This strategic planning document outlines the values and principles of the Tahoe Area Mountain Biking Association (TAMBA) and sets forth the goals and strategies that will guide the Board of Directors, staff, and volunteers over the next five years.
Download the Strategic Plan PDF.
TAMBA ENVISIONS A LAKE TAHOE WITH:
An interconnected network of trails around the Lake that extends to surrounding communities;
Diverse trails that provide experiences for beginner through the most advanced riders;
Trails that protect the environment and minimize climate change impacts through innovative, sustainable designs;
Trails that inspire collaboration between riders, land managers, businesses, philanthropists, and public agencies; and
Trails that are envisioned, built, and cared for by a cohesive community of trail users.
TRUST: Act in a way that enhances mutual trust with land managers and the community.
RESPECT: Treat all trail users with respect. Treat volunteers in a way that respects their time and abilities. Recognize and protect the natural environment.
COLLABORATION: Make decisions about programs with a broad range of input from the community, trails users, partner agencies, land managers, and organizations.
FUN: Promote mountain biking as a fun and healthy activity.
SUSTAINABILITY: Ensure TAMBA continues to involve volunteers, communicate with partners, attract members and funding sources, and remain relevant.
GOALS & STRATEGIES
GOAL #1: Plan, build, improve, maintain, and advocate for high-quality, enduring, multiple-use, interconnected trails in the Lake Tahoe area.
1.1 Trail planning and building
a. Strategy: Increase TAMBA’s capacity to construct and maintain high-quality, multiple-use trails, including prioritizing efforts in the Lake Tahoe Basin and evaluating trail priorities annually.
b. Strategy: Mentor emerging trail organizations and communicate regularly with established trail organizations in adjacent areas to better connect the Basin to the surrounding region. (See also 1.2b)
c. Strategy: Improve communications to minimize environmental impacts to the trail network and to maintain the user experience. (See also 4.2b)
d. Strategy: Develop trails for a diverse range of user abilities and create opportunities for skill advancement.
a. Strategy: Collaborate with land managers, local trail organizations, and funding partners to develop a master trails plan that prioritizes and guides TAMBA’s trail building and maintenance work. (See also 1.3a, 4.2a)
b. Strategy: Annually evaluate opportunities to strengthen partnerships with emerging and established trail organizations in the surrounding region. (See also 1.1b)
1.3 Maintenance and Access
a. Strategy: Develop an annual plan to prioritize trail maintenance needs. (See also 1.2a)
b. Strategy: Implement a routine maintenance program, including potentially through novel donor partnerships. c. Strategy: Develop a trail signage plan to improve the user experience and enhance safety.
GOAL #2: Develop an organizational structure and processes that ensure TAMBA’s long-term sustainability.
2.1 Leadership Team
a. Strategy: Draw on communities throughout the Basin to cultivate a robust leadership team with diverse talents and experiences.
b. Strategy: Refine our organizational structure to better share responsibilities and improve effectiveness.
c. Strategy: Develop annual operational plans for each major work area.
d. Strategy: Revise board responsibilities to emphasize guidance and oversight, and to shift day-to-day management to staff; transition from a working board to a governing board.
a. Strategy: Annually assess the highest-priority positions and seek to secure funding.
b. Strategy: Hire and retain highly qualified staff to manage operations, projects, and decrease volunteer workload.
a. Strategy: Grow volunteer base for trail work, advocacy, and events to capitalize on TAMBA’s greatest asset and minimize operating costs.
b. Strategy: Motivate and retain volunteers with a fun and social trail building environment and a comprehensive recognition program.
GOAL #3: Ensure TAMBA’s long-term financial sustainability by increasing revenue from diverse funding sources and continuing to improve accountability.
a. Strategy: Develop a creative, sustainable funding strategy that increases unrestricted annual revenue. (See also 4.3a)
b. Strategy: Strengthen relationships with current funding partners to continue to secure revenue that is dedicated to new trail projects and trail maintenance. (See also 4.1.a)
3.2 Accountability and Transparency
a. Strategy: Update accounting policies and practices to meet the highest standards for nonprofits.
b. Strategy: Ensure transparency by making information about the performance, financial position, and governance of the organization available to the public.
