR commissioner Goldmark is elected you know...

TAX PAYERS PAY $23,000 FOR DNR TO DESTROY VOLUNTEER-BUILT TRAILS

...might look good on on the front page.
  • 4 0
 Some ok news, I emailed everyone and got a response from one of the senators as well as all the council saying they are trying to get DNR to postpone the closure of trails. The senator has sent an official letter to the DNR requesting that they postpone the closure and provide his office with all formal records of the decision and meetings regarding the decision.
Hope the community can pull through, would be a huge sucess story heres some quotes from the letter (whole thing was in a pdf and couldn't copy)
Details:
Ericksen asks DNR to delay closure of Slide Mountain bike trails



OLYMPIA… Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, today sent a letter to Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark asking him to suspend the Department of Natural Resources’ plan to decommission the mountain-bike trail system on Slide Mountain at the North Fork Nooksack River. The work is set to begin Monday.



The trail system, which is user-built, is not an authorized recreational area and off-road vehicle enthusiasts have insisted that if motorized-vehicle user groups are denied access, all access should be denied.



Ericksen said “I have asked for time to review all documents related to the environmental and management problems perceived by DNR; communications with county officials, mountain-bike organizations, neighbors to the area and other interested parties; and any complaints regarding mountain-bike activities in the area.



“I am very concerned about this proposed closure. I believe strongly that public lands should be as open and available as possible for public recreational activities.



“There are no authorized recreational areas on DNR land in Whatcom County. The user-built mountain-bike trail system is a reflection of the need for such recreational opportunities.”
  • 1 0
 That's pretty good news, all things considered.
  • 23 0
 I will definitely join in the effort to preserve this epic riding spot. Let's work together on this one! Total bogus to have this type of outlook on land where most of it is being logged. Think mountain bikes have an environmental impact? HOW ABOUT CLEAR CUTTING??? Let's get our priorities straight!
  • 18 7
 Logging has an environmental impact? That's ridiculous. What next, you gonna start telling me my farts smell bad and Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a coked out horse?
  • 9 3
 "Sarah Jessica Parker looks like a coked out horse." Off topic but that is some funny shit right there
  • 9 3
 There's those Canadians and their chainsaws again..OK, you like to cut down trees, we get it!
  • 5 2
 Can we get an entire lineup of email addresses so that we can copy and paste them to our email? The DNR emails seem to be in a picture format. It's difficult to make this an efficient process when I have to type or copy and paste one email at a time.
  • 3 2
 Yes....that will go up on Whatcomtrails tonight. Check your email pulse....you can copy/paste it from the doc I sent you.
  • 2 2
 First Galbraith and now this?! GAAAAAHH!!
  • 7 1
 How about putting that $23,000 towards building a legal mountain bike specific trail network. You know, working with the community. Really smacking yourself in the face with this one DNR.
  • 1 1
 Clear cutting brings in tangible money for large corporations with government influence. Mountain biking does not. It's unfortunate, but those with the money often get the say... Good luck with the trails. Many of us have been through this before. Frown
  • 19 0
 Please +1 this to keep it at the top

For those that want to copy and paste the contacts in the jpg


40th district
Kevin.ranker@leg.wa.gov Kristine.lytton@leg.wa.gov jeff.morris@leg.wa.gov

42nd district
Doug.ericksen@leg.wa.gov Jason.overstreet@leg.wa.gov Vincent.buys@leg.wa.gov

DNR
cpl@dnr.wa.gov mark.mauren@dnr.wa.gov steve.jennison@dnr.wa.gov
  • 3 0
 By the way, they are listening, I have recieved two responses so far, where they have said that they hear my concerns and are looking into at least postponing the closures until a decision based on evidence can be found! Doesn't mean they will stay open, but at least we are being heard, please add your voice to the collective, the more they hear from us, the more that they know it matters. And remember to talk about what they want to hear about, YOU SPENDING MONEY IN THEIR COUNTY/ AREA.
  • 12 1
 NF has gotten so well known because the trails are amazing, but now the DNR wants to take them down. These are some of the best shuttle trails in the NW. We need to let these people know that this is not a good way to solve the problem.
  • 2 2
 Agreed, thanks for putting this together Thad. This is really unfortunate. These are really well built, amazing trails with shuttle access - which is surprisingly rare in NW WA since most of the trail work has focused on Galby and other pedal accessed hills. Props to the builders who made this network a reality. But, these trails were unauthorized and continued to be developed without an agreement, formal or otherwise, so it puts the land managers in a tough spot. If Whatcom Trails is endorsing these trails now, where was this effort prior to this eventuality? It might have been there, I'm not that involved... just asking. Is Duthie the model for getting things done in WA? Why can't we be more like BC, where amazing trails on crown land just don't seem to be an issue and the communities and local businesses reap the benefit?
  • 3 0
 Andybob, please read above regarding our efforts over the years. We didn't just "pop up" on the DNR's radar. Just the opposite.
  • 1 1
 Thanks EB. Just challenging the mob a little and wrestling with the ethics of illegitimate trails on public lands - so I appreciate your comment to keep it civil. To clarify, what I meant was this is the first that I've seen of a major push for community acknowledgement and support of the NF. But, I shouldn't be critiquing from the sidelines. Go do good work. I'm really grateful to have a dedicated group of advocates putting time and energy into organizing our community voice and representing sustainable trail building at meetings and in discussions with land managers. I don't want to see good trails get torn down ( I would rather ride them this summer ) and it's unnecessary given the mission of the DNR and the role they should aim for in the State. I learned to bike on DNR land in Skagit County as a teenager. I hope that the community can work towards an agreement with the DNR that would allow the road and trails to remain accessible. I'll be writing a letter and I'm appreciative that folks have been involved with this issue for years.
  • 8 1
 Andybob, three things:

First: We aren't in B.C. Land managers, public or private, will never, ever, ever, stick their necks out to offer new areas for mountain bikers to build. Ever. Especially not if it's a shuttle spot, which, let's be honest, is the only sort of spot worth riding on your downhill bike.

