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|Official Position of the Trailblazers
|Recent television and print media stories have presented individuals as representatives of the Tarheel Trailblazers and our board of directors. In what has been a very emotional period of time for mountain bikers that love and enjoy the challenges that Catawba offers, it is our understanding that the press has somewhat distorted the factual portions of statements made by these individuals. These stories have portrayed the Trailblazers Board of Directors in a somewhat compromising light. As a board, we are embarrassed by statements that could ultimately jeopardize the trails at Catawba and other projects currently in the works.
The Trailblazers recognize the construction of the Whitewater facility will ultimately shed a positive light on our chosen sport of mountain biking. Offering amenities that we would never have the ability to procure as a volunteer organization, the construction of the park will result in a World Class facility, not only for whitewater enthusiasts, but mountain bikers alike.
Our representatives have met with the CWWP and Charlotte Mecklenburg Park and Recreation, and agreed to the closure of Catawba during the construction phase of the facility. Understanding that patrolling of the 10 miles of trails to make certain that no one strays into the construction zone would be virtually impossible (and ultimately our responsibility - in this, the land of litigation), we support the construction closure.
The construction of the CWWP facility will open new doors to the mountain bike community, not only at Catawba, but across the Catawba River in Mount Holly, and hopefully elsewhere in the metro-Charlotte region. We are currently working toward the approval of mountain biking opportunities at Mount Holly, Mecklenburg County, Harrisburg, and trail expansion in Davidson
How we interact with Park and Rec and the folks at Charlotte Whitewater will go a long way toward the construction of new trails, elsewhere. You may not realize it, but the smaller municipalities (Davidson, Mount Holly, Mint Hill) along with Charlotte Park & Rec conduct workshops for their land managers, and our name has already come up in one situation, where we were branded as “renegades”. This does nothing for our standing in the communities where we wish to expand our trail system.
Our representatives will work hard to negotiate supervised events to be held at the Catawba facility, with reasonable advanced notice and agreement between representatives of the Trailblazers, CWWP and Park & Rec.
The Trailblazers are at crossroads as a club and it is time for the club to step up and reorganize our way of doing business. Our current board of directors (president, vice-president, secretary and treasurer), are the ultimate decision makers of the club. We are in the process of laying the ground work for a steering committee of individuals that can assist in the decision making process.
Comprised of individuals with expertise previously unavailable to our club, this committee will result in a series of checks and balances that will keep our direction more focused.
The Board of Directors has appointed Neal Boyd as official liaison between the Trailblazers, CWWP and Park & Rec. Neal's voice will be the official appointed position of the club and no one else will speak in an official capacity. Unfortunately, while we feel that this is a significant step in the right direction, we cannot regulate individuals that wish to serve in an un-official capacity as “club representatives” to the media. To this end we have written a letter clearly stating our official position on the construction of the Whitewater Park, and forwarded copies to CWWP, Park & Rec and the news media.
The Trailblazers are striving to be more communication oriented, not only within the structure of our club, but with the CWWP and Park & Rec as well.
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