Big Bend Chat

Big Bend in the News => National Park News => Topic started by: SHANEA on March 09, 2011, 01:03:59 PM

Title: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: SHANEA on March 09, 2011, 01:03:59 PM
http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parknews/mountainbiketrail.htm (http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parknews/mountainbiketrail.htm)

Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: RichardM on March 09, 2011, 01:18:36 PM
I thought that proposal died on the vine a year or so ago. Guess the mountain bikers are still pushing for it.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: SHANEA on March 09, 2011, 01:36:49 PM
I see no problem with it.  It would be a dual use trail, would be non-motorized bikes so there would not be a "noise" issue, and mountain/road bikers are tax payers too - they should get some use/advantage out of the National Park as well.  I wonder if they will be able to take/ride their mountain bikes into Ole Mexico once the crossing reopens? 
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: SHANEA on March 24, 2011, 03:13:47 PM
Obviously the Sierra Club is opposed to this. 
http://lonestar.sierraclub.org/ActionAlert/20110323.asp

Although I'm a member of the Sierra Club  :icon_lol: - don't always agree with them. 

I still think a multi-use trail is a good idea!  I've got a mountain bike and would perhaps use it as well.  Mountain bikers are tax payers too. 

I will make sure I post a positive comment regarding this.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: steelfrog on March 24, 2011, 03:22:29 PM
You probably know this, but Big Bend Ranch State Park is a mountain biker's dream!
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on March 24, 2011, 03:47:04 PM
Quote
Comments Needed Now on Proposed Mountain Biking Trail!

The National Park Service (NPS) has proposed construction of a new, 10-mile mountain biking trail in Big Bend National Park that would cut across currently undeveloped backcountry and undisturbed habitat in Big Bend National Park, northeast of Panther Junction. The Sierra Club is opposed to this threat to the wild nature of the Park and urges you to express your concerns as well.

The new trail is not needed – already there are miles of backcountry dirt roads in the Park that are open to mountain biking (in fact there are 150 miles of dirt roads in the Park). The issue is not whether mountain biking should be permitted in Big Bend – the issue is where the activity occurs and how it impacts the nature of the Park.

The area where the proposed trail would be built has been identified as an area for potential wilderness designation. Building the trail would preclude wilderness designation for that area.

Federal regulations currently prohibit use of bicycles off of existing paved and unpaved roads in all units of the National Park system. Proceeding with the proposed trail would require federal rulemaking to carve out an exception at Big Bend and would set a precedent that might lead to inappropriate trails at other national parks.

NPS is soliciting comments on an “Environmental Assessment” (EA) of the proposed trail at Big Bend. Comments on the proposed mountain biking trail are due Saturday, April 2! Please comment today to preserve the wildness of Big Bend National Park! Urge NPS to adopt “Alternative A – No Action” on the proposed mountain biking trail.

The two issues that are in bold are what I find concerning.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Hayduke on March 24, 2011, 04:49:38 PM
This smells like a trojan horse as well as a "divide and conquer' proposal.

This is about more than creating an MTB trail - its about blocking future wilderness designation here and creating a vehicle to do it elsewhere.

In the process it creates a way to get MTBers and wilderness advocates at odds with each other, if they fall for it. 

I'm a MTBer and a hiker and I'm 100% against this.


Quote
Comments Needed Now on Proposed Mountain Biking Trail!

The National Park Service (NPS) has proposed construction of a new, 10-mile mountain biking trail in Big Bend National Park that would cut across currently undeveloped backcountry and undisturbed habitat in Big Bend National Park, northeast of Panther Junction. The Sierra Club is opposed to this threat to the wild nature of the Park and urges you to express your concerns as well.

The new trail is not needed – already there are miles of backcountry dirt roads in the Park that are open to mountain biking (in fact there are 150 miles of dirt roads in the Park). The issue is not whether mountain biking should be permitted in Big Bend – the issue is where the activity occurs and how it impacts the nature of the Park.

The area where the proposed trail would be built has been identified as an area for potential wilderness designation. Building the trail would preclude wilderness designation for that area.

Federal regulations currently prohibit use of bicycles off of existing paved and unpaved roads in all units of the National Park system. Proceeding with the proposed trail would require federal rulemaking to carve out an exception at Big Bend and would set a precedent that might lead to inappropriate trails at other national parks.

NPS is soliciting comments on an “Environmental Assessment” (EA) of the proposed trail at Big Bend. Comments on the proposed mountain biking trail are due Saturday, April 2! Please comment today to preserve the wildness of Big Bend National Park! Urge NPS to adopt “Alternative A – No Action” on the proposed mountain biking trail.

The two issues that are in bold are what I find concerning.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Hayduke on March 24, 2011, 05:15:02 PM
I also have to ask,

- with all of the miles and miles of dirt road in BIBE and BBRSP available to MTBing, why do we need to spend precious funds on a new trail that will not significantly add to the MTBing opportunitities? Is this money well spent, especially in these times?

- how desirable will this new trail be? With all the other opportunities it would certainly not be my first choice to bike.

-HD


Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: SHANEA on March 24, 2011, 05:21:01 PM
Can't even get the International Park going...  Maybe, just maybe a border crossing will be setup next year or so.  Not going to book my reservation on the "across the river" shuttle boat until closer till the time.  If the Taliban cross the Rio Grande again to attack America   :icon_eek:, or perhaps the Libyans, then all bets are off.

Wilderness Designation isn't going to happen, at least not anytime soon.

Here is a good primer.
http://www.wilderness.net/  (http://www.wilderness.net/)
 
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Hayduke on March 24, 2011, 05:30:27 PM
Shane,

No one says that wilderness designation is imminent just that it will never happen once areas are developed.

-HD

Can't even get the International Park going...  Maybe, just maybe a border crossing will be setup next year or so.  Not going to book my reservation on the "across the river" shuttle boat until closer till the time.  If the Taliban cross the Rio Grande again to attack America   :icon_eek:, or perhaps the Libyans, then all bets are off.

Wilderness Designation isn't going to happen, at least not anytime soon.

Here is a good primer.
http://www.wilderness.net/  (http://www.wilderness.net/)
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: desertflwr on March 25, 2011, 07:43:40 AM
I also have to ask,

- with all of the miles and miles of dirt road in BIBE and BBRSP available to MTBing, why do we need to spend precious funds on a new trail that will not significantly add to the MTBing opportunitities? Is this money well spent, especially in these times?

