The Dixie Mountain Bike Trails Association started out as a group of five dedicated individuals who were willing to put in a whole bunch of volunteer hours in an effort to help improve and create mountain biking experiences in Southern Utah. Since we started in 2009, we’ve grown from Washington County to include Iron, Kane and Garfield counties where there are active sections of the DMBTA working to bring you new and better trails.
This growth has been great. It’s meant that we have more singletrack in more locations. It’s meant that the DMBTA has grown to include more than just five people and based on the predictors we have, this growth is only going to continue at an exponential rate.
We are committed to our original goal of building, maintain and riding the amazing trails in Southern Utah. To continue this effort, we need your help. We need people who can take over some of the positions that are due to be released like a book keeper. We need folks who are willing to help maintain our website. We need people to help maintain the trails that we already have and we need people who are willing to help build trails. In short, we need you. Regardless of what your passion, what your skill set, we can find something for you to do.
So join us. Shoot an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with your contact info and what you feel you could do to help out. We’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
If you’ve been out to the Santa Clara River Reserve recently, then you know that it did not fair the TrueGrit epic well and is in dire need of a little love. We plan on spending a couple of hours raking out the loose rocks and eliminating the braiding that has occurred.
- Meet at the Cove Wash Trailhead (where Barrel Roll starts) at 9 AM.
- If you have a rake, bring it.
- Plan on being out there for about 2-3 hours.
- Water and light refreshments will be provided.
If you have any questions, please contact email@example.com.
The image above is the development plan for the Green Valley Competitive Area or the Green Valley Race Course, as it is commonly referred to. This is a plan that was developed and approved years ago. We’ve known that we would be losing this section of land and some of the trails in the area at some point as it has been privately owned and waiting development. Unfortunately, that time has arrived.
The red patch work areas above are slated for home construction. The corridors in between will be open space. The developers plan calls for 30% open space as dictated by the city. There will be several roads. Most notable will be Plantations Drive which will run the length of the valley and become the main access for the area. The developers are hoping to begin excavation in February starting with the northern plots. The excavation will include the construction of a road to carry material being removed and deposit it in the southern area.
The most immediate effects of the development will be a disruption of the competitive use of the area. The developer has committed to working with race promoters for the first two races of the year that happen in March. True Grit and the Red Rock Rampage will be held as normal this year.
Races held later in the year will not be able to use the Green Valley Competitive Area due to the construction.
Immediate access for casual trail users could be effected but should be maintained throughout the process. The open space designated in the development plan is strategically placed to maintain trail access. The developers are touting the trail system as part of their sales pitch making it in their own best interest to maintain as many trails as possible while still selling plots for homes.
The DMBTA is actively working with the developers to ensure that access is maintained and to work with the BLM to realign any trails that are lost to maintain the integrity of the trail network. While their may be some short term loss of trail, we are confident that the overall trail experience will be improved. The development will limit motorized access and we have verbal commitment that the trails will be signed and have trailheads once construction is complete.
The biggest casualty is the loss of the bottom of the valley. The area has been used as a giant staging area for most of the races in the area and most notably for the NICA State Championships which have been the biggest mountain bike event in Utah. We are currently working with the BLM and Washington County to find a new location that can provide the staging and a race course to replace the Green Valley Competitive Area.
This is an ongoing process and we will keep you updated as things progress.
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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.