The United States Forest Service, the Southern-Off Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) and the International Bicycling Association (IMBA) have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) establishing a working relationship between USFS and mountain biking organizations in the southeast. The agreement outlines how the Forest Service and the established SORBA Chapters, SORBA, and IMBA affiliates can work together to develop and maintain excellent and sustainable mountain biking experiences on USFS lands.
This document updates a 2012 agreement that expired last year, and it gives mountain bikers a seat at the table when the USFS develops new trails and works to maintain existing multi—use trails. “Mountain bikers will be able to share their and expertise on the planning, design, construction, and maintenance of excellent mountain biking trail projects;” says Tom Sauret, SORBA’s Executive Director.
Under this MOU, SORBA and the Forest Service will work together to train and educate volunteers to work alongside the Forest Service staff to maintain the trails. The MOU also establishes consistent polices and guidelines for both mountain biking organizations and the USFS when working on projects.
Chris Sporl, Director of Recreation, Wilderness, Heritage and Volunteer Programs for the Southern Region of the Forest Service says, “This is an exciting time for the USDA Forest Service trails program. Long term sustainable partnerships with organizations such as IMBA and SORBA are key to a successful trail system under both the Trail Stewardship Act and the Agency’s new National Strategy for a Sustainable Trail System. This is MOU provides the foundation for us to continue our work together to make sure the mountain biking opportunities on the NFs in the Southern Region offer excellent mountain biking which is also sustainable on the land.”