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Old 05-11-2015, 10:05 PM   #1
wasillashack
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Default What do you think?

Ever heard of the Appalachian Trail? It is a trail that runs from Georgia to Maine, 2300 miles? This trail was the inspiration for a plan to connect all the trails in the Mat-Su Borough, maybe further.

It is in the very early planning stages and I have been asked to gather input from motorized trail users. I will be getting in touch with all the clubs on this board individually.

This will be a long term project, possibly a decade or more.

At this time it is intended to be utilized by multpile user groups, so there are many issues to be addressed.

Before you respond, think about how this will benefit and/or impact you, your children, your community and state.

I will post more info as it becomes available.
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Last edited by wasillashack; 05-12-2015 at 11:16 AM.
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Old 05-12-2015, 10:36 AM   #2
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Default Re: What do you think?

They all are already connected, by things called highways or dirt roads. The chances of punching new connections over Federal, State, Borough, Private land are NIL. Most of these trails dead end because of mountains or swamps, then it's back the way you came. It's a fight to hold on to what we have already have let alone think about new trails unless there is big corporation $$$ at the end of the trail.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:31 AM   #3
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Default Re: What do you think?

If we start this project with an attitude of failure, it will fail.

"If you think you can, or think you can't, you're right" - Henry Ford

This is not my idea, the agency proposing it is well aware of the challenges ahead. As I stated in my original post, I was asked to gather input from motorized groups.
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Old 05-12-2015, 12:01 PM   #4
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Default Re: What do you think?

To ALL the offroading groups listed on Ak4x4network, regardless of location, please send me current contact info for your group, this should be for your president or designated spokesperson. I need this info to pass along to the agency proposing connecting the trails This does not limit input by other members of your group. Good ideas are good ideas, no matter where they come from.

Thx. Shack
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Old 05-12-2015, 02:36 PM   #5
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Default Re: What do you think?

Is there a map of the proposed modifications?
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Old 05-12-2015, 03:27 PM   #6
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Default Re: What do you think?

I support the idea and by no means want to relay an "attitude of failure", but also see issues.
Wheeled vehicles, including bicycles are not allowed on the Applicain trail except where it passes thru towns. Heck horses aren't even allowed. Because of this Federal, State, County, Borough, and Private land was more easily accessible.
This AK idea is VERY VERY different.
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Old 05-12-2015, 03:46 PM   #7
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Default Re: What do you think?

Agency, you say? That makes it sound more realistic.

I could see it being a real tourist draw, like the TAT.
http://www.transamtrail.com

In fact, talking to the guy who set that up might not be a bad idea...
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Old 05-12-2015, 05:23 PM   #8
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Default Re: What do you think?

The snowmachine trails are already setup like that, such as lake louise and petersville/willow/big lake. Would be neat to setup the summer trails like that. Maybe open up some of the old RS trails like the chickaloon crossover to talkeetna and such.
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Old 05-12-2015, 06:08 PM   #9
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Default Re: What do you think?

You'll miss 100 percent of the swings you don't take

Austin Helmers had a vision for snow machine trails far beyond anything we have today. The su valley winter trail was part of it. The bigger vision was linking the valley to canada. Did you know that you can ride from east to west coast in canada?

Our group has been a small part of making this happen. Austin was one of our founders. Some of you may recall my search for the historic route connecting boulder to chickaloon or around granite creek.

So yeah I think this is a great kdea. Expanding the vision to include long summer routes would be great
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:24 PM   #10
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Default Re: What do you think?

This idea or project was presented to MatSu Trails Council at our monthly meeting.

The group that made the presentation did'nt request confidentiality, I just want their permission before I divulge the name. I'll tell you when I get permission.

They do have some seed money to start the process.

IIRC, Kentucky started a similar program 10 years ago, they now have 123 miles of connected trails and have made over 80 property acquisitions, and raised $125M. Multiple use trails have their own set of unique issues, but I believe together we have the ability to find the solutions necessary. Remember motorised users are only one faction of the users. There is strength in numbers, and I am sure there will be some compromises to be made, BUT, if we can put our differences aside, we all benefit.
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Old 05-12-2015, 11:47 PM   #11
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Default Re: What do you think?

