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Author Topic: Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.  (Read 2004 times)

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Offline schmitty

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Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.
« on: March 25, 2009, 04:32:10 PM »
Quote
All: 
Please see the message below from the Rails to Trails folks:

Dear Florida Trail Advocate,

I’m shocked at the irony, and hope you are too.

Within weeks of the Florida Governor’s office proclaiming March as Bicycle Month and celebrating our trail victories, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) announced devastating cuts to the Office of Greenways and Trails (OGT), effectively eliminating this nationally renowned program.

Act now to protect Florida’s greenways and trails.

These cuts are excessive and disproportionate to FDEP’s other proposed cuts. While other FDEP program budgets are being cut 20 percent, this proposal would, among other things, eliminate more than 80 percent of OGT’s Tallahassee staff! In addition to rolling back the pro-trail clock 10 years, this measure risks nearly $50 million in hard-earned development money for Florida’s future trails.

RTC understands that cuts are required, and should be fairly distributed. However, the OGT program reduces our dependence on oil, improves health, betters our environment and strengthens our communities. Eliminating it does far more harm than good, and for generations to come.

Please speak up for trails now. Then help spread the word! 

Thank you.

Ken Bryan, Florida State Director
Rails-to-Trails Conservancy


P.S. Want another opportunity to advocate for bicycling? Join RTC and the Florida Bicycle Association at the Florida Bicycle Summit, April 2, 2009. Help begin a new era of bicycling and trails in Florida. We need you! Please register for this FREE event now.

Please, spread the word ASAP and ask everyone that you know who bikes, hikes or rides a horse on the Greenway that it is IMPERATIVE that they contact their congressperson and the Governor IMMEDIATELY!!! The only way to have an effect on this is to ACT!!!

For the Trails, 
Rob Ern, VP
OMBA


Offline old gray goat

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Re: Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.
« Reply #1 on: March 25, 2009, 08:06:13 PM »
I`m in for the summit in Tallahassee 4/2/09 is any body else going ??

Offline catman

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Re: Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.
« Reply #2 on: March 25, 2009, 08:31:15 PM »
I'm depressed at even the thought of Santos closing. 1.5 hrs away and is the next best thing to riding in Ga.
Part time mountain biker, full time roadie smiter.

Offline Garry

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Re: Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.
« Reply #3 on: March 25, 2009, 10:14:05 PM »
Another one...


From:
Renee BlaneyTo: Renee BlaneySent: Wednesday, March 25, 2009 10:11 AM

as we know it.Really.

I am sending this to everyone I know who appreciates riding at
Santos or utilizes the Cross Florida Greenway.  Please post on your forums, spread the word.  Thencontact your representative, senator, and Governor Crist (
www.myflorida.com). The proposed budget in Tallahassee will essentially eliminate the Office of Greenways and Trails as we know it, and give the land to the state parks department.  It will give the parks more land, while eliminating over 100 of their positions at the same time. Why do we need to act? OGT has been the land manager of Santos since the beginning of our bike trails and OMBA.  We have spent years establishing a relationship with the office in Ocala andTallahassee to ensure the best trails possible could be a reality.  Ironically, Florida was just awarded "Best Trails State" at the biannual National Trails Symposium this fall.

Here are a few things worth fighting for (even if you don't love them all, think of your two wheel friends too):

1. Recreational opportunities with nature conservation-  bike trails!

2. Free access. (even though I think most of us wouldn't mind paying for parking!)

3. The proposed trail expansion westward that has already been written up as a huge grant proposal, soil samples taken, and professional preliminary flagging.  Phase 1 is 484 to 200, Phase 2 is 200 to Pruitt.  20 miles of amazing terrain (through the canal diggings) trails, a loop configuration to extend Nayls and provide connectivity across the state!

4. Freeriding in the Vortex. Period.

5. Racing permits.

6. The Fat Tire Festival.


 OGT's mission and approach to trails is a philosophy that has benefitted us over the years.  IMBA and others are amazed and impressed with the relationship and privileges we have with OGT. 

We need to show our appreciation for what we have by fighting for them in Tallahassee.

Thank you! 

Let's get this done before next Tuesday, April 2nd- the Florida Bike Summit at the capitol.


Passionately,

Renee Blaney

Ocala Mountain Bike Association
Director
« Last Edit: March 25, 2009, 10:18:47 PM by Garry »

Offline Barry Reimer

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Re: Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.
« Reply #4 on: March 25, 2009, 11:25:11 PM »
I emailed the following people this message, if you care at all about Santos please help by doing the same.  Rob Ern on the OMBA forum www.omba.org has another great email to follow for ideas.  We really don't have much time left before the decision is made!!!!!!  These are the folks that Mickye at OGT urges us all to contact immediately to stop this from happening.
 
Lt. Governor Jeff Kottkamp, Jeff.Kottkamp@MyFlorida.com

Secretary Michael Sole, FDEP, Michael.Sole@dep.state.fl.us
Deputy Sec. Bob Ballard, FDEP, (couldn't find this email)

Kelly Laymen, Gov. Chief of Staff, Kelly.Layman@myflorida.com

Senator Carey Baker, Appropriations,
baker.carey.web@flsenate.gov
 
Dear Lt. Governor Kottkamp:

It is my understanding that the Office of Greenways and Trails is facing devastating and disproportionate budget cuts.  While I understand that in these challenging economic times budget cuts are necessary, as I understand it, other FDEP programs are facing budget cuts of 20%, while the OGT is facing cuts of 80%!
 