GOAL #4: Increase partner, community, and regional awareness of TAMBA as an effective, efficient, and fun trail- building and advocacy organization.
a. Strategy: Create and implement a marketing plan that strengthens partner trust, secures new revenue sources, and recruits volunteers by highlighting TAMBA’s sustained success, recent growth, and future plans. (See also 3.1b)
4.2 Education and Advocacy
a. Strategy: Disperse the number of trail users through education, improved signage, and master trail planning. (See also 1.2.a)
b. Strategy: Create a program to educate trail users on appropriate etiquette and foster trail stewardship. (See also 1.1c)
c. Strategy: Collaborate with land managers, local trail organizations, and funding partners to advocate for a diverse network of interconnected trails and to advance educational goals.
a. Strategy: Create and support fun, high- value, Basin-wide events to engage the trail- user community, and to increase unrestricted revenue. (See also 3.1.a)
b. Strategy: Grow membership base by making membership the standard for anyone who rides in Tahoe.
c. Strategy: Develop and apply criteria for prioritizing events, including the event goal and return on investment.
SUPPORT TAMBA’S MISSION
Volunteer with TAMBA Volunteers are the foundation of the organization and there are many opportunities to volunteer. Come out for a trail day, volunteer for an event, volunteer behind the scenes with skilled services, or join a board meeting.
Donate to TAMBA
TAMBA relies on donations to build and maintain quality trails in Lake Tahoe. TAMBA is a 501(3)(c) public charity nonprofit organization and could not exist without your support.
Become a TAMBA Member
Your membership is crucial to ensuring we continue to maintain and build trails in the Lake Tahoe area. When you become a member, you are supporting Tahoe trails through new trail construction, trail maintenance, advocacy for new trail projects, the purchase of trail-building tools, and crew leader training programs.
TAMBA’s origin dates to 1988 when a small group of mountain bike pioneers recognized the need for a unified voice to represent the growth of mountain biking in Lake Tahoe and Truckee. This passionate group of riders created a volunteer organization dedicated to building trails, educating riders, and advocating for mountain bike trail access. When trails near Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride, Kirkwood, and Caples Creek were part of proposed Wilderness designations, TAMBA worked hard to keep the trails open to mountain bikes.
TAMBA became inactive in 2003 and lost its nonprofit status, leaving Lake Tahoe without an organization to represent mountain bikers. Between 2003 and 2010, the primary public land manager in the Lake Tahoe Basin, the U.S.D.A. Forest Service Lake Tahoe Basin Management Unit (LTBMU), increased its trail-building efforts. During the same period, illegal mountain bike trails were built on Forest Service land, creating conflict between riders and land managers. To obtain input from the mountain bike community, the LTBMU partnered with the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) to host the Tahoe Trails Conference in October 2010. A new group of passionate riders emerged, and after a series of community meetings in the fall of 2010, they decided to resurrect the former organization.
The new TAMBA held its first meeting in January 2011. The board of directors immediately tasked themselves with significant goals, such as advocating for mountain bike access in areas slated for potential Wilderness designation, redesigning and building trails such as the Stinger Trail and the Corral Trails, securing a Volunteer Service Agreement with the LTBMU, securing permits for events, and creating a community bike park.
Currently, TAMBA is thriving with successful partnerships with all major agencies and land managers in the Lake Tahoe area. A passionate group of volunteers runs the organization with the help of a small, part-time paid staff.
Since 2011, TAMBA has completed multiple trail projects in the Lake Tahoe region. Accomplishments include new trails built, a new public bike park, bridge construction projects, installation of map kiosks and signage, and hosting fun community events. TAMBA also maintains trails throughout the region by clearing logs, fixing trail tread, brushing the trail of debris, pruning tree limbs, and improving drainage to reduce erosion.
