Orange’s Exclusive Newspaper | Mailed Free to Every Home & Business in Orange
Top Banner
Top Banner
Top Banner
Top Banner
Side Banner Right
Side Banner Right
Side Banner Right
Side Banner Right
Side Banner Right
Side Banner Right
Side Banner Left

Orange Conservation Commission: Racebrook Tract –Dogs and Mountain Bikes Out of Control

Orange Conservation Commission: Racebrook Tract –Dogs and Mountain Bikes Out of Control

The Orange Conservation Commission (OCC) is receiving an increasing number of complaints from citizens using the beautiful trails of Racebrook Tract that wandering dogs and illegal mountain bike usage are degrading the quality of this valuable Open Space.

The OCC has found numerous cases where mountain bike riders have veered off of the designated trails to create new trails. These new “trails” are damaging the plant growth and scaring animals from their habitats. In addition, “new’ trails cause erosion to the soil that cannot be easily repaired. These illegal trails pose a safety hazard to the public and to the riders themselves in that emergency response to an accident is significantly impaired as 1st responders do not have access to these illegal trails. The OCC reminds the Public that the Racebrook Tract is the only Orange Open Space where mountain biking is permitted and that use is restricted to Town-designated trails.

One OCC member recently approached a man at Racebrook Tract who had just let his dog out of his vehicle to run free and informed him that this was in violation of Town Ordinances requiring dogs to be leashed (numerous signs are posted). The man ignored the OCC member and said “who needs these rules”. This incident was reported to the Orange Police. There are more and more incidents like this happening where dogs are allowed to run free and bother people hiking through the area. In addition, these dog owners are not picking up their dog’s waste leaving it instead on the trails for hikers to avoid.

What has been highlighted above is an example where a small number of people engaged in illegal activity at Racebrook Tract have the degraded the quality of this valuable piece of Town Open Space for the many law-abiding citizens who like to use these trails. The OCC asks the public to speak up if they observe any of this abusive activity. Grab a picture and post it to the Orange Conservation Commission Facebook page or to the OCC website (http://www.orangectconservationcommission.com/).

About The Author

Related posts

5 Comments

  1. Mtb CT

    The trails I have seen here seem to be made very well. Is there a Map of this area showing town designated and maintained trails?

    Reply
  2. Rich

    I love the trails in there. The off the beaten path trails make it worth even going in there to walk/hike. And yes they are built very well. The mountain bikers are some of the most polite and considerate people i see in there! I also have not seen any problem with pet waste either.

    I completely disagree with the author.Sadly I guess some people just need something to complain about…

    – Concerned Orange citizen.

    Reply
  3. Will W.

    This sounds like the Author and the O.C.C. are trying to blame the users for their poor management of the space. The only things marked on the official public map of R.B.T. are gravel roads, there are no “legal trails”. In 2009 NEMBA (New England Mountain Bike Association) offered it’s assistance in designing and maintaining environmentally and multi user friendly mountain bike trails, (before it became the spaghetti bowl of random trails that it is now). That proposal was rejected by the O.C.C. Many others have expressed their interest in helping to maintain the trail system and were dismissed by the O.C.C. Though they ask for “land stewards”, what they seem to want is for a particular type of people to kick sticks off the (illegal) trails; call them if there’s a problem and come to the annual clean up day for a photo op. As a result of this poor management people are creating poorly designed trails and bridges and others are blocking them with sticks in the middle of trails,(which can be very dangerous), and someone has even been putting choke lines across trails.

    The O.C.C opened up Racebrook tract for virtually all uses with no apparent management plan and now they seem to be surprised by the result. There’s ample space for a no leash area. But, instead of engaging the users of the R.B.T. in a productive manner to solve the problem, they have resorted to getting the Milford animal control to hand out tickets to dog owners.

    I’m not a big fan of uncontrolled dogs either, (I love dogs, but the ones that run up to me barking… not so much). Does anyone really expect the Police to hike out into the woods to enforce a town leash ordinance? The only thing that will make some people keep their dog under their control is if someone takes their “wandering” dog, or they are sued when it bites someone.

    Engage the users of the space (and the town of Woodbridge which owns about 1/3 of it) in developing and implementing a trail management plan that is beneficial to all users and you will find your job much easier.

    Reply
  4. Calvin

    I think it is a great park and have been on all the trails. I saw none that at all lived up to the writings of the “news Gatherer” above. Someone had a run in with a rude dog owner, now Mountain bikers are grouped negatively with them, wow.find more news to upset yourself.

    Reply

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

X