- how desirable will this new trail be? With all the other opportunities it would certainly not be my first choice to bike.

-HD

I agree.  After sharing trails with mountain bikers in a National forest back east, and nearly getting run over several times while I was hiking, I question the wisdom in putting mountain bikers and hikers on the same trail.  I own a mountain bike and use the dirt roads to ride. 
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: SHANEA on March 25, 2011, 10:10:02 AM
Well, let them have this trail then and don't hike on it.  It's pretty much being built for mountain bikers.  I'd bring my mountain bike along and use it.  My thought process is that mountain bikers are tax payers and should have access to the inner beauty of Big Bend.  I'm not saying that we should open up other trails to mountain bikers into the high Chisos or elsewhere.   Plus, it will be added revenue for Big Bend National Park - something that is desperately needed during these challenging budget times.  At some point, the Federal Government might have to start shutting down parks and selling them off as they can not pay for themselves - low attendance, etc.  Just like TPWD is going to have to do with the current budget mess in Texas.  With the plan behind closed doors on selling off TPWD property and GLO inventory, I would suspect that the Christmas Mountains, Chinati, Big Bend Ranch, etc. are all on the chopping block.  Wouldn't surprise me if Black Gap WMA was also on the list.  Obviously none of these sites are "paying their way" and are a drain on state financial resources.  That doesn't mean I like it or agree with it, but the well of money has run dry.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: bjbriggs on March 25, 2011, 11:54:44 AM
Everyone should have access to the Park.  I wish they would make some ATV trail to use in the Park.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: SHANEA on March 25, 2011, 12:52:40 PM
Everyone should have access to the Park.  I wish they would make some ATV trail to use in the Park.

And off road motor bikes and a tram way lift to the top of the Chisos.   :rolling:
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Hayduke on March 25, 2011, 02:31:29 PM
Yes, if you use Shane's argument that (fill-in-the-blank) owners pay taxes and so our tax money should be used to create facilities for them in the park you open a pretty big Pandora's box.

Everyone should have access to the Park.  I wish they would make some ATV trail to use in the Park.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Hayduke on March 25, 2011, 02:45:39 PM
Shane, do you really believe that this one MTB trail will bring significant new revenue into the Park? When the Park already attracts MTBers with  all the dirt roads and BBRSP?  It's really hard to imagine it having that kind of impact.

And with all these existing resources it sure seems like MTBers already have "access to the inner beauty of Big Bend".

-HD

Well, let them have this trail then and don't hike on it.  It's pretty much being built for mountain bikers.  I'd bring my mountain bike along and use it.  My thought process is that mountain bikers are tax payers and should have access to the inner beauty of Big Bend.  I'm not saying that we should open up other trails to mountain bikers into the high Chisos or elsewhere.   Plus, it will be added revenue for Big Bend National Park - something that is desperately needed during these challenging budget times.  At some point, the Federal Government might have to start shutting down parks and selling them off as they can not pay for themselves - low attendance, etc.  Just like TPWD is going to have to do with the current budget mess in Texas.  With the plan behind closed doors on selling off TPWD property and GLO inventory, I would suspect that the Christmas Mountains, Chinati, Big Bend Ranch, etc. are all on the chopping block.  Wouldn't surprise me if Black Gap WMA was also on the list.  Obviously none of these sites are "paying their way" and are a drain on state financial resources.  That doesn't mean I like it or agree with it, but the well of money has run dry.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: bjbriggs on March 25, 2011, 03:46:51 PM
Everyone should have access to the Park.  I wish they would make some ATV trail to use in the Park.

And off road motor bikes and a tram way lift to the top of the Chisos.   :rolling:

No tram to top of Chisos.  But they could lay water lines on all the hiking trails so the hiker don't have to carry water..... :rolling: :rolling:
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: SHANEA on March 26, 2011, 11:32:41 AM
Everyone should have access to the Park.  I wish they would make some ATV trail to use in the Park.

And off road motor bikes and a tram way lift to the top of the Chisos.   :rolling:

No tram to top of Chisos.  But they could lay water lines on all the hiking trails so the hiker don't have to carry water..... :rolling: :rolling:

No need to, but I do like the idea - I'd just be happy with some public showers in the Basin and down at PJ and Maverick .  I have a "find me spot" and just press the "I need help button" - and the new model allows you to send text messages - so I just message the rangers that I need more water...   :rolling:  I still think an outfitter should offer Sherpa services...

 While we are opening up the park, perhaps having a bambi season would be good too.   :icon_eek:  Hunters will spend mega bucks to go hunting - set up some corn feeders to lure them in, deer stands on the horizon,  ATV's rocking around, and of course the sound of shots cracking the air.   :rolling: 
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Lorax on March 26, 2011, 01:32:16 PM
As a mountain biker and hiker, I have no problem with an MTB trail.  This type of trail will be different from "riding the dirt roads" as it will provide an opportunity for education.  Most members of this board take a stewardship role in Big Bend.  Part of the design of the educational programs in a National Park is to foster stewardship.  Young riders / new riders will be the perfect target for this trail.  MTB riders who appreciate the fragile nature of the environment in which they ride are better able to take care of it.  This eduction benefit goes beyond the park.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: RichardM on May 15, 2012, 04:54:52 PM
Hadn't seen any updates on this proposal in a while until this popped up on the Big Bend News section of our home page.

Quote from: http://summitcountyvoice.com/2012/04/30/park-service-slammed-for-new-bike-trail-at-big-bend-np/
Park Service slammed for new bike trail at Big Bend NP
Posted on April 30, 2012 by Bob Berwyn

Watchdog groups raise conflict of interest issues and fault the park planning process

By Summit Voice

SUMMIT COUNTY — A simmering controversy over a new mountain bike trail in Big Bend National Park boiled over again earlier this month, as the park service started work on the trail before publishing a formal Finding of No Significant Impact or issuing required  rule-making.

Conservation groups are stewing over the project, which will create a trail in an area previously identified as potential wilderness. They also see a potential conflict of interest on the part of a former park service official now involved with a local mountain bike advocacy group.

In fact, the first public announcement on the start of construction came from a mountain bike advocacy group. National Park Service officials admitted that, due to an oversight, they did not publish the FONSI online or issue a response to public comments.

The comments were posted in early April, two months after they were finalized and two days after the International Mountain Bicycling Association announced the trail construction.

