Moving Mountain Biking Forward in Caliente
Utah updates: We’re gearing up for a round of festivals, Bureau of Land Management meetings, conferences and meetings with an incoming chapter in Utah.
Starting on March 19 and 20 we’ll be at the Hurricane Mountain Bike Festival, hosted by Over the Edge Sports. This event is a great opportunity to demo bikes, check out new products and ride some of the best trails around, including Gooseberry Mesa, Guacamole and Little Creek. You can also learn more about our local chapter, the Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association and our collective work nearby in Kanab and Cedar City. Come along to the IMBA booth and renew your membership too - we’ll have a free CST tire (27.5 or 29”) for each member who joins at $35, and if you join at the $75 level, you’ll get a Camelbak (while supplies last).
After Hurricane, we’re headed to Richfield, UT to meet with the BLM and local advocates to talk about trail planning in this completely new zone. Got any beta on that area?
We’ll then head to Salt Lake City to meet with volunteers from our incoming chapter, and discuss some land protection and access projects that are in the works.
On April 2 and 3 we’ll be at Outerbike in Moab, which is another great opportunity to ride amazing trails, demo great bikes and renew your membership with the Moab Mountain Bike Association. Again, we’ll have a free CST tire for each member who joins at $35, and a Camelbak if you join at the $75 level (while supplies last).
April 4 brings a meeting with the BLM to discuss trail planning in Monticello, Bluff and Blanding, south of Moab, and on April 5 we’ll be attending the Utah Bike Summit in Salt Lake City. Expect updates on our work in Cedar City and Kanab soon too, where we hope to kick off more trail work this year following significant progress in 2015.
Nevada updates: Progress continues in Caliente, NV, where we recently submitted our comment letter to the BLM for the trails (27 miles out of a total of 42) proposed on the lands that they manage; and we are working with the City to further develop plans for the trails on their lands. A big thanks goes out to the Southern Nevada Mountain Bike Association for submitting comments as well. The project in Caliente was recently mentioned recently in Outside Magazine, which was great to see.
From April 7-9 the Subaru-IMBA Trail Care Crew will be in Elko, NV with the BLM. We plan to meet with land managers during that training session, which will see attendees from both BLM and Nevada State Parks. We also plan to meet again with the Nevada Department of Tourism around that time.
New Mexico updates: We had a successful Government Affairs Summit in Santa Fe recently with all New Mexico IMBA chapters represented, where we discussed how advocates can organize and respond to Wilderness and National Monument proposals and Forest Plan Revisions. We now have a list of ideas and some great new contacts to follow up with. We plan to meet soon with BLM staff from the New Mexico Central Office, the Farmington District Office and the National Park Service Superintendent at Valles Caldera National Preserve in Jemez Springs. Elsewhere in New Mexico we are keeping abreast of the Forest Plan Revisions in progress with the Santa Fe, Cibola, Carson and Lincoln National Forests, to ensure that backcountry trail access remains intact and improves during these planning processes.
Arizona updates: Our chapters in Arizona (and throughout the region) continue to build strong partnerships and grow their membership base, which ultimately leads to better trail access. In the Tucson area, the Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists have begun to build a new five mile trail at Starr Pass and are seeking to partner with REI, bringing professional trail crews to that project. The Verde Valley Cyclists in Sedona are working with the U.S. Forest Service to see a series of trails in the West Sedona area adopted into the official system, and reworked with bike optimization in mind. The Desert Foothills Mountain Bike Association is working with the City of Cave Creek to develop a trailhead on Route 74, offering improved access to a vast trail network, and DFMBA will have its membership booth at the Beti Bike Bash. On the west side of the Phoenix Valley, the West Valley Trail Alliance continues their work with Maricopa County Parks. In Kingman, the Colorado River Trail Alliance has built the new Coyote Trail, which will connect to the Castle Rock area. CRTA put in 105 hours of volunteer time on this trail in February alone.
In Prescott we’re working with the Prescott Mountain Bike Alliance to present an advanced rock armoring workshop on April 16 and 17. Registration is filled with folks from IMBA chapters and clubs from throughout Arizona, along with U.S. Forest Service staff and some Youth Conservation Corps project managers. Come along to the booth at the Whiskey Off Road from April 29-May 1, to join or renew your membership and buy raffle tickets for a cool Trek Stache (29+) bike.
Elsewhere in Arizona, there is a public meeting with Pinal County Open Space on March 31 to plan a new park and trail system in Maricopa to the south of Phoenix. Details are available here and we hope to see you there speaking up for new trails. We also recently met with advocates and the U.S. Forest Service in Payson to discuss trail development there, we’ll keep you posted on that. Later in March we’re meeting in Showlow with municipal officials and volunteers again to talk trail planning. Our work in Superior continues too, including a recent meeting with the partners there discussing how to incorporate the various user groups’ plans into one coherent document.
Have you been following the progress on the Rainbow Rim Trail on the north rim of the Grand Canyon over the past few years? Would you like to be part of it in 2016? If so, please mark your calendar for June 18 and 19, when we will be holding a trail building weekend. The weekend will include group rides and a Saturday evening BBQ hosted by the US. Forest Service. We are still working out the details, so please keep an eye on the IMBA Southwest Facebook page in the coming weeks and months, and feel free to join us in extending this iconic trail.