It is important to understand the immeasurable benefits that OGT and the trail systems that it helps maintain in partnership with local organizations such as the Ocala Mountain Biking Association to communities, health and well being of thousands of Floridians by providing healthy and positive activities, protection of the environment, and reducing oil and gas usage for leisure activities.  The activities that the OGT trails have provided, helped develop, and maintain have brought incredible amounts of revenue to local businesses from tourism, purchasing of equipment, etc.  To cripple OGT with these cuts will effectively set these benefits back at least ten years. 
 
In a time when it seems we need to do all we can to help promote tourism and stimulate the economy, and when it seems imperative that we continue to promote strong healthy communities (the central florida biking community alone is well over several thousands of individuals strong and growing rapidly) and activities for our youth and adults alike, it is unacceptable to allow these drastic cuts to OGT!
 
I greatly appreciate your help and consideration.
 
Very Sincerely,
Barry Reimer
Work, what's that?!  Oh, s*** I'm late!

Offline Barry Reimer

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Re: Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.
« Reply #5 on: March 25, 2009, 11:26:27 PM »
You can also call all of them.  Their numbers are on the myflorida website.  I believe Rob Ern also posted them on the OMBA forum.
Work, what's that?!  Oh, s*** I'm late!

Offline treadlight

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Re: Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.
« Reply #6 on: March 26, 2009, 10:34:39 AM »
Additional INFO
From OMBA via Dirtrag

Losing the Greenway/Santos as we know it.
Really.
I am sending this to everyone I know who appreciates riding at Santos or utilizes the Cross Florida Greenway. Please post on your forums, spread the word. Then contact your representative, senator, and Governor Crist (www.myflorida.com).
The proposed budget in Tallahassee will essentially eliminate the Office of Greenways and Trails as we know it, and give the land to the state parks department. It will give the parks more land, while eliminating over 100 of their positions at the same time.
Why do we need to act?
OGT has been the land manager of Santos since the beginning of our bike trails and OMBA. We have spent years establishing a relationship with the office in Ocala and Tallahassee to ensure the best trails possible could be a reality. Ironically, Florida was just awarded "Best Trails State" at the biannual National Trails Symposium this fall.
Here are a few things worth fighting for (even if you don't love them all, think of your two wheel friends too):
1. Recreational opportunities with nature conservation- bike trails!
2. Free access. (even though I think most of us wouldn't mind paying for parking!)
3. The proposed trail expansion westward that has already been written up as a huge grant proposal, soil samples taken, and professional preliminary flagging. Phase 1 is 484 to 200, Phase 2 is 200 to Pruitt. 20 miles of amazing terrain (through the canal diggings) trails, a loop configuration to extend Nayls and provide connectivity across the state!
4. Freeriding in the Vortex. Period.
5. Racing permits.
6. The Fat Tire Festival.
OGT's mission and approach to trails is a philosophy that has benefitted us over the years. IMBA and others are amazed and impressed with the relationship and privileges we have with OGT. We need to show our appreciation for what we have by fighting for them in Tallahassee.
Thank you! Let's get this done before next Tuesday, April 2nd- the Florida Bike Summit at the capitol.
Passionately,
Renee Blaney
Ocala Mountain Bike Association
Director

Offline treadlight

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Re: Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.
« Reply #7 on: March 26, 2009, 02:46:45 PM »
Since Office of Greenways and Trails (http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/manages) manages the whole state, this does not only affects mountain bikers but hikers and equestrians as well. So, anybody you know who are an avid fan of the outdoors should be aware of the situation.

naked indian

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Re: Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.
« Reply #8 on: March 26, 2009, 02:47:51 PM »
Since Office of Greenways and Trails ([url=http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/manages]http://www.dep.state.fl.us/gwt/guide/manages[/url]) manages the whole state, this does not only affects mountain bikers but hikers and equestrians as well. So, anybody you know who are an avid fan of the outdoors should be aware of the situation.


Indeed, since I recently submitted an application to that office, this affects me directly.  So vote quickly and often!

naked indian

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Re: Santos in trouble. Possibility of being close down.
« Reply #9 on: March 26, 2009, 03:36:46 PM »
Just got this:

Everyone:

I just received word from a friend in 
Tallahassee that the huge showing of support is having an effect.  The Committee has decided that the vote on the OGT funding issue will be  postponed until either tomorrow, or the next committee meeting, which appears to  potentially be next Friday!

Our  voices are being heard!! [/]

It's not over, though. [/]It is more  important than ever before that we absolutely flood the email boxes and  voicemails of all folks involved with this in the next day or two, and keep the  issue hot in their minds!

Please, Please, Please, whether or not you have already  called or sent an email, please send another and make another phone call. If you  can convince a couple of more friends to take the time, all the better!  [/]

The current meeting packet for this budget  hearing can be found here:[/]
http://www.flsenate.gov/data/committees/Senate/meeting_packets/GA.pdf[/]
The line that we are most concerned  with is Line 229, which is the line merging the OGT into the State Parks  division.  Line 261 deals with cuts to the State Park system budget, which will  also have a big negative effect on the operation of all State Parks (i.e.  Alafia), which will be further compounded if the OGT is absorbed into an agency  whose budget has already been drastically reduced.[/]


Keep up the good work, and keep up the pressure!  This is how the system works....the folks involved in the process are the ones  who are recognized and heard!

Thanks to all, and Please, keep the  momentum moving!!!

Rob Ern, VP
OMBA

 

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