We believe that it is unsafe for bikes and horses to use single-track trails together

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Amy Scharm
Amy Scharm signed this petition

NOTE: The petition may ask for a donation after you sign, we are not collecting donations at this time, so money will go to change.org, if enough raised, they will advertise the petition. We suggest you do not donate. Sorry, we did not realize they would ask for donations. We may fundraise in the future for trail maintenance, but not at this time. Thank you.

In addition to signing this petition, please also send respectful emails to the USFS, we suggest pholeva@fs.fed.us; brebitzke@fs.fed.us. This is very important, even more so than signing the petition!

We, the undersigned, believe that it is unsafe for bikes and horses to use single-track trails at the same time and that it is grossly unfair to force equestrians to time-share horse trails with bikers when horses are routinely banned from bike trails, such that the Grand Island Bay de Noc (GIBDN) trail should be closed to bikers and posted as such. 

There are dozens of bike trails in the central UP, from which horses are excluded, but just 2 horse trails - the 40 mile Grand Island Bay de Noc trail (which like the Shore-to-Shore is linear so people camp and ride on multiple days more than they day ride) and the 25 mile Pine Marten Run, both of which are predominately single track trails.  Bikers have never wanted to share trails with us because they prefer trails that are just like pavement only without the concrete, but now that there are fat-tire bikes that can handle softer surfaces they are interested in our trails too, as in, what's ours is ours and what's yours is ours, too.  A "non-motorized" group has recently shown a lot of interest in the Grand Island Bay de Noc trail, and we've just learned that the United States Forest Service (USFS) has been actively promoting bike use of both these horse trails and is working closely with this group. 

The bikers and the USFS recognize the safety issue - the fairness issue, not so much so long story short, they propose to solve the safety issue by alternating days/weeks/months, as in, horses have it Saturdays and bikes have it Sundays, etc., and the USFS is actually considering it!!!!  What an incredibly dangerous precedent to set for all equestrian trails on USFS land!!  We, of course, want the trail closed to bikes unless they're going to be forced to share their trails with us.  And consider what this would do to equestrian tourism, those traveling from hours away to camp on the trails, would anyone even consider it if horses are banned from the trails for half of their vacation? Trail riders, whether local or visiting, work hard for their sport, contribute much to the economy and deserve to ride every day.  

The issue here is the idea that we should be deprived of the use of this trail for half the riding season in order to accommodate bikers who have so many other trails all to themselves. Consistent with its creation by Native Americans, who obviously traveled on foot or horseback and not bikes, the GIBDN trail was historically a horse-hiking trail. Our belief is that is should remain as such.

In addition to signing this petition, please also send respectful emails to the USFS, we suggest pholeva@fs.fed.us; brebitzke@fs.fed.us. This is very important, even more so than signing the petition!


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