Second: You will probably cite one or two examples of places in the NW where land managers did stick their necks to help facilitate new mtb trails. And I will wager that whatever spot you cite, it probably sucks. You will never see a public riding spot like North Fork in the NW anytime in the next ten or twenty years. If you do ever see a large, public trail system, it will only be after the trail system is developed illegally first, like NF.

Third: That is why all good dh riding spots have and will continue to be built illegally. And let's just retire this word "illegal trail." Unauthorized, yes, but it's not like we're talking about building a trail in the middle of yellowstone here. The forest service isn't exactly flying overhead in helicopters equipped with night vision or infrared to hunt down trail builders. Trails get built by riders who see the status quo and see that it sucks. If we tried to get trails passed (or built) by committee, they either wouldn't happen or they would all be b-line. The best trails you've ever ridden in the states were illegal, or they were at some point.
  • 3 0
 "If we tried to get trails passed (or built) by committee, they either wouldn't happen or they would all be b-line. "

Hey, I love B-Line Chainless! Thanks for the support, Team-Robot!!
  • 4 0
 Haha, yeah, there's a lot of truth to that quote. Mount Vernon P&R recently developed some nice trails on Little Mountain, and they're b-line all the way.

Thanks for the discourse Charlie - you make some overstatements, but also some solid points. It was never my intention to start any arguments that detract from the issue at hand: maintaining access to the NF road and trails. My comments above don't capture my whole outlook. I'm an advocate for access, but I'm not well versed in any of these issues. I just ride my bikes and volunteer to dig when I can. I was just throwing out some food for thought.

But... full disclosure: I used my L&C degree to become an employee of a rather large public land agency. So, I do grapple with the idea that the mountain bike community should be exempt from land ethics and just go rogue. Land managers have a complex job and it's easy to criticize their decisions (logging, etc.). It's up to these human beings to manage shared resources fairly with a long-term outlook. If every user group out there went against policies and regulations for their own enjoyment, it would be a mess. Why should it be different for us? I think we can easily make the case that trails can be built on appropriate lands (ie, DNR, non-Wilderness, etc.) with little environmental impact and serve an ever growing demographic of the public.

But you're right: reality is that 9/10 times user development, from bike trails to sport climbing, is only successfully established though, "ask for forgiveness, not permission". I'm just challenging that it might not be the ethical way to go about it.
  • 3 0
 Andybob,

As a government employee working in planning, and as a rider with piss-poor opportunities and places to ride, I see both sides of the issue.

It's very difficult to get users, being mostly young, rebellious, anti-establishment folks, to show up at lame government meetings and stand behind a "salesman" to sell the product of built mountain bike trails. If they did, and the salesman had statistics showing atv vs horse vs mtb vs hiker erosion, and how mountain biking has less serious common injuries vs atv even though speeds are similar, and that the regrowth period of abandoned mtb trails can be faster than hiking trails of similar traffic numbers, and all of the numerous benefits that a popular trail system can have, then we wouldn't have this problem.

The sad thing is, like you said, trail systems are like the field of dreams. Build it and they will come.

You can plan as much as you'd like, but the group is much more likely to show up when things are being torn down rather than when its a blank slate.
  • 1 0
 Hey Andybob, way to go L&C. I'm guessing you were and ENVS major? I'm an Econ major.

I understand why "going rogue" sounds bad and feels bad sometimes. It sounds morally dubious. I think that "ask for forgiveness, not permission" is totally ethical. Here's why:

Land managers, and no one for that matter, understands mountain biking until they see it. I can go blue in the face trying to explain what downhill racing looks like to a normal, boring person, but until I show them a video or take them to an event they just NEVER, EVER get what I'm talking about. That means that trails will only really make sense to most land managers when they are in place and built.

Land managers probably appreciate the NF trail mtb users and their ability to self-police and keep unwanted land users away; this is true for most land manager/mountain bike relationships. There are very few places where trails were closed because the mountain bikers were bad stewards. It's typically a liability thing.
  • 4 1
 Here's more from Team Robot... My verbose response was too long. And yes, my other user name is Brian Lopes. I keep it real:

What we're really talking about here isn't trail construction or road use or discovery passes or regrowth periods. What we're talking about is a) liability and b) environmental absolutism. Land managers have no reason whatsoever, under current legal precedent, to stick their necks out for mountain bikers. If I owned land, I would NEVER let anyone else ride there because if they got hurt I would lose my land and everything else I own. As for the environment, PHeller is right, if the simple facts were observed, mountain bikes would be welcomed with open arms almost everywhere. But the facts simply don't matter. Most environmentalists want to stop any trail building of any sort ever anywhere, and mountain bikes are the new kids on the block and we are the easiest target. I can tell you anecdotal evidence all day long about trails and roots and erosions and streams and regrowth, but if you put me toe to toe with a well-versed environmentalist who wants to make sure I can never have fun, he will win 10 times out of 10. And he doesn't even have to win to stop progress, he just has to petition and delay and slow down trail building. Timberline Bike Park is three years behind schedule because "the friends of Mount Hood" have jack knived the agenda because of squirrels and marmots and salmon, even though you drive a four lane super highway up to Timberline.
  • 1 0
 Back to my TEAM ROBOT account:

All of this means that land managers MIGHT ACTUALLY WANT MOUNTAIN BIKING ON THEIR LAND, but they simply cannot make it happen. Everyone's hands are tied. And if land managers want mountain biking, we're actually saving them time and money by building it without them spending hundreds of hours doing risk assessments and land use surveys and blah blah blah. Rogue trails are a win win. It's easy to manage too. If we cross a line, ie too steep too dangerous or too visible, then land managers close that trail, tell us why it sucked, and when we build more trails we don't make that mistake again.

