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Bike Trail Damage Addressed

12-4 Bike Trail devastation

An effort is underway to clean up the Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail in the national forest, after the trail was left in poor shape by recent logging and the ice storms of 2008 and 2009.

The effort was launched by the International Mountain Bike Association, (IMBA). Steve Schneider, IMBA South Central regional director, said he met with U.S. Forest Service officials Nov. 22 to discuss the problem.

Schneider said U.S. Forest Service Natural Resource Specialist Jay Swafford has agreed to help coordinate the effort.

A new non-profit organization named “Friends at Syllamo Trails” is being organized to head up the effort. A three-day work weekend is planned for Jan. 30, Feb. 1 and 2 to work on bike trail improvement. Schneider said he is looking for local volunteers in addition to the IMBA volunteers who have agreed to help with the project.

The devastating ice storms of four and five years ago have damaged the trails, plus recent logging efforts have left the trails in “horrible shape” Schneider said. He said the trail has enjoyed “Epic Status,” the highest rating by IMBA for mountain bike trails, but this rating is in jeopardy due to the bad condition of the trails.

The Syllamo Mountain Bike Trail is 50 miles long, so the restoration project is an enormous job. Schneider said he hopes to have 50 to 75 volunteers to work on the project. Local volunteers can contact Steve Schneider at 479-466-0988 or steveschneider@imba.com.

From the Dec. 4 issue.

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