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Maryland DNR Trails Committee Back brief - 1/31/13 MeetingPosted: Fri Feb 01, 2013 7:50 pm

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Hopefully this is legal to post here. I'm a member on local forum and one of the members over there is into the politics of our sport and fighting for our rights to ride on a local basis. please help in any way you can.

Below is the agenda of the meeting last night. The agenda fell apart quickly so I'll cover the highlights. I'll send the meeting minutes and other slides when published.

Absolutely the MOST important thing is the State DNR agrees that their 5-year plan needs to recognize the OHV community and the need for OHV trails. This is a watershed moment IMHO. The DNR itself stated that they almost lost all their RTP funds last year because they had not been spending any on OHV trails. Further they stated that every group in the room benefits from RTP funds that are paid in part by us.

The State will be conducting a series of public forums and a State-wide Recreational Use and Needs Survey. The survey will be done primarily online. Our job is to mobilize any and all OHV users/riders/drivers or anyone who ever dreamed about OHVs and get them to participate in the public meets and respond to the surveys. This is CRITICAL to establish the demand of OHV access and will be part of the 5-year plan. If we fail here, we can kiss our sweet behinds goodbye.

A lot of time was spent having each member describe their particular user-group's needs. There were 3 bicycle representatives, an equestrian rep, a member of the local Tribal community and several local government reps.

When my turn came, I stress the needs of all OHV users - bikes, ATVs, UTVs, 4x4s, snow mobiles, etc. I acceded that it was unreasonable for the State to share land currently encumbered by other user groups - mixing hikers and OHVs is not reasonable in current Maryland Parks and Forests. The current Sustainable Forest Initiative effort is a hurdle to huge for us to overcome. I pointed out that the 2009 plan was written entirely around classical users of State land (hikers, bikers, etc.) and appropriately categorized this use as "resource-based" recreation per the State plan. I further pointed out that the 2009 plan has a section that is appropriate for us labeled "user-oriented" recreation and that section is woefully under-developed. I offered that the best answer was for the State to examine other opportunities such as public/private partnerships with land owners similar to what Hatfield/McCoy does. I was stunned when Ellen Moyer (former Mayor of Annapolis) agreed and said that this was something the State should strongly endorse. She further added that she knew of State land normally deemed undesirable by "normal" users that may be ideal for us. The rest of the committee was supportive or silent.

In other news, I will be meeting with a few Allegany County commissioners on Feb 8th to discuss using reclaimed coal mines for OHV trails. Ray Tighe and a local land-owner will be going with me. We are gaining traction within the community and the commissioners seem to be supportive. More to come on that.

Ken

AGENDA

MARYLAND TRAILS COMMITTEE

January 31, 2013 / DNR C-1 Conference Room

I. Introductions

II. Maryland Land Preservation & Recreation Program (MLPRP) Overview

III. DNR Land Trails Overview

IV. Maryland Land Preservation & Recreation Program (MLPRP) Survey

A. Mailings

B. Telephone Surveys

C. Regional Stakeholders Meetings

D. DNR Trails Website

E. Social Media

V. Discussion of Issues & Actions Related to the 5 Statewide Trail Goals

Goal 1 – Create a Statewide network of trails that provides non-motorized

links between DNR lands and the communities where people live, learn, work,

shop and play.

Goal 2 – Educate citizens about the trail network’s social, ecological,

economic, and wellness benefits.

Goal 3 – Build, maintain and renovate trails to create a sustainable system on

DNR land that provides a quality and diverse user experience and promotes

environmental stewardship.

Goal 4 – Map all DNR trails and make the data/information available in a user

friendly format.

Goal 5 – Address barriers to trail development, including funding and access,

through partnerships with other State agencies, local governments and trail

stakeholder groups.