Proponents have touted the trail project a model of collaboration between federal land managers and user groups, as the mountain bike group paid for the environmental study (as is common with ski area expansion projects on national forest lands) and worked closely with park managers to design the proposal.

According to IMBA, the addition would create a  great trail system for hikers and mountain biking. The organization said in a blog post that hiking and bicycling are compatible uses, and that the impacts of mountain biking and hiking are about equal.

The organization also touted the economic benefits of expanded mountain bike opportunities and said the new trail will complement existing riding opportunities, including the challenging Fresna-Sauceda loop.

Mountain bikers will help build the trail and have even offered to patrol it.

But the new trail has riled up watchdog groups like Our Texas Wild and Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility, who don’t like the cozy relationship between the agency and mountain bikers.

“To create a first-of-its-kind biking trail through pristine public land, without allowing the public to review the FONSI before construction, without going through essential rulemaking process and while allowing an interested group to have behind-the-scenes access, creates a terrible precedent for the National Park System,” said Judy Calman, staff attorney for Our Texas Wild. “This area is included in the Citizen’s Wilderness Proposal and has long been discussed as suitable for wilderness designation.”

They are challenging both the substance of the plan and the short-circuited process employed to approve it.  Among the concerns raised are –

  • The pay-for-play aspect where a user group, the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and its local affiliate, paid for the  environmental study;
  • A previous Big Bend superintendent is part of the business operations of the local biking group. The outgoing superintendent pushed the project over the unanimous objection of his own staff, including 20 who filed personal comments opposing the trail; and,
  • Big Bend already has 200 miles of trails and roads open to mountain biking and there are another 900 miles of bike-accessible trails and roads on state and private lands surrounding Big Bend.

After reviewing the decision document and the public comments, Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility director Jeff Ruch said it appears the park is selling itself out to a special interest.

He questioned the park service finding that construction of a bike trail and parking lot can be the “nnvironmentally preferred alternative.”

The watchdog group also questioned the agency’s findings that it could not make more of an effort to avoid archeological sites because there are thousands of archeological sites in the Park and  it would be impossible to build a mountain biking trail without going over them, and for declining to pursue that option because it would preclude use of mechanized transport.

“Nobody is against mountain biking. The issue is whether national parks should be prostituted to a special interest,” PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch said, describing the park’s decision as resulting from a “warped” decision-making process.

“Absent a statutory charter, the National Park Service should not be using tax dollars to promote exclusionary recreation,” he concluded.

Here's what the park is saying:
Quote from: http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parknews/multiuse-trail.htm
Multi Use Trail Information Sheet

Date: May 9, 2012

Lone Mountain Trail in Big Bend National Park: Soon, a new way to experience the Chihuahuan Desert up close

Welcome to the Lone Mountain Trail project information page!

Big Bend National Park has begun initial construction of a new multi-use trail around Lone Mountain, near the Panther Junction Visitor Center and park headquarters. The trail, intended for both hiking and biking, will provide a family-oriented recreational opportunity for park visitors in a location where none was available before. The project also will include a long-requested picnic area near the trailhead.

The 5-mile first phase of the Lone Mountain Trail will consist of 2.5 miles of newly constructed trail around the mountain, and the conversion and rehabilitation of 2.5 miles of an existing dirt road in the area. (A future second phase would add 5 miles of new trail.) When completed, the first-phase trail will be available for hiking. Bicycling will not be allowed, however, until Big Bend and the National Park Service (NPS) complete a separate, required review and public comment process, which is described below.

The park undertook this project after several years of planning, an environmental review of its potential effects and a formal period for public review and comment. The location and route were carefully chosen to avoid any park archeological resources. It also is being built entirely outside of Big Bend's proposed wilderness acreage. The park will use this information page to provide occasional updates on the trail's progress, as well as to clarify and answer questions and concerns that may arise about the trail's purpose, including its future shared use by mountain bicycles.

First, some background: In March 2011, Big Bend National Park and the Intermountain Region of the NPS issued an Environmental Assessment (EA) of the proposed "multi-use trail at Panther Junction." After 30 days of public comment and months of Park Service review and analysis, NPS and the park signed a "Finding of No Significant Impact" (FONSI) in February 2012. This formal decision document allowed the park to proceed with its preferred alternative: To build the new multi-use trail northwest of the Panther Junction visitor center and headquarters.

The trail is intended to be both a hiking and mountain bicycling path for visitors of all ages and levels to explore the Chihuahuan Desert and its unique resources. It is not designed for high-speed mountain biking or racing. With a parking area and picnic site, the trail will present newly arrived visitors at Panther Junction an ideal opportunity to stretch their legs and experience Big Bend after driving many hours to reach the park.

The trail's alignment has been carefully designed to limit effects on Big Bend's desert resources while enhancing visitor enjoyment of the park. Trail users will circle the base of Lone Mountain, with vistas of other mountain ranges and many opportunities to watch birds and wildlife and examine native plants and desert geology. The trail also will afford memorable evening views of sunsets over the western desert lowlands.

In April 2012, the park trail crew and volunteer organizations began preliminary brush clearing for the trail route. That work is scheduled to pause in late spring with the onset of very high summer temperatures, then resume in the fall. There is no estimated date for completion, although the trail could be available for hiking by late 2012 or early 2013.

It is important to note, however, that mountain biking cannot and will not be permitted on this trail, once built, until special Park Service regulations are completed to permit bicycle use on a national park trail. According to the EA, the NPS must follow a formal federal rulemaking process for this trail. That procedure has numerous stages, including early public involvement, review by Congress and the Office of Management and Budget, Federal Register publication of the proposed rule, and a formal public comment period at least 30 days long, among other steps.

All the official project documents, including the EA and FONSI, are available for public viewing at the NPS's  Planning, Environment and Public Comment (PEPC) website, at: http://parkplanning.nps.gov/documentsList.cfm?projectID=14611
Thank you for your interest in Big Bend National Park. Check back here for occasional updates on the Lone Mountain Trail project. If you have further questions, please contact (see original source (http://www.nps.gov/bibe/parknews/multiuse-trail.htm) for contact info)
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Homer67 on May 15, 2012, 05:21:26 PM
Shoot, I hope the trail is a better ride than the River Road East. 

