Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Jones Creek needs you!

From Jones Creek Trail Riders Assn.  (SW WA)

    As you may have heard after more than seven years of "planning" the DNR has finally cleared the way for new trails to be built at Jones Creek (WA). The ten year plan includes construction of approximately 58 miles of new 4x4, ATV, and single-track trails.
    For those of us who have stuck around through all the years of government delays and red tape, it's a big relief to see it actually happening on the ground. The Jones Creek Trail Riders Association (JCTRA) is tasked with building the ATV and single-track trails and Pistons Wild will be handling the 4x4 trails. We began construction of the first ATV width section of trail in May and it is nearly complete. We hope that the DNR will be able to post it open for the public by the end June. The next section will be the first legally built single-track trail in SW Washington in decades.
   JCTRA 's membership like many clubs has gone up and down over the years. The DNR has not made it easy for us to do business with the trails being closed half the year, the loss of the Rock'n'Roll Poker Run, and then the Discovery Pass which promised millions of dollars to go to recreation programs like this...but has yet to pay out in any measurable way. My hope is that the news of building new trails will bring people out of the woodwork and build the club and the trails back up.
    The DNR does not have the finances and/or manpower to build all these trails. The financial structure in Washington is simply different from Oregon's. The question also has to be asked, would riders enjoy riding what the state of Washington would build if it were left completely up to it's own devices? I believe the answer is no, volunteer influence is essential to building enjoyable trails.
    In short we need more volunteers to build these trails. I've reached out via several of the local forums (OMRA, Thumpertalk), on the JCTRA Facebook page, and our website (www.jctra.org) and it's email list. I've encouraged articles in The Reflector (Battleground) and there should be another coming out in The Columbian newspaper encouraging people to to volunteer to help make these trails a reality. With that in mind I am asking you to help me spread the word and encourage your members to come up to Jones Creek and help build some new trails. We are asking interested people to register on the www.jctra.org website which will add them to our email list. It's free, they'll get a few emails per month, and they can be removed at any time by simply replying to any of the emails requesting that they be removed. It is the best way to stay informed of the latest news about the upcoming work parties and all other things Jones Creek.
    If there are plans to bring a larger group (more than 2-3 people) please let me know so that I can prepare for more volunteers than normal.
    Our next scheduled work party is this coming Friday and Saturday, June 13-14th. We'll meet at the Jones Creek staging area at 8:30 AM, leaving to the work site at 9:00. We try to finish at around 3:30-4:00 however volunteers may leave at any time. Bring gloves, lunch, and come dressed for the weather. Temporary Discovery Passes will be provided. This work party is open to the public and all volunteer hours count toward a free Discovery Pass. All volunteers will also receive a $10 Rocky Mountain ATV/MC gift card in care of the RMATV/MC Racegas program. I'm planning on providing lunch for all the volunteers at this Saturday's work party and hope to do so more often in the future.
    Beyond that we have work parties tentatively scheduled for June 28th, July 11-13th, July 26th and beyond. We hope to finish the first ATV section this weekend, and begin construction of the first single-track section next. Again, registering on the www.jctra.org website is the best way for volunteers to stay informed of the latest news.   
    Thank you for your time,      
Mike Ames
President, JCTRA