Over the past few weeks, the TAMBA team has spent countless hours pouring over the details in the 140-page Basin Wide Trails Analysis Environmental Assessment (referred to as the BWTAP in our office). We would have rather been biking, but this plan published by the USDA Forest Service unlocks up to 45 miles of new trail development in the Basin, and we want to make sure we share our feedback to advocate for mountain bike and multi-use trails that help increase connectivity, choice, and community in a sustainable way.
Have you wondered how you can provide feedback on future trails in the Basin? This is your chance! The public comment period is open until October 28th, 2023; anyone can submit feedback on the Basin Wide Trails Analysis Project website. As the advocacy organization for mountain biking in our region, TAMBA has put together our own comprehensive comments that focus on areas we support, feedback on trail connectivity and alignment, and suggestions for additional trails. Please share your support, opposition, and direct feedback on parts of the plan that are important to you.
We know, the document is long, complex, and takes a 30-inch monitor to understand what is being proposed. To make it easier for you to digest, here is a summary of TAMBA’s comments. Read through and if you find something you’re passionate about, submit a comment of your own. We don’t expect you to agree with everything we recommend, and we encourage you to share your thoughts directly with the USDA Forest Service.
To get up to speed quickly so that you can provide comments on the project, follow these steps:
- Scan this blog and search for keywords that are relevant to you.
- Check out our FAQ and the table with proposed trails and access updates. Also helpful to search for trails that you are interested in.
- View the Proposed Action Maps and use the trails table on our FAQ page to see exactly where the updates are being proposed.
- If you see something you support or oppose, copy it from below and modify it to represent your view.
- Share your comments with the USFS by Saturday, October 28th. How do you write an effective comment?
- Be Specific – focus on a specific project or policy you support or oppose and state why.
- Be Concise – 3-5 specific sentences can be great. Don’t feel the need to comment on an essay.
- Be Productive – focus on objective benefits or consequences of proposed actions.
Summary of TAMBA’s comments for the Draft Environmental Assessment of the Basin Wide Trails Analysis
LTBMU Proposed New Trail Connections and Decommissioning
- TAMBA supports West Shore trail connectivity that closes a critical gap between Emerald Bay and Tahoe City. Within this proposal, TAMBA has detailed feedback on how to improve trail alignment.
- TAMBA supports the proposal for “Tyrolian Ridge Trail” (E22) and is asking to allow class 1 e-bikes on this trail and Tyrolian Downhill. These recommendations will bring new loop options, reduce user conflict, and move riders from the highway to a trail.
- TAMBA supports all connections in the Lower Kingsbury Stinger area, including proposals connecting to Zephyr Cove and the neighborhood. We oppose decommissioning the existing end of Kingsbury Stinger (E13) and recommend it remains open for class 1 e-bike use.
- TAMBA supports all of the new trails in and around Heavenly, to provide connections between Van Sickle, Powerline, and High Meadow and add additional access for neighborhoods (S51/S52/S531)
- TAMBA supports all new trails in the Corral Trail Network (S3, S1, S6, & S7). These new trails create new loop options with a new trail climbing directly to Upper Corral, and an easier connection between Railroad Grade and Incense Cedar. This will remove traffic from Fountain Place Road, spread riders out, and improve the rider experience.
- TAMBA supports the trail connection that runs parallel to Highway 89 at Luther Pass and would connect the Grass Lake Spur to the Scotts Lake Connector, moving riders away from the highway (S55).
- TAMBA supports connecting Upper Angora Ridge Trail to the Gunmount trails, adding more loop options (S59), and S61 which will connect Lower Angora Ridge Trail to Rock Garden Trail.
- TAMBA supports the trail connection from the bottom of Warr Trail up to Cookhouse Meadow (S56) and recommends that the trail connect to Big Meadow for better connectivity.
- TAMBA supports the new trail connection from Meiss Meadows up to the Basin boundary (S15), allowing for more loop options and reducing traffic on the PCT and TRT.
- TAMBA supports the new Baldwin Pedestrian Path and Pope-Baldwin National Recreational Trail (S62 and S60) to spread out bikers and pedestrians, reducing user conflict on this high-traffic section of the bike path.
