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Author Topic: South Saskatchewan Regional Plan - Oct 17 ** NEW DATE  (Read 7775 times)

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Offline giantjoe

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Re: South Saskatchewan Regional Plan - Oct 17 ** NEW DATE
« Reply #30 on: October 21, 2013, 01:34:06 PM »
Jeepers
I'm the president of RMDRA; the organization that set up this consultation. We have had a decent relationship with ESRD and with the people writing this plan. There is one reason that these relationships exist. We are formal and consistent.

The last round of the consultations happened around Calgary. We were aware of these consultations, and developed talking points related to the document. After this we made sure there were representatives of our club with our talking points at every meeting within the Calgary area. After a few consultations, the SSRP people asked us to come to a daytime consultation, where we had a greater opportunity to influence other stakeholders. After the consultations, we were invited by the SSRP developers to provide a position paper regarding our concerns and wants with the plan.

We have been talking with Bev Yee (the Assistant Deputy Minister of ESRD) and have been able to have her see our perspective. She wrote the document. Our position paper supported random camping, a useable (hikers, 4x4, equestrian, quadders, singletrack, etc) trail network, and various other  things that we desire as bikers. She understands that recreation will not work without a formalized trail system. This has been declared in the document and WILL COME TO PASS. But, we (OHV) users need to work together to get a system that works for everyone.

My suggestion to your community is this:
1. Formulate a list of wants
2. Distribute this to your members
3. Attend as many public sessions (and stakeholders during the day) as possible
4. Encourage your speakers to be logical and without emotion
5. Keep in contact with Dave Bartesko, ESRD, Bev Yee


Offline giantjoe

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Re: South Saskatchewan Regional Plan - Oct 17 ** NEW DATE
« Reply #31 on: October 21, 2013, 01:45:35 PM »
As for GAMP/GSMG we deem this an absolute failure and are gunshy of any more legislation just like you are. We however, have been working closely with the GSMG and have been tirelessly pushing for a return of our trails. Many historical trails will be lost. They need to be sustainable which many weren't. We have finally got approval to build 400km of singletrack in the Fallen Timber area and will be doing so in the next year or two. We have been working with Peter Straub who is a 4x4 guy and sits on the GSMG. With him we have helped to develop a "Master Plan" that has been approved in theory. Hopefully the actual trails will be approved as well.

We discovered that one trail at a time will not work, and found that the master plan path is optimal to get approvals. I can't even predict how many hours some of our volunteers have put into this it's well over the thousands, and our approvals haven't happened without heartbreak and major setbacks. Once we get final approvals for the trails we would be willing to share the framework with any OHV community that wants to build their own trails as well.

Personal note: I have no desire to ride on a quad trail and am massively disappointed when singletrack becomes so wide that I'm no longer afraid of banging my bars into trees. While we may use truck trails and quad trails for transport sections, that is not what we want to ride in general. That being said, I fully support having 4x4, and quad trails as well.

Offline Hi Lo Silver

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Re: South Saskatchewan Regional Plan - Oct 17 ** NEW DATE
« Reply #32 on: October 21, 2013, 04:38:20 PM »
Giantjoe, I'm sure your work and effort is greatly appreciated as is Peter Straub's for the countless hours of various meetings and the many groups and committees that have been formed to start the process all over again.

One thing, especially the last few years. Can you have someone define a "Sustainable Trail system".  It seems to be their favorite phrase for every plan. Lately I really wonder what they are striving for. Is sustainable similar to highway 1 through Canmore and around Vermillion Lakes, is it like Kananaskis Highway 40, Hunter Valley Road, Harald Creek  road, Crowsnest highway,  and many sections of the  940 trunk road. These are all  major roads and highways washed out and not just in the flood of 2013 but many times in the last 20 or more years.  They want a bridge over streams to bring it to sustainable rating?   Really???  I'll bet more of the trails put in for oil and gas over the last 60 years are in far better shape without the bridges there to wash out all the time and create vast erosion spread some where else to take more road out. I'll bet most of the trails they have taken away from us are by far more sustainable than any of the highways they have ever put in. Sustainable to me would be a trail that has been usable over 60 years no matter what type of weather is thrown down it. It might not be usable the day after a flood but it would be again shortly after without putting millions of Alberta dollars back into it.  What would cause more siltation in the streams? A few vehicles going thru a decent crossing a few times a week or a bridge or culvert that clogs up and has its banks breached and torn out then reconstruction over the next few years like the Alberta road system?

