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The North Fork will rise again!

March 29, 2012, 1:17 p.m.
Posts: 18473
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

[QUOTE=cerealkilla';2632359]Why is This Happening?

" At that time the explanation for the closure was that an individual from a motorized user group was insisting that if motorized use wasn’t allowed on Slide Mountain, then all unauthorized trails must be closed down."


that's why I suggested to lock the gate and close it to motorized access.

March 29, 2012, 1:26 p.m.
Posts: 1065
Joined: Oct. 23, 2003


Many people enjoy driving the roads. The summit of the mountain has spectacular views and is popular with sunday drivers, geocachers, and campers. Hunting is very popular during season (we all have blaze orange riding gear), and well as mushroom picking. Locking the gate would shut many legitimate citizens out of recreational activities they enjoy, that the DNR is mandated to provide as long as it does not conflict with resource management.

Besides, shuttling is sweet! :rocker:
I earn my turns digging. Climbing a dh bike is lame. That what the 29er is for.

March 29, 2012, 2:18 p.m.
Posts: 18473
Joined: Oct. 28, 2003

fair enough, but if you asking to be allowed to mtn bike, why aren't I allowed to dirtbike?

If I'm allowed to drive up to hike and hunt, why aren't you allowed to drive up to ride?

March 29, 2012, 2:27 p.m.
Posts: 6328
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Email sent, printed and mailed.

Looking to ride the shore but don't know where to go?

Get a copy of the Locals Guide to North Shore Rides!

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March 29, 2012, 4:38 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Dec. 29, 2009

I just got this back from Ken Mann in the Whatcom Council. It sounds like they will be working towards a happy ending.

Hi Jimmy - Thanks for contacting me!

I am a Mountain-biker myself and I have had a number of friends call me and many more citizens email about this. It is definitely concerning. I think the real damage is being done by motorized vehicles and not by mountain-bikers.

I have co-sponsored a resolution with Councilmember Crawford so that the council will directly request DNR to re-open access to non-motorized transportation, especially mountain-bikes, while a more comprehensive discussion can take place.

I will be actively involved, not just because I am interested in protecting good mountain trails, but because the tourism and recreational value to the entire community is well-established.

Stay in touch,


My Team From San Luis Obispo, CA

My Dirtbag Team in BC
The B-Team

B-Team :heart:'s You

March 29, 2012, 4:51 p.m.
Posts: 8256
Joined: Nov. 21, 2002

^^ I just got that too. Glad to hear there's someone on the inside making some headway.

WTB Frequency i23 rim, 650b NEW - $40

March 29, 2012, 5:03 p.m.
Posts: 1065
Joined: Oct. 23, 2003

fair enough, but if you asking to be allowed to mtn bike, why aren't I allowed to dirtbike?

If I'm allowed to drive up to hike and hunt, why aren't you allowed to drive up to ride?

Oh man, the ORV/quad/dirtbike/MTB thing is a whole nother ball of wax.

Fish and Wildlife sued DNR in 2005, because a minority of irresponsible 4X4 users were mudbogging creeks, riparian zones, and even gravel bars along the river (SALMON habitat), and degrading the water quality and salmon recovery to a measureable degree. DNR reached out to the ORV clubs, and shut down the river side of the lower road, perhaps 5% of the total area of the mountain, if that. However the ORV community was unable to police the less responsible members of their community, and the gravel bar wheeling continued. So DNR shut it down to motorized access. Street legal vehicles, with tabs, are allowed on the roads only.

I feel real bad for the motorcycle guys, because they had nothing to do with it, but got the boot. And really most of the 4X4's weren't bad either. ORV use isn't the lowest impact activity in the world, but I see it having a place in working forests.

March 30, 2012, 9:32 a.m.
Posts: 2658
Joined: July 6, 2003

Emails sent….fingers crossed!

Originally posted by Purecanadianhoney
I don't see how hard it would be to scrape out the head of your cock once in a while.

March 30, 2012, 9:52 a.m.
Posts: 488
Joined: April 11, 2011

Just sent off an email to the above recipients and a hard copy to Whatcom tourism. Are there other addresses that should receive a hard copy via post?

March 30, 2012, 2:54 p.m.
Posts: 1065
Joined: Oct. 23, 2003


Things are looking up!

Whatcom Council member, Sam Crawford has proposed a resolution to encourage DNR to keep the trails open and work with WTC on a long term solution. Members Ken Man, Kathy Kershner, and County exec Pete Kremen have all stated their public support. 4 out of 7 majority. Vote is not for 2 weeks, but we are moving ahead, asking them to contact state legislators and DNR officials on our behalf.

