Land Bank seeking new Lopez steward

Our beloved and hard-working steward, Tim Clark, is retiring the end of May. The San Juan County Land Bank is hiring a replacement.

Details and an application can be found here:

http://www.sanjuanco.com/Jobs.aspx?UniqueId=112&From=All&CommunityJobs=False&JobID=Preserve-Steward-Lopez-Island-96

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New E-bike legislation passed

The Washington State Legislature just passed a new law clarifying where e-bikes are, and aren’t, allowed. This new legislation says that unless specifically allowed, motorized mountain bikes are prohibited from natural surface trails. Lopez Hill is managed by the San Juan County Land Bank, which currently prohibits motorized vehicles from its preserves.

No e-bikes are allowed on Lopez Hill trails. Please respect the law and be courteous to other trail users.

From the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance:

E-Bike Legislation Passes in WA Senate and House.

This month, a new electric-assisted bicycle (e-bike) legislation bill (SB 6434) passed the Senate and the House, and it is anticipated to be signed by the Governor soon.  In short, this bill allows e-bike use on paved trails, but restricts use on natural surface trails, unless the land manager specifically allows it.

Evergreen worked with non-motorized recreation groups to assist the Legislature in refining the bill’s language, and encouraged clear distinction between e-bike use on paved trails vs. natural surface trails. Here’s where we landed:

What Does this Bill Do?

  1. It defines what an e-bike is in Washington State, and establishes a regulatory framework for their use.
  2. SB 6434 classifies e-bikes as bicycles, as long as its power output is no more than 750 watts, it has a saddle, includes fully operative pedals, and meets the criteria of the following classes:
    • Class 1: E-assist only while pedaling, with a maximum speed of 20 mph.
    • Class 2: Can be propelled solely by the motor, with a maximum speed of 20 mph.
    • Class 3: E-assist only while pedaling, with a maximum speed of 28 mph, and has a speedometer.
  3. It gives land managers specific authority to regulate the use of e-bikes on their properties.
  4. It requires prominent labeling for all e-bikes containing the Classification Number, Top Assisted Speed, and Motor Wattage”.

What Does this Bill Mean for E-Bike Use?

1) Road, Bike Lanes and Paved Trails

Class 1 and 2 e-bikes are now allowed on roads, in bike lanes and on paved trails.  Local and State jurisdictions may restrict or limit their use.

2) Natural Surface Trails

Evergreen collaborated with other outdoor recreation groups to include language defining natural surface trails, and treating them differently than paved bike paths.  The end result is that e-bikes are not allowed on natural surface trails, unless signed or stated open by the managing jurisdiction.

Next steps for Evergreen

We are satisfied with the outcome of this initial legislation, as it addresses a critical need for urban bike commuters, and gives land managers specific authority to implement e-bike policies. It also recognizes that there is a crucial difference between road and trail use and it enables Evergreen to work on future legislation specific to trails, if deemed necessary.

How e-bike use is regulated is crucial to Evergreen for several reasons:

  • Concerns by our partners in joint non-motorized recreation planning efforts;
  • Potential loss of trail access if land managers choose to close trails to all “bikes” because e-bikes are now defined as bicycles;
  • Funding eligibility risk for future state, federal, and local grants; and
  • Ability for land managers to enforce the regulations.

It remains crucial to monitor the actual use and implementation of this legislation.  While its passage ends the “free-for-all” e-bike use on roads and paved paths through regulation, there is still work to be done on how this relates to mountain biking, and we have concerns on how this bill defines “natural surface trails”.

Our goal is to ensure appropriate legislation is in place for land managers to effectively manage e-bikes on mountain bike trails.  We’re working hard to stay on top of the issue, and devise and promote solutions that best advance our sport.

“Go Take a Hike” 2016 schedule

The Lopez Community Trail Network‘s guided hike schedule is out! Join experienced leaders for great hikes in the San Juans and beyond.

Download the brochure for details and contact info.

  • March 12: Beach hike & cleanup, Lopez Island
  • April 30: Birding ID, Lopez Island
  • May 21: Turtleback Mountain, Orcas Island
  • June 18: Mt. Grant, San Juan Island
  • July 23: Hidden Lake lookout, North Cascades
  • August 13: Skyline Divide, Mt. Baker
  • September 24: Oyster Dome, Larrabee State Park (near Bellingham)

Iceberg Point Social Trails Restoration Project

Sorry for the late notice… from Nick Teague, this info on two opportunities to help shape public use at Iceberg, today, tomorrow, and Friday:

Today, Wednesday October 21st at the Lopez Library 1-4 pm for a review of all the input we received including at our last meeting, Sept 9th. We will look at the Iceberg maps and ensure we have not missed any social trails

Tomorrow, October 22nd Thursday, 1-4 pm we will take a nice walk out to Iceberg Point and “Ground Truth” our maps. Meet at Agate Beach.

– October 23rd, Friday, 1-4 pm, Lopez Library we will gather again, review our examination of walking Iceberg Point, update the maps and chat it up on how best to prioritize, mark, sign and restore those social trails

Please join us if ya can and thanks a million for all the excellent participation. What a special place!!!!   See ya there!!

Here is the link to Lopezrocks.org and where ya can find the latest SJINM newletters:
Cheers, Nick

Land Bank community meeting

When: Tuesday, September 14, 5:30pm to 7:30pm
Where: Lopez Library meeting room

Greetings Lopezians! What’s your vision for the Land Bank’s next 25 years? Join us in the Library Meeting Room tomorrow evening to meet your newest commissioners, Christa Campbell and Amanda Wedow, and help shape future Land Bank projects on Lopez.

For more information contact Tim Clark at 468-2010. Light refreshments provided—hope to see you there!

9.15.2015 Lopez Public Meeting

Hunting on Lopez Hill 2015

There has been hunting on Lopez Hill for many generations. Ever since wolves (the major predators of deer) were removed from the islands, the deer population has grown large enough to have a serious impact on plant communities. Hunting is the currently the best strategy for keeping the deer population down. The hunting season on Lopez Hill extends for half of the time for the rest of the state, in a compromise between safety and deer population control.

The hunting seasons for Lopez Hill are:

Archery: August 31 to September 30
Muzzleloader: October 3 to 11
Modern Firearms: October 17 to 31

Tips:

  • It is a good idea to wear ‘hunter orange’ during hunting season: a lightweight vest can be worn over your regular hiking or biking clothes. Be visible!
  • Weekends tend to be busier than weekdays.
  • Dogs must be leashed at all times, for their own safety and for the protection of wildlife.

Firearm Restrictions

Firearms restrictions are in effect in all of San Juan County. From the Washington State Big Game Hunting Pamphlet:

It is unlawful to hunt wildlife in the following firearm restriction areas with centerfire or rimfire rifles, or to fail to comply with additional firearm restrictions, except as established below.

In firearm restriction areas, hunters may hunt only during the season allowed by their tag.

  • Archery tag holders may only hunt during archery seasons with archery equipment.
  • Muzzleloader tag holders may only hunt during muzzleloader seasons with muzzleloader equipment as defined by department rule.
  • Modern firearm tag holders may hunt during established modern firearm seasons with bows and arrows; crossbows; muzzleloaders; revolver-type handguns; or shotguns, so long as the equipment and ammunition complies with department rules.