Sunday, March 28, 2010


"Misuse will force trail closure." I've stated that I have issues with running impacting anything in the Forest negatively. Also, I do not believe I observe Nature less running the trails in the Forest; I confess that every trail is a Nature Trail and I am on the record for weaving my observations there into my very web of life. Finally, do I disrupt the "vibe" of walkers on any trail by running? I try very hard not to.

If there are environmental concerns related to foot traffic, then that means feet...walking or running feet. If wildlife needs to be preserved and restricted access is the best way to ensure that, then I believe it should be restricted access of any kind.


  1. Give 'em hell, Squonkerz! Love this post :)

  2. i'm fixin to whittle a monkeywrench outa reclaimed timber. .at least that's what hayduke would do. .

  3. That is a lovely bridge. Doesn't really look like anyone is monitoring it, so maybe all you have to do is look at the creek instead of the sign as you step onto it.

  4. We need a weekly off trail run through the forest. Would be good training for Barkley 2011 where there are no trails!

  5. watch out for the guard troll below....

  6. Ever thoughtful and in good humor, this is Greg Kopsch's response. It doesn't appear there's an argument here, just a wish to keep this trail closed to runners. I generally support the wishes of Forest theory if not in I'm not entirely reconciled on this issue, as it pertains to the ecological impact of running, as opposed to walking, and walking dogs, on this trail.

    I won't split hairs over the differences between jaunts, walks, forms of golf, or trail running as they'd only detract from the message. I will attempt to present a cogent case as to why the Office of Forestry Management is requesting that the Nature Observation Trail be kept more sedentary than the rest of the trails.

    It's not like there aren't (by my count) 23+ miles of OTHER trails to run, bike or walk your dog on 'out there', not including trails not under UNC's management.

    Part of the mission and vision for the active management program, the trail was developed to facilitate education (first) and passive recreation (second). We had this idea that we would allow walkers, birders, nature buffs, shutterbugs and the like a less traveled route through a portion of the land where flora and fauna abound.

    As the trail winds its way through what will eventually be designated a conservation zone (the biggest one of them all), there are Mary's salamanders and woodpeckers, Dave's wildflowers, Knocker's coyotes, rabbits, raccoons, Carolina wrens, real marmots, beaver and the ever-present deer. All of these things you're probably not going to see much more of than their backsides as you're huffing, puffing and sprinting along. Rest assured though...they'll see you. Right before they scamper off. Or get mashed flat.

    The vision included cleaning up the pot forts! Shacks (sorry to bust out the technical jargon on you), hauling out the trash (including the pink flamingo), interactive signs highlighting seasonal activity or growth, invasive plant control and native plant encouragement/introduction, a venue for student groups and volunteer efforts, and a dedicated venue to demonstrate other best stewardship efforts - different standards for 'brushing', seasonal closures out of respect for mating rituals and the exchange of DNA, stream crossings and restoration, sustainable trail alignment, speed and access control points, drainage features, etc. - a real time terrarium, if you will.

    The signs are the first step, as evidenced by your praise and curiosity. As we work in the area, we'll talk to folks we see and try to educate them as to why we don't want to see runners, bikers, free-range dogs and the like on that particular mile or so. We understand this will be a challenge and that what we're asking won't make sense to everyone but we're committed to the idea and have made an investment in materials and labor to make it a reality.

  7. i reserve my god given right to arm bears- and will die trying. goofus

  8. Greg Kopsch summarized CNF management's view on the restriction of this trail in this sentence:

    "The fulcrum of the argument is about being considerate of other Forest users and residents along that trail."

    So, this isn't really about environmental concerns.