The newsletter of AMERICAN TRAILS -- SPRING 1997

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News from America's Trails state by state

Arizona

Pima County passes bonds for trails, open space

In May, Pima County (Tucson) voters approved $36.3 million in bonds for acquisition of open space, trail acquisition and development, and historic preservation projects. The open space bond was approved by a margin of almost 70%.

The $2 million trails bond will fund a key segment of the Arizona Trail, the state's 780-mile Utah-to-Mexico long distance trail, as well as acquisition of critical trail access to the Coronado National Forest and Saguaro National Park. Other projects include construction of several much-needed trailhead parking facilities, trail development for the county Tortolita and Colossal Cave Mountain Parks, 10 miles of new trail construction for the Central Arizona Project Trail, and acquisition and development of Pima County's segment of the Juan Bautista de Anza National Historic Trail.

For more information call Steve Anderson, Pima County's Trails and Open Space Coordinator and Co-Chair of the National Trails Symposium (520) 740-2690. Steve is also the winner of American Trails' 1996 award for Trails Advocacy. Pima County has been selected as the site of the 14th National Trails Symposium which will be held November 13-17, 1998.

Illinois

Illinois OHV registration program passes

On August 1, Illinois' governor signed into law an off-highway vehicle registration program similar to those in California and other states. The new legislation had a great deal of support in the Illinois Legislature. The house approved the bill by a 98 to 14 vote and the senate concurred 55 to 1.

The bill, H.B. 489, creates an off-highway vehicle titling and registration program, part of the fees from which would go to the Department of Natural Resources. The department, in turn, will create a fund managed by a committee of trail bike and ATV enthusiasts to provide grants for groups wishing to provide trail-riding opportunities.

The bill has been a joint effort of the AMA, the Illinois Motorcycle Dealers Association and ABATE of Illinois, with help from the National OHV Conservation Council. The bill's language is the result of intensive discussions between motorcyclist rights group, the leadership of the Illinois Legislature and the state's Department of Natural Resources.

For more information on the new program, contact Illinois OHV Coalition, P O Box 3722, Springfield IL 62708; (217) 523-4648.

Illinois Trail Riders Handbook available

This new guide includes information on Illinois State Parks, horse camping opportunities, horse health hints, trail etiquette, and many other items of interest to the trail rider. It is Produced by the Illinois Trail Riders, a non-profit group dedicated to keeping and developing equestrian trails and camping facilities in Illinois.

For copies of the Illinois Trail Riders Handbook, call (630) 887-8542.

Indiana

Art will adorn new Pigeon Creek Greenway

Work recently started on the Pigeon Creek Greenway, a planned trail system of over 30 miles of walkways and bikeways that will encircle the city of Evansville. The Greenway Advisory Board set up an Arts Committee to look for opportunities. The Committee is planning how to use art objects to complement the natural beauty of the greenway, including the relocation of large sculptures to a permanent home along the new open space corridors.

Michigan

First Ever Michigan Trails Rendezvous Brings Together Riders For A Great Day

Over 500 trail enthusiasts from across Michigan came together for the first Michigan Trails Rendezvous in Mason on April 19. Presented by the Trail Riders Committee of the Michigan Horse Council, the event celebrated the whole spectrum of equestrian interests with participation by many groups. Presentations included horse camping, competitive driving, first aid on the trail for horses, and endurance riding.

For more information: Michigan Horse Council, P.O. Box 22008, Lansing, MI 48909.

Missouri

The Katy Trail, the cross-state rail trail managed by Missouri State Parks, was in the news June 15-19. The St. Louis Post Dispatch sent a writer and photographer on a bike trip on the entire 188-mile trail. The five-day series of articles chronicling their trip was posted on the newspaper's Web site at www.stlnet.com/postnet. The POSTnet site also includes a guide to the trail along with information on the towns and bed-and-breakfasts along the trail.

New Jersey

First New Jersey OHV park opened

More than 1,000 spectators, volunteers, motorcycle dealers and off-road enthusiasts attended the grand opening of New Jersey's first off-highway vehicle park. The 262-acre area, 30 miles east of Philadelphia, was built by the New Jersey Off-Road Vehicle Park Inc., the non-profit organization that will also maintain the park. Built with private funds, the park became a reality through the work of the New Jersey Conservation Foundation, the New Jersey Trails Conservancy, and many American Motorcyclist Association (AMA) members, including Lindsay Pirie.

"This is the result of what can happen when many different groups of off-highway enthusiasts work together with public and private land-owners and managers," said Pirie, who is also a member of the New Jersey Off-Road Vehicle Park Inc. All income earned from membership dues will offset the park's ongoing maintenance costs.

Enthusiasts interested in joining the park or volunteering can contact the New Jersey Off-Road Vehicle Park at (908) 657-6338. From The Activist Review, a Publication of the American Motorcyclist Association.

New York

Guidebook to walking the Hudson published

Walking The Hudson, Batt To Bear: From The Battery To Bear Mountain is the first complete guide to walking the Hudson River Shore Trail from Battery Park, Manhattan to Bear Mountain. The trail, consisting of pathways through parks and forests, riverside communities, abandoned railroad tracks, and Revolutionary War sites, was scouted by author Cy Adler and fellow Shorewalkers in the 1980's and 1990's. Lively and informative anecdotes will keep readers and hikers entertained while directing them along this scenic route.

For more information: Green Eagle Press (212) 663-2167.

South Carolina

New Web site for South Carolina trails

In an effort to provide the most current information and assistance that the State Trails Program has to offer, South Carolina State Parks has created a website for the public: www.sctrails.net

Included in the site is a Bibliography of over 900 trail-related publications. Jim Schmid, State Trails Coordinator, wrote an abstract for each document and assigned over 150 keywords to make searching easier. The Bibliography can also be accessed from the American Trails Web site, www.outdoorlink.com/amtrails . From the home page, go to "Resources and Library" and then to the "Good Information" section.

For more information: Jim Schmid, State Trails Coordinator, South Carolina Department of Parks, Recreation & Tourism, 1205 Pendleton Street, Suite 235, Columbia, SC 29201; (803) 734-0130; jschmid@prt.state.sc.us

Tennessee

State Greenways and Trails Project Begun

A new project will coordinate trail efforts throughout Tennessee, resulting in a State Trails Plan. The Governor will appoint a citizens' advisory group to help with the process, public meetings are scheduled, and a statewide trails and greenways conference will be held in 1998. Model projects and programs will be developed to further the process.

For more information: Alison Brayton, Tennessee Dept. of Environment and Conservation, 401 Church St., 10th Floor, Nashville TN 37243; (615) 532-0748; E-mail: abrayton@mail.state.tn.us

West Virginia

State Trails Plan efforts continue

After an inspiring state trails conference last spring, a Statewide Trail Plan Committee has been formed. Trails activists are helping develop the vision and perspectives for the plan. The top issues identified are: funding, connectivity, economic development, community involvement, maintenance, multiple use, standardization, accessibility, and political support. Continuing public input is sought.

For more information: West Virginia Trails Coalition, P O Box 487, Nitro WV 25143; (304) 755-4878.

Bicycling Guide available for West Virginia

Bicycle West Virginia has developed a 60-page full-color West Virginia Adventure Guide with information on rail trails, mountain bicycling, country road touring, and tourist information. A copy of the West Virginia Adventure Guide is available free by calling (800) CALL-WVA.