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Important Fells Meeting This Monday!
The DCR is holding a public meeting this Monday, September 20th, 2010. They are going to present their draft of their new Fells Trail System Plan. The great hope is that this plan is going to include removal of the blanket ban of bikes on singletrack. The Friends of the Fells are most likely going to be there spreading misinformation and advocating against bikes. At the last public meeting, they had picture of fellow bikers hitting drops in Gloucester, trying to pass it off as rouge biking in the Fells.

So tell all your biking buddies, make sure they go to this meeting. Make sure the DCR doesn't forget that bikers are more active and relentless than even the Friends of the Fells.

The meeting is from 6:30pm to 8:00pm (likely to run late) on Monday, September 20th, 2010. It will be in the auditorium of the McGlynn School in Medford, at 3001 Mystic Valley Parkway (Next to Hormel Stadium). This address is not accurately located on Maps/Navigation. You might want to google it ahead of time.

Update: Directions to the school
Reminder: Fells Meeting Tonight!
Hey Fells Bikers out there! Don't forget, the DCR's Fells meeting is TONIGHT in Medford. See the previous blog post for details. The more bikers the better!
DCR Fells Public Meeting Summary
The DCR presented the first draft if their Fells trail plan.
It will be downloadable online tomorrow, and during the next 60 days, the DCR wants Fells users to submit comments on the plan, ideally in writing!
Very important for everyone to do this!

Some highlights of the plan (with emphasis that this plan is a draft and not a final plan):

The DCR made their position clear that hiking and biking cause the same amount of wear and 'erosion' on trails.

More single track will be opened up to mountain bikes, including the orange trail, and some parts of the blue trail and the old yellow trail near dark hollow pond.

Some single track trails will remain hiking only, including both white trails (skyline and rock circuit).

Many trail overlaps will be separated, and trails that go through sensitive areas will be rerouted. Many miles of redundant trails will be removed.

The sheepfold will be a designated area where dogs can legally go off-leash.

The winter ban on mountain biking will be changed to more accurately cover only the times when the trails are actually muddy (March 1st thru March 31st). It will only apply to mountain bikes but will be encouraged for all trail users.

The DCR will work with stakeholders groups to increase education and volunteerism.

There will be two "walk-throughs" in the fells on September 25th and September 30th.

Off trail use and after dark use will only be allowed by special permit.

So stay tuned to this website for more details in the next day or two, to get links to the official draft of the DCR's plan. And more information on how to submit comments on this plan! This is a vital time to become an active trail advocate. Please spread the word to your friends that now is the time to get interested and get involved!
DCR's Draft Plan for Fells Trail Management Posted
Download PDF Here

Download the plan. Read it over. The DCR said that while you can email in comments, they really want comments on paper, mailed in. I'll post more info on submitting comments in a day or two. For now, everyone who is interested in this new plan should read over the draft, and really think about what points you think are good, and what points you think need to be changed.

Fells users got a small victory Monday night, but if we all work together, we can turn that small victory into a big victory. . .
...More to come.