The Bureau of Land Management is reviewing a trail proposal that would adopt the “Zipper” Trail out of Golden Eagle Park in Sparks, NV as a managed system trail and construct up to 13.4 miles of new trail to create a 23 mile trail system. The project is in an area containing significant cultural resources so it will be an uphill battle, but if done correctly, the resources will be protected while maintaining trail access to the public. You can check out all the information on the BLM project page.
There will be a public workshop to present the project on Tuesday, February 17 at from 6:30 pm until 8:00 pm at the Spanish Springs Elementary School, multi-purpose room, located at 100 Marilyn Mae Drive in Sparks.
If you cannot attend the meeting, you can submit comments via Mail or E-mail to:
Sierra Front Field Office, BLM
Attn. Brian Buttazoni
5665 Morgan Mill Road
Carson City, NV 89701
or via e-mail to: SFFO_EA@blm.gov (that’s an underscore between SFFO and EA, in case your browser doesn’t show it)
Form letters or cut and paste are counted as one comment, so your best bet is to pick a few of the below paragraphs and personalize them to your experiences or state why you support them. BLM has created an outline on how to write substantive comments.
Examples to pick from and personalize with your experiences or desires:
– Non-motorized recreational trails have significant health, economic and social benefits to a community. Trail networks near where people live encourage use and provide for increased quality of life. Currently the City of Sparks has nearly zero non-motorized singletrack trails nearby requiring residents to drive to other nearby locations to experience trails.
– The new trails should be designed for sustainability with mountain bikes in mind. Mountain bikers will likely be the largest user group of a majority of the proposed trails. Ignoring this in the layout and design will affect the quality of the trail network for these users as well as the long term sustainability of the trails. High quality trails will be fun for riders while acknowledging the different riding styles and travel patterns of users that will ensure these trails will last with minimal maintenance.
-The proposed trail network as shown would be difficult to sign and navigate due to the excessive amount of intersections. In open terrain with little vegetation such as what exists at the Canoe Hill area, trail sustainability works best when there are fewer intersections and trails that are not within sight of each other.
– There should be consideration to different difficulty levels of trails. The stacked loop design works very well with easier trails closer to the trailheads and more challenging trails further away for the trailhead. This provides for the desires of different levels of users while providing for risk management. Alternate lines utilizing natural rock features alongside trails can provide the more technical option for advanced riders.
– We’d like to see more of an encouragement with the trails proposal on allowing local trail stewards to assist with the care and maintenance of the trails. Grant funding into perpetuity is not guaranteed, but fostering stewardship opportunities from within the actual users of the trail can provide for the long term care and in most cases increases the quality of work.
– The network proposed would be an ideal location to host mountain bike and running events since the Golden Eagle Park trailhead can accommodate parking and staging. This both provides for an economic benefit to the community but also introduces more people the the trail network and outdoor recreation in general.
– The connectivity options within the proposed network are excellent. Loops are usually desired by users over out and back trails. This also reduces user conflict by dispersing use over more trail miles and reducing the need for passing. Additional consideration should be given to future connection south to the Tahoe Pyramid Bikeway. This both provides for network inter-connectivity but also fits in with the long range master plan to encircle the Truckee Meadows by trail, creating the “Biggest Little Loop”.
The comment period closes March 12, 2015.