news RTMP Workshop Focuses on New bike trails
Marin County Parks and Open Space held the second Road and Trail Management Plan (RTMP) Region Trail Designation workshop for Region on October 3, 2015. Thanks to all who gave up a beautiful Saturday afternoon to engage in a process to enhance the visitor experience on our trails and fire roads, while making them more sustainable.
After a presentation from Open Space staff, and an overview of a plan to close a bike gap on Mt Tam near Azalea Hill by MMWD, participants broke out into groups to look at maps of seven Open Space preserves, including Gary Giacomini in the San Geronimo Valley and Cascade Canyon in Fairfax. On those maps, combined with MMWD’s proposal to adopt an old ranch road for bikes on Azalea Hill, were roughly 8 miles of proposed new bike legal trails. Some would be multi-use, while others are proposed as hiker/biker, meaning they will provide a single-track riding experience that many mountain bikers desire. Narrower trails also result in less impact on the surrounding habitat.
Open Space is proposing to adopt and designate a number of old logging roads and informal trails that would provide new opportunities for mountain biking, while avoiding new trail construction and displacement of other users. These trails would become open in phases, after minor enhancements have been made to reduce impacts on the environment and to reduce maintenance costs associated with new use.
This is the kind of win-win situation MCBC has been working with other stakeholders and land managers to advance.
Currently Open Space staff is evaluating the input they received at the workshop and will post final designation maps to their website in about 2 to 3 weeks. Once the initial designation maps are posted, users are able to make their own proposals for additional enhancements, including change in use, road-to-trail conversions, trail decommissions and new trail construction. Proposals are accepted annually and due in August.
IMPORTANT: Once the final maps are posted, trails proposed for designation will not be open for legal use until approved by the Open Space District. Necessary trail improvements and environmental review must take place before opening of these trails for use.
There is much to celebrate as the Road and Trail Management Plan moves forward, including new trails to ride and enhancements funded by Measure A.
Stay tuned for updates on the process, including MCBC’s first official proposals. In 2016 Open Space will host more trail designation workshops for Region’s 3 through 6, which includes San Rafael and Novato.
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