Yes, that's imperfect. It's inefficient. But it's what we in Economics call "constrained efficient." It's the best all parties can do given an imperfect situation. And yes, I overstated some things in my first blurb and in this one; hyperbole and sarcasm are difficult to use effectively on the internet.
  • 13 0
 Emails sent, I'll probably never ride the trails, but I can think of nothing worse then your favourite riding zone being taken down.
  • 11 0
 Spread the word all

SUMMARY


- North Fork is a trail network in Bellingham

- Washington DNR is a state agency who owns the land

- We want to keep the message positive.

- No disrespect to DNR, but MTB is a healthy, low impact, legitimate form of recreation, and we should be able to do it on public land

- DNR has a mandate to provide the public access to recreation on their land when it does not conflict with resource management (ie logging which is the main activity in North Fork)

- DNR owns half the land in whatcom county, yet has no recreation areas.

- Bellingham is world famous mtb destination, yet the only legal trails on public land are 5 hiking trails on Chuckanut.

- DNR does not have money for recreation. We are not asking for money, simply a place to volunteer
  • 13 0
 Yet they have $23,000 to tear it all down.
  • 1 0
 edit
  • 1 2
 I don't disagree that MTB is a great activity but this was done illegally. That's all they will continually point to. What needs to happen next is work with them and really force the issue to allow usable areas for your group to build.
  • 1 1
 Perhaps it was technically illegal, @chez, but check out the response from Senator Ericksen:
“There are no authorized recreational areas on DNR land in Whatcom County. The user-built mountain-bike trail system is a reflection of the need for such recreational opportunities.”

Are you with us, or against us?
  • 1 0
 Oh I'm definitely with mountain bikers. Yet, the issue is that, in the case of mountain biking it is better to work WITH the powers that be. MTB has been fighting an uphill battle since it's inception and went about things the wrong way from the get go. Couple that with the fact that horse owners usually get them shut down because they have money and connections(owning a horse ain't cheap) and other recreational activities are better organized.
The fact of the matter is that the trails will likely get shut down but I wouldn't despair. I'd use it as a launching tool to show how this type of recreation is necessary. See the Cold Creek area as a great example of how to work with the legislators and managers. It's a great area for riding and they're being allowed to expand and work the trail system more. Possibly allowing the trails to be destroyed could be the greatest thing to courting the leaders and gaining approval for usage and trailbuilding in the future.
  • 1 0
 We all take a chance when we do these types of projects even when they're approved. I help as much as I can in the Castle Rock area knowing that it's private land and we have access now but somebody else could come in to manage and wipe out the 13+ years of work because they don't see the benefit to it. It's just a matter of fact. I'm all for more riding and more trail building but only when it's approached correctly and along the lines. I'm certainly for undermining the system when I can but when it comes to mountain biking, it really takes a lot of effort to gain approval. It's like we're worse than snowboarders. At least with snowboarders they have to pay for a ticket and that can be revoked. With mountain bikers it's a free for all and the videos of guys just riding down ridges doesn't help either. Proper steps are more likely to lead to proper maintaining of a community in the Bellingham area.
I wish I could have gotten to ride this even if I'm morally opposed to shuttle type rides. Sounds like it was a good area.
  • 9 0
 Hey everyone. This shouldn't be an anti-logging message and has nothing to do with logging. This area is, in fact, a working forest and the builders do accept that. In fact, we're likely the only user group who is ok with that. So, PLEASE STAY ON POINT AND BE CIVIL.
  • 7 0
 This really ticks me off, I had the pleasure of riding here last year when I was visiting family and it was so sick. It also really ticks me off that some duche bag on a dirt bike pitched a fit and got his way?!?! Who the hell is this guy, he says it's unfair that he can't ride here, so they shut it down to all bike riders, just because of one guy? I ride more Moto then DH but I would never do this and nobody I know would. We would just go where we could ride are dirt bikes, then just go get our mountain bikes when we want to go ride the non motorized areas.

I hope everybody doesn't get a bad idea about Moto guys because we're not all that way. Hope this can be turned around.
  • 4 0
 I've got a feeling they're just using the dirt biker as an engineered reason to do what they want to do for other motives, one dirt biker can not weald this much authority. IF these trails were built without the proper authorization, then the weakest of reasons for closure will suffice.
  • 1 0
 zorba hit the nail on the head
  • 7 1
 I'd also like to point out that over the last year many of us paid $35 for a "Discover Pass" so we could be on DNR land. Besides just being a shitty move by the DNR for the people who purchased the pass for the sole purpose of biking, I can see this hurting revenues in the future as many people probably won't be renewing their passes.
  • 2 0
 Agreed. I wonder if we are elegible for a refund if we claim it was only purchased for use at that specific area?
  • 1 0
 excellent point!
  • 2 0
 First thing I did when I moved here was buy two Discover Passes...it's a warm fuzzy feeling to think that they're now going to use my money to lock me out of the places I paid to go.
And for what it's worth, I actually sent a nice long personal, non-finger-pointing email to the only place I could think of(and find, the DNR site) the land management commisioner... who I also told may have been improperly directed and it would be great if he could redirect the email to those it SHOULD concern.