After hiking up to the Mariscal Rim and out Cross Canyon to the Solis takeout on one day, we biked from Solis 2 to Talley to retrieve the truck on the next in Feb 2011.  Man! Not a cloud in the sky, 40 mph wind gusts and no shade.  The road is deceiving when one drives over it; it appears to be firm and solid and it is in most places.  But long stretches of loose pea gravel and loose, deep soil await. It was nice to see the desert close up, and there were spectacular views of the Quemada. We even met a nice ranger, Cookie out by the mine.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Flash on May 15, 2012, 06:40:35 PM
It is curious to me how loosely words such as "pristine" and "wilderness" are used in reference to parts of Big Bend. I dig the Park for what it is, but wilderness is not how I would describe the area of the proposed trail.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: ambersdad on May 15, 2012, 06:46:00 PM
There were actually volunteers out laying the groundwork for the trail when I was there in April.   Their vehicles were parked across the road from the store.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: wclavey on May 15, 2012, 07:28:54 PM
This smells like a trojan horse as well as a "divide and conquer' proposal.

This is about more than creating an MTB trail - its about blocking future wilderness designation here and creating a vehicle to do it elsewhere.

I'm inclined to agree with Hayduke's comment from last year... there is more to this than meets the eye... NASCAR drivers are taxpayers too, but we're not seeing a proposal for a NASCAR track out in the desert...  It's like closing the Cape Hatteras lighthouse because the historic building could not be made wheelchair accessible - - not everything is appropriate for every possible accommodation.  And for this reason, I think there is some other reason why this deal was important to make. 

I, too, mountain bike (although not as much as I did then I was in my 30s & 40s) and I ride in state parks, and for that exact reason I would not think this is necessary.  There are the unpaved roads in the NP and if you feel the need for something more rugged, there is the state park.  And I must say, the comment in the park's press release about "watching the birds and wildlife" has me completely baffled...  I guess they haven't spent too much time on a trail with bike riders.
Title: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Casa Grande on May 15, 2012, 08:58:27 PM
Yeah, this seems so unnecessary.    Don't know.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Flash on May 15, 2012, 09:20:04 PM
And for this reason, I think there is some other reason why this deal was important to make. 
Starting to sound like a park within a park.  :eusa_think:
Maybe the resident personnel at nearby PJ (NPS, BP, DHS, etc.) and their families are demanding a jogging trail and a bike path for recreation...  :eusa_whistle:
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Flash on May 15, 2012, 09:50:37 PM
Here is picture of the proposed trail:
(http://sbcglobalpwp.att.net/w/a/wanna_go_bibe/_images/Proposed_MBT.png)

This came from a document on the following NPS page:
Enviromental Assessment - Construct New Multi-Use Trail at Panther Junction, Big Bend National Park (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=29&projectID=14611&documentID=39460)
Title: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Jimbow on May 16, 2012, 07:48:13 AM
Walking that area during most of the year is a death defying act. How many cyclists will be using the trail? I have shared the trail with bikes and find them less onerous than horses, snowmobiles, and other contraptions.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Hayduke on May 16, 2012, 08:01:36 AM
You have to ask - with all the current MTB opportunities available to MTBers at BBRSP and BBNP, why does IMBA think its important to focus its resources on building an MTB trail around Lone Mountain?

Is the MTB route around Lone Mountain really so desirable to MTBers that they have to expend this much effort, or is there something bigger afoot?

This is a toehold and sets a precedent for -

- building MTB trails in other areas the Park (maybe some areas that aren't being "used" for anything)
- expanding areas where MTBs may be used in the Park (existing trails?)
- building new MTB trails in other units of the Park system
- having outside groups representing xxx come into an NPS unit, do their own fonsi and build a facility for their xxxs.

Fill in xxx with the outdoor instrument of your choice (MTB, ATV, whatever).

Hayduke
 
 
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Flash on May 16, 2012, 08:35:16 AM
By looking at the map above, I see it would probably be very desirable to build a residents only connector trail from the PJ living areas to the proposed loop.  :eusa_think:
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: steelfrog on May 16, 2012, 08:54:50 AM
I got no prob with this at all--in fact, wouldn't mind them in the Quemada and elsewhere; BBRSP has awesome biking trails and I see no reason not to have them in BBNP; what is the big whoop?  We just don't want to share?  Is that it?
Title: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Jimbow on May 16, 2012, 09:15:05 AM
The impact is greater than hiking. Bikes damage plants, the tires create ruts.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: steelfrog on May 16, 2012, 09:27:25 AM
BBRSP has tons of biking trails and is more pristine than BBNP, so that argument doesn't hold water.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Flash on May 16, 2012, 09:51:27 AM
I'm still trying to wrap my brain around what folks really mean when using words like pristine and wilderness...   :eusa_doh: What do you mean, steelfroggy?  :icon_cool:
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: steelfrog on May 16, 2012, 10:23:10 AM
Ya, no doubt.  Undeveloped, I guess.

But, you can walk in the middle of the Quemada, off trail, and regularly run into signs of past civilization.

My point is, couldn't hurt to make some trails; people will never flock to BBNP in great numbers just because people, for a lack of a better term, are Poo-says.  99%.  BB is inaccessible, hard, etc.  I myself wouldn't mind mountain biking.  I haven't ever before but intend to at BBRSP and would in BBNP.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: perterra on May 16, 2012, 11:11:38 AM
I dont have a problem with bike trails if monitored. I dont care to see more people in the park but there probably needs to be more awareness and maybe the more than visit the more aware they will become.

I think the take it back to pristine wilderness is a slight to those who came before us, the way Big bend was cleansed in the early years was a shame, as is letting the past go to dust.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Raoul Duke on May 16, 2012, 02:24:12 PM
Here's a perspective from a guy who loves MTBing just as much as I love visiting BBNP.

what about the River Road?

The proposed trail has lots of single track, which is much more fun than riding along an unimproved roads like River Road.  It's the same reason you wouldn't consider River Road a good choice for hiking as compared to dedicated hiking trails in the Park.  Good single track, like good hiking trails, has lots of variations, is aesthetically pleasing, and is generally only 18" to 30" wide.

The impact is greater than hiking. Bikes damage plants, the tires create ruts. 

I disagree.  I have found the single track trails near the Lajitas airport to be much less conspicuous than most hiking trails in BBNP, such as Pinnacles, Lost Mine or Laguna Meadows.  Horses have a much bigger impact than MTBs.

