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Re: [nct-l] yikes! bikes!

At 07:53 PM 11/16/99 -0500, you wrote:

>Tell me more about the "backstabbing."  I would agree that the NCT west of
>the Manistee River is deteriorating quickly, even with some feeble attempts
>to stabilize...especially just south of Eddington Creek.

Basically, Duane whateverthehellhisnameis from MMBA got to the Forest Manager,
who shortcircuted the whole planning and review process and opened about
half the MMBA to mountain bikes -- then retired so he wouldn't have to take
the heat.
Their position is that the NCT in the Manistee was never closed to bikes --
they didn't allow them, at least informally, prior to the planning process,
and the trail was designed and built with hiking only in mind, and much of
it by NCTA volunteers. Then, to add insult to injury, when they opened the
Manistee River Trail east of the river, they kept it closed to Mountain
bikes. What really rankles is that Bill Menke was district ranger at the
time the trail in the northern part of the Manistee was built, and he's
really burned about it.

>All due respect to individual USDA-FS employees, but as a whole, I've not
>been impressed with the way trails are handled in the Huron-Manistee NF.

Not since Menke was district ranger.

>On another topic, does anyone think there will be any relief from the "User
>Fee Demonstration Project" for those who volunteer and maintain trails in
>National Forests?  I heard a story this past weekend about a trail
>maintainer who got an "invitation" to pay the user fee the very first
>weekend it was enacted...and he was out doing trail work.  When he
>requested a waiver from the fee, he was told in no uncertain terms "no."
>At the very least, I think it would be wise of the USDA-FS to waive the
>fees for those who volunteer in the National Forests.  What would it take
>to get the NCTA involved in advocating for such a policy...or the American
>Hiking Society (or has AHS completely rolled over on this issue?)?

That is a sticky issue. I don't like fees, either -- for the simple reason
that for every dollar a national forest or a national park takes in in
fees, the same amount is taken away from them in operating grants. Not
being on the NCTA board any longer, I don't know if they have taken up the
issue. But, they ought to. I'd be surprised if AHS hasn't, but am not aware
of it. 

-- Wes

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