And for gicks and shiggles... here's the first paragragh from the DNR website.... lol.

"DNR seeks to provide outdoor recreation opportunities to the public throughout Washington state. Recreation on DNR-managed lands includes hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, off-road vehicle (ORV) riding, mountain biking, and boating."
  • 3 0
 and the mountain biking photo they feature from the site is from duthie hill, a non-DNR managed/ authorized project
  • 2 1
 @dirteveryday: from the same site: www.dnr.wa.gov/RecreationEducation/Topics/OpenClosureNotices/Pages/amr_statewide_rec.aspx -- "Please note: DNR may close a recreational facility or trail either temporarily or permanently for the purposes of protecting the environment, public safety, property, or to ensure DNR meets its management and administrative obligations. (Learn more | WAC 332-52-100)"
  • 5 0
 This is sickening. Emails sent to all of the above. Even if you're not impacted by it send emails and show them that the mtb community is strong and worthy of keeping these trails
  • 1 0
 thanks for sending e-mails jay. Can you guys make it out there this week?
  • 8 1
 So they closed it because one guy got butt hurt that he couldn't ride his mx bike up there? What a selfish a*shole
  • 3 0
 Wish we had the email for that guy... or his address...
  • 4 0
 This is exactly what the Treelines video is representing. They had their trail logged in burlington, i used to live in Washington and all my friends love riding north fork. The same thing almost happened at galbraith bellingham (it might have i don't know). They wanted to close off the mountain from hikers and bikers. It really sucks and they don't realize how much time people put into building these trails. Not only do they take an enormous amount of work but they are also built with the environment in mind, which means reducing erosion!. I really hope another mountain doesn't get closed because some greedy logging company. That being said please go vote for Treelines Diggers VS Builders for video of the year! great group of guys and they have a great message regarding the logging situations.
  • 3 0
 My Name is JR Rager and we are working with the DNR currently creating the first legal one way user specific trail on DNR land. Here is a little story about what we are doing.

jrager.pinkbike.com/blog/Getting-Rad-in-Southwest-Washington.html

If you wanna talk about the process or just get some perspective hit me up.

JR
  • 3 0
 Good job pulling together the talking points. You've made a very compelling argument. Now it's up to us, the community of concerned riders to make our voice heard. I will be emailing and snail mailing tomorrow as well as encouraging my friends to do the same. It's a last ditch effort, but very much worth it as we stand to lose, what many will agree, is the best DH in our state and perhaps the country.
  • 4 1
 I'm from Olympia, WA. I've made many long trips to ride B-ham's Galbraith & Northfork. Spent mucho $ in B-ham at local bike shops, restaurants, hotels, etc...Here in Oly it has taken years of petitioning to get approval for 1 mountain bike specific trail. However, DNR said we could not build any drops bigger that 18 inches, no gaps, and no wooden structures! So, I've needed to go elsewhere to ride trails with some legit features. Sucks that DNR is soooo focused in a negative way towards the mountain bike community. If they'd just work with us...trails would get build for no cost to the public, in a safe manner, with the utmost respect to the environment. How can DNR ingnore the impact that clearcut logging has on the environment while using that as an excuse for not letting mountain bikers build trails?! So wrong! I'm not going to renew my "Discover Pass". F'em. If anyone on Pinkbike is in the Oly area and wants to ride some sick FR/DH trails on Non-DNR land, PM me and I'll be happy to show you around.
  • 4 0
 You start your comment by talking about being cash flowing baller, and finish by bitching about a 35 dollar general user fee. That mindset is quicksand to progress.
  • 3 0
 I'm glad this has come to a head. It gives us a chance to move forward with the DNR. Those of you who have not had the chance to ride this area would not believe how good it is, how responsibly and beautifully the trails are built (rarely need maintenance), and would be on your hands and knees kissing the ground if it were a legal spot and you were shuttling out there. If you live in the PNW, support this effort and you can have another spot available that is every bit as good as Black Rock (yes, that good and with shuttle access). Remember, members of Pinkbike, that we mountain bikers are generally intelligent and responsible people who give more than we take, self-police and keep our areas clean with a respect for the Earth. If we don't try to expand this positive influence, than because nature abhors a vacuum, the health of our public lands could be in jeopardy as the clear-cutting and trash-dumping accelerates without a recreational group's significant presence. We cannot tolerate that outcome.
  • 3 0
 I love that area, it almost made me move up to Bham, please be responsible in your advocacy efforts and perhaps something good will come of this. I personally think the Leavenworth model is worth exploring. @Eb and other builders I appreciate all the effort and hopefully we can get enough groundswell to effect change. I do believe that had you gone public once NF was an open secret it might have been easier to fight DNR, I'm sure there are hundreds of passionate letters flowing in now, but it might be to little to late. In all fairness NF was the best trail network I've ever had the pleasure to ride!!!
  • 3 0
 So wrote emails to everyone last night, got this response today:

"Dear Friends of Tourism: Thank you for taking the time to comment on the DNR decommissioning of user-built bike trails on Slide Mountain. We certainly value the vast recreational amenities throughout Whatcom County, and recognize their attraction to both residents as well as visitors. I’m glad to see that your comments were also sent to our County Executive and County Council. They also understand the importance of tourism in our area, and are in a much better position to find inter-agency solutions that may ultimately satisfy all parties involved. We will be following their progress and providing input about tourism impacts. In the meantime, I invite you to experience some of the other great rides in our extensive trail system (Bellingham.org) We appreciate your support of tourism -- please feel free to contact me with any additional comments or concerns.Regards Loni RahmPresident & CEOBellingham Whatcom County Tourismloni@bellingham.org"

