Monday, October 8, 2007

Southeast Mountain Bikers Encourage TVA to Include MTB Trails in Management Plans

The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) is in the process of developing a 10-year Land Management Plan to guide use and resource management decisions concerning TVA-managed public lands located along nine mountain reservoirs: Aplachia, Blue Ridge, Chatuge, Fontana, Hiwassee, Nottely, Ocoee 1 (Parksville), Ocoee 2, and Ocoee 3.

As part of establishing the Manage Plan TVA held a number of public meetings and allowed the public to voice its opinions via an on-line survey to identify the most suitable and appropriate use for each parcel of TVA-managed public land. Recently, TVA released a report, Summary of Public Participation, which complied all of the information.

Mountain bikes came out in force to have voice heard. The report noted that mountain biking ranked as one of the most frequent forms of recreation participated in on the mountain reservoirs. See page 26. Further, eighty percent of the respondents indicated a preference for more land being allocated to mountain biking. See page 27. The Summary identified the desire for more mountain bike trails on all of the TVA-managed public lands listed in the survey. Although no comments were solicited, there were also several very positive references to the successful Raccoon Mountain MTB Trail project on TVA-managed land.

The consistent theme of the public comments cited in the Summary included: (1) more mountain biking at all TVA facilities, (2) mountain bike clubs will generally help maintain mountain bike accessible trails, (3) mountain biking as a recreational activity positively impacts local economies, and (4) mountain biking is a low impact sport.

The Summary of Public Participation show the importance of taking time to respond to surveys and attending public meetings if mountain bikers wish to maintain and increase mountain bike access.

Download the complete report. (Mountain Reservoirs Land Management Plan - Summary of Public Participation, 41 pages, 242 kb, pdf file.)

1 comment:

Chloe said...

This is fantastic!