- TAMBA supports the proposal for the Emerald Trail (W1) that will connect Emerald Bay to Meeks Bay, providing a safer travel option than the highway and closing critical gaps connecting the west shore.
- TAMBA supports the Knee Ridge and Qualke Lake Connectors (W13 and W22), providing new loop options, connecting the west shore, and reducing the need for users to drive to trailheads.
- TAMBA supports the three proposed parking lots shared in the project:
- Pine Drop Trailhead (Map Inset 24, Appendix A)– located in Kings Beach on lower Highway 267 adjacent to Pine Drop Road. This facility would be newly constructed to accommodate 15-25 parking spaces, likely to include a restroom.
- Brockway Summit Trailhead (Map Inset 23, Appendix A)– located at the intersection of Highway 267 and Forest Road 73. This facility would be newly constructed to accommodate 30-40 parking spots, likely to include a restroom.
- Elks Point Trailhead (Map Inset 4, Appendix A)– located on Sewer Plant Road near Roundhill. This facility would formalize an existing informal parking area and include 7-12 parking spaces. No restroom facility would be included. TAMBA recommends that the parking area should be paved and a restroom added.
TAMBA Proposed Additions to the Project
- TAMBA recommends four trailheads to be added / updated:
- Trailhead and parking off Pioneer Trail at the Garbage Dump Rd to replace Corral Trail parking at Fountain Place Road.
- Parking lot on the east side of Highway 431 at the Incline Flume Trailhead.
- Parking lot at the junction of Angora Ridge Road and Tahoe Mountain.
- Improved and upgraded trailhead parking at the end of High Meadows Trail, adding a paved parking lot beyond the current gate.
- TAMBA recommends a bike-friendly singletrack connection from Spooner Summit to Marlette Lake, providing an alternative to North Canyon Road.
- TAMBA recommends a singletrack connection from Scott’s Peak to Paige Meadows, moving people off of a fire road and adding additional loop options.
- TAMBA recommends creating a new trail to bypass Noonchester Road on the west shore to create a better connection and move bikers off of a busy and steep OHV road (between W10 and W11/W30).
- TAMBA recommends creating a connection between W16 and W13, Blackwood Summit Trail, and Ellis Peak Connector, to provide a single track outside of Homewood Resort and to reduce the chances of cyclists going on the PCT.
- TAMBA recommends closing the gap around Quail Lake (W22) which currently ends at Homewood Resort. Closing this gap will allow for more loop options.
- TAMBA recommends two new additional trails in the Corral Trail Network to create additional loop options in a high-traffic mountain bike area that would benefit from dispersing users and reducing the creation of social trails.
- TAMBA recommends a new trail to provide alternate access for the TRT in Tahoe City, moving bikers off of a crowded, steep trail to disperse users and provide more bike-friendly access.
Proposed Additional Trail Access for Class 1 Ebikes
- TAMBA supports this managed approach to Class 1 e-bike trail designation and access (over 106 miles), allowing for connectivity between communities which can reduce car trips and trailhead congestion. TAMBA supports the current Tahoe Rim Trail management plan (2010) that supports non-motorized mountain biking in appropriate sections of the trail. TAMBA will continue working with LTBMU staff to identify alternative access for Class 1 eBikes to trails such as Mr Toad’s Wild Ride.
- TAMBA proposes allowing class 1 e-bikes on Tyrolian Downhill, and the proposed “Tyrolian Ridge Trail” (E22). This will allow for new loop options
- TAMBA recommends allowing class 1 e-bikes on Armstrong Connector, and the new trail from Warr to Cookhouse Meadow.
- TAMBA recommends allowing class 1 eBikes on the Warr Trail and on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride below that intersection for loop options.
- TAMBA recommends allowing class 1 eBikes on the Hartoonian trails behind Sierra Tract, a critical area for connectivity between neighborhoods.
- TAMBA recommends closing gaps in class 1 eBike access to complete connectivity so that e-bike trails do not dead-end at non-motorized trails.
If you’ve made it this far, wow, you really love trails! Now take the last step and comment on the official plan to make your voice count!