Apr 16

April 15 ECdM news


Today, the IRS deadline, was also the day in which a dozen people, from various regulatory agencies, the MROSD, a Certified Engineering Geologist, and the humble President from ROMP went on a field trip into ECdM to assess some exemplary erosion mitigation sites, discuss permitting issues, trail and road drainage, and the like, towards approval and fulfillment of the Watershed Protection Program [A three year erosion mitigation project].

Much of the field time was spent examining the sites of the Cross-over trail and Giant Salamander. It was apparent to me, especially in the milieu of the people who have authority to pull the plug, that the District is very sincere and serious about maintaining high levels of mtb access into the preserve. Open Space Planner Matt Freeman and CEG Tim Best, made it clear that closing Giant Salamander was not an option in the plan. We also recognize Cross-over (aka Hike-a-bike) as a vital connector in the preserve, which will be closed and restored after a new alignment is made. ECdM is a destination trail system.
Compared to these two trail work jobs, the Blue Blossom extension project (to be worked on this June) is a piece of cake. ROMP is going to need to muster some serious elbow grease this Summer, and in succeeding years to back up the District’s most excellent plans for the preserve.
I would highly recommend that area mountain bikers take photographs of the area to record how things are now. I would like to see helmet cam descents of Hike-a-bike made for posterity before it is closed. It would be a good thing to assemble a collection of shots about ECdM, such as the Porsche 911 etc and other materials to commemorate the place.
Many challenges remain in the permitting process for work to begin, but the plans have been created and approved in spirit. The main mitigation work takes place in the road system, which were identified as the major contributors of silt into the watershed, and will be for the most part be done by contractors. Hence, based on the nods from the regulatory agencies, the District will be announcing and accepting bids on the jobs in the near future.
Remember that this program is about the restoration and protection of wildlife habitat downstream. ROMP is taking a leading collaborative role in helping with establishing single track realignments and suggesting progressive prescriptive mitigation techniques. ROMP is also committed to educating the cycling community about this, and supports the fisheries conservation objective. We will participate in the development of interpretive signage, part of the program, and take a more active stewardship role.
The future quality of our public parks and preserves and continued access will hinge upon whether or not groups like ours can effectively assist in the education of the user. As our recreation becomes more sophisticated technologically, so too must our awareness of how we fit into the ecological equation and of technologies to connect with the land sustainably. Much of this boils down to attitude and behavior.

Please support this initiative.

Paul Nam, president ROMP