The RMP: Everything you need to know

The BLM has released its Draft Resource Management Plan. This is big because it’s one step closer to the release of the TMP (Travel Management Plan) which will happen once the public comment period (Ending October 15th) has been closed and all decisions have been made. The RMP is important for us as mountain bikers because it is the broad strokes of what will be the end product of land use management in Washington County.

Since its release, I have been bombarded with questions from people worried about what the RMP means for public land access. As these questions turned into conversations, I have found there are many misconceptions at what the draft is saying, what it means for the public and how to go about influencing the end decision. So let’s start by clearing up some misunderstandings.

  1. There is no land grab. The land in question is already controlled by the BLM. The RMP is strictly the proposal for how the BLM will be managing that land. No land is changing hands.
  2. The BLM is not taking land away from the St. George Field Office. The St. George Field Office is the BLM. They are the ones that conducted the studies, mapped all of the existing routes in the county and created the four alternatives.
  3. No part of the RMP will negatively affect mountain biking. There is some language that on the outside can look suspicious, but I’ll explain that in depth below. There is actually a decision within the draft that states that the BLM is looking to create a world class non-motorized trail network. That’s us. We get more trails.
  4. There is no part of the RMP that will completely eliminate public access. I have heard this multiple times, especially in regards to Bull Valley, it’s simply not true.

Now that we have the myths out of the way, let’s talk about the stuff that really matters.

First, the RMP is a draft. The county is broken into different sections and each section is given four alternatives Alternative A leaves the land management the same meaning that there is no change. Yes, you read that correctly. This means that if Alternative A is chosen, nothing will change. Alternatives B, C and D all have varying levels of conservation versus access. Alternative B is the St. George Field Office’s preferred alternative as it is a good compromise between allowing access and recreation while conserving the beauty and natural resources of the area.

To influence the BLM’s decision regarding which alternative to implement, public comments will be accepted until October 15th (yes, that means you only have two days left). To voice your opinion, go here.

As far as mountain biking trails are concerned, the Resource Management Plan sets the stage for the release of the Travel Management Plan. The TMP will be the determining factor as to how many new trails we get in the next few years. The best alternatives for mtb trails will be based on the BLM implementing Alternative B for the RMP. This will set the stage for the possibility of constructing over 200 miles of new singletrack.

Yup, you should go comment now.

The one area that I am consistently getting questioned about is Bull Valley. Within the Plan there is some language that on the surface would appear that the RMP would be restricting mountain biking in this area. The last RMP had designated this area as a Mountain Biking Area which essentially required the BLM to treat mountain biking trails in the area the same as the do for OHV access.  This means that within those areas mountain bikers were considered more closely to motorized travel than non-motorized. Of course, mountain bikes are non-motorized so this opens up more possibilities for us.

There are currently no mountain bike trails within the Bull Valley area and we have not proposed any. However, none of the alternatives in the RMP would block us from doing so in the future.

To sum things up, the RMP is good for us as it sets the stage for large scale trail development in the TMP. Again, the best option for mountain biking is Alternative B as it will set us up to implementing 200+ miles of singletrack once the dust settles and the TMP is released and implemented.

We highly encourage you to read through the documents and comment. All information and links are here.

August Board Meeting

August 10 DMBTA Board Meeting Agenda

  1. Admin
    1. Insurance (10 minutes – Monte)
      1. Million dollar policy for $640
      2. Board members and members $450
    2. Subchapter Finance Reporting (5 minutes – Bonnie/Lukas)
      1. Subchapters will have own accounts
      2. Books will be reported to DMBTA book keeper quarterly
    3. Elections (10 minutes – Group)
      1. Aiden is new board member
      2. Lukas is up for another two years.
      3. Bonnie is up for another two years as treasurer.
  2. Build
    1. Wire Mesa Update (5 minutes – Kevin)
      1. On track for this
      2. Arch sites only hold up, but nothing we can’t route around
    2. Monkey Trail Day (10 minutes – Lukas/Kevin)
      1. 1 hour class followed by trail day
      2. Patrick Kell has committed to being here and teaching class
      3. Trail day on Webb Hill
      4. Back up Quail loop
      5. Tonequint School
      6. Move to second week in November
    3. Webb Hill (5 minutes – Lukas)
      1. Owned by City of St. George
      2. Waiting for MOU
      3. Could start within a week
      4. Signs numbered to help with navigation/rescue
      5. City to pay for signs
    4. SCRR (1 minute – Lukas)
      1. Ready to go
      2. Motorized could be an issue
      3. Great back up if Wire Mesa stalls
      4. Good venue when Green Valley goes away
    5. Cedar City Update (TBD)
      1. Thunderbird Gardens is built – needs touch up
      2. Parking lot has been graded
      3. Road graded
      4. Needs trailhead
      5. IMBA to be here 20th – 22nd
    6. Kanab Update (5 minutes – Chris)
      1. Joey Klein came in to do master plan for the area
      2. Public input
      3. Scouting
      4. Final master plan to be finalized soon
      5. 40-70 miles of trail
      6. Won’t be easy
      7. Cliffs and sand
    7. Trail building machine
      1. To bring in flow trail


