View Full Version : Bluff Point Mtn Bike Access Denied?
March 20th, 2003, 07:53 AM
I am concerned that the CT DEM is considering banning certain uses of Bluff Point including mtn bikes. The reasons are: trail erosion, endangered plant species and nesting sites.
This isn't just a SECT issue! With closure of Bluff Point riders will head to other areas to ride maybe even your favorite. Using Bluff Point as an example other areas could have their use changed to exclude mtn biking.
Mtn biking is best in my opinion when there are lots of places to ride and we can spread out. If the sensitive areas were known, I would encourage us not to roll our fat tires through the plants, nests and eroding areas.
Any one know the local state reps e-mail address so we can let Cathy Cook know this is a bad idea?
March 20th, 2003, 10:53 AM
Unforetunately there are not a lot of fact to draw upon to confirm the potential conclusions that you are presuming. We do know that a study was conducted by a Dr. Barrett which I understand has identified the presence of two endangered species and further identifies threat to these species from recreational encroachment (and yes, it specifically cites MTB use) and that this study has been presented to CT DEP. The DEP, and specifically their Natrual Resources division in turn is developing a recommendation for facility management. Yes, at worse case recreationalist may face severe access limitations, including MTB use. Realistically I would expect this not to be the outcome but rather potentially an access closure for the specific area of concern (i.e. south end of property along Mumford Cove). Rest assured that from discussions that CTNEMBA has had with the local DEP manager of Bluff Point (Jon Lincoln) is not interested in the prospect of closing or severely limiting access to the facility, either to all or any part of the overal recreational community. In fact it was he that may have leaked the whole sitation to CTNEMBA. So without specific information to work from there is not much to be done as yet. Conversations have been conducted with the specific party that will be drafting a DEP internal recommendation and ultimately any draft management proposals (which BTW will be offerred to the public for comment) and to various management with DEP. You may also be aware of recent editorials and editorial comments recently appearing in the newspaper, The Day. (CTNEMBA encourages individuals to follow up with editorial commnets to The Day, and of course contact to state and town/city officials is also encouraged). However a draft management plan is needed in order to formulate credible responses and otherwise energize a campaign to respond.
Who by the way is Cathy Cook?
March 21st, 2003, 06:18 AM
John thanks for the very informative and factual response. I go my info from The Day which doesn't let the facts get in the way of a good story.
Cathy Cook is the CT state representative for Stonington and I think that part of Groton. Pressure can be applied by us on the reps who in turn can push on CT DEP. CT DEP has acted on political agendas regarding state parks in the past.
April 1st, 2003, 01:43 PM
Turch - thanks for articutlating the situation.
I spoke with the author of the Bluff Point Management plan in regards to status of the public document (Jim Murphy). He has recieved many inquiries on the document he is authoring - including one from Harry Watson who sits on the Groton Town council. Harry, on behalf of the town of Groton made an appeal to the DEP to come down to Groton and present their management plan to the town council. This action has created a delay in the issuance of the publically available document.
One other note is that the Nature Conservancy (the group that did the initial "study") just got another LI Sound grant for 15,000 to go into the Bluff Point Natural Area Preserve to remove the invasive plant species that is reducing the colonization of the endangered plants. This grant was not well recieved by the DEP land manager since the Nature Conservancy wants to bring in heavy equipment that is wider than the trails leading the the area of interest and that this piece of equipment turns via skid track (thus causing more trail damage). Thsi heavy equipment will be used to cut the stalks of the invasive plants. Once cut, the Nature Conservancy group wants to target and blanket spray herbicide over that entire area.
To me this sounds like they are cutting off their arm to save their fingers...
April 1st, 2003, 07:34 PM
Hey Puff Daddi that is not good about the heavy equipment I can not even think abou that In that area.it does sound like that they are cutting off their arm and to save their fingers. Whats new
April 7th, 2003, 02:46 PM
Spoon-man! How ya been bud! I have a meeting with the BP Land Manager the first week in May to go over the status of the whole situation. From what I'm told, there is a meeting up in Hartford to discuss the Bluff Point Management Plan on April 29th. Hopefully we will know the status of things to come shortly after that...
April 7th, 2003, 02:46 PM
Thanks for the updates! Interesting that Nature Conservancy want sto use heavy equipment and herbicides. The CT DEP has done the herbicide and heavy equipment routine at a local hunting area to control invasive non-native plant species. The program seems to work, but the the heavy equipment was a track based 'flail' . The tracks did a number on the soil in soft areas, but the flail did beat down the under brush. The herbicides did a number on the bitter sweet and black thorn rose too.
If there are rare plants at Bluff Pt that have survived farming, the deer and lots of people maybe they can survive heavy equipment and herbicides, but it seems like a wired approach. The non-native plant species are capable of altering wildlife habitat which in turn can reduce places for animals to feed, breed and live. Very complex issue indeed.
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