Whypass EA Out
I just opened my copy of the new BLM EA for Whypass, the good news it looks like the main purpose of the trail system will be for mountain biking. There are 3 use options, I have not read it in depth but all options allow for equestrian use on rock roads and some use of single track. I will bring a copy to MBO for anyone who wants to view it. The internet link is also at : http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/eugene/plans/ . Click on the more documents link on the upper right of the documents displayed. Or try this link http://www.blm.gov/or/districts/eugene/plans/index.php?display=Eugene .
They need the public comments by September 14th 2012.
The email to send the comments to is BLM_OR_EU_Mail@blm.gov
Enjoy, and voice your opinion in a smart and educated manner that would make your mother proud.
The options in clear language:
1: Nothing changes from where we are today, nothing. No new trail, building, nothing changes.
2: We design up to 10 miles of new trail, parking areas (no accomodations for trailers), toilet, new trail plan, signage, trails are designed for MTB use and to IMBA standards, equestrians are allowed *only* on 4 miles of specific gravel roads.
3. Same as option 2 except: equestrians get 2.4 miles of overgrown "doubletrack" trail and there will be accomodations for trailers in the parking areas.
Options 2 and 3 are pretty good possibilities for mountain bikers.
Everyone, please take a few minutes and send in your comments/support for either option 2 or 3. I'm voicing support for option 2.
Option 2 for me. Personally I'm tired of having horseshit flung up on my face and on my waterbottles from my front wheel whenever I ride the trails at Whypass. It's unsanitary.
You know, I think I'll go ahead and voice my opinion about this here and now. Every animal owner group I know besides equestrians cleans up after their animal. You go to the dog park, you don't step in dog shit because people who take their dogs to the dog park understand that others (besides dogs, you know, like people) are also there using the place so they show some respect. What is it about equestrians that makes them think it's okay to not clean up after their animals on a multi-use trail network? How self-centered can people be? If we were all camping together in a campground (say, a bunch of mountain bikers & equestrians), do you suppose the equestrians would think it was okay for the mountain bikers to wander into their campsites and shit in front of their tents or next to their picnic tables? Or let their dogs do so? Or let any other animals the mountain bikers owned do so?
I don't think so. The equestrians would feel disrespected if anyone did that to them and I wouldn't blame them for feeling that way.
Well, I feel disrespected whenever I ride Whypass lately. It's not okay for equestrians to not clean up after their horses on multi-use trails. It would be different if this was a horse-only trail network but it's not. Lately there's been so much horse shit at Whypass it makes me wonder if the equestrians have been doing it on purpose to provoke non-equestrian trail users there. Well I, for one, am provoked by the equestrians' lack of respect for other trail users. Specifically the trail users who built the trails.
Option 2 for me.
While I am no fan of horse crap, I have bigger issues with the trail damage I've seen at Whypass this summer. Postholes in soft dirt, destroying the downhill edge of trails on steep side slopes, widening the skinny trails, going off trail to avoid obstacles or steep spots, etc. The trails are rougher and more beat up due to the recent frequent horse activity at Whypass. The horsecrap will wash away, but the damage will get worse once winter rains arrive. I feel that allowing horses on any of the Whypass network will open upthe likelihood of them riding and damging the bike trails. I will be supporting Alternative 2, but would have preferred to see an option that prohibits horses altogether,.
The document makes mention of an appendix with a map that details trail segments. Knowing which trail segments they are speaking about at times, most notably in regards to the trail segments that would be open to horses if option 3 were the selected option, is essetial for certain people to make a judgement.
Does anyone know what segments are possibly being opened up to horses if option three passes?
Some issues to point out:
Horse manure is full of seeds. Seeds that could germinate and introduce/spread noxious weeds and other undesireable plants into the area (but so can unwashed tools, clothes, cars, bikes, etc).
Horse manure is unpleasant to ride through or step. Also large and not easily unavoidable.
It also decomposes better than dog feces, which contains a much higher level of disease bearing bacteria unassociated of with herbivourous organisms such as horses.
I'm with Davey and Sasquatch on this one. Trail damage caused by equestrians and piles of excrement on trails are unpleasant and unfair to those that work hard to maintain the trails that they built in the first place. Equestrians also have free access to who-knows-how-many miles of trails that are closed to mountain bikers. I do not think it unreasonable to ask BLM to have WhyPass designated as an equestrian free area. WhyPass was built by MTBers (for those willing to help maintain as well as use), and has none of the politics of "wilderness" or "Natural Holiness" attached to it like Waldo, Diamond Peak, etc. WhyPass is a chunk of land that has been used for logging for years, DoD has worked hard to make the best of what it has had access to in good faith (IMBA standards, sustainablilty, etc), let it be equestrian free. My two cents.
