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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 10:24 am 
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Location: Carmel, New York
Earlier this year New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYC DEP) posted No Mountain Biking signs at trail heads and property borders at Ninham multiple use area. NYC DEP owns just over one half of the property that trails are located on, known as the Adams Unit. It is the eastern half of the parking lot side trails located off Gypsy Trail Road T/Carmel. It is recreational parcel that allows hiking, Fishing and hunting in designated areas. Mountain Biking is currently not a permitted form of recreation on NYC DEP watershed property. Putnam Riders Club currently holds a Stewardship agreement with New York State Department of Conservation(NYS DEC). Initiatives are being made to meet with NYC DEP to propose the use of Mountain Bikes on this portion of land. This is in the very beginning stages.

I am reaching out to the riding community for your cooperation to deter any Mountain Biking on the City Property. I know the recent sign postings has been a disappointing occurrence to say the least. The fact is anyone one biking there is in violation and is subject to the enforcement of the property owner(NYC DEP). NYS DEC, Kent Police and Putnam County Sheriffs also have jurisdiction. We have to acknowledge respect the posted lands. Any complaints pertaining to biking on this property or any other NYC DEP owned lands will prevent any potential Mountain Biking development on NYC DEP property.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:31 pm 
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<Initiatives are being made to meet with NYC DEP to propose the use of Mountain Bikes on this portion of land.>

Good luck with this process.

I'm sure many of us are confused by the various landowners at Ninham (DEP, DEC, MUA, Gypsy Trail Club, others?) and which trails are off limits. Are you advocating staying off everything on the parking lot side?


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:33 pm 
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Thanks for the notice, Lou. Have you thought about putting any signage in the parking lot, or somehow locally communicating this situation to those that ride Ninham? Any idea of timing on the DEP conversations? The summer riding season is upon us. :)

Can you please keep us updated on the DEP conversations. Furthermore, please reach out and enlist the WMBA for any help needed to show and communicate to the DEP that the Putnam/Westchester mountain bike community is earnestly interested in establishing a mature working relationship with them as we have in Westchester with the County Parks Organization.

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 3:43 pm 
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Would it help for this message to also be posted (politely) on the WMBA home page and Facebook pages?

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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:12 pm 
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I appreciate all the support. It has been proposed to post the same signage in the parking lot. I am working on getting sign for that purpose. I also need to get NYS DEC on the same page do to the fact it is a State lot.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:14 pm 
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bad andy wrote:
Would it help for this message to also be posted (politely) on the WMBA home page and Facebook pages?

Yes it would help. Please avoid putting in the specific details. Refrain from riding parking lot side would be sufficient.


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PostPosted: Wed Jun 22, 2016 5:18 pm 
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Unfortunately, there is no time frame. My honest opinion is it is off limits until next season if we are granted access. All it is going to take is a hiker or hunter reporting riders in violation of the New York City rules and regulations.


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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23, 2016 8:20 am 
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Location: within sniffing distance of the captain
Some sort of signage in the lot would help too if that's possible. Last time I was there (not realizing the issues) the three or more different types of signs that you don't see until you are well into the trails are completely confusing. Or maybe I didn't have enough coffee...


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PostPosted: Mon Jun 27, 2016 4:39 pm 
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Location: Somers
I had heard about these signs for weeks coming out of the Winter. Finally went up to Ninham at the close of turkey season a few weeks ago, and was surprised to not come across any signs on the parking lot side. (I rode Even Flow to Middle Shelf + Top Shelf). I have to assume access is being restricted in the West Branch section? Perhaps towards the bottom of Lost? Please confirm, I'll spread the word.

Thank goodness for Flow, Rigid Bob, E.B.D., and Arsenic on the Tower side.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16, 2016 11:21 pm 
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FYI - chatter I heard at one of the lbs's goes something like this " F 'em, I've been riding there for xx years so I'll just take my chances. What are they gonna do chase and arrest me..." Sounds like this isn't being received too well and some positive pr needs to be disseminated.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 21, 2016 5:08 pm 
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Location: whistler city where the gaps are smooth and bikes are pretty
i ve had a couple customers tell me the same thing about the signs. they pretty much looked at me when i said not to ride there like i was fun the police.

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PostPosted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 10:27 am 
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As of now The New York City Department of Environmental protection has no intentions of opening this land for the use of Mountain Biking. When a user is on the land engaging in an activity that is not permitted they are trespassing. If the property rules are not respected it will only aid in nailing the door shut on the idea opening it in the future. The property was and has always been closed to bikes on the City watershed property. The recent and newly posted signs are a result of a number of user conflicts between hunters and bikers.

The conflicts drew attention to the area.
There have been inspections and surveys done to asses the land by the DEP. At this time having biking on the property is something they can not get involved with. There are legal conservation agreements in place that puts this mandate on the agency. Opening the parcel to biking is an initiative that is still going to be made. It will take time. Longer then we all would like.

If you fail to obey the signs and continue to ride, build and maintain the trails you will be in violation. All it is going to take is a hiker or hunter calling in a complaint. Having the run and catch me if you can mentality is not going to serve the riding community well at all. Also be advised that not respecting bordering property to the New York State (DEC) lands at Ninham will sever the use of biking on the State lands as well. This is confirmed. In the grand scheme of things the importance in the eyes of DEC and DEP, is conservation.

I strongly suggest spreading the word as it stated above. If you still choose to ride on the posted lands, understand the property owner (DEP) has the right to protect it and will make it a focus of enforcement with numerous resources. There are many places for us to ride legally. For now standby and await the next step.

Be assured that that the riding community will be called upon to share their voice in collected professional manner. Anything less will hinder any potential of change.


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PostPosted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 10:34 am 
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Does this apply to the tower side as well?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 30, 2016 1:44 pm 
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I'm curious why the sudden change of thinking. It seems that there haven't been many problems the last few years and all of a sudden they decide to say we can't be there. I know there were some "issues" a while back but those had subsided (or so I thought) and then this. Is the DEC opposed to us riding in MUA's elsewhere or is this a single spot problem?


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 18, 2016 9:09 am 
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Location: Greenwich Village
Not being familiar with trails at Ninham, yesterday 2 of us were picking our way north and south by virtue of the sun's position. Trails crossed signage stating restricted access.

On one hand, our presence in a watershed was of no real consequence as erosion did not appear a significant factor and there was no indication of trash. On the other hand, without a referenced pdf map on a handheld device, we were at a loss on how to avoid going into restricted areas.

BTW, Ninham is wonderful. The trails are superb. The land and management of trails and forest exemplary. This is a resource we do not want to restrict any further than present.

Thanks to all who constructed Ninham and maintain it for mtn biking.


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