giantjoe
"We discovered that one trail at a time will not work, and found that the master plan path is optimal to get approvals. I can't even predict how many hours some of our volunteers have put into this it's well over the thousands, and our approvals haven't happened without heartbreak and major setbacks. Once we get final approvals for the trails we would be willing to share the framework with any OHV community that wants to build their own trails as well"

I'm afraid to say there is absolutely nothing to have an optimistic look on the future of our trails. Your middle paragraph I quoted above says so much to me.
All the hours and work you folks have done I applaud, because I had that enthusiasm as well for many years. Your next sentence says it all too.
"once we have final approval"  You will find that final approval may be many years down the road IF EVER. They have used the same tactics for many years of closures.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2013, 04:42:31 PM by Hi Lo Silver »

Offline giantjoe

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Re: South Saskatchewan Regional Plan - Oct 17 ** NEW DATE
« Reply #33 on: October 21, 2013, 05:41:24 PM »
We subscribe to the NOHVCC philosophy. There are specific guidelines outlined through them.

As I see it we have two options, fight for what we want or don't. If we don't fight we have a 100% chance of not getting trails approved.

Offline AstraX

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Re: Re: Re: South Saskatchewan Regional Plan - Oct 17 ** NEW DATE
« Reply #34 on: October 21, 2013, 10:29:26 PM »
We subscribe to the NOHVCC philosophy. There are specific guidelines outlined through them.

As I see it we have two options, fight for what we want or don't. If we don't fight we have a 100% chance of not getting trails approved.

Thanks for the points giantjoe.  If you would be willing to share the structure of your plan it would be appreciated.  Possibly something we can build a plan with down the road.  Also glad to hear that there is potential to open up some new trails for you guys.  Hopefully that will help blaze the trail for the other user groups to do the same.

Offline Spinalguy

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Re: South Saskatchewan Regional Plan - Oct 17 ** NEW DATE
« Reply #35 on: October 22, 2013, 02:39:34 PM »
Thanks giantjoe for sharing the experiences of the other OHV group.
sent from my old school rotary dial phone.

Offline Slewfoot

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Re: South Saskatchewan Regional Plan - Oct 17 ** NEW DATE
« Reply #36 on: November 21, 2013, 08:45:29 PM »
I and a couple others went to one of the stakeholders meetings.

At this point I think we need to get a couple messages across:
 1) Trails can be sustainable, non-destructive to the land, and add value to the province through motorized recreation...and it'll be very helpful to show examples of this (Ontario, BC have pretty good trail management from what I understand...and there are more examples)
 2) We want to be at the table when the trail planning happens to make sure they are enjoyable and sustainable, moving or adjusting existing trails rather than closing them. (this will be a consultation, so we need to keep an eye out for it - Parks and Recreation is responsible for this deliverable 'as soon as practicable')
 3) The draft SSRP talks a bit about existing 'designated' trails - we need to get a definition of (or perhaps help define) what 'designated' trails means...right now, it means something different each person.
 4) We will help to build the governance around the trail systems, and help to maintain them where we can.

The format of the stakeholder meeting was like this:

a) Break into groups/tables (each table had stakeholders and a facilitator/note taker)
b) Discuss pages XX to XX ((plan portion) and XX to XX (corresponding implementation portion) based on these questions:
 1) What do you like about this section?
 2) What don't you like about this section?
 3) What is missing?
 4) Facilitators presented major points for select, tables.  ALL recorded points were attached to bulletin boards to be organized/grouped later on.
c) discuss the next section (pages XX to XX and XX to XX)
d)rotate to a different table/facilitator/stakeholders (this was pretty good - got to hear different points of view and spread our word farther)

We sat at three different tables in total, with three different groups discussing a total of six areas of the SSRP draft (remember, it's still a draft).