  1. Maintain
    1. Trail Stewards (10 minutes – Lukas)
      1. ACE Trail Training Day
      2. Flying Monkeys Trail Day
      3. Nominations of possible leaders
    2. Maintenance by Federal Agencies (5 minutes – Kevin)
      1. Where is the funding coming from for maintenance
      2. Fed paid trail crews in certain areas
      3. As use goes up, maintenance will most likely exceed our abilities
      4. Raffle to get to paint Goose
    3. Monthly trail days (5 minutes – Group)
      1. Kevin and Monte to do a few
      2. Goose dots
  2. Ride
    1. Festivals/DMBTA movie night
      1. Rampage
      2. Quarterly social event
      3. Coasters
      4. Georgefest – sell t-shirts
      5. Camp Lynda
    2. T-shirts Sales
      1. Inventory Update (1 minute – Bonnie) 5 wmns left
        1. 5 wmns left
        2. A lot of smalls left in the mens
      2. Current budget update (2 minutes – Bonnie)


  1. Monthly Group Rides (5 minutes – Group)
  2. Stickers


New Trails: Dead Ringer and More Cow Bell


The Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association in conjunction with the BLM (and some serious volunteer help) was able to get two new trails constructed in the Hurricane Cliffs Trail Network.

There were two objectives that we wanted to accomplish with the construction of these trails. First, we wanted to address the issue of getting to the Upper JEM Trailhead. Up until now, one had to ride the big loop (Goulds, Hurricane Rim or some variation) or pedal up the heavily trafficked Sheep Bridge Road. Second, there is a need for easy trails in Southern Utah. We here the request from many getting into mountain biking and even more from folks who would like to introduce friends and families to the sport, but don’t feel comfortable taking them on many of our other trails.

Our first objective was accomplished with Dead Ringer. Dead Ringer travels from the JEM up to the Upper JEM Trailhead via a bench cut trail that maintains a consistently mellow grade. This means that you can climb back to the trailhead easily and completely on singletrack. This trail also adds a beginner level way to get down from the trailhead as it avoids all of the drops and with the easy grade, does not have any of the technical challenges that the Upper JEM does.

And then there’s More Cow Bell. As Kevin Christopherson, Quentin Morrisette and Bill Bergeron, amongst a few others, began to walk the area and find the exact course for the trail they found a way to incorporate a beginner loop without dropping off of the mesa. More Cow Bell is that loop. Coming off of Dead Ringer, it follows the rim offering splendid views and then loops back on itself or connects back to the JEM right above the JEM Drop. There is very little elevation change, but what is there is nicely utilized to create a fun, fast trail that would be great for beginners.

Below is a map of the currently constructed trails.

DeadRinger and MCB MapWhat you are looking at… The upper dot (in the map, this is lower in elevation on the trail) is the junction of JEM, Goosebumps and Dead Ringer. The lower dot is the junction of Dead Ringer and More Cow Bell. More Cow Bell is the inner loop. The line on the right is the JEM. The line coming in from 59 is the dirt road the tees with JEM to the right and Dead Ringer to the left. Map courtesy of Red Rock Bicycle.

Construction of these trails would not have happened this fall without the countless hours of volunteer work put in by DMBTA board members and our local trail experts. Kevin Christopherson, DMBTA board member, wrote the EA that was reviewed and accepted by the BLM. Having Kevin write the EA sped the process up for building this trail by a year.

The original lines drawn on paper were put there by Quentin and DJ Morisette of Over the Edge in Hurricane. Both helped with flagging and design of the exact alignment spending hours tying ribbons to bushes and putting pin flags in the ground. Bill Bergeron put in countless hours working and reworking the route. Bill was also instrumental in the design of Goosebumps and Cryptobionic from last year.

The BLM provided the bulk of the manual labor paying for the ACE crew to come in and construct the majority of the trail. With the amount of rock work and bench cutting that was needed for Dead Ringer, they weren’t able to quite get the entire trail finished.

As you can see from the above photos, a few locals went out and did the back breaking work that was left to finish the trail. Without Bill Bergeron, Brian Herreweyers, Fred and Regina Pagles this trail would still not be finished. We are lucky in Southern Utah to have such passionate and willing individuals in the mountain biking community.

Luckily, we have some great new trails but we aren’t finished yet. There is a section ready for construction and the ACE crew will be returning in the next few weeks to put in about 4 more miles.

With this project wrapping up, we have already moved on to our next one. With the amount of work and time that these trails take to build, we can use all the help we can get. Join up here,

New logo cropped



St. George City Bike Park – Update


The Dixie Mountain Bike Trail Association began working with the City of St. George almost nine months ago with the objective of bringing a mountain bike skills park to Southern Utah. With an incredible amount of help from Assistant City Manager Marc Mortenson, meetings were held and slowly the key decision makers caught the vision and value of such a facility in St. George. This left funding as the biggest obstacle.

This past November the Recreation Arts and Parks Tax was on the ballet for Washington County. We made known at that time via our Facebook page that if passed, this tax would fund the construction of the bike park. It was close, but the measure was successful. With the passage of the RAP Tax, the obstacle of money has been overcome.