You have to ask - with all the current MTB opportunities available to MTBers at BBRSP and BBNP, why does IMBA think its important to focus its resources on building an MTB trail around Lone Mountain?

By that same logic, you could argue hiking trails in BBNP are not necessary since there are lots of trails in BBRSP.  Each area in the region has its own unique appeal to MTBers, just as it does for hikers, horseback riders, paddlers, etc.  Plus, BBRSP is much more difficult to access than BBNP.

This is a toehold and sets a precedent for -

- building MTB trails in other areas the Park (maybe some areas that aren't being "used" for anything)
- expanding areas where MTBs may be used in the Park (existing trails?)
- building new MTB trails in other units of the Park system
- having outside groups representing xxx come into an NPS unit, do their own fonsi and build a facility for their xxxs.

Fill in xxx with the outdoor instrument of your choice (MTB, ATV, whatever).

You could apply "slippery slope" logic to any proposal by the Park.  I see this as nothing more than allowing a sub-group of outdoor enthusiasts to enjoy the park in a manner that will not undermine the overall purpose of the Park--preservation of natural resources, peaceful enjoyment of the outdoors for citizens, etc.   I think MTBers are generally very conscientious and do a good job of minimizing impact.  I am sure there are a few bad ones, just as there are irresponsible hikers, auto tourists, boaters, and horseback riders. 

I seriously doubt NPS would entertain the idea of allowing MTBs on existing hiking trails.  As much as I love MTBing, I would be one of the first to stand up an oppose that, as I am sure virtually every other user of the Park would.

My $.02,

RD
Title: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Casa Grande on May 16, 2012, 04:29:27 PM
what is the big whoop?  We just don't want to share?  Is that it?

Spend a day hiking Govt Canyon in SA, you'll find out real quick why not.
Title: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Jimbow on May 16, 2012, 05:08:24 PM
Again, I am not against bikes, but I still believe bike tires, especially when turning at speed and braking have a bigger impact on the soil than a person walking. With over a 1,000 square miles of park there is plenty of room for the cyclists.

Now how about a proposal for more miles of 4wd roads :-)
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Raoul Duke on May 17, 2012, 07:08:40 AM
what is the big whoop?  We just don't want to share?  Is that it?

Spend a day hiking Govt Canyon in SA, you'll find out real quick why not.

Govt Canyon SNA is not a fair comparison to the proposed trail.  Most of the trails in GCSNA are open to MTBs, so hikers generally have nowhere to go to avoid them.  The proposed trail system in BBNP represents only a tiny fraction of the accessible places in the Park.  If folks don't like hiking on trails that are shared with MTBers, there are many, many other options in the Park.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: OldJeepr on May 17, 2012, 07:21:20 AM


Now how about a proposal for more miles of 4wd roads :-)

I'll vote for that.  Hmm, maybe a drive out to the Chimneys for a picnic, a la the Homer Wilson family.  :evil:
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Flash on May 17, 2012, 08:06:12 AM


Now how about a proposal for more miles of 4wd roads :-)

I'll vote for that.  Hmm, maybe a drive out to the Chimneys for a picnic, a la the Homer Wilson family.  :evil:
Yep, their are plenty of old roads, clearly visible in Google Earth that could be cairned for at least the purpose of hiking trails. As an example, there is a road from Oak Creek that heads north and winds around the base of the foothills to Ash Spring and probably continues on to the old Burnham place, who were neighbors of the Wilsons.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: chisos_muse on May 17, 2012, 08:29:55 AM
This is nothing....up here in CO our "multi-use" trails are hiking/mountain biking/equestrian/dirt bike/ATV in some parks!

Imagine taking a leisurely hike in a beautiful, serene forested area with the little birdies singing, chomping on your preferred energy bar of choice (mine is a good ol' Payday)....and a friggin dirt bike whizzes past you out of nowhere, never slowing down, and scares the partially digested energy bar of choice out of you!  :icon_eek: There's really not much warning. You would think you could hear them coming for a long time, but not necessarily...or perhaps it's that I have old lady ears?  :eusa_think:
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: perterra on May 18, 2012, 11:28:29 PM
This is nothing....up here in CO our "multi-use" trails are hiking/mountain biking/equestrian/dirt bike/ATV in some parks!

Imagine taking a leisurely hike in a beautiful, serene forested area with the little birdies singing, chomping on your preferred energy bar of choice (mine is a good ol' Payday)....and a friggin dirt bike whizzes past you out of nowhere, never slowing down, and scares the partially digested energy bar of choice out of you!  :icon_eek: There's really not much warning. You would think you could hear them coming for a long time, but not necessarily...or perhaps it's that I have old lady ears?  :eusa_think:

Damn, thats pretty skeered if you squeezed that payday out after chewing and swallowing.  I wondered what it was I saw, I'll put'r in neutral next time and coast by.  :eusa_whistle:
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: SHANEA on May 19, 2012, 09:22:56 AM
It's not like the place is going to be overrun by mountain bikers, probably have a rally once a year - which will be good economic stimulus money for the area.    It's not located near a MSA like San Antonio or anything with a million plus people hungry for someplace to go mountain biking.  When I lived in Austin, the Bull Creek, Green Belt, etc. were open to mountain bikers - I hiked and mountain biked around there - no issue.  Emma Long was wild - very tough mountain biking - also shared with motorbikes, rarely ever encountered one, but you could hear them before they saw you.  I miss the vast trails of Austin.

I'm all for it as they are taxpayers too and taxpayers keep BIBE running with their tax dollars.

I dont' think I've ever encountered a mountain biker out there - I have encountered numerous road / touring bikers on the roads - going up the basin road on a mountain bike - it sure didn't look like the ole boy was having a good time.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: VivaTerlingua on May 21, 2012, 09:54:25 AM
It's not like they're converting an existing trail to a mountain biking trail.  They're putting in a mountain bike trail in a generally unused area of the park.  I fail to see how people riding bikes on this trail is going to affect anybody's enjoyment of any of the existing trails.

I've ridden the Contrabando loop in the state park several times,  the trail and surrounding vegetation looks no worse than an any of the hiking trails in the national park.  In fact many of the trails in the national park have unnatural features such as retaining walls and culverts.  I've not seen these things on a mountain bike trail.