Keep sending those emails, they are making an impact!
  • 2 0
 as someone who has helped build and also ridden the North Fork trails, PLEASE SEND AN EMAIL!! the more they get the more they will realize the population out there that cares bout these trails. EVEN IF YOU LIVE IN EUROPE!! WHEREVER YOU ARE! HELP US!! i know i would help someone else protect their local trails!
  • 2 0
 "an individual from a motorized user group" complained and is getting the whole thing shut down.. that's insane.. Bikes don't have nearly the environmental impact of a motorcycle... It's time that cyclists are put into a new category..
  • 6 0
 Email sent on behalf of the FVMBA.
  • 1 0
 Thanks Partswhore. Gotta get up for one of your super d's. Can I request you print those out, sign them and send them via snail mail too?
  • 1 0
 Will do!
  • 3 1
 The trails at the north fork are nothing short of amazing. It's true, people pour their heart and soul into building, maintaining and riding them. People expect logging to happen and trails to be lost, but this is quite a low blow with little warning. While it's easy to hate the DNR, you have to look at it from their standpoint. When they drive out there, what do they see? Trash. It looks like a landfill. Sure, there are lots of users out there who are responsible for their own kinds of mess, but I doubt the people in the minivan with a gun rack and 5 kids are the ones who left the truckloads of beer cans along the sides of some of the downhill trails. I’m not calling anyone out, but I find it ironic that so much pride can be taken in the trails, yet the area 10 ft off the trail can be so blatantly misused and trashed. I know there are clean up days out there, but it’s obvious that people don’t respect the land. You don’t see beer cans hanging from trees on the interurban trail. If you saw someone throwing trash in your yard you would be mad. From the standpoint of the DNR, it looks like the users of the north fork area don’t care enough about the land to be trusted out there while there is millions of dollars worth of logging equipment out there and log trucks on the road. It’s not that cool to shit where you eat. It also takes more than a couple people once a year to keep that place clean. Make it look like you care, and perhaps someone will take note of your combined actions.
  • 4 1
 They haven't seen what is in the middle of the trails. They are coming up with excuses to take pressure off the fact they are not staffed or financed to deal with the progressiveness of recreation. If you are so concerned with trash why didn't you do something besides complaining and riding someone else s hard work. Most cans/bottles is staged to pick up at a time when we can pick it at one time, hanging cans is immature and a rookie move. Know the complete story before you state your ignorance.
  • 3 0
 chainsawgoddess, I know exactly what you're referring to. Those cans were on an unfinished trail and I've asked them to clean that shit up....which they had planned to do and they did yesterday. The vast majority of the trails don't have that BS and the majority of the trash is from the "target shooters" out there. We've literally filled a 20 x 10 dumpster with their garbage the last few years.
  • 2 3
 I don't ride at the North Fork, and I attend all the trail maintenance days I can... which is a lot as it turns out. I also pick up trash that isn't mine. I know they (the DNR) don't understand the importance of the trails, and the trails are wonderful (or at least the one I have ridden twice and the others I've dug on). I'm not saying they are right or justified in closing the land to everyone. I have done my homework on the issue. This is MY issue with how people treat the land they so prize. It's not up to you to stockpile cans in the woods, cause they are not your woods. How hard is it to pick up your trash? Seriously! Tell me you can bring in a case of full beers but you can't leave with them once they're empty. If you want it to be yours, treat it like it's you own.
  • 2 2
 ebxtreme, I know you guys do a great job cleaning up the crap from the shooting range, and that I haven't been on all the trails, but I was kind of surprised at how much stuff was on just moto and at the regular shuttle turnarounds. It's probably because I go much slower than most people on the downhill that I notice. I also ran up the trail. The unburied human shit was a nice touch! It's the little things like that which tend to make me quite upset. I know I'm new here, I'm not a great biker, and I don't get involved in the political stuff, but I do love the woods and feel the need to speak up. Just because it looks bad because of the redneck shooting range, doesn't give others permission to do the same. From my experience, the biking community in Bellingham is/would be an asset to any land manager or agency, and most would feel privileged to have such a passionate group of people to work with. I was just personally disappointed in the litter problem outside of the shooting range at the north fork. I would be more than willing to help clean it up if that happens again.
  • 2 1
 Chainsaw.... you say to me you don't ride at the North Fork yet you seem to know everything that is going on and the condition of the area? Are you just trolling? I just walked moto and really don't see where you are coming from.
  • 2 3
 My husband rides there, and I frequent the area for numerous reasons. Why do you care? Is it going to make me a credible source if I'm out there every day shuttling and building trails? Even if I suck at riding bikes and I only go out there when my husband does to "check things out" and see the trails, I know what trash looks like. I'm not trying to say I know everything about the north fork, but I know throwing trash on land that isn't yours for whatever reason is a crappy thing to do. I don't see trash like that on the other trails around here like on Galbraith. It wouldn't be tolerated in most places. Why is it there? This is just my opinion, and I feel keeping the area clean would only be to the benefit of the users...having worked with the DNR in the past. Perhaps if there were trash bins out there, that would help the problem, but that's just another expense for them. I know it's not fair that the other people make a bigger mess than the bikers, but as my good friend L says, "fair only comes once a year... and it's in the summer." I want the north fork to live on!
  • 1 0
 I think there's an element of truth to what you're saying, but we generally do clean up after ourselves and other users at the Fork. We've talked about putting trash cans and porta potties out there, but realistically they'd just get shot to hell. The poop was not from a mt.biker. They crapped on a jump and then blocked off the two ride-arounds so someone would ride over it. LAME.
  • 2 2
 We could go on and on all day and never come to an understanding. I apologize if you are personally offended by the unsightly trash. I would say most pack in pack out. If they are left for later pick up it is because it is dark and we just dug all day and can't see so we make an excuse to get them when we get out next. Not perfect but well within reason.
  • 5 0
 Since the trail closure was announced, I've been out there scouting for some final film lines. I happened upon numerous cans hanging in trees, piles of cans, random cans, random bottles plugged onto branches, bottles placed in stumps, etc. It was surprising because I never noticed it while riding down. It may not be bikers, but who else that uses those trails drinks 22's of Arrogant Bastard? It is what it is. All it takes is one person to ruin it for everyone, and as it has been stated, there are some rookies that cause this particular debate between us.

