All of us must be advocates for mountain biking and mountain bike access. Our advocacy can be passive--simply acting responsibly out on the trails, practicing good etiquette, and smiling and chatting with other trail users. But you can also choose to be active in your advocacy by helping staff tabling events like Be Cool education events at trailheads, testifying to local and state government committees, writing letters in support of trail expansion and outdoor recreation, or even joining the SDMB advocacy committee. Mountain bikers are in danger of losing access on some trails because of irresponsible riders who damage cultural and environmental resources or cause negative relationships with other trail users. You can get involved and help make a difference.
SDMB volunteers dedicate many hours a year into organizing, researching, communicating, and facilitating the protection of access to your Public Lands. As the premier defenders of your right to travel by human power across public lands, we have had some amazing successes over the years. We worked with the Town of Oro Valley and Pima County to create the Big Wash trail when access to Honeybee was cut off at Quiet Rain Blvd. We continue to work on sustained access to Honeybee, SDMB was a partner in the installation of the rollover gate on Big Wash, and we continue to partner with Pima County to develop new trails and connectors in the Tucson Mountain Park like Enchanted Hills and the Mockingbird connector to Kennedy Park and Robles Pass. We have also gained oversight of Fantasy Island from the City of Tucson and are active in making improvements out there. Check our Facebook an Instagram accounts to learn about trails days. And the 100 Acre Wood Bike Park is another initiative of SDMB which needs your involvement.
Ever wondered about the myriad of federal regulations, management guidelines, legislative actions, state funding, or even the difference between the BLM and the Forest Service? SDMB offers a number of opportunities throughout the year to help you brush up on your facts and talk the talk to support mountain bike access and trails. SDMB is a leading member of the Network for Arizona Trails and is leading efforts to put the legislature on record for supporting outdoor recreation and eventually creating an Office of Outdoor Recreation, a step that 18 other states have already taken. See more below.
Bike Ambassador Program
In 2022, SDMB launched its own Bike Ambassador Program. Bike ambassadors ride on various trails in the valley and are charged with greeting and meeting the public. This is all about diplomacy and changing public perceptions of mountain bikers, but also about making the trails safe and enjoyable for everyone. Bike ambassadors help with minor first aid, bike repair and directions for those who might be disoriented. Currently 18 ambassadors are out riding trails and engaging with the public. They also report major and minor trail needs and issues so that they can be addressed in a timely fashion by the land manager. Being a bike ambassador is easy and fun. For more information on how to enroll, contact Kirk Astroth
Tucson & Southern Arizona Trail Advocacy
The Sonoran Desert Mountain Bicyclists strongly supports all cycling opportunities (yes, even those road events!) in Tucson, Southern Arizona, and worldwide. We encourage safe and legal trail building through proper channels and communication. PLEASE do not take it upon yourself to re-route, sanitize, or build new trails. All trail work activities require the approval of the land managers and/or trail steward. By ignoring proper channels of communication, you risk the closing of trails to mountain bike use. Seriously. If you see a trail that needs maintenance or a re-route, contact us and we can get the ball rolling. Also, click HERE for more information on current advocacy issues.
Trail Love Corps
SDMB may not have actually BUILT Tucson’s 300+ miles of incredible singletrack, but we work hard to help keep it in shape, and support those who do as well. We work primarily with Pima County Natural Resources Parks and Recreation to help build new and maintain existing trail. Recent partnerships with Pima County have included the McKenzie Ranch trails park and XC race course, as well as the Enchanted Hills trails park, an extension of the larger Tucson Mountain Park (more information HERE). SDMB also implements the annual Brushtoberfest effort to maintain trail corridors after the large amount of vegetation growth during the summer monsoon rains. SDMB has been fortunate to get grants to secure AmeriCorps and American Conservation Experience (ACE) crews to assist with a lot of trail building in the Tucson Valley. McKenzie Ranch and Tucson Mountain Park have been the beneficiaries of their work to improve and expand trails for mountain biking.
A Vision for an Office of Outdoor Recreation in Arizona
Outdoor recreation is an iconic part of Arizona - from the rim of the Grand Canyon to the canyons and bajadas of the Sonoran Desert. Arizona has a history of stewardship for our lands, waters, and wildlife. Yet, we are falling behind our neighboring states in capitalizing on our unique outdoor assets. Arizona needs an Office of Outdoor Recreation to help us leverage the potential of our natural and cultural resources.
An Office of Outdoor Recreation would help to enhance the quality of life for Arizona’s residents, promote sustainable outdoor recreation opportunities for both residents and visitors, and expand and invigorate the outdoor recreation economy. This office would leverage jobs, prosperity, and wellness for all state residents in both rural as well as in large metropolitan areas. Bridging the missions of existing state agencies such as wildlife conservation, tourism, and management of state parks and trails would allow each to build upon the work of the other and scaffold the effect of their efforts.
Arizona would benefit from a unified voice to promote the economic value of outdoor recreation, trails, and public lands. Our neighboring states’ offices for Outdoor Recreation have already demonstrated the value of having such an office. The time for Arizona to tap into the $459 billion dollar per year outdoor recreation industry is now.
SDMB is centrally involved as your MTB advocacy group to help create such an office. The time is long overdue. The time to act is now. Join our efforts to make this a reality by getting involved with the Advocacy Committee.
The Network for Arizona Trails
SDMB participates as a member of the steering committee for the newly formed Network for Arizona Trails. We are centrally involved in statewide advocacy efforts on behalf of trails and outdoor recreation. Currently, our push is to get a concurrent resolution approved by both chambers of the Arizona legislature which expresses their support for and recognition of outdoor recreation as an important economic engine for the state. If you want to learn more, visit this website : https://www.networkforaztrails.org/ or email HERE.
SDMB, a key partner of The Network for Arizona Trails has once again worked on crafting a Resolution currently under consideration by both chambers of the Arizona Legislature affirming the economic, social, physical and emotional benefits of trails and outdoor recreation. This is a small but important first step leading to more ambitious goals for outdoor recreation and trails in the state's governance.
World Trails Network
The World Trails Network (WTN) strives to connect the diverse trails of the world to promote the creation, enhancement, and protection of outstanding trail experiences. The World Trails Network brings trail associations, trail advocates, walkers, hikers and people passionate about the outdoors together from around the world to foster global collaboration and networking for the betterment of the world’s trails. SDMB is a member of this network and we are interested in developing a "Friendship Trail" with Mexico. See more by clicking HERE.
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SDMB is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (Tax ID#27-4499320)
PO Box 65075, Tucson AZ 85718