SDMBA is regarded by many local land managers as the premier trail building and maintenance resource in San Diego County. No other organization does so much volunteer trail work. Over the last ten years, these land managers have come to rely on us more and more as budgets have been cut. SDMBA wants to help them do quality trail design and management, so in light of that, REI recently awarded SDMBA a $5,000 grant.
We do lots of volunteer projects with well-equipped land managers each year, but we also do projects with organizations that do not have their own tools. Ironically, at least one land manager recently lost all their equipment in the recent fires, including tools. This grant pays for a bunch of new tools.
Unlike most areas, San Diego County is administered by many land management agencies, including the Forest Service, the Bureau of Land Management, U.S. Fish and Wildlife, California State Parks, California Fish and Game, San Diego County, several city park and recreation departments, and water districts. Staff turns over, so we constantly have to re-educate them about how to build good singletrack and how to maintain it.
To help with that, SDMBA has provided land managers with copies of IMBAs Trail Solutions trail building guide books in the past via a grant from a local firm. The REI grant allows us to continue distributing the Trail Solutions book, as well as IMBAs new book: Managing Mountain Biking, a companion volume that answers many of the questions land managers are asking about mountain bike trail system management. To sweeten the deal, IMBA agreed to provide them at a steep discount so we can distribute them even further.
SDMBA encourages riders to use bear bells as a friendly way to announce their approach, and the preferred model happens to be sold by REI. It uses a magnetic silencer to turn the bell off when its not wanted. We like them because they announce our approach in a non-threatening way, yet we dont have to listen to them on long climbs. Well be giving them away at our trail work events in the coming year.
Thank you REI, a long time SDMBA supporter, for your generous support in the never ending effort to improve San Diegos trails!