VI. Other Related Plans

A. State Bicycle Pedestrian Master Plan

B. County Land Preservation & Recreational Plans

C. County Bicycle Pedestrian Plans

VII. Homework – Public Outreach With Your Respective Groups To Get Them Involved and Provide Input Into The LPRP

VIII. Adjourn

The next meeting is on March 28th, in the C-1 Conference Room @ DNR from 6-8 PM

Here's a link to the original thread on D.A.M.N.

http://damnriders.or...&p=36581#p36581

Edited by Damage Inc

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Here's more DNR stuff.

http://news.maryland.gov/dnr/2013/02/06 ... formation/

The Land Preservation and Recreation Plan Stakeholders’ meetings are scheduled as follows:

Western Region: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Greenbrier State Park, 21843 National Pike, Boonsboro 21713

Eastern Region: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 from 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. at the Talbot County Community Recreation Center, 10028 Ocean Gateway (Rt. 50), Easton 21601

Ce

ntral Region: Wednesday, March 6, 2013 from 6:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m. at the Howard County Robinson Nature Center, 6692 Cedar Lane, Columbia 21044

Thank you for all of your assistance in promoting the LPRP meetings with the news media and outreach! If you need anything else please let me know.

John F. Wilson

Associate Director, Stewardship

Land Acquisition & Planning

Tawes State Office Building E-4

Annapolis, Maryland 21401

(410) 260-8412

http://damnriders.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2894&start=0

wow - too much to keep up with

see http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/workplans/

more importantly see http://www.dnr.state.md.us/forests/work ... P_FY14.pdf

and specifically...

Quote:

Background: This project will restore ecological sustainability to East Valley (8.7 miles), Twigg (2.2 miles) and Gordon (3.0 miles) Roads and restore motorized public access to recreation features within Green Ridge State Forest. In 2010 DNR made the difficult decision to close East Valley Road to all motorized traffic because the road surface is no longer ecologically sustainable and has become dangerous for vehicle traffic. This decision reduced public access to the forest significantly and included closure of approximately eighteen miles of motorized access and seven campsites. East Valley Road was closed to all public motorized traffic because it had become degraded to the point that it was no longer ecologically sustainable as well as become impassable for most licensed vehicles. Much of this degradation was caused by ATV Traffic. East Valley Road is no longer designated as an ORV Trail. Public ATV traffic has proven to be an inappropriate use of this resource. However, DNR wishes to restore this road to eliminate sediment and erosion control problems and restore motorized recreation access for licensed motor vehicles.

http://damnriders.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2900

I spend my afternoon with Commissioner Valentine of Allegany Co. Ray Tighe was with me as was a local land owner. We spent an hour discussing the possibility of establishing a Hatfield/McCoy like system in western MD.

There are still a lot of issues to address but the Commissioner seemed favorable loveit.gif

As an interesting side note, he said the county lost $1.2M in economic benefit when Green Ridge was closed

http://damnriders.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2899

All these things are done by a man named Kyler(damnriders.org) not me. I am just a messanger. If you have intrest in whats going on an how to help please check out the links and get involved before it's too late.

Thom aka: Damage Inc.

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Another hope..

Amazing. The "developer" is a public office such as the County -- DUH!

http://times-news.com/latest_news/x1633486496/ATV-riding-trails-a-possibility-in-Allegany-County

Quote:

Cumberland Times-News

February 18, 2013

ATV riding trails a possibility in Allegany County

Matthew Bieniek

Cumberland Times-News

— CUMBERLAND — A recreational developer wants to bring a series of legal off-road riding areas to Allegany County for use by all-terrain and other vehicles.

Key to any trail system would be cooperation between the state and developers involving liability issues and the use of reclaimed strip mine lands.

“It’s in the very early stages,” said Allegany County Commissioner Bill Valentine.

The closure of trails in the Green Ridge State Forest in 2011 is estimated to have cost the county economy about $1.2 million from spending by the use of the trails, Valentine said. Except as a beneficiary of economic gains, the county will not be financially involved in the project, he said.

The proposal, among other items, may be discussed at an upcoming Maryland Department of Natural Resources public meeting.

The DNR is asking residents for their input on outdoor recreation facilities and services.

The Regional Stakeholder Recreation Evaluation public meeting for the Western Region will be held March 5 from 4 to 6 p.m. at Allegany College of Maryland in the Continuing Education Building Room 8. Valentine said this is an opportunity for residents to express support for off-road vehicle trails.

In May 2011, the DNR closed three of the state’s off-road vehicle trails — Green Ridge, Chandler and Poplar Lick trails.