Corral Trail Enhancements
TAMBA partnered with the LTBMU to create one of the first legal jump trails on National Forest land in the country. The Lower Corral Trail in South Lake Tahoe was reconstructed from a straight- line, sandy, moto trail to one with high-wall berms, tabletop jumps, rollers, hips, log rides, and rock jumps. TAMBA started construction on the project in 2014 in partnership with the Sierra Buttes Trail Stewardship. Additional segments were added in 2015 and 2017.
The LTBMU installed the frames, and TAMBA designed and installed the panels for two map kiosks in the Lower and Upper Corral parking areas in 2019.
Angora Ridge and Mule Deer Connector Trails
In 2017, the LTBMU and TAMBA partnered to create five miles of new trail in an area devastated by the 2007 Angora Fire. The Angora Ridge Trail connects the Tahoe Mountain Trail network to the Angora Lakes area, and the Mule Deer Trail connects the Angora Ridge Trail to the North Upper Truckee neighborhood. TAMBA and the LTBMU jointly received a 2018 TRPA “Best in the Basin” award for this project.
Stanford Rock Phase 1
In 2018 and 2019, TAMBA replaced the original steep, eroded and degraded logging road, with a 6.5-mile sustainable singletrack trail. With the help of ACE (American Conservation Experience) crews, TAMBA volunteers built a trail that travels from Lake Tahoe to the Tahoe Rim Trail along Ward Creek, awarding runners, hikers, and mountain bikers who reach the top fantastic views of Lake Tahoe.
Bijou Bike Park
TAMBA partnered with the City of South Lake Tahoe to build the Bijou Bike Park. TAMBA spent four years negotiating, designing, and securing permits before construction began in 2015. Bijou Bike Park is run by the City of South Lake Tahoe and maintained by TAMBA. The park includes small and large pump tracks, a loop trail, three slopestyle jump lines, and a BMX track. In 2016, TAMBA and the City of South Lake Tahoe jointly earned a TRPA “Best In The Basin” award for the park.
Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride
Between 2011 and 2018 TAMBA held multiple volunteer trail days to rebuild portions of this iconic trail formally known as Saxon Creek. In 2016, TAMBA hired ACE crews to perform major rock work armoring sandy turns, repairing eroded sections of trail, and restoring wide trail segments to their original singletrack character to “Keep Toads Wild.”
Working with California State Parks, and with funding support from an REI grant, TAMBA rebuilt the Ocelot Trail in 2017. Volunteers replaced the old road with gentle, winding, and sustainable singletrack. The new 1-mile trail provides a connection from Mount Watson Access road outside of Tahoe City to Stumpy Connector trail.
Valley View Reroute
TAMBA volunteers moved dirt, shifted boulders, cut out root balls, and trimmed whitethorn to create the new section of Valley View Trail in 2017. The lower section of trail, part of the Tahoe Mountain Trail network in South Lake Tahoe, was reconstructed to minimize the detrimental impact on natural resources.
Incline Flume Trail
TAMBA partnered with numerous organizations to help complete the Incline Flume Trail. Construction of the years-long project, led by the Friends of Incline Trails, was completed in 2018. The 6-mile trail connects Mount Rose Highway outside of Incline Village to Tunnel Creek road in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. The project was recognized with a TRPA “Best in Basin” award in 2019.
Tamarack Lake Trail Phase 1
With funding from the Nevada Recreational Trails Program, TAMBA completed phase 1 of the Tamarack Trail project in 2019. The trail connects the Sky Tavern trail system to Relay Peak Road near Tahoe Meadows trailhead at the top of Mount Rose Highway. The 5-mile trail passes Tamarack Lake, a picturesque sub-alpine lake that previously had no authorized routes to it.