I enjoy both activities and when I am hiking I would prefer not to encounter a mountain bike, but have no problem with a trail built for biking.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on June 17, 2014, 12:57:46 PM
Hey, has anybody heard anything new about the MTB trail?
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: RichardM on June 17, 2014, 01:34:04 PM
The NPS website doesn't seem to have any new info on it. Some of the original notices are still online, and as usual, there are some busted links.  :icon_rolleyes:

Quote from: http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/faq-2.htm
Where can I ride my mountain bike? Or, do you have mountain bike trails?
Mountain bikes are allowed on all roads in the park, but they are NOT allowed on trails or cross-country. The Old Ore Road is one of the best dirt roads for biking. There are also good mountain bike trails outside of the park around Terlingua and Lajitas.  more: http://www.nps.gov/bibe/planyourvisit/biking.htm
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on June 18, 2014, 10:15:47 AM
I'm not finding much either.  What I do find is from a while back.  I was hoping someone here might have an update.  Thanks for looking, Richard.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: qkh178 on June 18, 2014, 12:00:21 PM
I asked about it in January (at PJ) and was told that it had been started (awhile back) but not completed.  The staff I spoke to didn’t know if it would ever be completed.  I was told the trail was going to circle the small mountain just north of PJ (sorry I don’t know the name).  The partial trail runs along the east side of the mountain.  You can see part of the trail from the road.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ranger Tim on June 18, 2014, 01:57:43 PM
Lone Mountain, just West of PJ is the designated location. As far as I have heard, it has stalled largely as the result of pressure from the local Sierra Club chapter,... not sure if that is just hearsay or not.

From my own personal experience, mountain bikers represent about the lightest impact on surrounding resources of any trail user group. While I worked in AZ, the organization I worked for was contracted to evaluate potential impacts associated with the expansion of Walnut Canyon National Monument outside Flagstaff. During that project we identified a number of sensitive riparian zones and archeological sites in close association with the AZ Trail and other social trails used by hikers, equestrians, and MTBs. The equestrian-heavy trails showed major impacts to springs and riparian resources and the hiker-heavy trails showed heavy collection impacts on archeological sites. The MTB-predominant trails demonstrated very little impact to either riparian or cultural resources, probably because mountain bikers are mor focused on navigating the trail itself than the surrounding environs. Thus, from a resource impact standpoint, we found that mountain bikers represent the least impact of any user group, especially on trails constructed for that expressed purpose.

Full disclosure: I am a mountain biker. I also ride horses and hike. At BBRSP, we try to accomodate all user groups where possible, but we are also young enough of a park to be flexible on such issues. I certainly hope (more for the community than myself) that BIBE can open the Lone Mountain Loop to riders in the near future. Mountain bikers spend money like every other user group and, as a sport, mountain biking is not a fad and will be around for quite some time to come.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: wigfall on June 25, 2014, 03:50:29 PM
I can see the trail from 385 near headqaurters. Ripping up a nice piece of Lone Mountain for bicycles makes no sense when there are roads already in place and there is boocoo singletrack in the state park. Whoever allowed this to happen needs to be fired.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ranger Tim on June 26, 2014, 09:17:56 AM
There are many shareholders in the park and cyclists have just as much right to representation as hikers and equestirans. There are close to a hundred miles of multiuse trails in the state park, but it is exactly that,... the state park. A single comprimise to the general exclusion of trail bikes will not forever shatter the calm of the Big Bend.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: wigfall on June 26, 2014, 09:30:42 AM
There are many shareholders in the park and cyclists have just as much right to representation as hikers and equestirans. There are close to a hundred miles of multiuse trails in the state park, but it is exactly that,... the state park. A single comprimise to the general exclusion of trail bikes will not forever shatter the calm of the Big Bend.

So you think that creating a 2 mile long visible scar on pristine landscape in a National Park to benefit a few bicyclists is ok?
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Flash on June 26, 2014, 10:16:20 AM
There are many shareholders in the park and cyclists have just as much right to representation as hikers and equestirans. There are close to a hundred miles of multiuse trails in the state park, but it is exactly that,... the state park. A single comprimise to the general exclusion of trail bikes will not forever shatter the calm of the Big Bend.

So you think that creating a 2 mile long visible scar on pristine landscape in a National Park to benefit a few bicyclists is ok?

If I remember correctly, the proposed bike path was slated to mostly follow a network of old road beds from the pre-Park days.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on June 26, 2014, 01:48:28 PM
There are many shareholders in the park and cyclists have just as much right to representation as hikers and equestirans. There are close to a hundred miles of multiuse trails in the state park, but it is exactly that,... the state park. A single comprimise to the general exclusion of trail bikes will not forever shatter the calm of the Big Bend.

So you think that creating a 2 mile long visible scar on pristine landscape in a National Park to benefit a few bicyclists is ok?
It's exactly this type of thinking that could, in the end, destroy national parks and other federally protected lands.  The all-or-nothing crowd, who have typically gotten their way, would have a system that continually excludes certain groups like mountain bikers.  If you keep excluding, you're going make yourself a minority and send groups like mountain bikers into the waiting arms of the pavers, the drillers, and everybody else who wants a piece of the pie. 
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Jimbow on June 26, 2014, 04:26:54 PM


So you think that creating a 2 mile long visible scar on pristine landscape in a National Park to benefit a few bicyclists is ok?

Two miles of single track? I'm OK with it. I don't view the trails that hikers use as scars. I worry more about irresponsible riders and the damage they do.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: wigfall on June 27, 2014, 08:56:37 AM


So you think that creating a 2 mile long visible scar on pristine landscape in a National Park to benefit a few bicyclists is ok?

Two miles of single track? I'm OK with it. I don't view the trails that hikers use as scars. I worry more about irresponsible riders and the damage they do.

No, the trail is over 5 miles long supposedly, 2 or more of which are on the east side of Lone Mtn and it looks like someone took a bulldozer to the the entire lenght on the east side. It's disgusting that this was done. I have driven by it twice in the last month. Sickening. I thought the park svc was supposed to preserve views. Guess someone forgot the mission.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: kevint on July 02, 2014, 09:08:21 AM
There are many shareholders in the park and cyclists have just as much right to representation as hikers and equestirans. There are close to a hundred miles of multiuse trails in the state park, but it is exactly that,... the state park. A single comprimise to the general exclusion of trail bikes will not forever shatter the calm of the Big Bend.

