Author Archives: ebxtreme
We had a blast at the 9th Annual Shoot the Trails Awards! Our main fundraiser of the year, this year’s event sold out in only 3 days! A big thank you to our amazing volunteers, videographers and photographers, sponsors and everyone that attended! Special thanks goes to the Rotary Club of Bellingham for helping everyone at the doors. We sold 81 Jump tickets and it was a great way to start the evening.
Thank you to our title sponsor, Phillips 66, along with Jason Loeb Real Estate and Coastal Insurance Group for the cash prizes! A huge shout out to the more than 50 local business, bike shops and breweries for your support and making this event awesome!
An extra special thank you to the following individuals:
- Kaela Joslyn for managing the event and herding the cats!
- Allie Tobin and Amy Olive for managing the raffle.
- Stu Giesecke for managing the beer stations.
- Angi Weston and Shae James for MC’ing the event
- Chris Grundberg for managing the video element of the program.
- Becky Kurle from Liet Unlimited for creating the supporter slide show.
- Jake and Craig at Bellingham Technical College
2019 Best Photographs
1st Place: Eric Mickelson, Rider: Finn Hopper
2nd Place: Kevin Wheeler, Photographer: Brian Chapel
3rd Place: Eric Mickelson, Rider Kelend Hawks
2019 Best Videos
1st place: 3 Bikes 3 Boys: Spencer Arps, Devon Bumstead and Talus Turk
2nd Place: Bellingham Kids Jumping Bikes with Logan and Hayden: Mike Meagher
3rd Place: Punch Cards: Eli Gold & Eric Olsen
A quick head’s up that there will be herbicide spraying along several of the roads on Galbraith tomorrow / Thursday September 5th. We’d ask you to avoid riding on the highlighted roads for 24 hours (see below image).
We’ll be sharing this via our social media channels as well, but please share accordingly!
A huge thank you to Transition Bikes, our volunteers, 96 racers, our photographers (Erik Arcus and Skye Schillhammer), our timers (Marc and Corbin from Pacific Multisports) and the hecklers who came out to help cheer on for our 2nd Whatcom World Cup. Our first racer dropped in at 6:30 and we elected to have 30 second intervals to ensure we got off the hill at a reasonable hour.
The course was on some of the most popular trails and was fun route from the top of the mountain down to the bottom – Evo, Pump Track, The Sh*t, Eagle Scout to A-Dog.
Full results are here: Whatcom World Cup 2 – Evo to A Dog.
Images from Lone Tree Photography can be found here.
Our current Schedule and more details about the Whatcom World Cup can be found here.
A huge thank you to our volunteers, 78 racers, photographers (Erik Arcus and Tony Lathrop), timers (Marc and Corbin) and hecklers who came out to brave the elements last night for our first-ever Whatcom World Cup. Our first racer dropped in at 6:10 and we were done by 7:30’ish in a gnarly rainstorm.
To call last night”wet” would be an understatement, but no one batted an eye and there were smiles all around. In fact, it was so wet that Marc’s keyboard for his timing system got drenched and so we couldn’t determine the results last night. Big props to Marc and Corbin from Pacific Multisport for fitting our series into their already busy schedule!
We elected to start the WWC series of with a couple of old favorites and both Mullet and Cheech delivered a fun course for our racers. Hope to see folks next week…the course will be announced on Tuesday!
Full results are in the links below:
Our tentative Schedule and more details about the Whatcom World Cup can be found here.
- Do you love digging in the dirt?
- Do you love working with awesome volunteers?
- Do you love riding bikes on some of the best trails anywhere?
If the answer to the questions above are “yes”, then we are looking for you! With the amount of projects on our plate, the time has come for the WMBC to step up our game and hire a Seasonal Trail Crew Lead.
You can learn more about the position here. Resume’s are due on March 15th!
Many thanks to the 155 folks that showed up last night for our first-ever Membership Meeting! We hope you learned more about what’s going on with the WMBC and ways to plug-in with us in the coming year.
For anyone that didn’t attend the event, you can find the link to our presentation here.
Hello WMBC Members!
