Monday, December 12, 2011

The Fells has not fallen!

Over the past couple months I've mentioned the battle for the Fells... rather the Resource Management Plan the DCR was drafting to determine how they move forward with the management of the Fells.  As I've mentioned previously, biker access has been a hugely contested battle for over 25 years in the Fells.. with current legal riding being restricted to mostly fire roads.  The one "mountain bike loop" is 85% fire road and 15" singletrack...  Thankfully progresses seems to continue on our side.  The DCR released their final version of their DCR and they have stood firm with their findings that mountain biking does not cause excessive damage to trails (as some groups would like you to believe) and that there is a real need (and plan for) more access for mountain bikers.  You can check out the final document here if you would like.  It still needs to be voted on and passed in the regular old bureaucratic way, but it is a positive that their plan was not swayed by a few... "haters."

The biggest opponent to equitable mountain bike access has be Friends of the Fells... check them out if you like... what you'll like come to realize is that this group combative against the rights of any users other than their own members.  It's sad really.  They also would like to limit dog access to the park...

I had heard people talk about the "Friends" and characterize them as crazy.  I thought that this might be an exaggeration people commonly throw around... but when I went the the DCR meeting about their RMP I got to see first hand how out of touch some of their members were.  Being aggressive and rude towards the DCR, and making claims that made absolutely no sense with no real logic to back them up... oh well.

So, hope remains that the DCR will make positive choices and move forward with equitable access - as there is in practically every other state forest in Massachusetts.

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