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View Poll Results: Do you want more mountain biking in forest park?
Yes, definitely need a lot more 16 61.54%
It's ok, but more would be nice 3 11.54%
Fine how it is 4 15.38%
No, I want less 3 11.54%
Voters: 26. You may not vote on this poll

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  #1  
Old 01-08-2009, 04:56 PM
denvech denvech is offline
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Default Mountain Biking in Forest Park Survey

The Forest Park Conservancy has a survey for membership. I for one would be a member if they represented my interests as a mountain biker. You can tell them the same thing here in less than 2 minutes:
http://www.surveymonkey.com/s.aspx?s...qe9TYb4Q_3d_3d
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  #2  
Old 01-08-2009, 05:45 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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It seems like a worthwhile survey.

I'm gradually doing some reading to get a better sense of what the phrase 'mountain biking' really implies today, and how that activity might fit in with the purpose that places like Forest Park have been set aside to serve.

The experience Marin County has had with mountain bikes in its natural areas is one that's worth knowing something about.
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  #3  
Old 01-12-2009, 04:06 PM
denvech denvech is offline
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I wish I would of named the poll "single track mountain biking".
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:04 AM
vincentpaul vincentpaul is offline
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The problem I have with increased mountain bike use in the park is that I fear it will inevitably lead to increased access to equestrian use and its horribly destructive consequences. In the interest of the forest I would gladly give up the single track to keep the horses out. Forest Park is such an intensely used resource just from hiking alone, and other singletrack opportunities in our area are abundant.
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Old 01-13-2009, 10:41 AM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Vincent, maybe you're joking . At any rate, here's Forest Park Conservancy's info about trails accessible to horses in FP: 'Equestrian Access to Forest Park'

Equestrian Access to Forest Park

Will pressure for increased horse access to FP trails rise with a possible increased access to trails in FP by bikes. I suppose it's possible. As a means of considering just how likely that might be, there are some things to consider. Horses are immensely more expensive to buy, maintain, and transport than are bikes. A horse owner that wants to transport their horse to ride at a park such as FP, has to be able to find parking for the towing vehicle and trailer. So it is that ownership and use of a horse in FP are far more problematic than the same with a bike.

In FP, horses seem to have access to the same roads and fire lanes that mountain bikes do. Of course, MBkrs consider that FP should also provide them access to what they call 'single track' (same width as a foot path or hiking trail). Should MBkrs gain access to hiking trails/single track in FP, will horse owners also raise requests access to this kind of trail in FP? We'll have to see.
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Old 01-13-2009, 01:21 PM
vincentpaul vincentpaul is offline
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No, I'm very serious. I love my mountain bikes; I have two. I love good singletrack. I love horses. I love our forests. I just don't like all possible combinations of the above!

Forest Park is a treasure and needs to be protected. I'd love to see more bike trails in the area, just not at Forest Park. The Tillamook and Clatsop Forests, in particular, are underutilized and could support a huge network of trails. My reasons are based on political reality and practicality. I'm not worried about the mountain bike impact at Forest Park. It'll have little more impact than hiking. But the horse industry always seems to get in on these things, and they always seem to get more. My gut feeling is that if bikes are allowed to move from the fire roads, then horses will too, and they'll get more miles because most hikers don't mind seeing horses.

Compare Tryon Creek. There's some REALLY nice horse trails there. About 3.5 miles of nicely cindered singletrack right in the heart of the park. Beautiful trails. Lots of horse users. Bikers get a lousy 3-mile paved path around the perimeter. No singletrack.

The horse industry in Oregon has huge clout, and is much larger portion of our economy than the cycling industry. By several factors. If I remember correctly its the second largest sector of Oregon agriculture? Something like that. We're talking Billions $$$ and much larger employment numbers.

I happened to have participated in some cases that tangentially involved trail impact by horses and mountain bikes. A single horse will do much more damage to a trail than dozens and dozens of bikes. Multiply that by the fact that riders tend to prefer it as a group activity, which concentrates the damage. And add in the impact of riders that are willing to throw on their dusters and ride in the mud and you've really got a recipe for trail damage and the consequential degradation of the forest. There's a ton of USFS studies that show the huge disparity of impact between bikes and horses.

So, I'm just politically practical. If singletrack goes in, I'm positive that horses will get in too.
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Old 01-13-2009, 08:18 PM
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wsbob wsbob is offline
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Vincent, thanks for the info. I can understand horse use out in the wide open spaces, but not in Forest Park on so called 'single track'. Horse specific damage to trails aside, their pace is too fast relative to the standard mode of travel in FP: by foot. The two modes of travel, should plans be put into effect for them to share the same single track trails could be a challenge, especially if usage grows in years to come. It's a big park as urban parks go, but not that big considering the population it has to serve.