Senator Doug Erickson has also lent us his public support.

Bellingham Herald is running a front page story tomorrow.

Pinkbike is organizing a positive media campaign, this weekend. We are having a Save the Fork trail jam, and have invited responsible riders from all over B.C. and WA. We hope to get a lot of good media and sound bites, showing the diversity of our user group. We are not just a few mountain dew swilling extreme dooders. Families, kids, women, professionals, older people all enjoy the trails we ride. Moto is fun for everyone. I have seen 10 year old kids on Makenas ripping it up on moto. I encourage all of you to come on down. I believe the Herald will be there as well. Trying to get Seattle mainstream media to see that this story has legs. If any of you could send in news tips, that might help.

Please write your officials if you have not done so. Below are several well written letters to give you some ideas. We need to keep the positive pressure on. This is democracy in action!:rocker::usa:

I AM FREAKIN’ PUMPED about the future of legal DH in Whatcom County!


Contact Information
The area impacted is represented by legislators in the 40th and 42nd districts—if you are unsure which district you live in, you can look it up here:
40th District
Senator Kevin Ranker
215 John A. Cherburg Building
PO Box 40440
Olympia, WA 98504-0442
(360) 786-7678
Rep. Kristine Lytton
310 John L. O'Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7800
Rep. Jeff Morris
436A Legislative Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7970
42nd District
Senator Doug Ericksen
414 Legislative Building
PO Box 40442
Olympia, WA 98504-0442
(360) 786-7682
Rep. Jason Overstreet
422 John L. O'Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7980
Rep. Vincent Buys
470 John L. O'Brien Building
PO Box 40600
Olympia, WA 98504-0600
(360) 786-7854
DNR Staff:
Peter Goldmark – DNR commissioner or Mark Mauren – Head of Recreation -
Steve Jennison – Baker District Manager -
Whatcom County Executive:
Jack Louws -
Whatcom County Council:
Bill Knutzen -
Kathy Kershner -
Ken Mann -
Sam Crawford - Carl Weimer - Barbara Brenner - Pete Kremen – Whatcom County Tourism:


Dear Mark:
I am an avid mountain biker and general outdoors enthusiast with a family; I am also passionate about working with all recreational users, as a community, to provide input to the DNR regarding the future of recreational access in Washington State. I have worked with King and Snohomish counties to build authorized trails at Tiger Mountain, Colonnade and Duthie Hill (King Co.) and Paradise Valley (Snohomish County). I have worked side-by-side with DNR employees on these projects, and attended DNR meetings. I am writing to express my concern about the DNR’s proposed actions to decommission user-built trails in the north fork /slide mountain area of Whatcom County. I understand the DNR is in a difficult position here, but I am seeing a disturbing pattern with the DNR’s stance towards recreational use.

There are currently NO authorized areas to recreate on DNR land, in Whatcom County. Considering that mountain biking on properly built trails has very little environmental impact, and considering the popularity of mountain biking and the community which is eager to voluntarily build trails, the DNR faces a clear decision here; either provide an avenue for authorized recreational use, or attempt to manage a nearly infinite and ever-growing collection of user-built unauthorized trails and features, from all user groups- not just mountain bikers.

As a tax-payer, and historically a support of the DNR, I cannot sanction the estimated $23k budget to deal with this “non-issue”. The north fork trails are not near the waters, have been built with environmentally sustainable methods and routing, and have not resulted in any litigious situations to date. I have been under the impression that the DNR has more urgent, higher-impact responsibilities, such as mitigating environmental damage from abandoned watercraft, dumping and drug labs, managing timber resources, and protecting wildlife.

Instead what I am seeing is a clear pattern; existing trails are closed to recreational use, due to “environmental” reasons (or is it really just liability?). Not long afterwards, the same areas are clearcut. Recreational users are left with no place to enjoy the outdoors; we are left with clearcut forests we cannot enjoy, and obese kids who struggle to understand the value of our outdoor resources unless it involves “breaking the law”. This is a cycle that, if continued, will only create more challenges and promote illegal activities.

I am asking the DNR and legislators for the following:
• • Allow continued access to these trail networks;
• • Initiate an environmental evaluation to assess the actual environmental impact of these trails before any decommissioning begins- I understand pro-bono services have been offered;
• • Initiate a planning process for recreational use on DNR lands in Whatcom County for ALL users, involving the community.

