May VMBA Chapter Update

There's a lot happening!

Trail Openings

It is important that VMBA and chapters collectively communicate with district coordinators each spring. Instead of establishing standard opening dates and to better allow nature to dictate when trails open, we need to communicate about openings each year; especially if your chapter has any trails on public land.


District coordinators have been in touch with me seeking opening dates to share with people calling them - this is good news. It means trails users are aware that trails need to be ready before using them. Let's support this awareness by effectively sharing with coordinators when your trails are ready for use.


Please send me trail openings as they happen and I will relay this content to your district coordinator on your behalf. Thank you.

Act 250 Update - GREAT NEWS!!!!

The state has generated a definition of Act 250 that significantly benefits chapters operating on private land! Going forward any trail that is a part of the VT Trails System is considered "public" which significantly diminishes the likelihood Act 250 will be triggered. In order to be considered "VT Trails System" a chapter must simply have a written agreement with the landowner - that's it. There is no specific requirements - just a written agreement.


Once considered a part of the "VT Trails System" all your chapter's projects are "public" meaning you must physically disturb 10 or more acres of land before triggering Act 250. This represents approximately 20 miles of hand-built and 10+ miles of machine built trails on any one landowner's property.


In essence, the association in tandem with the state has successfully navigated Act 250 to promote expanding access while protecting important relationships with landowners on chapters' behalf. This is a huge step forward!



There are documents further articulating the details on the "chapter documents" link on vmba.org

VMBA Membership

VMBA is aggressively promoting membership this spring. It's a screaming deal for chapter members - only $30 for an awesome coupon book filled with deals to keep riders on the trail. More importantly, it's serves as the fuel the organization needs to continue to support the efforts of chapters at the state level and to expand riding opportunities for all riders in Vermont.


Please employ the VMBA media kit sent to you earlier this spring to help us promote VMBA membership. Also, please incorporate VMBA membership in all your chapter's social media, newsletters, email blasts and web sites.


www.vmba.org/membership


VMBA Sponsored Trail Clinic, June 8th - 9th

On June 8th and 9th VMBA will be hosting our first association sponsored Trail Building Clinic on Perry Hill. Space is limited to two builders per chapter to ensure each builder has a great and educational experience. We will meet at 9AM at the ice rink in Waterbury on the 8th to get started.


EACH CHAPTER IS REQUIRED TO PURCHASE "TRAIL SOLUTIONS" THE IMBA TRAIL BUILDING TEXT. PLEASE HAVE THIS WITH YOU.


Day 1 We're meeting at 9AM at the ice rink in Waterbury. A focus will be paid to trail network development including concept planning, land managers, and utilizing trail contractors. Afternoon field session will incorporate trail assessment, and sustainable building techniques.


Day 2 Will center on maintenance techniques including trailhead management, water crossings, muddy areas, storm water management, erosion, user conflicts, armored crossings, re-routing, and trail flow.


Each day will combine classroom content and flow into field based work. Please have the following with you:

- Trail tools you're comfortable using

- Hiking boots

- Work gloves

- Lunch both days

- Water/snacks

- Check the forecast and bring what you'll need to be out for a while

- You bike!


Day two will wrap up by approximately 3PM.


Please be sure to bring your bike as we will be riding in the afternoons! VMBA will host a BBQ and provide burgers, dogs and the trimmings (please bring what you would like to drink).


VMBA Trails Grant!

VMBA has trail grant money available for chapters! Applications are available on www.vmba.org/chapterdocuments


The deadline is May 15th and should be sent to:

VMBA

PO Box 2055

South Burlington, VT 05407


Please be in touch if you have any questions about the application process.

Recreation Trails Program (RTP Funds)

Some quick background - RTP funding is a federal program. When the money arrives to Vermont the state splits the money down the middle (half for "internal" projects and the second half is the competitive pool for applicants). VMBA chapters have traditionally been very competitive at securing RTP funds. However, there are some changes on the horizon...


Moving forward, any chapter using RTP funds for projects on a private landowner's property must secure a 10-year easement before being allocated the funds. The rationale is to be sure public money is being used on projects the public can enjoy. The 10-year easement ensures this desire.


This requirement does not necessarily change the relationship between VMBA chapters and the landowner and does not represent a loss of trail access. It does, however, require a formal relationship between landowners and VMBA chapters in the event public money is being used on private land projects. If your chapter has the trail building horsepower and access to building funds, this does not impact a chapter's landowner arrangements.


In the event your chapter wishes to perform "maintenance" on a existing trail located on a private landowner's property, the 10-year easement requirement will likely not apply. These situations will be taken on a case by case basis and will be conducted in coordination with district coordinators and VMBA.


Please be in touch with Tom if you have further questions about the new regulations attached to RTP funds. There are documents further articulating details on the "Chapter Documents" link on vmba.org

Special Chapter Trail Days

The Vermont Peanut Butter Company is eager to increase participation in your chapter's trail days. VMBA will produce the bagels and VT Peanut Butter will provide the wonderful goodness that is their peanut butter to fuel trail work. During the day your volunteers can check out VT Peanut Butter Company's new "Pak-its" a small 3 oz. packet of protein loaded peanut butter, which will fit perfectly in their saddle bags.


VMBA would like to build a chapter trail day calendar to support the effort and promote each special day on our facebook page. VT Peanut Butter will also promote the special day. If we combine this promotion with your chapter's mailer list, we might just get more folks our there digging around in the dirt building trails and a stronger connection to your chapter.


WE NEED YOUR HELP:

1. Decide what day, location and time you would like to have a special trail day

2. Send all content to Tom at: tom@ vmba.org

3. Post to all your social media

VMBA.ORG Chapter Listings

VMBA would like to represent your chapter as well as possible with your help. Please send Tom the following at your earliest convenience.

1. Contact info for chapter president and lead trail builder

2. High-resolution image and logo

3. Brief description of your trail network

4. Any links you wish to have added


Please send these items to: tom@vmba.org


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