MBkrs that have commented on the main page articles to the effect that they don't want to drive out as far as Tillamook or Clatsop forests to ride their mountain bike. At least some horse owners probably feel the same way.
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Old 01-14-2009, 08:39 AM
denvech denvech is offline
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Thank you Vincent, I agree with "equestrian use and its horribly destructive consequences" but I strongly disagree with you on everything else.
The thinking that by honoring the request of the mtb community to open up some additional selected single track trails to mtb paving the way to horses being allowed is flawed, as well as the numbers that you cite for 'recreational' equestrian use. Also, you mention "and other singletrack opportunities in our area are abundant"
Where are these trails you are talking about?
Powell Butte, The 1/4 mile of ST in FP, the 4' wide trails in Mt. Tabor? When it's not snowing I ride 2-3 times a week and have to drive a solid hour to get to ST. Scappoose, Haag, Tilly, Larch, and then more further out.
One of the complaints and warnings about our receipt and retention of the Platinum status is that we don't have enough single track and we need to increase it.
FPC is very careful with the protection of the forest, as is the mtb community, and it is obvious during surveys to proposed trail openings if the intended use will have serious consequence to the park. Each proposed use should receive the same impact consideration, to protect the forest, but it is not. Many times now, mtb'ing has been found to not be any more impactful than hiking, and properly built trails can support mtb'ing as well as hiking, very well:
Trail building techniques
Equestrian trail use design has much different consideration and execution.

Mountain biking's affect on trails:
Independent MTB impact study
"No scientific studies show that mountain bikers cause more wear to trails than other users."
"Wilson and Seney: Hooves and feet erode more than wheels"
"No significant difference between hiking and biking trail wear"

Review of published scientific studies regarding the environmental impacts of mountain biking:
"Impacts to Soils: Mountain Biking-Specific Research"

Index of further resources

Last edited by denvech; 01-14-2009 at 08:42 AM.
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  #9  
Old 01-14-2009, 02:48 PM
vincentpaul vincentpaul is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by denvech View Post
Thank you Vincent, I agree with "equestrian use and its horribly destructive consequences" but I strongly disagree with you on everything else.
Hmm, I think we're actually in agreement on almost everything except whether Forest Park is the best place for more singletrack! And, living in Washington county as I do, its obviously a lot more convenient for me to access Hagg Lake and the Tillamook area than those of you in Pdx. I'm open to persuasion on whether the politics of trail use might be different here in Pdx proper vs. the admittedly anecdotal impressions I've gotten on what tends to happen state wide. You might be right that the political conditions differ in the city because of the many pro-bike efforts. As I said above, I'm not opposed to well built singletrack. And I'm in absolute agreement that properly implemented singletrack can provide a fine recreational opportunity with about the same impact as hiking. There's plenty of literature to support that conclusion.
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  #10  
Old 05-03-2010, 08:29 PM
fselker fselker is offline
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Default Bikes are not a "gateway drug" to other users

Equestrian use of FP is very low because it is not particularly attractive to horse riders. Forest heights has helped push horses farther out and closer to better riding places, plus as the conservancy pointed out, it isn't the easiest place to drive and park with a trailer. So they hardly ever use it. Contrast that with cyclists who are a large and growing user group (just spend a day in the park and count the bike to horse ratio). Heck, if I had to store my bike in Hilsboro, I'd have less interest in riding in FP too. So no need to worry about horses - they are welcome in parts of the park now and currently don't use it much.

So question for Vincentpaul: if horse demand is low and you became convinced that it won't be a problem, would you suddenly support more cycling? I didn't think so. I've seen so many of these red-herring arguments now: safety, wilderness impacts, trail wear, cost, parking - someone even said "what if pogo-stickers suddenly want to use the park!?" ..and none stand up to scrutiny when you talk about a sensible plan for sharing - which works in many other parts of the world and the US. There is really just one real objection: some users don't want to loose what they have now, which is 100% exclusive pedestrian access to FP singletrack at all times.

Wsbob - I'm appreciate that you are working on getting a sense for what "mt. biking means." My question is why you have been posting all sorts of objections and worries, some reasonable but many with no merrit, for over a year before getting this understanding? I think the answer is in my previous paragraph, with discussion of any other issues being distractions.
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