Florida- Open Tiger Bay State Forest To OHV Use

Florida- Open Tiger Bay State Forest To OHV Use Hot

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BlueRibbon Coalition

In Florida, an OHV enthusiast from Daytona Beach named Greg Gimbert is working with other off road enthusiasts and local businesses in an effort to provide some well-managed and sustainable off-road opportunity in Florida's Tiger Bay State Forest.

One of the first steps in accomplishing this goal is an endorsement from the Daytona Beach City Commission. The Commission, to their credit, will consider a resolution to ask the state to (a) open the existing 2 track roads and trails to licensed off road vehicles (jeeps, trucks, SUVs) AND (b) dedicate 10% of the park to managed and sustainable motorcycle and ATV use. That vote will occur October 3rd at the 6pm meeting in Daytona Beach City Hall, located at 301 S. Ridgewood Ave., Daytona Beach, FL 32114

If you live in Florida, Greg and his fellow OHV enthusiasts need your help. Greg is asking you to contact the Daytona Beach City Commission and let them know how much you support this idea. We have an easy action item below.

Currently, OHV use is allowed in just two State Forests (Tate's Hell and Withlacoochee State Forests). You may also know that Adam H. Putnam, Commissioner of Florida's Dept. of Agriculture and Consumer Services (the agency that manages Florida's State Parks), understands the importance of the State Forests' role in providing all types of recreation and even off highway vehicle recreation (See: http://www.freshfromflorida.com/press/2011/01192011.html)

Now is our chance to help Greg make Commissioner Putnam's commitment a reality. Please respond as soon as possible!

We've taken the time to put together some comment suggestions to make it as easy as possible.
Just follow "BRC's 3-Step Action Item" below.

If you want, you can use BRC's letter generator (www.sharetrails.org/issues/rapid-response-center/tiger-bay). It has an easy interface for adding additional comments and sending your letter.

As always, if you have any questions or concerns, please contact BRC.
Thanks in advance for your support,

Brian Hawthorne                                           Ric Foster
Public Lands Policy Director                         Public Lands Department Manager
BlueRibbon Coalition                                    BlueRibbon Coalition
208-237-1008 ext 102                                  208-237-1008 ext 107

IMPORTANT PS: If you live in Daytona Beach, PLEASE contact the Daytona Beach City Commission personally via phone and ask they support the Tiger Bay resolution.


A group of Jeepers, 4x4 Truckers, SUVers, Motorcyclists and ATVers are joining with local business people who love the outdoors and desire to gain access to our own public land right here in our own back yard. Many of our supporters are also out of town enthusiasts who have to travel hours each way to recreate, and would like to add Daytona Beach to our list of frequently visited places.

We are united in the effort to open the Tiger Bay State Forest for managed and sustainable OHV recreation.

The 30,000-acre Tiger Bay is a HUGE state forest located just outside the city limits of Daytona Beach FL.
Currently, the public has access to only a tiny fraction of it and only on a few dirt roads, while the 50+ miles of trails are only accessed by forest staff, and there is no access anywhere for motorcycles or ATVs. In contrast the Withlacoochee State Forest on the west coast of Florida has its trails and fire roads (aka jeep trail - 2 track trails) open for 4x4 vehicles, and also has a 2,700 acre dedicated motorcycle and ATV area that nets the state between $800,000 and $1 million each year after related expenses.

Tiger Bay is the right land (a former tree farm), in the right place (right next to an urban area with industrial uses), and it is owned by a government entity with the proven track record of opening access and making it profitable too.

We just have to get past the local gatekeepers to the Governor's office. Since early 2010 we have been trying to get the forest staff to open Tiger Bay to off road users with no luck. Their latest tactic was to demand local government support.

         (1) Please Email the Mayor, Commissioners, and City Manager (you can do it all on the same email) telling them about yourself and your family and how your off-road use is a family and/or group activity. Tell them how you travel great distances across the state to access the few places you can still have access, and how you spend money in the restaurants and hotels in those areas. Let them know how much you would enjoy putting Daytona Beach on your list of regular places to visit. Attaching a clean image of your family or group with the email would be great too. Most of all, ask them to pass a supporting resolution before the election.

          (2) Forward this alert to your off-road friends, be they motorcycle, ATV, military vehicle, Jeep or other motorized user. We all stand to win with this as a local community, and as outdoor enthusiasts.

          (3) Finally, please encourage everyone you think is interested in outdoor recreation or economic development in the cities of Daytona Beach, and the Deland Florida area to come on board. At 30,000 acres, there is room for everyone and every use.

If you want, you can use BRC's letter generator (www.sharetrails.org/issues/rapid-response-center/tiger-bay). It has an easy interface for adding additional comments and sending your letter.

