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DCR Public Meeting Wrap-Up
Wednesday night, the DCR held a public meeting presenting their Draft Resource Management Plan. They didn't go into very much detail on the plan. It was more of a brief overview, with encouragement to read the full plan on their website one it's posted.

So within the next few days, I'll review the plan in full and comment on it. There does seem to be a definitely retraction of bike access between what was put in the Trail Plan before, and what is in the Resource Management Plan now.

The audience question and answer period at the end was more interesting than I expected, despite the small size of the crowd. The Fells Dog group definitely came out as the "winner" there. All of their commenters were well spoken, rational, and logical. The nemba folks had good arguments, but they seemed more interested in grinding their axe against the "friends" of the fells, than making valid points about biking in the Fells. And of course the "friends" of the fells commenters were off their rockers as usual, actually heckling everyone else that spoke, including the DCR. The two funniest audience quotes of the night come from "friends" of the fells members:

"has anyone interviewed the foxes?"
Regarding changes to DCR policy

"[mountain biking] is like cigarette smoking"
The attempted point was supposed to be that 20+ years of mountain biking wasn't enough, and that biking was still new and the research isn't there yet on biking trail impact. If there was an award for worst metaphor of the year, this guy would have won hands down!

Not to overstate things, but the future of mountain biking in the Fells is again going to depend heavily on everyone reading the RMP, and sending comments to the DCR. More info on doing that will be posted soon.
  • Comments
  • Friends of the Fells are whackos
    "Has anyone interviewed the Foxes?" LOL that's a classic! Oh and another thing about the FOF. You'd think that if they thought bikers damaged the trails as much as they thought bikers did, then they'd want us to clear up that damage through trail maintenance. Instead, they try to block the mountain bike community from doing trail maintenance at all costs when the issue comes up. So is it really about damage to trails? If they won't even give bikers a chance to maintain the trails then that's just finecrafted bigotry.
    Comment Posted by (josephfoley at rcn dot com) on September 15th, 2011
  • Biking
    My view is if people are so worried about trail "damage", open up more trails to bikers! That way you would have people spread out over a larger area. I'm sure us frequent trail riders know the spots on the "main" trails that get pretty bad after some rain. If we had access to the surrounding singletrack we could bypass these trails. Also we would have more options, more miles of trails to ride, and wouldn't be riding the same trails over and over again. More bikers spread out over more trails equals less trail impact overall. I have also noticed over the years most walkers stick to the main trails. I see the more serious hikers heading off into the brush but most stick to the larger trails that we bikers have access to. Open up more trails and you will not see as many bikers on these bigger trails.
    Comment Posted by (dundundata at yahoo dot com) on September 15th, 2011
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