Angry BMA President Responds to Angry Ranger Trail

You may have already seen it in today's Daily Camera: Rangers found a trail on open space that was illegally built, and was used by mountain bikers.

The Boulder Mountainbike Alliance does not condone illegal trail building, breaking rules, or trespassing.

BMA continually works to educate riders to follow the rules of the trail, to stay on trail, and ultimately, to be nice to other people! Sadly, this small group's actions have caused negative attention at a critical time for mountain bike access.

It is important to remember that a few people making poor decisions is not indicative of all of those who enjoy mountain biking. Just as one hiker going through a Habitat Conservation Area without a permit or one dog guardian losing voice and sight control over their dog does not mean that all hikers or dog guardians are bad people. But let us reiterate - constructing or riding an illegal trail is wrong.

It also only hurts the cause of moving the Boulder community into a future where mountain bikers are accepted as a valuable and constructive part of the open space community. BMA has fought for 20 years for better trails, better open spaces, and better bike access. Let us be clear in a message to those who have built and used this trail illegally: your choice directly hurts the 20-year constructive legacy of BMA.

The 25 year bike ban in Boulder's West TSA drives some mountain bikers to believe that there is no future for mountain biking in Boulder. The level of vitriol, misinformation, and caricaturing of mountain bikers as a group throughout this process has left a bad taste in many of our mouths. But let's put things in perspective. We've seen incredible trail access opened up to mountain biking in Boulder County over the last 5 years. Think Dirty Bismarck, Picture Rock, Wild Turkey, Springbrook, and more. Think about what will open up this year - Betasso/Benjamin and Valmont Bike Park.

We also have a message to those that might want to blow this 1 mile trail out of proportion on the eve of City Council deciding upon the West TSA. According to OSMP there are more than 58 miles of undesignated trails in the West TSA - an area where bike travel is not allowed. Three and 1/2 miles of those undesignated trails are in habitat conservation areas. The problem is not isolated to a single user group. The problem is when a use is not managed at all. If illegal and social trails are an issue worthy of our attention, our energies would be better spent working together to better manage our open space lands than pointing fingers.

Jason Vogel
BMA President

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