We want to invite you to our first ever WMBC Membership Meeting on February 20th at the Fairhaven Ferry Terminal in the Dome Room. Doors will open at 6 pm and we’ll kick off the meeting around 6:30’ish.
It’ll provide you an opportunity to chat with other WMBC members, our Trail Adopters, the WMBC Board of Directors and our staff. Simply put, we can’t do what we do without our members and want to make sure you are up to speed on what’s taking place in the coming year.
The meeting will consist of 2-3 short presentations about the state of our trails, our education programs, our new sub-committees and our future goals. There will be time set aside for Q & A after each presentation and then we’ll, of course, have time to mingle afterwards.
Ferry Terminal Location: https://goo.gl/maps/jePyuXX9F4
The 2019 Member in December drive flannel shirts were just sent out and members should receive them shortly. T he Tech t-shirts from December’s Membership drive will be available for pickup at the event. If you can’t attend, that’s no problem as they will be sent out on Friday, February 22nd.
This will be a family-friendly event and we hope you can join us at the Ferry Terminal!
If you’d like to learn more about 2018, you can download our annual report below.
Galbraith CLOSED on Tuesday, August 21st!
Folks, we got the heads up that there will be herbicide spraying along the highlighted roads this Tuesday (August 21st)and, as such, we are closing the mountain for the entire day.
Notices and the below map will be going up at the main entry points on Monday. If the date changes for any reason, we’ll let you know.
Please share far and wide. Many thanks!
The Department of Natural Resources presented their Draft Baker to Bellingham Recreation Plan to the public a couple of weeks ago. They are asking for comments from our constituents and this is open for comment until August 26th so it’s important that mountain bikers give our comments asap. This has been a 2 ½ year process, so let’s make sure we have a strong showing as we cross the finish line here! You can send your comments here: SEPACENTER@DNR.WA.GOV
From our standpoint, there are two key takeaways from the Draft plan that we would like folks to comment on.
- Stewart Mountain: The WMBC would like the DNR to prioritize the area around Lake Whatcom Park on Stewart Mountain for future development. The two DNR parcels on Stewart Mountain that adjoin the North and South of the Whatcom County Park already have trail development taking place and this makes perfect sense.
- North Fork:
- The southern section along the Racehorse Creek drainage is appealing due to its higher elevations and alpine views. The only potential downsides are that it starts at a higher elevation, so it would only be accessible half of the year due to snow and it’s a significantly longer drive into this area.
- On the Northern section, we would prefer the DNR to include pre-existing trails and usage in the North Fork area with or without the conditional use that is tied to the Marbled Murrelet Conservation Strategy. Other trail networks around Western Washington will be grandfathered into the Murrelet Conservation Strategy due to their official status. While the North Fork has always been an unsanctioned trail network, it has a long history of use and it would benefit the DNR to move forward in sanctioning this area for non-motorized use. On the included map, this is the area with the diagonal lines through it.
Please be sure to send an email to the DNR at SEPACENTER@DNR.WA.GOV before the 26th of August. If you want to dig into this plan more, you can see the entire plan here: https://www.dnr.wa.gov/baker-bellingham-non-motorized-recreation-plan
City of Bellingham, Whatcom Land Trust, and Galbraith Tree Farm reach purchase and sale agreement
The City of Bellingham, Whatcom Land Trust, and Galbraith Tree Farm LLC have entered into a purchase and sale agreement that secures the public’s recreational use of up to 65 miles of trails on Galbraith Mountain in perpetuity. Bellingham City Council voted to approve the agreement on Monday night, protecting the mountain from future development.
“We are so excited to have an agreement to protect this amazing community asset,” Bellingham Mayor Kelli Linville said. “Securing the public’s use of the mountain for recreation, protecting the mountain from development, and ensuring the landowner’s continued growth and harvest of timber is a win-win for everyone.”
The agreement includes both a recreational use easement and a conservation easement. Whatcom Land Trust contributed $250,000 to the purchase and the City of Bellingham Greenway Funds contributed $2.75 million for a total of $3 million. The sale is expected to close later this summer, and a management plan will be developed that covers administration, operation and management of the recreational use granted through the easement.