The good news is that this recent turn of events will force us to all band together and come up with a set of ground rules, or at least groundskeeping rules, with which to follow. From the legislative standpoint, our yearly efforts in cleaning up the shooting pit are in vain when our trails are littered with waste. It's no wonder anyone is defensive when being grouped in with rookies. I feel the same way where I build trail and have people tell me that I shouldn't be bringing treated lumber into the woods. Yeah, umm, I didn't do that, I'm not the only one out there.
  • 1 0
 I suppose the "rookies" would be referring to myself and friends putting in a new line at nf. As of yesterday anything that was left behind on our trail has been cleaned up, and if you found an arrogant bastard bottle on a trail you were most definitely not on ours.
  • 2 0
 The Bastard bottles are all over Mechanical Tragedy. Thanks for cleaning up guys. It helps a lot since there are officials walking the trails right now to figure out what our impact is.
  • 1 0
 Being tired in the dark is hardly an excuse for littering, and it is NOT well within reason to leave trash out there. It looks bad no matter what. Maybe next time leave a note for the DNR people who are assessing the damage and tell them not to worry about the garbage, cause you're going to pick it up later. I'm sure they will understand. You shouldn't have to be asked to pick up trash on your own trail either.
  • 1 0
 Agree.....The rookie comment was aimed at myself.
  • 2 0
 For falling into the trap of debating on PB forum.
  • 2 0
 MOUNTAIN BIKING IS NOT A CRIME

Anyone from the old school skateboarding days will remeber this.

Someone needs to mass produce some stickers................

As a Whatcom county resident and user of the well built and maintained trails of North Fork, DNR should recognize what they have here. An opportunity, not a burden.

Email and snail mail sent.

EBX, Thadius, KonaTrever, Matty, and all you others(you know who you are) are the rocks of this community! Thank you for all you do!!!!
  • 2 0
 You know, the Whatcom county and the Chamber of commerce should sue the DNR and the individuals responsible for this for lost revenue and misappropriation of public funds. First there is no way the action of the DNR is legal without any public input. They can't just spend money with no unaccountability.

Second Mountain biking might not bee seen as a big money maker, but considering the tiny size of the towns and restaurants in the area, there is a significant economic impact. People would travel from all over the country to ride those trails; they already did, even with the trails being secret as they were. Imagine if people actually knew about it. Look at the success of Whistler for example. Those businesses and the county have a right to recover the potential future earning lost as damages as a result of the DNR's illegal actions in a civil lawsuit.

Letters are great, and Yes, folks should be civil towards the DNR, but I also believe that the people of Bellingham, Whatcom Co and people all over who care about this need to get tough with these corrupt government officials and make sure that they are held accountable for their actions, and that includes the available use of legal remedies.

We are talking days here people, before this can be stopped.
  • 5 0
 Thats so awful! I will be sending emails out, good luck you guys!
  • 6 0
 Get this on reddit
  • 1 0
 Wish i could help .good luck on kepping your trails i hate to see the goverment close a trail that isnt destroying anything or efecting them at all and if you look at it ee are saving them money because people are riding your trail being active which is scientifically proven to be better for your health which is costing them less in hospital funding! So they should just leave the trail and the bikers alone!
  • 1 0
 You can help. Send some emails. I did, and I'll likely never ride these trails, but as a builder myseIf, I would want support like that if my trails were threatened, and don't hesitate to offer it to others in this situation.
  • 1 0
 Ok ill sennd an email tonight
  • 1 0
 Sent out, going to call everyone on the list tomorrow. Also sent out a story to the Bellingham Herald. It is stupid that they're willing to spend 23,000 dollars to tear down low impact trails used by mountain bikers when rednecks are out there every day shooting and leaving trash, cars, and electronics EVERYWHERE.
  • 2 0
 Super sad announcement. Please, everyone who reads this- email a letter!!! Better yet- email AND send a hard copy. I will manifest it remaining open due to an outpouring of support from the MTB community!!!
  • 1 0
 I am an environmental engineering student from cincinnati, ohio and an avid mtn biker. If somebody can forward me some pictures/videos of features that promote sustainability at the north fork trail, i will be glad to give the elected officials my exact thoughts. Private message me for email address or send me a link.
  • 1 0
 this is ridiculous, they are doing this where i live in Santa Cruz, California, and they are saying we aren't allowed to ride trails that cars drive on, and horses walk on because bikes cause to much damage and erosion. I don't get why they make it so difficult for all of us humans to be in nature.
  • 1 0
 We have a similar problem in my hometown o Gdansk. The only difference is that there was no official info about the trials demolition, nothing. Last weekend someone (most probably foresters) destroyed some of the trials and put wood logs across others. Those bastards had the nerve to put a log on the landing of one of the jumps! I wonder what would have happened if someone unaware hit that jump, landed on that log and got injured!