I treasure the limited time I’ve spent on these trails, and I’m proud of the money I spend supporting local businesses- from the gas stations, restaurants and bike shops, to the bike industry which has boomed in Whatcom County, despite tough economic times. There is no doubt that decommissioning these trails will have negative economic and social impacts to the local community.
As a tax-payer and voter I will be watching your actions over the next few weeks carefully; I hope the DNR can find an acceptable solution for all; otherwise I am inclined to question the DNR’s management of resources and ultimately, the ability of the DNR to partner with citizens and governments to execute its mission statement.

Scott Smith
9209 5th Ave. NE
Seattle, Wa. 98115

Hello Council members and Executive Louws,

My name is Eric Brown and I live in Bellingham. I’m a dad, a mountain biker, mt. bike trail builder and an advocate for our sport. I’ve spoken with you previously about the Galbraith and Recoveyance issues and always appreciate your time.

My family moved to Bellingham because of access to outdoor recreation – specifically mountain biking. One of the areas I ride is an user built trail network on DNR land on Slide Mountain near the North Fork of the Nooksack. Like every other user group in Whatcom County, any trails on DNR land are unauthorized because there are currently ZERO places authorized to recreate.

Beginning next week, DNR staff and Washington Conservation Corps will begin the closure of this area for non-motorized users. Last Friday, a group of us from Whatcom Trails Co-Op and Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance met with Mark Mauren, Steve Jennison, Ben Cleveland and their recreation team in an effort to determine an interim solution and they said there was nothing they could do and their hands were tied.

I am writing you today to urge the DNR to hold off on any trail closures and to work with the mountain bike community for continued access in the near term and creating a framework for long term planning. The $23,000 to decommission these trails could be much better spent for future planning for ALL user groups in our area. The reality is that this closure will not address the real issue of no access in our county and will only disperse bikers and trails to other areas.

In our meeting, we offered up many short term solutions to help mitigate any risk t the DNR. Those included doing a full site evaluation to determine any non-essential structures that could be removed. We offered to install proper signage to ensure riders knew of any potential risk. We also offered to conduct a full site evaluation of any wetland or erosion issues. Sean Curran, a certified wetland delineator, has agreed to do a full site survey for Whatcom Trails Co-op pro bono.

The reality is that we are riding in a working forest and we know that logging will take place. We are fine with that and we just lost 2 trails and are about to lose two more to harvest. Our trails do not hinder timber harvests and we are very courteous to the loggers along with other users. Additionally, we are also good stewards of the area – even cleaning up other people’s garbage in our annual clean up day and help keep other unwanted use at bay.

It should be noted that our group has been working vigorously towards a long-term goal with the NW region staff – specifically Christ Thomsen and Rick Foster for several years. I hope all of that effort was not in vain.

I’d ask the Council to please tell Commissioner Goldmark to hold off trail closure and work with Whatcom Trails Co-Op towards a long-term solution. Our access to outdoor recreation is a big reason many of us choose to live in Whatcom County. Please feel to reach out to me with any questions or more details.

Best regards,
Eric Brown

Hi Mark,

I have met you at some of the Seattle area planning meetings. Thanks for taking the time to read my email. I would love to get a response from you and if possible start a dialogue. I want to be part of the solution.

I have to admit I am totally flabbergasted at this decision I read about on your newsletter of 031512 (and various websites).

I am a new US Citizen. I first arrived in Seattle in 2002 and knew instantly, after living and working all around the world for ten years, that this was where I wanted to live. Somehow the mountains , forests and streams talked to me. To be honest, I wasn’t even a hiker or biker at that stage. I used to run ..but mostly on the road. There was just something about this part of the world that struck at my inner being. I then met and married a local girl and am now a US citizen living in the best part of the world and I consider myself lucky every time I look at my surroundings.

I now spend every spare minute I can recreating in the outdoors. I mountain bike, hike and trail run for my wife and I that is our passion. Ironically I have injury at present from running too much and all I can do is mountain bike until I recover.

I am also a member of numerous clubs and organizations that advocate for trails and recreation. I try do everything legally and officially. I donate money and time. I volunteer on work parties for hiking and biking trails. I have adopted some local hiking trails and I personally cleaned them out after the January snow storms. I attend all the DNR planning meetings, I read all your newsletters. I listen and I wait for some positive news regarding mountain biking trails on DNR land.

I am just so utterly gob smacked that the DNR would decide to decommission a bunch of trails that are so well built, designed and maintained and which are nationally renowned and respected. Here we have an area that is not frequented by hikers (no user conflict) and is out of the way and is an active forest. I am sorry, I don’t buy the excuse that the mountain bikes cause environmental damage. I have seen for myself the degradation of the land caused by logging. The discarded fuel lines and empty oil drums. The left over campsites with trash. How on earth can mountain biking possibly cause more damage than the recent logging. I witnessed the erosion when virtually an entire hillside slid down the mountain after being logged.

