By Cimarron Chacon
Over the winter the DMBTA has been working on key issues to bring advocacy awareness and new trails and access to Southern Utah. Below are some of the highlights.
• Following a successful showing of Pedal Driven, and IMBA supported bike documentary shown as part of DOC UTAH, where local land managers were present and watching side by side with active mountain bikers, the group was able to get a permanent seat at the planning table and now conducts monthly up-date meetings with the BLM as part of the Travel and Transportation planning process.
• DMBTA conducted a workshop to more closely examine areas near the city of St George and Leeds, where bikers, land managers, and City officials thought new trail routes could be proposed for inclusion into the SFGO Comprehensive Travel and Transportation Management Plan and NCA Resource Management Plan ( being evaluated concurrently). The DMBTA then produced a map proposal , written proposal and GIS routes for 12 new or modified trails in the Leeds area and 11 new or modified routes in the St George/Bloomington area for a total of 23 new urban interface trails proposed for inclusion into the designated trails system. These routes will be evaluated along with the 300+ miles of trail that were submitted by DMBTA back in 2010 during the Environmental review process this summer. There will be plenty more opportunities for mountain bikers to get involved as the draft Travel and Transportation Plan is released for comment. For information and updates on the plan see http://www.blm.gov/ut/st/en/fo/st__george/planning2.html
DMBTA will announce when the draft plan is ready for comment on their new feed and Facebook page.
• DMBTA rallied County and City officials, along with key individuals in the business community to weigh in on a critical Environmental Assessment DOI-BLM-UT-CO30-2011-0012-EA that would affect the long term continuation of events in the St George Area. The evaluation showed that mountain bike racing is compatible with sensitive resources and that mountain bikers are responsible land users. The study also showed that 5 events, True Grit Epic, Red Rock Rampage, Huntsman Senior Games, the Hurty Dirty ( actually trail running) and the new Cactus Hugger race, bring in a total over half a million dollars in 5 days to the St George economy; a figure that made many take notice. The formula is based on DOI visitation figure averages for the amount a person spends in our region during an event for 1 day, overnight or multi night stays and then compares that to the events average draw (in-state, local, etc.) multiplied by the number of participants . The chart can be found on p. 36 of the study. The result was the issuance of several race permits for new and continued mountain biking events. A full copy of the EA is posted on the DMBTA web site under planning.
• DMBTA has voted to become a chapter of IMBA. Beginning in June 2012 IMBA members in the Southern Utah Territory will also be members of DMBTA.
If you would like more information on what DMBTA does, want to become a member, get involved, or donate check out the new web site www.DMBTA.org or follow us facebook.com/DMBTA