So I'm with you guys! Fight the power! Let us ride in peace!
  • 1 0
 I will be sending my letters. I have ridden this system and it is great, but it may need to be understood that these trails are lost, and now that we have DNR's attention we can lobby for new, LEGAL trails. In other words come to an agreement that the illegal trails should be destroyed, and maybe even help with their destruction, in exchange for use of the land legally. It is a tuff pill to swallow after seeing all the work that has gone on there, but it could be the right solution for the future. Make the trails legal and I'll be up there with a shovel. I have built and seen too many illegal trails destroyed to put much effort into a losing battle.
  • 1 0
 Perspective-
-Seasonal Trail building hours 2008-present, over 9,000 hours or volunteer labor, that is a very low estimate (looking at TZ and EB)
-Advocacy work attending DNR meetings, IMBA conferences, raising community awareness, and fundraising events: Over 900 hours over the past 4 years.
-4800 acres of DNR land in Whatcom County and 0 acres to recreate on

Emails away!
  • 1 0
 Those government and town council guys just like to bully people, especially if you rub them the wrong way. They won't understand how much the trails mean to people because they don't care; dealing with them is a waste of time. You should bring the story to the media, make a big deal out of it.
Try to convince the workers that are actually tasked with destroying the bike trails that they should refuse to do the work. Will DNR put up a big fuss over a $23k project that is aimed solely to piss off mountain bikers because some council member got rubbed the wrong way and they have nothing better to do.
If someone plans to log the area you can forget it though, it is worth too much money you can't stop it. In the end, nothing lasts forever.
I hope you guys end up saving the trails. Good luck.
  • 1 0
 "an individual from a motorized user group was insisting that if motorized use wasn’t allowed on Slide Mountain, then all unauthorized trails must be closed down." This is why I have no faith in humanity, people can be so selfish. Bikes are awesome.
  • 1 0
 You know, the Whatcom county and the Chamber of commerce should sue the DNR and the individuals responsible for this for lost revenue and misappropriation of public funds. First there is no way the action of the DNR is legal without any public input. They can't just spend money with no unaccountability.

Second Mountain biking might not bee seen as a big money maker, but considering the tiny size of the towns and restaurants in the area, there is a significant economic impact. People would travel from all over the country to ride those trails; they already did, even with the trails being secret as they were. Imagine if people actually knew about it. Look at the success of Whistler for example. Those businesses and the county have a right to recover the potential future earning lost as damages as a result of the DNR's illegal actions in a civil lawsuit.

Letters are great, and Yes, folks should be civil towards the DNR, but I also believe that the people of Bellingham, Whatcom Co and people all over who care about this need to get tough with these corrupt government officials and make sure that they are held accountable for their actions, and that includes the available use of legal remedies.

We are talking days here people, before this can be stopped.
  • 1 0
 You know, the Whatcom county and the Chamber of commerce should sue the DNR and the individuals responsible for this for lost revenue and misappropriation of public funds. First there is no way the action of the DNR is legal without any public input. They can't just spend money with no unaccountability.

Second Mountain biking might not bee seen as a big money maker, but considering the tiny size of the towns and restaurants in the area, there is a significant economic impact. People would travel from all over the country to ride those trails; they already did, even with the trails being secret as they were. Imagine if people actually knew about it. Look at the success of Whistler for example. Those businesses and the county have a right to recover the potential future earning lost as damages as a result of the DNR's illegal actions in a civil lawsuit.

Letters are great, and Yes, folks should be civil towards the DNR, but I also believe that the people of Bellingham, Whatcom Co and people all over who care about this need to get tough with these corrupt government officials and make sure that they are held accountable for their actions, and that includes the available use of legal remedies.