The roads were closed because of a forest certification audit. The audit was part of the state’s effort to receive dual certification for all three Western Maryland state forests.

The move was made to protect environmental features of the forests.

Green Ridge Trail is part of Green Ridge State Forest; Poplar Lick Trail is in Savage River State Forest; and Chandler ORV trail winds through Pocomoke State Forest.

The developer is also interested in creating trails in Garrett County, Valentine said.

“We have a problem in Georges Creek with four-wheelers on the roads,” Valentine said.

If the trails are created, it could help with that problem, Valentine said.

A small fee for a pass would be attractive for recreational riders compared to a fine and court date, Valentine said. Snowmobiling in the winter might also be a possibility on the trails, he said.

The county isn’t formally involved in the project, but is helping the developer with contacts needed to try and move the plan forward, Valentine said.

State officials would have to grant a use lease for the property and free the developer from liability for accidents. The county is also helping the potential developer comply with all environmental guidelines and make sure any concerns are addressed on the front end of the project, Valentine said.

“We want to make sure it’s done properly,” he said.

Contact Matthew Bieniek at mbieniek@times-news.com.

_________________

Ken

http://damnriders.org/viewtopic.php?f=20&t=2921&p=36922#p36922

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It's been almost six months since you started this thread, I was looking through some old photos of myself and my family camping and riding at Green Ridge and I got to thinking about it. I read the DNCR page again, it seems promising "If you own a 4x4, ATV, dirt bike or snowmobile, today’s disappointment will translate into good news for the future." Any progress? Riding in PA sucks and I was really saddened to find out GR closed.

Any word on the "undesirable" land?

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I haven't heard much..He, Kyler(D.A.M.N. riders . org) the man on the front line, usually posts when he has more info. I believe they have quarterly meetings so news should be coming soon.

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I'd be there if it weren't for the fact that it's 170 miles and three hours one way. Thanks for keeping us posted though.

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New Trail Open. Next Ride Day is the 17th.

DNR Announces Opportunity for ORV Trail Evaluation Rides in Savage River State Forest

The Department of Natural Resources will be holding ORV Trail Evaluation Rides on the proposed St. John’s Rock-Red Dog Road ORV Trail in Savage River State Forest on the following dates: November 17, December 15 and December 29. http://www.dnr.state.md.us/publiclands/orv.asp

 

Here's the latest, Thumpertalk! Paul Peditto, leading the ORV Program in the DNR, has opened St. John's Rock as a test to see if there's interest in doing it the new way (which is getting a green sticker, and registering each day to ride). It's FREE, but by registering for the day they know what bikes are coming in and out of there. Just an extra step - no biggie. Because the DNR hasn't done this in over 35 years, they are ASKING riders to come and evaluate their first trail (in Savage River SF). What I suggest is overwhelming them with numbers. Could you do that for me? I live in Central MD or else I'd ride there all weekend. I went on the first evaluation ride and it was fine 'cause we got to haul ass on the big straightaway (there may be a speed limit posted by now - how would I know).

Go to the Link. Register for the ride. Get your green sticker or whatever. Ride all day. Come back and let us know how it went (and let DNR know what you thought of the trail, too - that's really the point). I'm mostly focused on getting motocross tracks open a ways East of there so I'm not that in tune with the trail situation but I'll post more when I hear it. Ping Ken at DAMN Riders also!

Wind
The Motocross Council

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SWEET! I won't promise I'll go. In fact, it's really, really unlikely I'll go simply because it's too far for me to make a day of it, or even a weekend of it (unlike Green Ridge when it was open), but I hope others go and enjoy it. I was there once but this will be different than when I was there for sure. It's a rather remote area (by east coast standards) so pack accordingly.

 

Good luck and maybe, just maybe we'll run into each other.

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I have no news @ this time...I do remember reading something in a local news paper about a proposed trail system when I was on vacation in McHenry MD....?

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Bugger! The MD DNCR has no idea how much I and my family miss Green Ridge. I know I'm not the only one. I even D/Sed one bike just so we could ride outside of the "loop" legally. I mean, I guess we could still do that, but it's much more than cruising around dirt roads, ya know?