NOTE: Please be polite and, if possible, make your comment letter as personal as you can. If you can add any personal testimony about your experiences enjoying this spectacular area, please take a minute to add that to your email.

STEP 1:  Open your email program and start a draft email. Addresses for the mayor and commissioners
                are listed below. Put "Open Tiger Bay State Forest" in the Subject Line.

STEP 2:  Use the comments below as a guideline for comments in your email.
                Cut and paste is okay, but try to make your comment letter as personal as possible.

STEP 3: Take just a minute to add a bit about where you live, where you like to ride
               and how much trail-based recreation means to you. Be certain to include your
               name and address. A return email address is NOT sufficient! ("anonymous" emails
               are often discarded).

Then click "Send" and you're done!

EXTRA CREDIT: Attend the meeting or pick up the phone and call the Mayor and City commissioners and pass this along to everyone you know especially if they live in the Daytona Beach area.

Be polite. Be Professional. Be on time. (The comment deadline is Wednesday, October 3, 2012)

Mayor Glen Ritchey - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Commissioner Pam Woods - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Commissioner Edith Shelley - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Commissioner Rob Gilliland - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Commissioner Cassandra Williams - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Commissioner Patrick Henry - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Commissioner Kelly White - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 
Commissioner Jim Chisholm - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. 

Advocate Greg Gimbert - This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

It is important to include Greg Gimbert on those emails so we can reference them in future meetings with the Governor's office.


Request for support in opening Tiger Bay

Dear Mayor, Manager and Commissioners,

It is my hope that you have been hearing a lot of support for opening Tiger Bay. I expect you have been hearing from those who oppose it too.

First off, you do not need a big truck to have big fun. A daily vehicle driver that has 4-wheel drive will get you anywhere you could reasonably want to go. We are not talking about mud bogging here. That's not us.
When we stop for gas on the other side of the St John's River before hitting the woods (over an hour drive from Daytona Beach), we collectively drop about $800 or more in gasoline.  We clean out the premade food prepared on-site. The kids get their candy, the adults all the necessary snacks and beverages.  The economic impact of just our little group of friends on a quick day trip equals $1,200 or more at that little store alone.  Then there is the big restaurant bill at the after ride dinner.  Hotels, for those that do not camp out, just piles on to the local economic impact of the multi-day trips.
Why do we have to drive an hour or more to enjoy the outdoors?  Because of the most despised sign in Volusia County: "Tiger Bay is closed."
But what do these signs really protect?  Is it an undisturbed natural state. "A Garden of Eden?"  No, it's a former tree farm, with existing trails that are regularly used by forest staff.  What real environmental impact would occur if our families (and those of our visitors and Volusia neighbors) were allowed to drive down them too?  I suspect very little.

I could show you as many examples as there are trails out there because they are ALL CLOSED.  Needlessly.
Here is an example of one of the many ready to ride motorcycle and ATV trails that are spider webbed throughout the area.

So who would you be opening Tiger Bay for? A bunch of reckless users who have no respect for the forest?  No. Those very few who do not have respect for the forest and the rules already go out there and can act as they will with no one to see it or discourage it. Why? Because there is no one for miles around to bear witness to it. As you know, peer pressure, public pressure, embarrassment or fear of getting caught is why criminals do not conduct their crimes in broad daylight in front of other people. Permitting responsible users access to what is rightly their land goes a long way toward helping self-police the forest, and also acting as the eyes and ears of forest staff and law enforcement.

With the Resolution to open Tiger Bay, you open the door for family use by people who tread lightly. People who are your friends and neighbors. Who need other users from other parts of our state, and other states in the southeast, to make Daytona Beach their destination to help secure local jobs. To help lure other companies to relocate here because we would offer recreational opportunity unique within our state. A safe place to spend time with their families. It would keep Mom & Dads precious dollars in their pocket or on local registers instead of going to the oil companies, other communities, and for vacation in other states.

Outdoor recreation instead of sitting in front of a video game is good for people's confidence, makes them more attentive in school, and lets them socialize with children and adults of all ages. What better place for a boy to learn a little about being a man that in the woods? It's fun!! It builds lifelong friendships. And memories.

Please look for the reasons why to do this. And when faced with an objection you have not considered please give me an opportunity to counter those who would have you reject this Resolution. There is so much riding on it for our locals, our visitors, and our businesses.




The BlueRibbon Coalition is a national recreation group that champions responsible recreation, and encourages individual environmental stewardship. With members in all 50 states, BRC is focused on building enthusiast involvement with organizational efforts through membership, outreach, education, and collaboration among recreationists. The Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) season is here. Federal employees, please mark BlueRibbon Coalition and Check #11402 on your CFC pledge form to support our efforts to protect your access. Join us at 1-800-258-3742 or http://www.sharetrails.org

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