Panel Discussion Examines Unauthorized Trail Use on Campus, Draws Full Crowd

The Forest Trails Talk drew a full crowd to UCSC’s Stevenson event center on January 29th. This panel discussion examined the issue of illegal trail use on the Upper Campus. The speakers all provided unique insight into the issue, and ultimately expressed the need for cooperation between the trail user community and the university to reach a compromise to allow legitimate trail access while protecting the more sensitive habitats on Upper Campus.

Drew Perkins, MBoSC’s Trails Officer was joined by a UCSC wildlife biology professor, a UCSC Natural Reserve steward, the captain of the UCSC Mountain Bike Team, and a city of Santa Cruz Fire Fighter. Notably absent from the discussion, was a representative from the University Administration that ultimately holds the authority to address this ongoing problem.

MBoSC president Mark Davidson was pleased with the proceedings. “It was very well attended and had exceeded my expectations. The vibe was really respectful to all points of view. I’m pretty hopeful about future dialog on this issue which can have positive regional implications. There were some other local land managers who attended and I’m sure they could recognize sense of stewardship and solutions based focus of the local mountain biking community.”

A journey of 1,000 miles begins with one step. Thanks to Hilltromper for helping to organize this event and drive the dialogue on this issue in a respectful and non-confrontational manner.

For additional coverage of the Forest Trails Talk, read Traci Hukill’s excellent and comprehensive account Hope for Solutions at Trails Talk. Also be sure to check out Survey: Mountain Bikers and Upper UCSC.

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