Mountain Bikers Creating Trail Systems with National Forest Foundation Grants
These projects will utilize grants from the National Forest Foundation-- supplemented with support from IMBA's Trail Solutions.
In Colorado's Fraser Valley and North Carolina's Uwharrie mountains, IMBA and its affiliated mountain bike clubs will begin work on new shared-use trail systems this summer. These projects will utilize grants from the National Forest Foundation - supplemented with support from IMBA's Trail Solutions and generous grants the bicycle industry - to create exciting new riding destinations.
These projects fall into the ambitious scope of IMBA's Trailbuilding Fund. With a goal of raising $1,000,000 for model trail system improvements in 2008, IMBA has already garnered the support of Trek Bicycle Corporation's 1 World, 2 Wheels program, and other bicycle industry supporters, such as Quality Bike Products and SRAM. Now the National Forest Foundation joins these efforts, helping IMBA leverage funds for even more impressive on-the-ground results.
"We hope that this broadening base of support for better trails keeps building and demonstrates a willingness to invest in a better, more sustainable future for our public lands," states Scott Linnenburger, IMBA's Director of Field Programs. "Meeting this goal would mean more than 1,000 miles of trails could be built or improved, a true gift of conservation that will last many decades."
In North Carolina, the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA) has been awarded a $36,500 grant request to retrofit the Woodrun Trail System in the Uwharrie National Forest. Additional assistance from IMBA, Subaru of America, Trek Bicycle Corporation and regional funding will combine for a total contribution worth more than $100,000. The project aims to retrofit existing trails to improve the user experience, as well as minimizing trail erosion and discouraging unmanaged recreation. A regional trail plan will create nodes of trail activity, allowing mountain bikers, hikers and equestrians to enjoy purpose-built trails.
SORBA president Tom Sauret praised the project as a giant step forward for regional riding. "This is SORBA's first undertaking on this scale in North Carolina and we are glad that SORBA will have a significant part in improving this trail system," said Sauret.
Colorado's Fraser Valley will benefit from a similar combination of private and public interests. A $38,000 National Forest Foundation grant - along with generous support from Quality Bike Products, Subaru of America, Trek Bicycle Corporation and Winter Park Resort - will represent almost $140,000 of improvements to trails in the Fraser Experimental Forest this summer.
"Our partnership with IMBA and the US Forest Service in supporting this program will further improve an already amazing trail system. The partnership's efforts in Fraser Valley, along with the resort's on-mountain improvements, will ensure the Fraser Valley lives up to its title of 'Mountain Bike Capital USA," said Bob Holme, bike park manager for Winter Park Resort.
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Updated April 28, 2008