You are here

All

Trail Riders and Land Agencies Both Win When They Cooperate

ImageTwo wonderful trail projects are being developed as you read this. Each project is at a different stage of development, but both are the result of supportive cooperation between volunteers and the responsible government land manager agency. Neither project would exist without this cooperation. Both projects were initiated by volunteer suggestions and supporting action. The Dry Creek Trail System is the larger of the two projects. It will provide 25 miles of shared trails to be enjoyed by equestrians, mountain bicyclists, and hikers. The Garland Mountain Horse & Hike Trails will provide 12 miles of trails shared by equestrians and hikers. Both trail systems will provide multiple loops so users may travel short or long distances as they desire.

Tuscaloosa SORBA’s Trails Enriched by Adoption

Image
Alec Wheeler (left) and Michael Cornwell shingling the slippery bridge on Five Bridges loop

"I'm not sure who originally suggested our Adopt-A-Trail program, but it has been a great success," says Richard Russell, chapter President, "There are about 12 miles of trail at Munny Sokol Park, and the idea came about for individuals or groups to adopt one or more of the 20-plus named trails at Sokol." The adopters do light trail maintenance, raking, and trash pickup. This regular maintenance gives the trails a nice cared-for look, and frees up workdays for more major projects.

Many of Munny Sokol's trails have been adopted by chapter members and volunteers. Adopters choose parts or loops of a trail or trails to care for and agree to keep up their adopted section. Richard has his name down for Antique Creek, although he unofficially adopted the entire trail system years ago. "At this time of year," says Richard, "we concentrate on raking the trails, and someone, not necessarily the same person, comes out several times a week. There is a friendly competition to see whose trail looks the best".

Appalachian Mountain Bike Club Pitches in for Windrock Fall Festival

The Appalachian Mountain Bike Club helped out with the Windrock Fall Festival, held November 18th and 19th, outside of Oliver Springs, TN. The festival is primarily a downhill festival, but because we built cross country trails on the property this summer, we were able to host a cross country ride, led by our president, Randy Conner. Vice President Brian Hann loaned a truck owned by his construction company, Dewhirst Construction, for a shuttle. The truck allowed up to 30 riders and bikes to be shuttled up the mountain at one time.

The conditions were cold and rainy (snowy on top the mountain), but that didn't stop over 80 people from traveling from as far away as Arizona to participate. The folks from cane creek, I-9, Morewood, Specialized, Sick Lines and Maxis all came out to donate goods for a raffle. Local Pro down hill rider and AMBC board member Doug Ferguson was the key organizer for the event, and did a great job getting the word out. DH National Champion Geritt Beytagh was out with his sponsor Morewood Bicycles. The folks at Coal Creek allowed us to use over 2,000 feet of vertical drop to build the trails, and the Mayor of Oliver Springs, Chris Hepler, drove the shuttle truck. We had many volunteers involved, and they were real troopers, braving the imperfect elements to pull off this excellent event.

SORBA Board of Directors Conducts Fall Meeting

ImageSORBA's Board of Directors met on November 22nd, at the Elachee Nature Center in Gainesville, Georgia. We had a full house, too, with a record-breaking 23 chapters represented! The meeting began at 8 a.m. with a continental breakfast and coffee and didn't break up til after 8 p.m. and pizza. In between was a full day of speakers, discussions, and votes.

Tom Sauret, SORBA Executive Director, started with a meeting overview and agenda review. After Secretary Renee Martinez took roll, Tom discussed the realingnment of existing chapters, which was brought on by insurance costs. The Macon and Rabun Counties chapter has been dissolved, and Macon County members have been moved to At Large memberships, pending the creation of a new chapter in their area. Rabun County members are now part of the Upper Chattahoochee Cycling Club chapter. SoFA has been disbanded, and their members have been reassigned to their geographically-closest chapter. The Board then voted to accept Tuscaloosa SORBA as a full chapter. With a new president at the table, the Board then set the date and location for the next meeting as February 28th at FATS, with the Central Savannah River Area chapter hosting. The November 2009 meeting will possibly be hosted by Uwharrie, with the details to be set at the February meeting.

Bob Grieco, acting SORBA President upon the relocation of Eric Hunter to Portland, Oregon, then spoke, turning his focus on the presidents, asking the chapter representatives what their most pressing concerns were. Some of the responses included access to community resources, and that land managers were demanding better organization. Grieco said the focus of the Executive Board is to support the chapters, and he hopes to get to know them better, and address their individual concerns directly, in the coming year

National Parks Service Seeks Public Input on Chattahoochee National Recreation Area

ImageThe National Parks Service is soliciting public input on their Supplemental Draft General Plan/Environmental Impact Statement for the Chattahoochee NRA. SORBA has been very involved in this process, and will remain involved as the plan is adopted and implemented in the years to come. A public input meeting held on October 30th drew 40 participants; half of those present were SORBA members.

The current preferred plan is Alternative F. Alternative F has delineated zones in the park, and assigns appropriate recreational activities for the zones. Off-road cycling is allowed in all but two zones in this plan. Although SORBA generally supports Alternative F as the preferred alternative, we continue to stand behind our long-term objection to the exclusion of bicycling from certain management categories. In particular, this exclusion precludes any possible development of bicycle trails (paved or un-paved) within the Bowmans Island unit of the CRNRA. Bowmans Island is located in a rapidly growing area of Gwinnett and Forsyth Counties where the need for mixed-use, trail-based and dispersed recreation opportunities are great.

Keeping Bowmans Island closed to bicycling inhibits any potential development of long-distance cycling trails along the Chattahoochee River corridor connecting Lake Lanier (and Army Corps of Engineers property) to the downstream units of the CRNRA. Such a connection would be a very important and sought-after recreation opportunity that would greatly enhance the quality of life in the neighboring communities. This prohibition also seems to conflict with the NPS’s own initiatives through the Rivers and Trails Conservation Assistance Program (RTCA) and the management mission of a National Recreation Area.

Pages