WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby andrea » Mon Mar 25, 2013 5:25 pm

Last week, I found a 1/2 mile side trail leaving/returning to the north yellow trail between the powerline field and the greenline. After talking to Brad, it seems that this is most likely an illegally built trail. I saw two people on bikes with tools in the same area. I also had a trailside conversation in passing with someone who mentioned that the people he was looking to meet out there "must be over at the new trail." He and the people he was looking for are all very active members in the local mountain bike community. So, I know this was the work of people we're all associated with.

STOP IT.
Those trails are essentially my office. I'd like to NOT get evicted. If mountain bikes are banned from the trails because they can't keep their shovels to themselves, then we all suffer. Your energy for trailbuilding is obviously huge. How about expending the energy in a way that gets us a more fun/flowy/legal trail instead of the cramped up illegal one?

If you need audio reinforcement:
http://youtu.be/M8reIa71Bpw
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby herlsy » Mon Mar 25, 2013 8:50 pm

Heard about this, probably shouldn't post it on here though. The forum is open to non-registered users.
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby andrea » Mon Mar 25, 2013 9:04 pm

The trail is open to non-registered users, too. It's pretty obvious by the layout of the trail that it wasn't built for horses, and runners typically don't care about bypassing a sand pit.
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby Brad C » Mon Mar 25, 2013 11:05 pm

Placing this discussion in an area that can be seen by all forum visitors, registered and non-registered alike, is exactly appropriate. All anyone has to do is a Google search of "unauthorized trails" to see how much of a problem this is. One will also see that many people around the country are prosecuted for this offense.

In the case of Shelby Farms, park management is responsible for visitor safety and must respond to injury situations. If a person becomes injured on an unauthorized trail their location may be difficult to determine which will delay emergency response.

In addition, the area in question is a state designated natural area. As such it comes under state law as to what can be done. Persons building unauthorized trails can be prosecuted under state law which states:

Tennessee code:
11-14-115. Violations -- Penalties.

(a) Whoever violates, fails, neglects or refuses to obey this part or rule or regulation promulgated hereunder may be punished by a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100) for each day of such violation.

(b) In addition to the foregoing criminal penalty, the general assembly finds that it is appropriate that there be the following civil sanction as well. Any person who commits any of the following acts or omissions is subject to a civil penalty of up to ten thousand dollars ($10,000) per day for each day during which the act or omission continues or occurs:

(1) Any damage or vandalism to any natural area;

(2) The removal or destruction of any rare, threatened or endangered species of plants in any natural area; or

(3) Any other violation of this part or the rules promulgated hereunder.

(c) The commissioner, through the attorney general and reporter, may institute proceedings for assessment in the chancery court of Davidson County or in the chancery court of the county in which all or part of the violation occurred, in the name of the department.

(d) In assessing the civil penalty, the court may consider the following factors:

(1) Whether the civil penalty imposed will be a substantial economic deterrent to the illegal activity;

(2) Damages to the natural area, including compensation for loss or destruction of any part of the area, resulting from the violation, as well as expenses involved in enforcing this section and the costs involved in rectifying any damage;

(3) The cause of the violation; and

(4) Any economic benefit gained by the violator.

HISTORY: Acts 1971, ch. 116, § 15; T.C.A., § 11-1715; Acts 1998, ch. 1080, § 6; 2001, ch. 56, § 7.

I have found that the Shelby Farms Park Conservancy is easy to work with. All that has to be done is to meet with park management to present the project. Unauthorized trail building can be counterproductive to MSTA's efforts in working with Shelby Farms Park Conservancy to reverse the current use policy which prohibits bicycling and jogging in the natural area. The park has taken a non-enforcement stand but the actual prohibitions are still in the current natural area management plan.
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby herlsy » Fri Mar 29, 2013 3:43 pm

Longest Strava segment name, ever. http://app.strava.com/segments/3652467
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby Chris D. » Mon Apr 01, 2013 6:44 pm

Interesting segment , I guess you can complain and ride the new trail, who knew...
Ride Long Ride Hard, Take Chances!!
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby 111tmoney111 » Mon Apr 08, 2013 12:53 am

I hit that new section twice this weekend. It's tight with a lot of turns in some areas, but it's got some small but steep climbs and downhills too. Overall, i'd say they did a pretty decent job on it even if it was illegally made.
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby Speedgoat » Tue Apr 09, 2013 8:11 pm