They need the public comments by September 14th 2012. The email to send the comments to is BLM_OR_EU_Mail@blm.gov
Enjoy, and voice your opinion in a smart and educated manner that would make your mother proud.
Let's all remember that the comments posted here don't reach the BLM... so please do as Perry suggests above... send your comments to the BLM. We can be confident that the equestrians are doing so as well. Thanks y'all.
My letter to the BLM, please send your thoughts to " firstname.lastname@example.org ":
Dear Mr. Corbin (or whom it may concern):
I am writing to support Alternative 2 for the Carpenter Bypass Non-motorized Trail Project.
First, I would like to applaud you and your team for recognizing the large and growing mountain bike community in Lane County. Mountain bikers currently outnumber golfers in the United States 1.5:1. That means thereare >50 Million mountain biking Americans! The cycling community in Lane County is even more potent. We live in a cycling mecca, with nationally famous mountain biking and road cycling opportunities. Asides from runners, cyclists are likely the single largest recreational group in Eugene. From an economic and public service standpoint, we need to support this activity!
I am supporting Alternative 2 instead of Alternative 3 for the following reasons:
- Alternative 3 does not provide the "critical mass" needed to support the time, energy and expense of creating equestrian access. I highly doubt that equestrians will go through the effort of loading horses and driving out to this site for a measly 2.4 miles of trails, especially when the 2.4 miles or not even contingent.
- Carpenter Bypass has been built to be a MTB specific riding area. Most of the trails are not at all suitable for horses (low canopy, narrow, twisty and steep). I understand that only a specific number of trails will be designated for equestrian use, but I feel that by having horses there at all will dramatically increase the likelyhood that equestrians will inappropriately access the MTB trails.
- As a trail runner, I am a very frequent trail user of many of the other equestrian sites throughout Lane County. All of them are frequently destroyed by horse use in wet conditions. There are dangerous "post holes" and mud bogs created by horse traffic. I would suggest that the equestrian groups try and improve or at least maintain all of the other equestrian sites before creating a new one.
- While very manageable, there is a conflict between equestrian and MTB use. Passing on narrow trails, encountering large piles of excrement, and limited site lines can be troublesome to manage when horses and MTBer share trails. Things will be much easier and safer if we simply designate Carpenter Bypass as a MTB specific park.
Thanks again for the time and energy that has been put into this project. As a future user and volunteer at the trail system, I am quite excited.
907 E. 20th Ave.
Eugene, OR 97405
Remember—even if you sent in a comment months ago before the EA came out, you need to write in again now. This is a whole new deal and the BLM is starting over with the counting of opinions. As Davey said, the equestrians will definitely be writing in and they will be sure to try and stuff the ballot box as they did last time with the recruiting of horse people from all over who have never been—nor likely will ever go—to WhyPass.
Just a short paragraph is all that's needed ... or one or two sentences really. I'm personally avocating for Alternative 2. As Jared mentioned, with Alternative 3 some of the allocated funds for improvements and signage will go to enlarging the parking lot to accommodate horse trailers ... and even though all singletrack will be closed to horses in this option, the possibility of them "accidently" wandering onto the mountain bike trails when no one is around, is certainly there.
Please help keep our WhyPass trails free of horse sh*t and post holes by voting for a mountain bike- and foot traffic-friendly area only.
Just sent in my 2 cents for Alternative 2. Thanks, Kim, for the reminder to sound off, even if we emailed a few months ago.
I am proud to Say I just sent in my email to the BLM requesting option 2!
Done and done.
written and sent in support of option #2.
Thanks Jonathan ... and this a good time to remind people that there are only two days left to send in comments regarding the WhyPass EA.
If you've been procrastinating, now is the time to step up and speak up for local mountain biking. Every single email counts.
You don't need to say much. “I support Alternative #2 in the Carpenter Bypass Environmental Assessment.” will suffice. You can say more if you want, but you don’t need to...
In the subject line, put “Carpenter Bypass EA public comment” and send it to BLM_OR_EU_Mail@blm.gov
Do your part to ensure mountain bikers get what we've worked for all these years—a legitimate mountain bike recreation area at WhyPass.
TODAY Friday September 14 is the LAST day to send in your opinion. The public comment period ends today at 4:30 pm. Make sure the BLM hears from you!
Important Update: If there are really any mountain bikers out there that did not send comments to the BLM, the public review period has been extended to October 4th. Possibly because in the original document, maps showing the trails and the different options were not included. You can view the entire EA including the maps at the end of the document here.
To everyone who already took the time to write in, the DOD thanks you. But if you haven't yet spoken, you've been given another chance—please use it.