Tuesday, September 12, 2006

IMBA CA: California State Park Trail Conversion Project

I'm in the process of nominating some trails for the California Trail Conversion campaign and I can't find any reference to this program on the IMBA website. The only reference to the campaign I can find is from an IMBA message sent back in May. Since I don't want to rut around for the message everytime I make a reference to it, I'm transcribing it here for convenience.

Dear IMBA CA Club Leader,

IMBA California, in cooperation with the Northern California Mountain Bike Association (NorCAMBA), IMBA Reps and mountain bike clubs throughout California, has launched a project to convert select state park trails to multi-use status. Please join our campaign.

California State Parks has embraced the need for multi-use trails (access for hikers, bicyclists, and equestrians). However, it's up to the biking community to provide the catalyst for converting existing trails to multi-use.

Details on the project can be found below. IMBA California will help train your club on the procedures that can open trails to bicycles. Please feel free to write or call me if you have further questions.


Tom Ward
IMBA California Policy Advisor


California State Park Trail Conversion Project

Project Goal: Increase trail miles for mountain bikers in California through the efficient conversion of selected California State Park trails from limited use to multi-use.

Background: In December 2005, California State Parks released a new trail policy that provides a process for the public to request trail use conversions in state park units. The policy encourages the establishment of multi-use trails as an effective and efficient way of meeting the diverse trail needs of the recreating public. Additionally, California State Parks encourages multi-use trails in its California Recreational Trails Plan, a policy guide for land mangers throughout the state.

Action Needed: There are numerous trails in state parks that are currently signed for equestrian and/or hikers only. Many of these trails are suitable for conversion to multi-use. Mountain bike clubs need to identify specific trails that they think should be converted.

Send your list of trails to Tom Ward, IMBA California Policy Advisor.

IMBA California will create and prioritize a master list, and provide follow-up consultation and guidance to bike club leaders on the process to follow for trail conversion.

When identifying trails, please provide the following information:

1. State park unit name.
2. Trail name.
3. Trail length.
4. Current trail users.
5. Describe the physical characteristics of the trail.
6. Describe the volume and frequency of trail use.
7. Describe any unauthorized bike use.
8. Does the unit have a general plan in progress?
9. Describe past attempts, if any, to convert the trail to multi-use.
10. Describe known opposition to converting the trail to multi-use?
11. Are you or the bike club able to commit significant time and effort to
the trail conversion process?

If you can't answer all the questions, IMBA CA can steer you in the right direction to research more about possible trail openings.

Thanks for your cooperation and participation in this project. With the new climate in California State Parks, there's a very real possibility that riding opportunities for mountain bikers can be increased significantly in the near future.

Thanks for joining our campaign!