I'll say more when I have permission to tell you who is involved, they didn't request confidentiality, but, I am not comfortable divulging that until I get permission.
Multiple user trails come with a unique set of challenges, remember, we are only one faction of many that this project will benefit. There will have to be compromises made by all, but in the end, we all benefit if we can set aside our differences.

IIRC, one of the facts that came out was that Kentucky started a similar program 10 years ago. Today they have over 123 miles of connected trails, have made over 80 land acquisitions, and raised $125M. They faced many of the same issues we do, so it can be done.
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Last edited by wasillashack; 05-12-2015 at 11:48 PM.
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Old 05-13-2015, 07:58 AM   #12
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Default Re: What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbear View Post
Some of you may recall my search for the historic route connecting boulder to chickaloon or around granite creek.
If you ever want help searching historical information, pm me.

I don't mind spending time in the *winter* searching historical stuff.

Few years back I was searching trails info and stumbled across some proposed road routes. Some of the info was pre-statehood. Interesting stuff.

Along the lines of this.

http://www.dggs.alaska.gov/pubs/id/10671

I had a link to some USGS files for trails and old proposed roads in Alaska, but when windows updated, it killed my laptop and I lost a whole bunch of links and saved files.

Sorry, for the hijack shack.
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Old 05-13-2015, 12:33 PM   #13
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Default Re: What do you think?

The agency is MatSu Trails and Parks Foundation. Contact Kim Ryals 907 746 8757, kimryals@matsutrails.org, P.O.Box876781 Wasilla, AK 99687.
If possible please copy both of us with any emails, either post in this thread or PM me. This will keep us both in the loop. Thx, Shack
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Old 05-13-2015, 10:47 PM   #14
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Default Re: What do you think?

In response to my request for contact info from all the clubs listed on this site, I have received one response, from Emerald Isle Offroad, thanks Eric! We need this info!
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Old 05-13-2015, 11:12 PM   #15
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Default Re: What do you think?

Speaking of the "mother" trail, read the book "a walk in the woods". It an absolute riot, about hiking the appalachian trail. Def on the bucket list to through hike that.
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Old 06-18-2015, 05:28 PM   #16
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Default Re: What do you think?

Hello,

I'm with the Mat-Su Trails & Parks Foundation, the organization wasillashack references in this post. www.matsutrails.org

We've recently experienced a tremendous amount of growth along with an investment from the Mat-Su Health Foundation, which will allow us to grant funds to local organizations for trails and parks work. At a higher level, yes, we're dreaming about connectivity and being able to go "off road, any mode, all the way into the future".

I'm reaching out to the community to see if anyone would be interested in our foundation attending one of your meetings. I'd like to share information on our grant cycles (and more, about our foundation) as well as learn more about what you're doing and your plans and concerns regarding the future.

Please contact me if you are interested.

Best regards,

Kim Ryals
746-8757
kimryals@matsutrails.org
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Old 06-19-2015, 03:25 AM   #17
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Default Re: What do you think?

This is the lady I was referring to. Please keep in mind this will be a long project, it will not happen overnght, not many worthwhile things do. Kim can give you the background on what led to this project and some case histories of places like Kentucky where a similar project is underway.

Please invite her to your meetings, she can fill in a lot of blanks for you, first hand.

"Many hands make light work"
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We are told not to judge Muslims based on the actions of a few.

I suggest we give the millions of responsible Americans gun owners that same courtesy.

Last edited by wasillashack; 06-22-2015 at 03:14 PM.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:25 AM   #18
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Default Re: What do you think?

Thanks, Shack.

The Mat-Su Trails & Parks Foundation was formed as a not-for-profit partner of the Borough's with much support from the public a few years ago. Although many groups and individuals work tirelessly to develop, maintain and enhance our trails, it was recognized that there was no "hub" to support these efforts with funding, technical assistance and coordination (making sure we're leveraging resources and not duplicating efforts).

A primary concern is the loss of connectivity in our trails system in the face of rapid development. Many people express this as, "just a few years ago, I used to be able to go here, here, and then travel there...but I tried to do that last weekend and that opportunity is gone".

