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Letter: McWilliams

USFS Trails Smart Sizing Proposal

I applaud and support the objectives and most proposals for the U.S. Forest Service trails smart sizing project. However the proposal that allocates all summer single-track bike routes for winter use totally ignores the expectations and desired experiences of Nordic backcountry-trail skiers. Like downhill skiers we relish powder days. However winter fat tire bikes totally degrade new snow for a skier by leaving a deep tire trough, typically down the center of a single-track trail, and a bumpy surface. A skier is forced to straddle the trough or have one ski in and one ski out. Both are objectionable. Nordic skiing is a traditional historical winter trail use in the Fraser Valley yet this proposal is asking us to give up all of our trails and quality experiences to a new small annoying user group. There is also a safety issue. This winter I’ve had three alarming encounters with bikes.

Winter bikes have extensive miles of closed roads and snowmobile routes. So it is not asking much to have the following single-track ski trails designated closed to winter bike use: Jim Creek, South Fork Loop, Homestead, Ditch, Idlewild, Burntout Loop, Winterwoods, Twisted Ankle, some trails in Vasquez, Flume, Creekside Loop, Tipperary Creek, and the unnamed single-track that parallels West St. Louis Creek Road. This leaves many single-track loop routes for bikes. Nordic skiers speak up. Call or email Nick Schade at the Forest Service at 970-887-4133 or neschade@fs.fed.us. You have until the end of March to comment.



Melinda McWilliams

Fraser


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