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Maryland lawmakers just suck....in this voters opinion. I'll do my part come election day to change that.

 

response to question on D-riders forum.

 

not yet. the current owners are coming to a meeting with us on the 1st. we have invited all the business leaders and elected officials to meet and discuss OHV recreational tourism

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Well, for what it's worth, PA lawmakers suck too. Unless your'e a quad rider, in which case, the world is your toilet. I mean, the state is your oyster, yeah, that's it. There's one OHM area about two hours drive from my house that's open to the public and on state land. There's a D/S section of it too, but of course, you have to have a plate to do that. Even though the trails are too narrow, some of the quad riders insist on trying to get in there, at least until they hit a bridge that's only wide enough for a snowmobile or a motorcycle.

There are a few paid riding places, which is fine, but they're expensive and far away.

There's lots of quad riding available though - the quad lobby got in real good with the legislature back in the 70s.

 

Regardless, that's why we would go to Green Ridge. Sure, there was quad riders and the trails were a little less than ideal. But there was originally, areas for all skill levels. Even after they plowed down the hard stuff so the logging companies could get in, that was OK cause it made that same spot you picked and plugged and hobbled through like a trials course now almost freeway fast, which was fun too. The fact that you could camp right along the trail was A-OK in my book even with the occasional retard who thought a mid night plunk around with his quad was ideal.

GR was still 3 hours away, but if you made a long weekend of it, it was about perfect. We'd drag along a camp shower and enough water to last at least two days which would give us an excuse to go visit one of the campground stores owned by a guy who did us a HUGE favor one time - before we knew him. That's the type of people who live in that area which is a big plus.

 

Anyway. I don't care where I get to ride, but where I ride, I spend money - the money I earn in PA. We'd also make a habit of visiting one of the restaurants on Saturday morning. I don't remember what the breakfast special was on Saturday any more, but it really hit the spot and I'm not one to toot my own horn, but I can cook pretty darn good over a campfire, breakfast lunch or dinner. If we needed anything else, we'd head out to Cumberland because you could always find a store there that had what you needed.

 

I wish PA would realize this. We offer tons of riding to horse people, these trails are not frequently used, but they're there. We have more places to fish and hunt than you can shake a pole at. You can ride your side by side or do donuts in the parking lot with your banshee all year long just as long as you buy a DNCR plate (which I'm not begrudging the fee either.) But an off-road motorcycle? Stay on your own property buddy. I'm not sure if I want to ride quad trails, but if they'd open even the state gamelands fire roads to us, that would be awesome.

Until then, I'm going to spend my time and money somewhere other than PA and MD is only 35 minutes from my house. Catoctin Mountain Park is only 40 minutes from my house (I know, US National Park, not MD state, but the point was how I'm not that far away from green areas of MD.)

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I'm not sure where in PA you are but there is a pretty good place north of Harrisburg that is MC friendly and free. It's only open during none hunting season and dry weather... One of my favorite places, but it is a few hours away from me in Balt. I have to make at least a 2 hour trek to get anywhere that's legal other than some MX tracks and they are still at least an hour drive. My son doesn't care much for the woods riding and I'm too old and don't have the right bike, for MX anymore. I will still ride around with him on my DRz it actually does the jumps OK now that I have the suspension set up. 

 

You would think that lawmakers/governrment/DNR would at least give us a chance if they knew how much money we are willing to pump into the local economy of whatever area we ride in. Just look at what the Hatfield McCoy system has done for the areas surrounding those trails.

 

I get what you mean about the ATV people. Not that I have anything against them all, but some are real asshats. And ATV's are more destructive to the earth then us real men on two wheels. Perhaps if we all agreed to hug a few trees while on our adventure they might give us a chance.

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I've nearly hugged a few trees by accident.

 

Does Bald Eagle State Forrest or Shade Mountain ring a bell? If so, that's the place I'm talking about and I'm pretty sure it's the place you're thinking of north of HBG that's free. The nearest town I can think of in that area is McAllisterville.

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That is excellent progress. I hope it keeps moving at this pace as it seems well thought out and deliberate, which clearly Green Ridge as much as I loved that place, was not.

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