The region’s mountain bikers turned out in force Monday night to oppose a new trail fee and monitoring system about to be put into place by the Georgia Department of Natural Resources. A DNR official told the audience of about 75 men, women and children that the proposed fee would be charged at three state parks: Fort Yargo, Unicoi, and Hard Labor.
As soon as March, bikers would have to pay $2 per day or $25 annually to use trails for mountain biking. The fee is in addition to regular park passes that cost visitors $5 per day or $50 annually.
To make sure everyone pays, the state’s proposal also calls for bikers to be required to check into the park’s office every time they plan to ride the trails. They will have to obtain a special bike tag and sign a liability waiver form. However, runners and walkers would not be charged for their use of the mountain bike trails.
Bikers at the meeting, however, expressed strong opposition not only to the additional cost, but also to the principle of the matter.
“This hurts,” said Steve Gordon of Statham, who with his brother Randy founded the Yargo Area Bikers Association around 2004. That group, at little or no cost to the state, built the park’s 13-mile mountain bike trail.
“I can’t begin to explain how much it hurts, because we built these trails,” he said. “We did – not the park. We built these trails. Nobody else. Mountain bikers, all of y’all, we built these trails.”
For the full story, see the Jan. 11 issue of the Barrow Journal.
they always get you in the end...
01/13/12 at 07:48 AM
If they are charging the bikers, why aren't they charging everybody?? Runners and walkers also do damage to the trails that the park is looking to up keep. If you want to make this fair and not discriminate, CHARGE EVERYONE...that way when no one is visiting your park and it shuts down then you can only blame yourself. I will not visit a place that will nickel and dime you to death!!
Everybody is missing the point here. This is nothing but smoking mirrors to get every penny the greedy government can muster. They have so recklessly spent us into oblivion and not it is time to pay the piper. These idiot state legislators spent like drunken sailors in the good times and now are having to nickel and dime us to death to scratch up enough money to pay the bills.
These trails were cut and are maintained by VOLUNTEERS not the state park system. The gov't is basically cashing in on the hard work and sweat of volunteers that give time and money to maintain these trails for the enjoyment of all.
Kudos to the Barrow paper for hardly mentioning this point and SHAME on GA Stake Parks commission for PIMPING their citizens for revenue to rescue poor budgeting.
Fee Hater From Decatur
01/13/12 at 03:03 PM
Charge bikers but not wallkers? Really?? I've sent an email to GA DNR urging sensibility in the matter. I hope others will too. Please be civil and constructive. Would include the link but that's not allowed.
This is wrong. If they are already paying a park pass they shouldn't be discriminating against bikers using the trails. The local place that I go only charges the park fee this is the bike that I ride http://www.2wheelbikes.com/sx30-mountain-bike.html