Galbraith Mountain is located east of Bellingham between Lake Padden and Lake Whatcom and is approximately 1/8 the size of Bellingham, reaching an elevation of 1,785 feet. The total area of the easement is 2,182 acres, with 1,023 of those acres inside the Lake Whatcom watershed. The acquisition adjoins 4,250 acres of public land managed by Whatcom County.
Galbraith Tree Farm LLC purchased the land on Galbraith Mountain from the Paulus Estate in June 2017.
Ensuring recreational use
Over the last two decades, Galbraith Mountain has been developed by mountain bikers into a nationally recognized mountain biking facility. Galbraith’s trails also support family outings, runners, hikers, and walkers. Up to now, all of these recreational uses have been allowed by the property owners on a voluntary basis. The property is zoned for commercial forestry with ongoing managed timber harvesting occurring regularly, and both recreational use and logging have successfully coexisted for many years.
“Thousands of bikers, hikers and runners use the tree farm year-round,” said Rob Janicki, principle owner of Galbraith Tree Farm. “We have worked cooperatively with the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition since 2010 to preserve and enhance the public’s recreational use of the tree farm, and our excellent record of public safety is a hallmark of that outstanding cooperation.”
Eric Brown, Trail Director for the Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition, said their organization is thrilled to partner with the City, Whatcom Land Trust and Galbraith Tree Farm to secure this continued public access as well as continue the property’s legacy as a working forest. Under the new agreement, it is anticipated that the trail network on Galbraith will continue to be maintained by Whatcom Mountain Bike Coalition.
“While our organization has built and maintained trails on Galbraith for 32 years, there has never been guaranteed public access for recreation,” Brown said. “Over the past eight years, we’ve worked closely with Janicki Logging and formed a strong relationship that has allowed the trail network to flourish during timber harvest activity. Thanks to the City and Whatcom Land Trust, our new partnership is even more exciting. As the trail network manager, the WMBC will be able to expand our world-class trail network and host future events. With the ever-increasing popularity of our trails, trail users and the growth in Bellingham, securing access to Galbraith helps maintain this jewel of Whatcom County for all residents forever.”
Protecting Lake Whatcom
With approximately 1,023 acres located directly within the Lake Whatcom Watershed, this agreement provides important protection for Whatcom County’s drinking water supply as well. The conservation easement prohibits commercial, residential and industrial development on the site, which will in turn protect Lake Whatcom’s water quality.
“After a decade or more of effort, the Whatcom Land Trust is thrilled that the original goals of permanent recreation, public access, and protection from development have been accomplished,” Whatcom Land Trust Executive Director Rich Bowers said. “Galbraith Mountain has long been a highly used and nationally recognized resource. Now Galbraith is guaranteed to forever provide these values to the Whatcom community.”
Janicki said that Galbraith Mountain will remain a working tree farm, with Galbraith Tree Farm continuing to harvest timber in a sustainable fashion.
“GTF expects to harvest an average of 50 acres per year establishing a 40-year crop rotation, providing steady employment and goods that help support our local economy. Sustainable forestry practices ensure that the tree farm will provide a healthy forest for the foreseeable future and help sequester carbon dioxide,” he said.
Recreational activity on the mountain also contributes to tourism and outdoor recreation businesses. According to the 2015 report Economic Contribution of Outdoor Recreation to Whatcom County prepared by Earth Economics for Recreation Northwest, the yearly total economic contribution of recreation in Whatcom County is $585 million and consumer outdoor recreation spending supports a total of 6,502 jobs.
In the coming months, the parties to the agreement and WMBC will develop an operating plan to ensure that the public’s recreational use of the tree farm safely coexists with sustainable timber harvest operations on the property. The City and Galbraith Tree Farm do not anticipate any disruptions in public access for non-motorized recreational use before or after the sale is completed.
“Galbraith is an amazing example of how a private landowner, commercial forestry, the City of Bellingham, and recreation, environmental and other interests can work together to protect a place so special for everyone,” Bowers said.
For a map of Galbraith Mountain and its location in relation to Bellingham, click here.