Here you have an amazing opportunity to grant mountain bikers an area to recreate without impacting other user groups. These trail builders have shown their true colors by attending meetings, working with the DNR and working with the loggers and doing everything possible to develop a sustainable and safe riding environment. They are a great bunch of guys who have shown a level of dedication that is spoken about and admired not only in the USA but internationally. These guys go out and spend thousands of hours in all conditions to create something that is enjoyed and appreciated by the large number of riders that consider this zone one of the best areas to ride in the state and the country.

The thing I am most amazed at is that there is no alternative plan, no planning process, no interim period during which you can seek alternatives.

Please can you take the time to stop and rethink these actions and possibly sit down again to discuss alternatives. Speak with Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance, The International Mountain Bike Alliance etc gather all your thoughts and options and lets for once and for all resolve this issue. I honestly don’t believe you will solve anything by simply locking a gate and spending tens of thousands of dollars to decommission these trails. I know deep in my heart that this is going to only cause more problems as the mountain biking community reacts to these events.

The first time I flew into Seattle from the East coast. I remember seeing Mount Rainier for the first time and then noticing the miles and miles of beautiful forest. It was unbelievable and I am still amazed every single time I fly HOME (yes!) to Seattle. Then immediately I feel sad because there is so much land and yet so little opportunity for me to legally enjoy this land. Instead we fight and argue with other user groups and as a mountain biking community of adults, parents, professional business people ( I am consultant that works for Fortune 500 companies all over the world) have to go and ride illegal trails on either State property or private property. The current state of affairs is making me feel like a criminal doing the thing I love. My other option right now is to ride the same trail 3 – 5 times per week.

I honestly believe you have the opportunity here to change the game.

Thanks for reading, I look forward to introducing myself again


Dear Whatcom County Council and Tourism Board and District of Natural Resources,

As a trailbuilder, mountain biker, dirtbiker and downhill skier, I am dismayed to learn of the pending closure of Slide Mountain to recreation. My family does a lot of travel within a 6 hour radius of Vancouver, BC to pursue outdoor recreation, spending thousands of dollars on gas, food and accommodations each year. Please consider the impact to tourism to your region, and the dollars that won't be spent. Think of the areas youths, out in the forest having fun instead of hanging around downtown getting into trouble.

As a previous director of the North Shore Mountain Bike Association, I can assure you that mountain bike trail builders are willing and able to work with land owners to mitigate risks, and ensure trails are maintained to protect both the users and the environment. The NSMBA's Trail Adoption Plan has been working with several landowners to maintain and ensure safety of the trails on trails owned by several of the local governments of North Vancouver, BC.

As to addressing conflict between motorized and non-motorized users, Squamish BC is an excellent example of both types of users co-existing in an area. It can be done.

Please reconsider the closure of a valuable asset to Whatcom County! Closing vehicular access to the mountain, but allowing for parking and bicycle access will reduce the number of visitors, but still allow for the recreational experience.

Sven Luebke, P.Eng.
North Vancouver, BC

March 30, 2012, 3:29 p.m.
Posts: 1291
Joined: May 4, 2006

Let me get this right…you are inviting every 'responsible' mountain biker to ride the North Fork trails?? Cool!! :-)

March 30, 2012, 4:02 p.m.
Posts: 6328
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Let me get this right…you are inviting every 'responsible' mountain biker to ride the North Fork trails?? Cool!! :-)

At least this will hopefully ensure they'll HAVE trails! I don't think the area will be overrun. Its not that easy to get to.

Looking to ride the shore but don't know where to go?

Get a copy of the Locals Guide to North Shore Rides!

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March 30, 2012, 4:21 p.m.
Posts: 1291
Joined: May 4, 2006

Its not that easy to get to.

You're right, getting across the border can be a pain in the ass :lol:

(I actually had one the prolific NF trail builders show me around some of his trails. They really were well built and flowed beautifully and he was justifiably proud of his work. I've not been back since, so let's hope there's a postive resolution to this as I for one would like to ride there again)

March 30, 2012, 6:09 p.m.
Posts: 323
Joined: June 23, 2011

Good news:
PRESS RELEASE: OLYMPIA Sen. Doug Ericksen, R-Ferndale, today sent a letter to Commissioner of Public Lands Peter Goldmark asking him to suspend the Department of Natural Resources’ plan to decommission the mountain-bike trail system on Slide Mountain at the North Fork Nooksack River. The work is set to begin Monday.

