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Letter From a Land Manager

Letter From a Land Manager

By: Patrick Kell
Posted: November 24, 2015

I recently received this message from Dave Jacobson, the Outdoor Recreation Planner with the Cedar City (Utah) office of the Bureau of Land Management. 

Hi Patrick, 

I cannot thank IMBA and your professional trail building crew enough for the work they performed this fall in Cedar City. Specifically, Joey Klein, Tyson Swasey and Shane Wilson—along with Eddie Kessler of Ptarmigan Trails—were amazing. They are all top-notch professionals.

IMBA has built a fantastic trail that millions of people will eventually ride, I am sure of it. This to me is the essence of public land stewardship—to take an empty hillside that has no forage for grazing, no minerals for mining and is too steep for solar energy installments. To start from there and turn it into a useable landscape that benefits the community is quite a success.

The public has been staring at this pinion and juniper forested slope for years without seeing its potential. IMBA has taken a blank canvas and made it into a masterpiece that will continue to get more and more valuable in the years to come. In the recreation realm, it seems that everyone gives themselves a label.

Personally, I would have never dreamed of adding "mountain biker" to my own set of labels, but that has changed. My desire to bike has increased considerably, in part because my son asked for a mountain bike for his 12th birthday, and now because I have been involved in helping bring trails to our community.

Watching people connect to the land through mountain biking is transforming and inspiring. Who knew exercise could be so much fun, that biking could build enthusiastic energy in a community and bring all walks of life to a common place both physically and mentally. IMBA has rocked my world and taken me through a major paradigm shift regarding the value of trails to a community and the places trails can go and where they can take you. Thanks again to your team and I look forward to working with IMBA again in the future. 

Best Regards, 

Dave Jacobson
Outdoor Recreation Planner
BLM Cedar City Field Office

About the author

Patrick is from Belfast, Northern Ireland. He studied geography at John Moores University in Liverpool, England and started mountain biking there in 1992. Patrick lived in Vermont for 11 years, working for the Youth Conservation Corps and volunteering with several mountain bike clubs. He became…

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