March 2008 Trail Access and Advocacy Update

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March 2008

Your BBTC Advocacy Team has been hard at work this past year. The following is a highlight of several projects, but there is too much going on to include in one email. For more info about the other, equally important, issues and projects, visit BBTC's online Trail Guide at the following link: Advocacy

Contents

Mount Saint Helens

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The Mount Saint Helens National Volcanic Monument is managed by the Forest Service and contains some of the most dramatic mountain bike trails in the country. Like many government agencies that provide outdoor recreation, the Forest Service is facing a funding crisis and is unable to adequately fund maintenance of their facilities and trails.

Washington Senator Maria Cantwell is proposing to turn Mount Saint Helens into a National Park. Historically, National Parks have had very limited mountain biking, particularly on trails. However, IMBA has made significant progress with the National Park Service on allowing singletrack mountain biking within their Parks. Mount Saint Helens represents a good opportunity to both preserve existing mountain bike access, and showcase a new National Park with world-class singletrack.

BBTC is currently partnering with PUMP in Portland and IMBA to ensure that the proposal preserves mountain bike access on all trails where it is currently allowed, and Cantwell's staff has indicated that our access is not at risk. IMBA and BBTC's Jon Kennedy are currently in Washington D.C. lobbying our congressional delegation on this issue.

BBTC will only support proposals regarding Saint Helens that preserve full mountain bike access to our existing trails and address the current funding shortfall.

Please take a moment to write a letter to Senator Cantwell voicing your support of continued mountain bike access to Saint Helens. A link to her email and a sample letter can be found on theMount Saint Helens Trail Guide page.

Highway 2 Corridor

Mountain biking trails are limited on the Highway 2 corridor between Everett and Stevens Pass. This area has a lot of great terrain, and the potential for great trails that serve mountain bikers in Snohomish County. Recently there has been progress that will, with work, lead to new mountain biking here.

Alpine Baldy

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Skykomish. BBTC met with the Forest Service and environmental groups, coming to a consensus and allowing the FS to issue a Decision Letter that recommends building a 10 mile multi-use trail. The FS still needs to find the funds to build the trail, and hop through a few more procedural hurdles, but we are on our way to a new trail. More Alpine Baldy info.

Reiter Foothills Forest

Goldbar. DNR has begun recreation planning for this area to address current issues and future needs. BBTC was at the initial public meeting, has sent in letters, and is working to get a representative on the planning committee. We are still early in the process, but the landscape and politics all point to potential for mountain biking. Reiter info.

Stevens Pass Resort

Ok, we can't take credit for this one, but it is exciting. Stevens Pass has announced plans for summer lift served mountain biking. They are currently working with the Forest Service on a new Master Development Plan that will allow mountain biking, hopefully in 2009. We will do what we can to support Stevens Pass' mountain bike plans. More Stevens Pass info.

Duthie Hill Park

BBTC has announced the development of Duthie Hill Park, a 120 acre park near Sammamish. This King County park will include cross country loops that also work as an xc race course, flowlines, low-elevation freeride trails, and jumps. One of the most exciting aspects of this park is its location - adjacent to Grand Ridge. The park will connect up with existing xc trails and should provide opportunities for a variety of riding styles.

King County has provided $150k in development funds through their Community Partnership program and Youths Sports Facilities Grant, providing much of the capital needed to build out this new park.

We are currently working through the permitting and design requirements. We hope to launch into detailed design this spring, but actual timeline is unknown due to some permitting rules that are in the process of being changed. More Duthie Hill info.

Other Trail Issues, Projects and Opportunities

There are many other, equally important, advocacy issues we are currently working on. To find out more about what is happening where you like to ride, visit our advocacy page.

If you are aware of trail access issues that we should get involved in, please email or call the BBTC World Headquarters at 206-524-2900.

See you on the trails!

Justin Vander Pol and the BBTC Advocacy Team