I'm trying to be fair and open minded but I'm GLAD somebody takes the time to make the trail BETTER. I am not aware of the park making a single improvement to the trail after a significant natural damaging weather event. Remember Hurricane Elvis? The loop west of Walnut Grove was completely closed on the inside (not the river side). There was over 109 man hours invested in opening the trail. 4 people did it WITHOUT any assistance from ANYONE. It was even cleared with SF manager Satterfield. Oh, not to mention the bulldozer...what a time for the park to take action and prosecute...what happened? NOTHING. It was even said by someone in charge that "You can't hurt these trails." So someone makes IMPROVEMENTS to the trail and someone else is calling for heads to roll. PLEASE....Again, I'm again trying to be fair and reasonable but there's a hell of a lot of complaining about the trails but very little action when it comes to repair.
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby Brad C » Tue Apr 09, 2013 10:47 pm

It is interesting that you are quoting Steve Satterfield, who had no training or experience in park management or recreation planning. He knew nothing about running a park. Steve was manager of the county archives, a librarian.

Satterfield also did not want volunteers. He did not like volunteers and knew nothing about managing volunteers. He started with a volunteer corps of over 100 people and did everything he could do to run everyone off.

As for trail work. Under Satterfield all trail work was controlled by him and all user groups had to form one trail group. That group was limited to one day per month to work on a trail project approved by him.

Steve was in the pocket of the equestrian alliance. Every trail project MSTA proposed led to one question. "Will that be compatible with horses?"

A really strange thing was that he would not let even paid staff rangers enforce park rules. Yet he would ask me, a private citizen, "Brad, what can you do to keep the bikes out of the natural area?"

As for the renegade trail work, it is no more acceptable than if I came to your house, dug up all your landscaping, and rearranged it to my liking. You would probably call the cops claiming vandalism.
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby Speedgoat » Wed Apr 10, 2013 5:37 am

Brad,
The key word here is IMPROVEMENTS. No one has altered the trail to make it any more or less available to ANY user. If you come to my house and make IMPROVEMENTS to my landscaping...I swear I won't call the police...I WELCOME IT!
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby Brad C » Wed Apr 10, 2013 9:23 am

But what if my idea of improvements is Prince Mongo style? How about a multi-color splatter paint job on the house too?

We have no problem with trail improvements. MSTA does lots of trail improvements along the river. Think about all the places where the yellow trail was falling into the river. Or, the big steel truss bridge on the blue trail north of the Greenline.

The issue is PROCEDURE. Procedure: n. A manner of proceeding; a way of performing or effecting something: standard procedure.

MSTA is the local IMBA representative club. We follow the IMBA guidelines on working with the land managers for trail issues. Our members who want to do their own projects without involving the larger group should follow the IMBA guidelines too. It is a good policy for everyone to follow. This keeps land managers from getting T'ed off with the MTB community.

This is especially important now as there are some proposed state rule changes that, if passed, would be good for our side. Sorry, I'm not at liberty give details at this time. The conservancy has kept a non-enforcement policy on bikes in the natural area and is taking some heat from TDEC for doing that. How much longer that can last if TDEC increases the pressure is unknown. We have to be the favorites.

All of the yellow trail reroutes to avoid falling into the river (BTW, some people did) were run past park management before they were done. In the case of the big bridge on the blue trail, the private property owner met with the regional TDEC natural area representative before building it. MSTA members provided the labor and materials for the footings and the decking. MSTA reimbursed their expenses.

It all goes back to maintaining a good working relationship with the land manager. They are ultimately responsible for everything that happens in the property under their jurisdiction.
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby KenG » Wed Apr 10, 2013 11:17 pm

Not to mention if someone goes down on an unknown trail and calls 911, park staff and emergency personnel will have a heck of a time finding someone on a trail they don't know is there.
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby rich_k » Thu Apr 11, 2013 7:05 am

I rode the new sand bypass on the Yellow last night--pretty sweet! Lots of tight turns and some nice ups and drops. Despite the controversy, as nice addition to the trail system that serves the purpose of skirting the 300 yd long sand pit on the Yellow.
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby KenG » Thu Apr 11, 2013 8:31 am

For those that want to make the trails easier, we already have a Greenline, thanks. :wink: (commence pot-stirring in 3... 2... 1...)
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Re: WRT North Yellow Bandit Trailbuilders

Postby Memphis Driver » Thu Apr 11, 2013 11:39 am

I'd like to meet the person who considers that bypass 'easier'. I ride the sand to avoid the bypass. It's super twisty and difficult.
I ride where my brother-in-law says I should.
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