It turns out I didn't have the complete story on Indian Heights. There is a RASC member on the Indian Heights steering committee and he has filled me in on all the details. I'll sum things up for you.Now, in my first paragraph above, I say that "if the park is to remain open, then it should be open to all users." Let me expand on this a little. I wish to be sensitive to the Native American community and there is thought that there are remains in the park. Of course I don't claim to know how to identify a burial site, now do I want to be involved in designating a site as one or not. But if it does become a recognized burial site, I think access (for all) should be restricted. I'm not saying closed, but it really shouldn't be open at all times to everyone to do just anything.
The official RASC position is that we are NOT pursuing mountain biking at Indian Heights. Knowing that the Committee was heavily weighted against allowing mountain biking or any trail expansion at Indian Heights a recommendation was negotiated to pursue trails at the Gamehaven Reservoir Park. RASC is also establishing a partnership with the Boy Scouts. Their Camp is adjacent to the Gamehaven Park. This is a total of about 500 acres. Here's a link to the map location. http://g.co/maps/4xwnk. Myself and a few others spent a couple hours walking the land yesterday and it has incredible potential.
Of course you are welcome to personally be in favor of riding at Indian Heights, but RASC is not pursuing trails at that site.
When a RASC proposal for the Gamehaven Reservoir is ready to be brought before the Park board for approval, we would like your attendance at that meeting for support.
I guess I believe that if it is a sacred area, then restrictions should be set so as to not disrespect the grounds. What this means is that while mountain bike riding should or shouldn't be allowed, we should also be looking at all users, and how they may be use the area. Should dog walkers be allowed? Trail runners? Pogo stickers? Unicyclers? I don't have the answers, but merely suggesting that we shouldn't rule out mountain biking without looking at other users and their impact on the area. Mountain biking is proven to have very little impact and can coexist with any other trail user safely. To rule out mountain bike specifically and not look at other users is not fair.
Check out this blog post with a little more info and opinion from a member of the Ho-Chunk Nation and member of the Dakota Community of Rochester. http://valerie-malval.blogspot.com/2011/07/its-been-long-time-but-i-have-been-busy.html
One last thing, this is the first I've heard of possible trails at Gamehaven park. I think this will be great. Not as convenient as Indian Heights, but still close enough to ride to (for folks living in Rochester). I really hope this proposal goes through.
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