Canadian Cyclist


March 2/09 23:13 pm - Help! My favorite trail is being closed. What should I do?

Posted by Editor on 03/2/09

1. Get the facts regarding the closure. Don't rely on rumors. Key questions to ask are:

• Why is the trail being closed?
• Who is making decisions regarding the closure?
• Where exactly is the closure?
• How does the closure fit in with the overall trail plan?

2. Get involved with your local mountain bike club. Often a local group will already be working on the issue. A full list of IMBA-affiliated clubs is available at If a local club does not exist in your area, contact IMBA for info on how to start one.

3. Ask the decision-makers if you can provide input. If necessary, ask for a delay in decisions to gain time.

4. Contact IMBA. Our staff can offer strategic advice about how to handle your local trail crisis. We can also connect you with key individuals in your area, including the IMBA state rep. A full list of IMBA state reps can also be found on our website.

5. Help mobilize your group. Hold meetings, attend hearings, provide information, volunteer for trailwork, etc.

6. Get businesses with economic interest in the local trails to back you, including bike shops, resort and tourist groups, newspapers and other local companies.

7. Be respectful and develop a responsible reputation. Ranting and raving will not help keep trails open. The political process requires cooperation, patience and tenacity.

8. Learn from the process to anticipate future problems. It's much more effective to work with land managers and other user groups before a situation reaches the crisis stage.

If you have any questions, concerns or comments contact IMBA's Canadian office at: IMBA PO Box 23034, Kitchener, Ontario, N2B 3V1,


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