I highly recommend becoming very familiar with the plan before attending ;-)

My perception is that the plan is not at the level of 'this trail will close, that trail will stay open'...yet.  It's still at a high level dealing with big chunks of land.  If anyone had a different perception, please speak up :)  The approach I took was not to ask for this or that trail to remain open, but rather to let folks know we truck enthusiasts want to preserve the land too .  We don't want to rip it up, we want to see it from sustainable trails...and we want our descendants to be able to do the same.

The following is a little more detailed than above, but can be a really good framework of changes/additions to the plan which will provide for a good future for the trails (thank you Peter Straub, I hope you don't mind that I posted this, if you do let me know and I'll have the mods take it down):


We, the members of the 4WD Community in Southern Alberta, would like to see the following changes to the proposed South Saskatchewan Regional Land Use Plan.

And end to the Access Management Plans for managing motorized recreation on Public Land.
o   Access Management Plans require the re-use of existing linear disturbances on the land which were not necessarily engineered as sustainable recreational trails and may not provide the desired experiences of the recreational users.
o   The only management tool for government in an Access Management Plan is to declare a particular trail as Open or Closed, meaning that the only available response to Trail problems is Closure.

Replace Access Management Plans with “Motorized Recreation Plans” based on the 5E’s
o   Experience, Engineering, Education, Enforcement, Evaluation

?   Experience – Master Trail Planning which incorporates ecological, social and trail sustainability while providing the Experience Albertan’s desire.
•   A Master Plan should be developed for each Public Land Use Zone.
•   In developing the Master Plan, Recreation Groups should be consulted for input on desired experiences, destinations and favorite activities within each Public Land Use Zone.
•   User groups should have the opportunity to participate in the planning process through providing inventories of desired trails and waypoints of favorite destinations.
•   Connections to staging areas, transportation corridors, camping facilities and inter-connection between Public Land Use Zones should be well thought out within each PLUZ.

?   Engineering – Budget and Implementation capability to create sustainable trails, not just re-use unsustainable disturbances.
•   A budget to implement and maintain a trail network as outlined in the Master Plan.
•   Implementation responsibility assigned to appropriate government department with milestones for progress and completion
•   Trail built to standards that offer challenges, experiences, and “seat time” such that users do not need to ‘Make their own fun’.
•   A variety of Trail standards to offer transportation corridors, as well as challenging alternate routes for varying skill levels of users.
•   Source of ongoing funding to provide maintenance and repair of heavily used trails.
•   ‘Adopt a Trail’ programs to ensure ownership for clean-up and monitoring of recreational trails.

?   Education – to ensure users know what to expect, what to do, and their responsibilities on the trails.
•   A consistent set of signage standards, brochures, kiosk information, and rules for all recreation areas.
•   Consistent trail descriptions to help users make informed decisions about where to recreate.
•   Educate users on trial etiquette and expectations for enjoying the trails.
•   A program to partner with recreation clubs to provide training to safely operate your 4WD and its equipment on the trails, and without damaging the trails.

?   Enforcement – to ensure compliance with the plan
•   Meaningful enforcement regulations for issuing penalties for people misusing the trails.
•   Specify minimum staffing levels for enforcement during different seasons to ensure meaningful enforcement presence.
•   Program to partner with recreation clubs to provide Trail Volunteers to promote education and proper use of trails.

?   Evaluation – to continuously improve the plan.
•   Set appropriate Key Performance Indicators for recreational trails in each PLUZ, i.e. # of KM of trails, Destinations, staging areas, User capacity, Compliance, etc.
•   Identify appropriate government department with responsibility to provide annual reporting against the Key Performance Indicators.
•   Program to partner with recreation clubs ensure user’s needs are being met, issues are identified and corrective action is taken when needed
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