It's the foundation's hope that with some thought and coordination (and funding) we can get ahead of this curve and stake out some regional connectors that will let us go "off rode, any mode, all the way into the future".

At another level, if the borough had a system like the Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail (motorized and non-motorized; our own Alaskan version!) the benefits to residents and the economy could be tremendous. Many studies show that billions of dollars and thousands of jobs (as well as other benefits) are created through great trails and parks systems.

Here is one link with a lot of info:
http://www.americantrails.org/resour...macdonald.html

On another note, what a great board this is. I look forward to learning more about the community and hearing about all the fun to be had. I would like to come visit meetings and events, and talk more about 4x4ing's future in the Mat-Su. Thanks for letting me join.

Kim Ryals
Executive Director
Mat-Su Trails & Parks Foundation
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:31 AM   #19
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Default Re: What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by subybaja View Post

I could see it being a real tourist draw, like the TAT.
http://www.transamtrail.com

In fact, talking to the guy who set that up might not be a bad idea...
This looks AWESOME.
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Old 06-19-2015, 11:48 AM   #20
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Default Re: What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by MSTPF View Post
On another note, what a great board this is. I look forward to learning more about the community and hearing about all the fun to be had. I would like to come visit meetings and events, and talk more about 4x4ing's future in the Mat-Su. Thanks for letting me join.

Kim Ryals
Executive Director
Mat-Su Trails & Parks Foundation
Alaska Extreme Four Wheelers has our meetings on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7pm @ Pizza Man in Eagle River. You are more than welcome to come to a meeting and talk about this so we can see what we as a club can possibly do to help.
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Old 06-19-2015, 12:34 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Tomahawk3C View Post
Alaska Extreme Four Wheelers has our meetings on the 1st and 3rd Wednesday of every month at 7pm @ Pizza Man in Eagle River. You are more than welcome to come to a meeting and talk about this so we can see what we as a club can possibly do to help.
Thank you! What about July 15th? That would be great.

Kim
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Old 06-22-2015, 01:14 AM   #22
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Default Re: What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by snowbear View Post
You'll miss 100 percent of the swings you don't take

Austin Helmers had a vision for snow machine trails far beyond anything we have today. .....................

.................
Sadly, I witnessed one of Austin's remarkable and significant visions derailed (perhaps out of ignorance rather than intentionally??) at the planning session for this MSTPF endeavor.
Very disappointing.

Last edited by Dipstick; 06-22-2015 at 01:15 AM.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:10 PM   #23
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Default Re: What do you think?

Dipstick, Can you elaborate? What was the idea, why was it "derailed", and by whom?
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We are told not to judge Muslims based on the actions of a few.

I suggest we give the millions of responsible Americans gun owners that same courtesy.
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Old 06-22-2015, 03:22 PM   #24
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Default Re: What do you think?

As Snowbear said "You miss 100% of the swings you don't take" Don't be discouraged or dissuaded from offering ideas, there may be an alternative way to implement ANY idea.

02TJ, any research effort would be welcome, no need to apologize, Who knows, you could have info no one else is aware of, or has access to?
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We are told not to judge Muslims based on the actions of a few.

I suggest we give the millions of responsible Americans gun owners that same courtesy.

Last edited by wasillashack; 06-22-2015 at 03:28 PM.
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Old 06-22-2015, 06:42 PM   #25
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Default Re: What do you think?

Quote:
Originally Posted by wasillashack View Post
Dipstick, Can you elaborate? What was the idea, why was it "derailed", and by whom?
Shack,

Thanks for your concern.
From past experiences and at present, I find myself weighing the price and methods of effective elaboration and to whom. Directly to MSTPF, provided the interest is there, may be best. (Not sure I should have posted what I have already.)
Suffice it to say, for now, misinformation has consistently ruled and damaged a doable and excellent concept.

Personally, I came away troubled by the chosen format for the planning session.
The problem I am facing would have far less chance of occurring than when folks are sent to various 'break out' session tables and participants are unable to hear what each person has to say regarding the particulars of their contribution. (Have found this to be true more than once.)
Time efficient perhaps, but not entirely inclusive and leaves empowered 'decision makers' less than fully informed for responsible implementations.

All for now - dinner is ready .............
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