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Board rejects proposal for Iowa forest preserve trail

November 17, 2017

DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A county board in eastern Iowa has rejected a proposed trail through a forest preserve after neighboring residents raised concerns about noise and increased traffic.

The Dubuque County Conservation Board voted 2-2 on whether the 6- to 8-mile (10- to 13-kilometer) trail could continue development, the Telegraph Herald reported .

A vote to bring the measure back in next month’s meeting also failed, but members say they’re interested in revisiting the proposal at a later date.

Plans for the privately funded trail were initially announced by members of the Tri-State Mountain Bike Riders in September.

During the conservation board meeting, Brett Errthum, president of the mountain biking group, said that the trail could boost tourism and offer more outdoor activities for residents. He said that Dubuque County lags behind other Midwestern communities in woodland recreation.

“These trail systems are not scars on the wilderness,” Errthum said. “They are not devoid of wildlife, and they haven’t become havens for ATVs or motorized usage.”

Many residents who oppose the project said it would bring increased traffic, noise and erosion to the preserve.

“It’s not that we don’t want you guys to have fun, but we want to maintain the peace and quiet that the neighbors have enjoyed for all these years,” resident Barbara Scholl said during the meeting.

Resident Diane Mohr submitted a petition with 60 signatures asking the board to reject the trail proposal.

After the meeting, Errthum recognized that there is work to do in order to alleviate resident’s concerns.

Board Chairman Jeff Cue said though the proposal has taken several steps backward, the project isn’t dead.


Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com

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