Eldorado – an imaginary place of great treasure and opportunity. Will the Eldorado National Forest live up to such a grand definition?
The vast majority of applications requesting Trail Care Crew visits originate from mountain bike advocacy organizations. In the 23 visits Jenny and I have done, this visits marks only the 2nd application that was submitted by a land management agency. In this case, the application was submitted by Jon Jue of the US Forest Service for the Eldorado National Forest in the Georgetown, California district.
What’s the significance of this, you ask? This is indicative of the switch in trends we have been seeing from mountain bikers having to aggressively pursue relationships with land managers, to a trend where land managers are recognizing mountain biking as a legitimate form of recreation and are actively reaching out to mountain biking communities to establish relationships and working partnerships to help meet the need for more quality mountain biking destinations.
The Eldorado National Forest has great potential to become an additional gem in the greater Sacramento-Auburn-Folsom area. With existing trails and the potential for even more trails over time, the Eldorado National Forest provides riders with more options and variety and can also help alleviate some of the overcrowding and overuse the Aubrn area trails are experiencing.
As with most public agencies, limited budgets and ongoing funding cuts are a grim reality for the Forest Service. This is why partnerships between land managers and local mountain biking advocacy organizations are so critical, as bike clubs can supply a lot of knowledge, experience, volunteer man hours, and fund raising efforts to help fill the gaps between the vision for new trails and the reality of getting them built.
With the help and support of local mountain bike advocacy organizations FATRAC (Folsom-Auburn Trail Riders Action Coalition) and the Forest Trails Alliance, the Eldorado National Forest may one day be a great mountain biking treasure to which its name alludes.