So you think that creating a 2 mile long visible scar on pristine landscape in a National Park to benefit a few bicyclists is ok?
It's exactly this type of thinking that could, in the end, destroy national parks and other federally protected lands.  The all-or-nothing crowd, who have typically gotten their way, would have a system that continually excludes certain groups like mountain bikers.  If you keep excluding, you're going make yourself a minority and send groups like mountain bikers into the waiting arms of the pavers, the drillers, and everybody else who wants a piece of the pie.

Sounds like roughly the same dilemma that Stephen Mather faced in gaining enough support for the park system to succeed.
 
http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/history/ep4/ (http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/history/ep4/)
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on July 02, 2014, 03:09:01 PM
There are many shareholders in the park and cyclists have just as much right to representation as hikers and equestirans. There are close to a hundred miles of multiuse trails in the state park, but it is exactly that,... the state park. A single comprimise to the general exclusion of trail bikes will not forever shatter the calm of the Big Bend.

So you think that creating a 2 mile long visible scar on pristine landscape in a National Park to benefit a few bicyclists is ok?
It's exactly this type of thinking that could, in the end, destroy national parks and other federally protected lands.  The all-or-nothing crowd, who have typically gotten their way, would have a system that continually excludes certain groups like mountain bikers.  If you keep excluding, you're going make yourself a minority and send groups like mountain bikers into the waiting arms of the pavers, the drillers, and everybody else who wants a piece of the pie.

Sounds like roughly the same dilemma that Stephen Mather faced in gaining enough support for the park system to succeed.
 
http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/history/ep4/ (http://www.pbs.org/nationalparks/history/ep4/)

Interesting article.  Here's another about NPS plans from the current issue of Outside Magazine.

National Parks Are About to Get Way More Fun  (http://www.outsideonline.com/adventure-travel/north-america/united-states/national-parks/National-Parks-are-About-to-Get-Way-More-Fun.html)
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Raoul Duke on July 05, 2014, 09:24:33 AM


So you think that creating a 2 mile long visible scar on pristine landscape in a National Park to benefit a few bicyclists is ok?

Two miles of single track? I'm OK with it. I don't view the trails that hikers use as scars. I worry more about irresponsible riders and the damage they do.

No, the trail is over 5 miles long supposedly, 2 or more of which are on the east side of Lone Mtn and it looks like someone took a bulldozer to the the entire lenght on the east side. It's disgusting that this was done. I have driven by it twice in the last month. Sickening. I thought the park svc was supposed to preserve views. Guess someone forgot the mission.

I haven't been to the Park since last November, so I can't speak as to whether the trail is visible from 385.  However, I can't imagine that a MTB trail would look like something that had been bulldozed.  Most trails that are devoted solely to MTB use are usually narrower than all of the major hiking trails in the Park and certainly should not be visible from far away.  For instance, some of the MTB trails near the Lajitas airport can be difficult to find until you are right on top of them.  Is what you are describing really a MTB trail, or is it a new road to access the trailhead?

Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: wigfall on July 06, 2014, 08:33:41 AM

I haven't been to the Park since last November, so I can't speak as to whether the trail is visible from 385.  However, I can't imagine that a MTB trail would look like something that had been bulldozed.  Most trails that are devoted solely to MTB use are usually narrower than all of the major hiking trails in the Park and certainly should not be visible from far away.  For instance, some of the MTB trails near the Lajitas airport can be difficult to find until you are right on top of them.  Is what you are describing really a MTB trail, or is it a new road to access the trailhead?

I don't have to imagine it, I saw it this week. A highly visable, 2plus mile long slash at the eastern base of Lone mtn. It's not a road, its the trail. the trailhead is near the petrol station
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: RichardM on July 06, 2014, 10:51:47 AM

I haven't been to the Park since last November, so I can't speak as to whether the trail is visible from 385.  However, I can't imagine that a MTB trail would look like something that had been bulldozed.  Most trails that are devoted solely to MTB use are usually narrower than all of the major hiking trails in the Park and certainly should not be visible from far away.  For instance, some of the MTB trails near the Lajitas airport can be difficult to find until you are right on top of them.  Is what you are describing really a MTB trail, or is it a new road to access the trailhead?

I don't have to imagine it, I saw it this week. A highly visable, 2plus mile long slash at the eastern base of Lone mtn. It's not a road, its the trail. the trailhead is near the petrol station
Got a camera?
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: wigfall on July 06, 2014, 07:43:06 PM

Got a camera?

Yes, when I go back I'll take some
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: brave6 on July 06, 2014, 11:02:03 PM
The trail is easily noticeable heading into PJ from quite a distance.  "Slash" is a good description.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on July 07, 2014, 12:27:21 PM
In looking over the proposed plan I see that the trail in its entirety will be 5 miles - 2.5 miles will be new trail and 2.5 miles will incorporate an existing road.  Just a guess, but I bet what some of you are seeing is the existing road segment of the trail and not newly built single-track. 
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on July 07, 2014, 12:50:47 PM
Here is the trailhead for the Lone Mountain Trail in Google Earth.  I'm not really sure how this works, but in my version of Google Earth it shows what appears to be the trail segment that has been completed thus far.

Edit:  Maybe I wrote this in a way that is confusing.  I'm referring to the attachment below.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ranger Tim on July 07, 2014, 01:15:03 PM
It could be argued that every road, powerline cut, and trail are all ugly scars on an otherwise pristine landscape. Here's the thing: BIBE is NOT a pristine landscape.Historica lly, it was grazed and farmed and mined and ranched to its bare bones before it was preserved as a park. Secondarily, it IS a park. Parks provide double duty in that they provide recreation AND preservation. While these goals are seemingly at odds, it is at the comprimise between the two where our National (and Texas State) Parks reside. while it is important to minimize the effects of transpotation and infrastructure routes within a park, they are equally necessary to the long term support of park users.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Stillwell Camper on July 08, 2014, 09:40:55 PM
It could be argued that every road, powerline cut, and trail are all ugly scars on an otherwise pristine landscape. Here's the thing: BIBE is NOT a pristine landscape.Historica lly, it was grazed and farmed and mined and ranched to its bare bones before it was preserved as a park. Secondarily, it IS a park. Parks provide double duty in that they provide recreation AND preservation. While these goals are seemingly at odds, it is at the comprimise between the two where our National (and Texas State) Parks reside. while it is important to minimize the effects of transpotation and infrastructure routes within a park, they are equally necessary to the long term support of park users.

