Following a recent call for submissions to the Coillte MTB Strategy, concerns have been raised in some quarters regarding the level of involvement of the mountain bike community in communications with Coillte, as well as other landowners, and also relating to the level of progress to date and the value of continued dialogue. While it is not practical to deal with all the various points here, I want to give an overview of where we are and suggest a mechanism for addressing specific concerns and communicating information going forward.
While there have been some notable steps forward over reason years, and much progress has been made, it is an undeniable fact the progress in certain areas has been slow and fraught with issues. Instead of going through a litany of successes and failures I will explain where things stand at this moment in time and how we plan to progress them forward.
At this moment in time a panel (which includes us) is in the final stages of drafting a Coillte Mountain Bike Strategy. This Strategy will provide a framework to deal with many of the issues we face while biking on Coillte property. While many elements have not been finalised, the Strategy will deal with areas such as future purpose built trail developments, local involvement with clubs in trail building projects and mechanises that will help us to deal with the imposition of the infamous bye-laws. While at this point we can’t go into much of the detail on a public forum we can assure you that Coillte have been fully engaged with us, acknowledging our concerns and quite active in trying to find workable solutions.
While having a National Strategy that specifically deals with our concerns is a landmark achievement, it is at the end of the day a document. Its implementation and delivery on the ground will determine both it’s relevance and whether or not it will prove to be a success. While elements of it cannot be tested until it is agreed and launched, some can be progressed now. With this in mind we are trying to progress some trail building projects. Those of you who have been involved for a number of years will know that we have had a number of attempts at projects to date, some proving to be a success and paving the way, other have become stalled and others unfortunately have failed. The one positive coming from the issues is that there is now a reasonably clear formula for what will make a successful project. Many of the issues that have caused issues in the past have been looked at and a project has been selected as a test of the new process. It is progressing well and we would hope to have positive news to share on it very shortly.
Obviously trail projects are just one issue and Coillte is just one of the landowners we have experienced difficulties with, there are many more stakeholders and many more issues – far too many to address in this communication.
To help inform people of the various issues and difficulties we have created a FAQ section of the MBI site where people can view answers to questions they post.
If you have questions, please use the Contact Form to enter them, once we have an answer, we will post it in the FAQ section.
. We will try to address the various concerns as best we can and take any suggestions on board. Following from this we may organise some open forum meetings to address any consistent issues and discuss more openly some of the more divisive areas.
As always we are looking for people to get involved and help out. The process we are involved in a long one and has at times been incredibly difficult, it is always refreshing to have new ideas and to get enthusiastic people involved. If you wish to get involved and help out let us know (via email or phone).
Mobile: 087 9854445