Kingsbury Stinger Trail
TAMBA helped the LTBMU rebuild the Kingsbury Stinger Trail, providing a critical connection from the town of Stateline, Nevada to the Tahoe Rim Trail near Castle Rock. The 5-mile trail of flowy turns, rollers, berms, and rock features was completed in 2016, with enhancements on the upper section completed in 2018. TAMBA and the LTBMU jointly received a 2017 TRPA “Best in the Basin” award for Stinger for improving recreation and water quality.
The Snapdragon Trail connects the Tahoe Rim Trail at Twin Lakes to the Red House Flume Trail on the east side of Tunnel Creek Road in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park. TAMBA constructed this 1-mile singletrack trail in 2014-2015 to bypass the steep and sandy fire road that currently exists. TAMBA named the trail after the abundant Penstemon flowers, often confused with Snapdragon flowers, that were avoided or transplanted during construction.
Beaver Tail Trail
In partnership with the LTBMU and the North Tahoe Public Utility District, and with funding support from the Truckee Tahoe Airport and the Tahoe Fund, TAMBA helped build the 1-mile Beaver Tail Trail in Kings Beach in 2019.
North Lake Tahoe Signage Project
With a grant from North Lake Tahoe Resort Association and with cooperation from various land managers, TAMBA volunteers ordered and installed signs and kiosks on North Lake Tahoe trails extending from the West Shore to the Kings Beach area in 2019. The grant also provides for the creation of trail maps for distribution by local businesses and organizations and is scheduled for completion in 2020.
During the epic winter of 2016-2017, the bridge to Armstrong Trail collapsed under the weight of snow. TAMBA facilitated the purchase of the materials for the bridge, and the LTBMU installed the new bridge in the fall of 2019.
In partnership with the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest, TAMBA installed three bridges in the Galena area outside of Reno in 2014. The original project was for one bridge, but when TAMBA volunteers got involved, the Forest Service was able to purchase three pre-engineered bridge kits, and TAMBA volunteers constructed and installed two bridges on the Thomas Creek Trail and one bridge on the Whites Creek Trail.
Lakeview Ridge Trail
TAMBA built the Lakeview Ridge Trail in North Lake Tahoe to replace the decades-old, eroded Elevator Shaft Trail in 2017. The new 1-mile trail provides a major link in the North Shore trail system, acting as a popular connector between Tahoe XC Center and the Tahoe Rim Trail.
Sunflower Hill Trail
Working with Nevada State Parks and with help from the Tahoe Mountain Bike Patrol, TAMBA organized volunteer trail days to complete the 3-mile Sunflower Hill Trail in 2013. The trail connects the Tahoe Rim Trail to the Red House Flume Trail in Lake Tahoe Nevada State Park, allowing hikers, runners, equestrians, and mountain bikers to bypass a steep and unpleasant section of Hobart Rd.
Lily Lake Trail
TAMBA joined forces with the LTBMU to plan a 2-mile trail connecting Angora Ridge Trail to Glen Alpine trailhead, near Lily Lake. In 2019, TAMBA crews completed the first section using chains and grip hoists to clear large boulders from the lower section of trail, creating a trail with impressive rockwork and spectacular views of Fallen Leaf Lake. With funding support from the Tahoe Fund and Vail Resorts, the remaining section of the trail will be built in 2020-21.
Trail Work and Maintenance
Over the past decade, TAMBA has worked on and maintained trails around Lake Tahoe, including Armstrong, Armstrong Connector, Christmas Valley, Cold Creek, Elevator Shaft, Hartoonian, High School, Incense Cedar, Incline Flume, Lake View, Monument Pass, Powerline, Railroad, Red House Flume, Rock Garden, Sidewinder, Star Lake, Stumpy SG, Tahoe Mountain, Thomas Creek, Upper Tyrolian, and Valley View.
Permitted Events TAMBA hosts three major mountain biking events each year permitted with the Forest Service. The Tahoe Mountain Bike Festival, Rose to Toads, and Corral Night Ride raise approximately $20,000 each year while contributing to the social fabric of the Tahoe mountain biking community.