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IMBA Alert – Take Action for North Carolina Mountain Bike Trails

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Dear Concerned IMBA-SORBA Members,

The North Carolina Department of Environment and Natural Resources is soliciting public review and comments on its current plan for managing state parks.

You can review the parks plan and submit comments online. Do not delay, as your comments must be submitted by October 31!

Please consider sending a message that address all or some of the following points:

  • Mountain bikers have become an important user group in recent years and deserve increased facilities
  • All bordering states allow mountain biking in state parks
  • Today’s shared-use trails are durable, low-maintenance and relatively inexpensive to build
  • Mountain bike tourism contributes to the economic vitality of a community by boosting retail, restaurant, hotel, gas and grocery sales
  • The vast majority of cyclists are responsible, considerate riders who share trails well with other user groups
  • Off-road cycling is a low-impact, human-powered, legitimate recreation group with more than 35 million annual U.S. participants
  • Off-road cycling is a great form of exercise and helps combat the societal trend toward obesity — it’s especially appealing to kids
  • A united trails community — one that includes mountain bicyclists and other trail groups — can be a powerful, effective voice for increased federal, state and local recreational trails funding
  • Cyclists have a great record of giving back to their local trail systems, volunteering on public land and protecting the environment
  • Several IMBA-affiliated clubs currently maintain trails in city parks, as well as a variety of state and federal lands — yet only one NC State Park has opened singletrack trails to mountain bikers

If you have ever ridden or plan to ride North Carolina, please take the time to send your comments in support of expanded and improved shared-used trails in our state parks.

IMBA-SORBA and its chapters/affiliates have made good progress this year and have greatly improved our relationship with state parks. Now it’s time for your voice to be heard. Please take a few minutes to respond.

Thanks for considering this request!

Tom Sauret
IMBA-SORBA Executive Director and Regional Director

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See our letter to the NC Department of Natural Resources after the break…

To Whom It May Concern,

As you evaluate the recreation options in North Carolina’s state parks and make future plans, please consider the numerous positive benefits of including mountain biking and off-road cycling.
Cyclists in and around our state travel frequently to ride trails on both public and private lands, and many states around us already allow mountain biking in several of their state parks.  Alabama, in particular, has recently committed to developing a large mountain bike trail system in large part to drive tourism (link: New Mountain Bike Trails Approved in Jackson County, Alabama ).
Within our state, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers in Wilkes County has worked with the Brushy Mountain Cyclists Club and the local Chamber of Commerce to develop world-class trails around the W. Kerr Scott Reservoir.  These efforts have directly led to increased tourism to the area while also providing sustainable recreational opportunities AND easily accessible and free opportunities for children, adults and families to exercise and enjoy the outdoors.  The trails built by the BMCC have been at no direct cost to the USACE, and all trails are volunteer-built and maintained…as most mountain bike trails are.
I encourage you to incorporate approval for mountain bike trails within the NC State Parks as a sustainable, low-cost (or free) opportunity to increase the health and wellness of our states citizens and opportunities to enjoy nature sustainably.  The side benefit is increased tourism and economic development by providing the infrastructure for supporting businesses like bike shops and outfitters, hotels, restaurants and retailers.
Thank you for your time,
Tyler Benedict

Founder / Editor
BikeRumor.com

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