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Local Advocacy Done Right in Tucson

Local Advocacy Done Right in Tucson

By: Patrick Kell
Posted: March 15, 2016

Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists, (SDMB) an IMBA chapter in the Tucson, AZ area, started working with Pima County Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation (NRPR) more than five years ago to develop a relationship and advocate for more and better trails on Pima County land around Tucson. Two years ago, SDMB completed a 1.6 mile re-route of the Yetman Wash trail at Starr Pass on the west side of the city. Now, after more than two years of planning, SDMB and Pima County are building more than five miles of new, mountain bike optimized multi-use singletrack.

This is the first trail in Tucson to have mountain bikers involved in every step of the design and build process. SDMB is rallying volunteers from all user groups for eight volunteer build days throughout Spring 2016, with support from local businesses and cycling groups and teams. The chapter is also spending more than $15,000 to hire the American Conservation Experience (ACE) crew out of Flagstaff for three weeks of professional crew time to help with the project, with more fundraising and grant writing happening over the summer to bring ACE back in Fall 2016 to complete the project.  

SDMB also received funding in 2015 from its local REI store to purchase a tool trailer and get it fully wrapped with SDMB logos, so when mountain bikers see the trailer at the trailhead, they know SDMB is out building trails for them. SDMB is already working to plan out the next phase of new trail at Starr Pass, with many more seasons of trail building to come! To keep the trails in good shape for the long-term, SDMB is working with Pima County NRPR to develop an official stewardship program for all county trails, to be rolled out later this year. Visit www.sdmb.org to find out about build days and other events, and like IMBA Southwest on Facebook for regular news and advocacy updates.

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Responsible riding is our simplest, and a very powerful, advocacy tool. Want more trails? Want to maintain access? Want everyone to like us? Start by being good to your fellow mountain bikers and the other users we share trails with. Know the rules; ride responsibly. 

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