Club News & Information (H.M.B.A.) > Advocacy

Action Needed: Public Comment Period for Hoosier National Forest Connection

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Paul_Arlinghaus:
You may know that HMBA is working to create a 100 mile connected trail system, connecting Brown County State Park, Yellowwood State Forest, and Hoosier National Forest mountain bike trails. This map shows the overall plan for connectivity.



The proposal below to re-designate Trail D in Hoosier National Forest to allow mtb bikes is essential to this plan.

Please take the time to send a message of support today!

The link below has more information but you can also send an email to r9_hoosier_website@fs.fed.us

Include: Subject line: D Trail Re-designation and Re-route
- your name, address, phone#, organization represented
- specific concerns, facts, and supporting reasons

http://www.fs.usda.gov/wps/portal/fsinternet/!ut/p/c5/04_SB8K8xLLM9MSSzPy8xBz9CP0os3gDfxMDT8MwRydLA1cj72BTUwMTAwgAykeaxRtBeY4WBv4eHmF-YT4GMHkidBvgAI6EdIeDXIvfdrAJuM3388jPTdUvyA2NMMgyUQQAyrgQmg!!/dl3/d3/L2dJQSEvUUt3QS9ZQnZ3LzZfS000MjZOMDcxT1RVODBJN0o2MTJQRDMwODQ!/?project=48046


HMBA supports this proposal for the following reasons.


Adding Mountain biking is in alignment with the Hoosier National Forest's management plan (providing Hike/Bike/Horse trails whenever possible).
Trail D is in need of regular maintenance and the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association is ready to partner with the Hoosier National Forest for maintenance of this trail.
Trail D provides connectivity between the 28 miles of mountain bike trails in Brown County State Park and the 49 miles of trails in the Hickory Ridge section of Hoosier National Forest.
With trails being built in Yellowwood State Forest, this trail is a critical part of a plan for a 100+ mile interconnected trail system.
The over plan for connectivity between Hoosier National Forest and Brown County State Park will also provide added connectivity to hikers. The Tecumseh trail will be become connected to the hiking trails in Brown County State Park.
This connection supports Brown County's efforts to gain Silver Status as an IMBA Ride Center.

We need the mountain bike community to be more involved in the advocacy effort as we move forward.  Please take the time to provide a letter, e-mail, or phone call in support of this proposal.

Draggon:
That was a really well-written scoping letter on the project site.  I don't know who Christopher Zimmer is, but he seems very supportive of getting access for mountain bikers to these trails.  FWIW, here's a copy of the letter I sent:


To Whom It May Concern:

Thank you for considering this much-needed project to expand the use of and interconnect the wonderful array multi-use trails in the HNF area.  Brown County State Park has become a destination spot for mountain bikers not just locally or regionally, but even nationally.  I have personally met and conversed with folks from all over the US while enjoying the trails there.  Enabling authorized access from the southern point of the park to the trails south of the park is only going to enhance the desirability to make a trip to BCSP and the surrounding area.

During the warmer months, I'm at BCSP at least twice a week (yes, I'm more of a fair-weather rider) but the only times I've been in the HNF to ride is during the annual Brown County Epic (previously known as the Breakdown).  I have always enjoyed my ride time on these trails and have wished that the opportunity to ride out of BCSP onto these trails was available year-round.  This project would eventually make that a reality.  This gets me excited!  Please continue your efforts to make this project a reality as it would benefit many people - not just the riders, but the local economy as well.

I did not write the following comments, but I have read, understand and fully agree with everything written.  Please accept these comments as fully supported by me:


Adding Mountain biking is in alignment with the Hoosier National Forest's management plan (providing Hike/Bike/Horse trails whenever possible).

Trail D is in need of regular maintenance and the Hoosier Mountain Bike Association is ready to partner with the Hoosier National Forest for maintenance of this trail.

Trail D provides connectivity between the 28 miles of mountain bike trails in Brown County State Park and the 49 miles of trails in the Hickory Ridge section of Hoosier National Forest.

With trails being built in Yellowwood State Forest, this trail is a critical part of a plan for a 100+ mile interconnected trail system.

The over plan for connectivity between Hoosier National Forest and Brown County State Park will also provide added connectivity to hikers. The Tecumseh trail will be become connected to the hiking trails in Brown County State Park.

This connection supports Brown County's efforts to gain Silver Status as an IMBA Ride Center.

Thank you again for your time and effort on this project and for considering public comments.

Most Sincerely,

HoldFast:
Letter sent.


Thank you for assembling all of the information Paul.

Steve King:
Email sent.

Paul_Arlinghaus:
The Hoosier National Forest (HNF) has completed the NEPA review for There section of trail D and has approved the proposed trail realignments and then adding mtb access to this trail.  They expect to have their Trail Crew working with an Americorps crew in Late June / Early July. 


The existing Trail D is primarily on an old road bed and had a number of bad sections.  Part of the NEPA review involved routing the trail off of the old road bed where needed.  The new trail sections will be single track that is gravel armored.  The HNF trail building crew uses mules to cut the tread. For those who have been on this section of Trail D, the resulting tread will be similar the tread at the Elkinsville end of Trail D. 



We are looking at using the July 9th and 10th work sessions to provide volunteer support for the project. We are looking at opening this trail to bikes this summer, and this section of Trail D will be part of the 2016 Brown County Epic.


Indiana State Parks is currently working on signage to for the Section of Trail D and C that will provide a connection between Brown County State Park and Yellowwood State Forest.  The HNF section of Trail D will then provide a connection from Yellowwood to the Nebo Ridge area of Hoosier National Forest. 


Thanks to everyone who provided public input as part of the NEPA process.


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