The long-awaited strategic plan is out. This covers everything, including recreation. This requires action on the part of all bikers. This is very important!!
The plan is here:
What it means for us:
- On it's face, it reiterates the new part 190 state regulations, and it says ""Mountain bikes are permitted to travel on any existing road or trail on State Forests unless the road or trail is posted as closed for this use." This is good. However, on the next page it says "Due to environmental concerns and conflicts with other users of the state forests, mountain biking is acceptable only on trails that have been assessed and approved for such use." which is the opposite. We need a massive commenting effort to get that sentence removed.
- For the first time, there is a state document saying the FLT is meant to be a hiking-only trail (p.201). However, there are exceptions, and there is one that seems to address Ellicottville directly, when it says "There may be very limited exceptions, where segments of the FLT on State Forests may be open for other or multiple uses under the following terms: .... Where the FLT passes through a State Forest which is also dedicated to an extensive system of trails, accommodating other recreational uses, and it is not feasible or avoidable to have some trail overlaps." we need a massive commenting effort to make sure that stays in the final version, and get some commitment that it applies to Ellicottville.
Comment period: All of September and October 2010
Strategic Plan for State Forest Management
Albany, NY 12233-4255
Public meetings: One in each DEC region. For us it is:
Thursday Sept. 16 evening (be there as early as you can)
Ellicottville Public Library
6499 Maples Road