Saturday, May 12, 2012

Here is our response to the Forest Service bringing in the Udall Group.

FEBRUARY 15, 2012
The meeting was called by Brooke W. because of the flood of e-mails seeking answers as to WHAT and WHY and HOW the Udall Environmental Conflict Resolution Institute was going to be used by the PNF  to deal with the trail issues.


There is concern about HOW the Institute will deal with the various trail user groups.  PSTC felt we had already “closed the door” on separating the groups where as the Institute wants to break the groups up into one-on-one sessions.

Betty Matthews noted it was better to cooperate with the Institute so they can get the “big picture” of how we get along and how we are working together to solve problems.

Betty noted her FS background of 23 years and that she has worked with the Institute before and felt them to be pro-active facillators when dealing with collaborative issues between user groups.

There was a lengthily discussion that the PTSC has already been a model for conflict resolution and has a history already of coming up with many solutions, actions plans, and activities to address the issues of the non-motorized, multi-user groups in the PNF.  It was noted that groups and specific persons have been invited to join the PTSC so their specific issues, concerns and suggestions to correct the conflict between groups would be heard and recognized.

PTSC also acknowledged that, now, the motorized trail users are also having safety issues and will, form now on, be included in the PTSC group

Betty continued to urge the PTSC to bring in the Institute to build a design for all the get together and build upon what the PTSC has already be doing.

Betty described a possible scenario of how the Institute might work.

  1. The five groups would be put  into each of their own discussion group. (Listening  sessions.)
    1. Equestrian
    2. Hikers
    3. Bikers
    4. Motorized
    5. The small group opposing  bikers on the trails.
2.        The ideas from these individual groups would be gathered, summarized and presented to                                                              the larger Collaborative (all groups) group for discussion
3.        From the Collaborative group, actions plans would be designed.
4.        The actions plans would be what the people/public support when thinking about the “bigger picture” of the PNF usage.  Then those actions plans would be assigned to which ever group would be responsible for their implementation.

The Listening Sessions will be conducted by the facilitator to give people a “safe place” to talk, without fear off intimidation, or of not being heard and would feel free to state what their issues are, what their solutions are, and list what they want to talk about in the larger collaborative group.
The Collaborative session will be facilitated by the Institute leaders so emotions won’t take over and all voices will be heard.

It was again noted that the PTSC has already been implementing many action plans and have even developed a time-line to accomplish specific tasks.  (Noted was the web site.)

A discussion about the intake of information not being equitable, i.e. the small group vs the larger group, will give the small group more say than the larger group already working on issues.  Information will be weighted in favor of the small group.  No conclusion was drawn from this discussion except to be cautious.

Jason W. noted that the inclusion of new people’s experiences and ideas the better it will reduce fears and make progress more solid.  Then it will be harder to “drop the ball” and not finish the work.  Also, with group collaboration it will be easier to support each other out when signing on for grants.


PTSC can not use the universal stop sign symbol or colors.  A circle using yellow and black will be okay.  Diana N will develop a new design still listing all the user groups around the edge.

PNF now has Limited Sight signs and Slow signs ready to be put on the trails.  Jason will be asking for volunteers to help him put them in.

Jason noted when he is out on the trails he makes personal contact with anyone he meet and takes the time to talk to them about trail safety issues.  He encouraged all to do the same.

Plans were made to contact and talk to relevant shop owners and ask them to talk to their customers.  Especially regarding head phones and ear buds.  If one must use them , then use only one ear piece.

The motorized group will be invited to the next PTSC meeting.

MEETING ADJORNED with PTSC letting Betty know that we will completely cooperate with
her efforts in utilizing the UECRI to work with the PNF and all groups involved in the trail use conflict.