Thanks for your thoughtful response-- perhaps one of the best I've ever seen on this site.  One of Big Bend's greatest attractions is that can be enjoyed on many levels.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on July 09, 2014, 12:44:23 PM
Hey, Ranger Tim, do you ride a single-speed Karate Monkey?
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ranger Tim on July 10, 2014, 04:44:40 PM
No but I do ride an old orange Surly 1x1. On most trails I normally ride a full-suspension Stumpjumper Comp for the trails out here though, as riding that 1x1 is like bringing a knife to a gun fight!
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: waddamaroon on July 13, 2014, 06:24:26 PM
Back in 2006, I think it was, I had the opportunity to communicate my opinion to Superintendent Bill Wellman personally. At the time, I expressed my concern that a 5 mile ST would not be enough. If I've driven 8 or 9 hours to get to the park, and I found that a five mile trail was all that was available to me, then the temptation to "find my own trail" might be too hard to resist. I was concerned that bikers might be going off road or using existing hiking trails.
 :ecomcity:
My suggestion was to try to offer more than just a big loop in the center of the park. I'm not 100% clear about the "Wilderness" designation, but it seems to me that there are other areas in the park where an additional trail(s) could be built.
But quite frankly, if 5 miles is all we get, I'd rather do without.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on July 14, 2014, 01:30:42 PM
No but I do ride an old orange Surly 1x1. On most trails I normally ride a full-suspension Stumpjumper Comp for the trails out here though, as riding that 1x1 is like bringing a knife to a gun fight!
I don't remember the bike being orange, but the ranger that was helping me with places to ride was a New Braunfels native.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on July 14, 2014, 01:32:47 PM
Back in 2006, I think it was, I had the opportunity to communicate my opinion to Superintendent Bill Wellman personally. At the time, I expressed my concern that a 5 mile ST would not be enough. If I've driven 8 or 9 hours to get to the park, and I found that a five mile trail was all that was available to me, then the temptation to "find my own trail" might be too hard to resist. I was concerned that bikers might be going off road or using existing hiking trails.
 :ecomcity:
My suggestion was to try to offer more than just a big loop in the center of the park. I'm not 100% clear about the "Wilderness" designation, but it seems to me that there are other areas in the park where an additional trail(s) could be built.
But quite frankly, if 5 miles is all we get, I'd rather do without.
  I'm thinking the proposed 5 mile trail is kinda like a foot-in-the-door. 
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ranger Tim on August 08, 2014, 03:04:45 PM
Ay Chihuahua, that was Barrett Durst, the Park Superintendent at BBRSP. He's a great guy and a heck of a rider,... and yeah, he rocks that SS Karate Monkey! See you at Bikefest in Feb 2015!
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: VivaTerlingua on August 13, 2014, 01:55:30 PM
Speaking of BBRSP, they have a number of mountain bike trails in the park and I don't think they detract from the park at all.  Maybe it's because they're in areas that aren't normally viewed from anywhere else.  But it should be possible to make them work in the national park.  A mountain bike trail is no more intrusive than a hiking trail.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Flash on August 22, 2014, 10:34:59 PM
A new public comment period has been kicked off from 08/22/2014 to 09/26/2014. Here is a link where the the revised EA document can be found:

Revised Environmental Assessment- -Construct Multi-Use Trail near Panther Junction (http://parkplanning.nps.gov/document.cfm?parkID=29&projectID=14611&documentID=61058)

 :eusa_think:
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ranger Tim on August 25, 2014, 10:55:42 AM
What is curious is that this EA would suggest a significantly more extensive project area than that of the first MU trail around Lone Mountain.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on September 02, 2014, 01:04:51 PM
What is curious is that this EA would suggest a significantly more extensive project area than that of the first MU trail around Lone Mountain.
It would appear that this is what is now being proposed.
(http://i1140.photobucket.com/albums/n576/JackCrabb/Untitled.jpg)
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ay Chihuahua! on September 02, 2014, 01:15:33 PM
Quote
The trail would be unsurfaced and have an average width of 24 to 36 inches, with wider portions along curves in the route. Areas of trail constructed for two-way traffic would average 36 to 48 inches in width.
This is taken from the EA.  It looks like they are proposing a dumbed down version of a single track mtn bike trail.  This is way too wide and unnecessary.  I don't see why the trail would need to be any more than 24 inches wide at most.  12 inches wide would work just fine.  If there are section that are 4 feet wide, I see what wigfall is talking about.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Flash on September 02, 2014, 01:53:00 PM
I'm pretty sure the trails in this EA are the same as in the original proposal. I think they cleaned it up and had to reopen it to public comment because of a bureaucratic uh-oh alluded to in a recent Park Press Release. Basically it fell in a hole and got rescued. I asked about it in August and I understood that the Lone Mountain part was complete, but did not ask about the Grape Vine Hills part. I suspect it could be opened as a foot trail any time. The guy in the gas station pointed to where it begins. The question is getting regulations approved for bike use.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: Ranger Tim on September 11, 2014, 01:04:15 PM
Flash, I think you nailed it. Here, the current EA serves to address the current phase and the subsequent phase as a single proposal, which I don't believe the previous made very clear. Also, regarding width, at BBRSP we generally try to stick to a minimum of 18" of tread width for multiuse trails. With that said, there is a great degree of variation depending on the tread surface and topography such that it ranges from 18" to around five feet. A general rule is that the wider the trail, the easier it is expected to be for most users.
Title: Re: Big Bend National Park Proposal To Develop Multi-Use Biking Trail
Post by: RichardM on January 01, 2015, 12:10:35 AM

I haven't been to the Park since last November, so I can't speak as to whether the trail is visible from 385.  However, I can't imagine that a MTB trail would look like something that had been bulldozed.  Most trails that are devoted solely to MTB use are usually narrower than all of the major hiking trails in the Park and certainly should not be visible from far away.  For instance, some of the MTB trails near the Lajitas airport can be difficult to find until you are right on top of them.  Is what you are describing really a MTB trail, or is it a new road to access the trailhead?

I don't have to imagine it, I saw it this week. A highly visable, 2plus mile long slash at the eastern base of Lone mtn. It's not a road, its the trail. the trailhead is near the petrol station
Got a camera?

Yes, when I go back I'll take some

I got tired of waiting for Wigfall to return with pictures, so I drove out there myself and took a pic.

(http://www.bigbendgallery.com/uploads/files/IMG_3107.jpg)