1. Get the facts regarding the closure. Don't rely on rumors.
Ask these key questions:
Why is the trail being closed?
Who is making decisions regarding the closure?
Where exactly is the closure?
How does the closure fit in with the overall trail plan?
2. Get involved with a local mountain-bike club because they are usually already working on the issues. The Jersey Action Riders club (JAR) is an excellent group that is very invloved with local access issues. (www.jerseyactionriders.org)
3. Ask the decision-makers if you can provide input. If necessary, ask for a delay in decisions to gain time.
4. Be respectful and develop a responsible reputation. Ranting and raving won't help keep trails open. The political process requires cooperation, patience and tenacity.
5. Help mobilize your group. Hold meetings, attend hearings, provide information, volunteer for trailwork, etc.
6. Get businesses with economic interest in the local trails to back you, including, resort and tourist groups, newspapers and other local companies.
7. Learn from the process to anticipate future problems. It's much more effective to work with land managers and other user groups before a situation reaches the crisis stage.
8. Contact I.M.B.A. at the link below. They can offer strategic advice about how to handle local trail crises. Contact information for key individuals, including the I.M.B.A. state rep, can be found on their website, too.