And what this means for mountian bikers.
This information comes to us from tom [dot] ward [at] imba [dot] com (Tom Ward,) IMBA Central California Region Director
California State Parks has instituted a new process for adding bikes on existing trails in state park units. It is referred to as the "Trail Change-In-Use Evaluation Process." IMBA and supporting chapters were instrumental in the development of the process over several years, and it is intended to streamline the decisions for more bike access. The steps in the process are designed to decrease the likelihood of legal action by those opposed to bikes on trails and decrease the amount of environmental review necessary for bike access decisions. Briefly stated, here are the steps outlined in the Change-In-Use process:
- Trail access proposals are submitted in writing by a club/chapter to the Park District Superintendent.
- Park staff evaluate the change-in-use request by inspecting trail conditions, taking into account circulation, safety, trail sustainability, soils, geologic conditions, impacts to resources and park operations.
- After the conditions assessment, park staff will recommend one of the following: 1) approve the change in use; 2) deny the change in use; 3) approve with trail or use modifications; 4) reroute existing trail; 5) recommend a "Unit Road and Trail Plan."
Clubs and chapters throughout the state have been notified of the new process and are encouraged to submit requests for access on existing trails. IMBA’s Regional Director for Central California, Tom Ward, was intimately involved in the creation of the process and he is available to assist in the details of making requests. tom [dot] ward [at] imba [dot] com (You can reach Tom here).
Also in California, we have submitted a proposal to present at the 2014 California Trails and Greenways Conference coming up in April in Palm Springs, CA. This is a great event for leaders in the mountain bike advocacy business to attend, as it offers opportunities to network with other trail advocates and attend workshops on all manner of trail management topics. I’ll keep you posted if and when we get selected to present, and hope to see you there.