HOW TO PREVENT TRAIL CLOSURES
Prevention is Best
Diffuse the build-up of
pressures over potential closures before the crisis stage is reached. Face
the issue squarely and plan appropriate early response.
- Start weekend patrols
to warn irresponsible riders that they are hurting everyone.
- Start a safe and
responsible mountain bike riding program (with shops, clubs, or schools).
- Have local bicycle
dealers distribute IMBA's "Rules of the Trail" and explain to their customers
why trail etiquette matters.
- Get involved with
land and trail management.
- Develop a long-term
reputation for caring about the environment.
- Foster the idea that
dirt trails are not necessarily a public right of way for bikes; riding
on dirt is a privilege.
- Learn who controls
the dirt access where you ride, and volunteer with groups to do trail
Respect Other Trail
- Show a maximum of
trail courtesy and respect to all trail users. We're all members of the
trail family enjoying the quiet and natural beauty of the backcountry.
We must learn to share.
- Take the time to
set a good example. Stop, dismount, and talk with other trail users. Our
motivations are no different than those of other users regardless of mode
- Show concern for
a clean, quiet backcountry experience. Keep trails as natural as possible.
- Show that you understand
other trail user's fears, needs, and desires.
- Get a group together
to further your interests and establish regular meeting times and places.
- Develop a consensus
on appropriate places to ride and what is best for all concerned.
- Communicate your
concerns to other user groups and land managers. Learn about and use the
- Develop appropriate
education/training programs to increase public awareness and support.
- Adopt a trail and
do other volunteer work.
- Support IMBA and
other conservation organizations. Find out what is working in other areas
to provide or continue land access.
- Don't become discouraged
or bitter; democracy is sometimes slow, but persistence and a cooperative
attitude will eventually pay off.
- Develop ways to share
and maintain scarce resources. Show you care by actions as well as words.
In Case of Imminent
- Identify decision
makers who will decide the outcome of the issue. Find out where and when
public hearings will be. Develop a plan and work with it. Take action!!
- Establish criteria
- If public safety
is the problem, push for educational barricades and safety patrols.
- If user input is
wanted, do an analysis of trail users.
- If affected voters
must be mobilized, circulate a petition and begin a letter-writing campaign.
- If there is a broad
base of trail users, form a coalition with other user-groups to help in
trail maintenance. Volunteer together for projects.
- Ask decision makers
if you and others can present oral and written testimony. If necessary,
ask for a delay in hearings to gain time to take the actions above.
- Mobilize your groups
or organization. Hold meetings, attend hearings, provide information,
- Get those with an
economic interest to back you: bike shops, resorts, tourist groups, newspapers,
local businesses, etc. Let IMBA and other groups know what is happening.
- Show respect and
develop a responsible reputation. Learn from the process so that if you
don't get what you want the first time, you will be better prepared in
Mountain Bicycling Association. Permission to reprint granted, provided
credit is given to IMBA and article author (if noted).
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