The trail system, which is user-built, is not an authorized recreational area and off-road vehicle enthusiasts have insisted that if motorized-vehicle user groups are denied access, all access should be denied.

Ericksen said “I have asked for time to review all documents related to the environmental and management problems perceived by DNR; communications with county officials, mountain-bike organizations, neighbors to the area and other interested parties; and any complaints regarding mountain-bike activities in the area.

“I am very concerned about this proposed closure. I believe strongly that public lands should be as open and available as possible for public recreational activities.

“There are no authorized recreational areas on DNR land in Whatcom County. The user-built mountain-bike trail system is a reflection of the need for such recreational opportunities.”_ Author of Locals' Guide to North Shore Rides and Locals' Guide to Fraser Valley Rides.

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March 30, 2012, 6:15 p.m.
Posts: 1065
Joined: Oct. 23, 2003

Not so good news. Hopefully the DNR will be getting some top down direction, from the people, through their elected legislators. The reactive approach is not serving their mandate to provide the public with access to recreation on public lands.
DNR to close access to illegal and unauthorized mountain bike trails in northeastern Whatcom County
Safety, water quality, and protection of state trust lands key reasons for closure

OLYMPIA – On Monday, April 2, the Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR) will begin closing access to illegal, unauthorized mountain bike trails and structures in the North Fork Nooksack forest block in northeastern Whatcom County. The trails were built without obtaining permission from DNR or county and state permits.

Without careful planning and developing, these trails pose a risk to public safety and the environmental health of the area. And without proper engineering design, liability coverage, and maintenance, DNR cannot ensure the public’s safety. In addition, the sediment running off the trails can impact water quality.

“We recognize that these trails have become popular with mountain bikers—who come from all over western Washington to ride them,” said Mark Mauren, DNR’s Recreation Program Manager. “We appreciate that the public places a great deal of value on having access to outdoor recreation in this part of the state. But we need to direct people to trails that are safe and sustainable.”

Beginning Monday, DNR crews will be removing user-built structures and restoring the areas where the unauthorized trails were built. In addition, DNR law enforcement officers will monitor the area and issue citations to anyone observed trying to build illegal trails or structures or attempting to ride these trails.

Thoughtful planning provides sustainable recreation
DNR is committed to providing recreation opportunities that are compatible with its obligation as steward of nearly 3 million acres of state trust lands. The agency is interested in pursuing safe and sustainable trail-based recreation in the county through a thoughtful planning process that involves input from citizens and recreation user groups.

“We welcome the opportunity to partner with the public to get funding and to plan and develop new recreation areas,” Mauren said. “Once developed, these areas will also need adequate funding to maintain and provide enforcement protection.”

In addition, DNR recreation planning relies on the best available science to help determine the most suitable locations for siting trails and facilities. To develop a new recreation site, DNR must also obtain all state and county permits and have adequate resources to maintain trail systems once they are built.

For the past five years, DNR has been developing recreation plans on state lands. Designated mountain bike trails are included in each of these landscapes, including Reiter Foothills Forest in eastern Snohomish County; Yacolt Burn State Forest, in southeast Washington; and Ahtanum State Forest west of Yakima. To date, DNR has developed or is in the process of developing recreation plans on 314,000 acres of state forested trust lands.

Other mountain bike options
Nearby mountain biking opportunities on DNR-managed lands include Blanchard Forest, which has some designated mountain biking trails and Walker Valley ORV Trail System, east of Mount Vernon.

Many of the ski resorts in the area, such as Stevens Pass and Whistler Mountain, offer summer mountain biking opportunities. Duthie Hill Bike Park near Issaquah provides year-round riding.

Recreation on DNR-managed lands
DNR manages 5.6 million acres of state-owned forest, aquatic, agricultural, conservation and urban lands. Most recreation on these lands takes place in the 2.9 million acres of forests that DNR manages as state trust lands. By law, state trust lands are managed to produce income for schools, universities, prisons, state mental hospitals, community colleges, local services in many counties, and the state’s General Fund. State trust lands are also managed to provide fish and wildlife habitat and educational and recreational opportunities.

DNR-managed lands provide 1,100 miles of trails, 143 recreation sites, and a variety of landscapes throughout Washington State. Recreational opportunities include hiking, hunting, fishing, horseback riding, camping, motorized vehicle riding, mountain biking, and boating.

DNR’s main recreation focus is to provide trails, trailhead facilities, and a primitive camping experience in a natural setting.

Media Contact: Bryan Flint, DNR Director of Communications and Outreach, 360-902-1023,

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