We are talking days here people, before this can be stopped.
  • 1 0
 email sent.. I have ridden those trails and they are great, over my head at the time, but was looking forward to riding them this summer.. damn! I did let the Dnr people know, three or four of us drive up every year and spend a week in BHam.. we spend money that is for sure and I know many others who do that same..
  • 1 0
 Thank you, Thad, for the write up. I have forwarded this to as many people as I can think of, and also just fired off a raft of emails to the DNR and state legislators. Hard to believe that the DNR is closing the land simply because some motorheads complained about lack of access. Maybe the DNR is worried about being sued for discrimination. Maybe if the motorized users has shown any respect at all for the land, they wouldn't have been kicked off in the first place.
  • 1 0
 Sorry to hear about this for the locals and regular users. I just sent a note to the County Commissioners. Hopefully there is some positive effect from your efforts. Good luck- from a King County biker.
  • 1 0
 ilegal trails are the result of the hunger to ride and lack of support from bigger organizations - and they should know bikers are actually very "green" because it's of their interest to keep their trails clean.
  • 3 0
 that sucks. These trails are freaking amazing. Emails will be going out.
  • 3 0
 B-HAM FOR LIFE!!!! the best place ever...... accept for the rain.
  • 10 0
 I accept the rain too.
  • 1 0
 This sucks! Cant even imagine how it feels to have all that hard work and time building and then have it all gone we need to do something about this
  • 1 2
 No matter who or what, that sucks, bad. Never had the opportunity to ride that stuff, and I probably couldn't anyways, but I feel your pain. The problem is, this just reiterates the over liberalized peace, love, and cooperation ideal that is based in Seattle that has infected the mindset of those INDIVIDUALS who have the nuts to get out there day after day, and swing a shovel for the pure enjoyment of creating something unique, and natural. This isn't a motorized thing, or a logging thing. This is evolution, or scorpion, whatever. As long as you are on unauthorized land building booters, kickers, gaps or tailwhipperies, you will never be viewed by the GP as anything more than a spoiled punk. I'm not saying I agree with that mentality, but how you gonna prove them wrong? jump on the lovetrain once the secrets out? Duthie is the wave of the future. As for your own secret stash, I don't know nuthin.
  • 3 0
 Spoiled punk? The general public doesn't care what's going on out there. They voted to allow clearcutting that mountain. It takes a heck of a lot of effort to climb up into the mountains whether on foot or by bike, and the common citizen isn't going to do that. They don't know what's up there and they don't care. There are a few dog walkers that hike out there and love the trails, and they will continue to be able to use them. Local businesses love the mountain bike scene and they will take a hit, even if it's a fractional one. Duthie is a great place for the metro biker, but we're riding 4k' descents here. Not even the same sport bud.
  • 1 2
 There's that dh eliteism showin through.... Regardless, I'm sorry for your loss. I'll send my emails. I was never dissing the efforts. It doesn't matter what the common citizen does, it matters what they percieve. And I thought they were shuttles? Bud?
  • 3 0
 I'm not even a downhiller. Thanks for your support though. I remember when the Snoqualmie Parkway trails went through the same thing, leading up to Duthie. Hopefully we'll look forward to a similar outcome. You just can't call Duthie the 'wave of the future'. Not everyone wants to ride that type of stuff. The trails are shuttles, but to be able to build trails that descend for miles on end requires a lot of effort to get to. Public perception is that we are riding bikes in the woods. There are some other user groups that complain about not having access, but they have access to other DNR land designated for their use, and there are no DNR lands for recreational mountain biking.
  • 3 0
 What I fear now is that those elite trail builders who keep their mouths shut and do what they do are about to be invaded upon. No one is going to roll over and accept this. People will remember where their shovels are, and will head to the hills. Only they wont be out to build with longevity and sustainability in mind, why would they when the reality that it can be yanked out from under them at any moment? So we're going to have 3-4 times the amount of damage in the woods, trails will be hacked in in haste and ridden with no respect and then left to fade away as the next one is scraped out of the mountain. Quality trails currently being built will be discovered and exploited.
And then there's the literal swarm of obvious to deal with... gosh, how hard is it to spot a shuttle truck? Dakine pad at best, 4-8 bike shuttle racks or even a trailer at worst... bike shop decals and favorite bicycle brand decals pasted all over the truck.... they'll look like an ant trail headed to the next new "secret" zone... which will be the new "next to get closed" area.
Need to learn from our mistakes. And stuff like the ridiculous 40mph exits out of moto have to stop as well. Seriously...who WANTS to get run over by a rusty Ford full of rednecks and shitty beer?
  • 2 3
 The trails at the north fork are nothing short of amazing. It's true, people pour their heart and soul into building, maintaining and riding them. People expect logging to happen and trails to be lost, but this is quite a low blow with little warning. While it's easy to hate the DNR, you have to look at it from their standpoint. When they drive out there, what do they see? Trash. It looks like a landfill. Sure, there are lots of users out there who are responsible for their own kinds of mess, but I doubt the people in the minivan with a gun rack and 5 kids are the ones who left the truckloads of beer cans along the sides of some of the downhill trails. I’m not calling anyone out, but I find it ironic that so much pride can be taken in the trails, yet the area 10 ft off the trail can be so blatantly misused and trashed. I know there are clean up days out there, but it’s obvious that people don’t respect the land. You don’t see beer cans hanging from trees on the interurban trail. If you saw someone throwing trash in your yard you would be mad. From the standpoint of the DNR, it looks like the users of the north fork area don’t care enough about the land to be trusted out there while there is millions of dollars worth of logging equipment out there and log trucks on the road. It’s not that cool to shit where you eat. It also takes more than a couple people once a year to keep that place clean. Make it look like you care, and perhaps someone will take note of your combined actions.
  • 1 0
 Emails sent. Has anyone talked to the District Managers/City Council/DNR? Can they do anything, if so, do they want to do anything?
  • 2 0
 Hope, you guys gonna save it! I wish I could help you...
  • 1 0
 yeh, me too guys
  • 2 0
 Just send an email, I did, even if you don't live anywhere near the area they can't tell that from an email address and every voice counts.
  • 1 0
 ur right mate, ill send them an email
  • 1 0
 I will help. And I have never ridden there. Nobody wants to see good trails lost.
  • 1 0
 Anything we oversea guys from the rest of the world can do to generally protest? Big Grin
  • 1 0
 Send emails!!! And spread the word!!!
  • 1 0
 Yes please. Send emails. Many times the landowners are especially impressed to get communication from people over seas who care
  • 2 0
 A few e-mails sent Wink I hope for the best!
  • 2 0
 NF is the greatest spot in the US hands down! Dead Fall R.I.P.
  • 1 0
 So the taxes I shell out to this state every year are paying to shut down bicycle trails. Ridiculous..
  • 1 0
 Emails sent, snail mail on the way. Also, the B'ham Herald article is a top post today on reddit.com/r/mtb
  • 2 1
 Letters sent to everyone. The DNR needs a REGIME CHANGE!
  • 1 0
 Message sent.. I hope they will reconsiderFrown
  • 1 0
 i live in scotland and those trails sound epic
  • 1 0
 I got a response. It's worth it. Take the ten minutes and write!
  • 1 1
 Surprised it took this long to close. Darn Shame!
  • 1 0
 Email Sent!!!!
  • 1 0
 Emails sent.
  • 1 0
 Email written.
  • 2 4
 Dont you regret keeping it a secret for so long?
  • 3 0
 There really wasn't much else to do. It would eventually come to a head, and now it has.
  • 3 2
 Nope! If you ride bikes, you know that trails emerge from the mist, known as the grey zone. While kept secret for necessity, they are blown up for the same reason. Write the email, show support, love the ride!
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