The city has identified six locations that they feel would work for a bike park based on infrastructure, needed acreage and proximity to the population base. The next step in the process is identifying the best location for the park.

This past week, we spent some time viewing one of the sites off of Sunset Boulevard. It has the needed grades, the size, is located within the city limits and is designated as open space for recreational use. There is also enough acreage that a bike park and some beginner singletrack could be built to compliment the skills park.

We’re excited about the prospects of getting a place for people to develop the skills they need to ride the more difficult trails in the area. We will be working hard to ensure that this project makes it to fruition and promise to keep you all in the loop as thing progress.

More pics of this site.

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November News

It’s November and I’m sunburned. I have to admit that is not a complaint as much as it is me bragging about how much time I’ve been “forced” to spend outside the last few weeks. Apparently spending 2-4 hours in the sun, even in November can make you glow, even if it is just a little bit.

If you follow us on Facebook (and if you don’t you should), you’ve seen pictures of pink ribbons strung throughout the desert.

morganThe BLM asked the DMBTA for help designing the newest addition to the Hurricane Cliffs trail network. We were ecstatic to be involved. The project consists of a connector trail allowing for more loop possibilities on single track. Specifically, there will be a section that goes from the JEM, just past the Virgin River Dam road crossing, down to the bathrooms. Across Sheep Bridge Road, there is another section that heads toward the mesa. Once at the fence, it will split. The trail to the right will take you back to the JEM. Head left and it will drop you onto the unnamed single track by the water tanks.

As this project has evolved, we’ve become more and more excited about it. We were able to get local trail building legend Morgan Harris to lend his time on a section and parts have been described by the BLM’s Dave Kiel as “instant classic.” We are confident everyone will enjoy the new trails.

This trail will have a few sections where there are A and B lines. This means there will be sections that are more difficult and have some possibility for a whoa factor, but no one will be forced to walk as there will be a B or flat liner around every one of these features. The trail is designed with all level of riders in mind.

I think we can all agree new single track is what it’s all about. Construction is scheduled to start this week.

The DMBTA also has some trail maintenance scheduled for this weekend. We will be trimming the corridor on Gooseberry Mesa. This will take place this coming Sunday. Meet at the Little Creek gas station in Apple Valley at 10 am. We will carpool as needed from there.

Further details can be found on the Facebook event page.

This is just the tip of the ice berg. The DMBTA board is busy working on several upcoming projects that will keep your tires on sweet trail. If you haven’t, join our efforts here.

Build. Maintain. Ride.


Building, Maintaining and Riding Trails

trailtodayWith the recent changes the DMBTA has seen, we saw an opportunity to re-think and re-focus what it is we hope to achieve as an organization.

As we looked back upon the couple of years that the group has existed, we can see the rallying of the troops around the announcement and public comment period of the BLM’s Travel Management Plan. The mountain biking community came to life as soon as it was known that we could lose, or possibly gain some trails. And thus the
DMBTA were born.

Since that time we have grown, our relationship with land managers has continued to mature and we are more organized. We became a Charter Chapter of IMBA last year and with the strength of that international organization behind us, we hope to be able to make Southern Utah an even better place to ride.

In our last meeting, there were a lot of ideas thrown around about what we wanted to accomplish. In the end, everyone agreed that it comes back to trails. Without ’em, we have no where to ride. And thus it was settled, our focus has been and will always be trails; Building, Maintaining and Riding.


Status Up-date for the Rockville Bench Trail

The Rockville Bench is closed to bikes until the BLM Travel Plan is complete. Please honor this closure. It is the only possible hope we have of gaining access permanently in the future.

From Joe’s guide to Zion National Park

The Rockville Bench will not be opened until the travel plan is signed and complete.  In addition, there is no guarantee that the trail will be open to bikes in the final plan, or if it will even be recognized as an official trail at all. There are a variety of factors that will influence the final decision, the most notable being public comment.

The BLM has at least six months before the release of the draft travel plan for public comment. They have completed preliminary evaluation of 2,000 miles of motorized and non-motorized routes, and have roughly 200 miles remaining.

What can you do to help? Two things. 1) Keep reminding mountain bikers to stay away. We have had numerous incidents of individuals and groups violating the closure.  This does nothing but damage to the reputation of all mountain bikers. 2) Offer meaningful comments once the draft plan is released.

We will post links here of the draft, on FB and via e mail with instructions on when to comment.

Unfortunately, the Rockville Bench is a perfect example of why illegal trail building is risky and stupid. By not considering land ownership and access, this was a disaster waiting to happen. Once the Anasazi Plateau subdivision began to be developed, mountain bikers, with a misplaced sense of entitlement, continued to ride there, ignoring private property and angering the residents. This eventually resulted in the closure and the problem continues today.

The BLM realizes that every user group has individuals that make everyone else look bad. Mountain bikers, ATV riders, climbers, and motorcyclists all have similar problems. But lets try to be the shining example, not the norm.

To counter this, please remind everyone that the Rockville Bench is off-limits to bikes–then ask them to join DMBTA.