Iowa residents concerned about impact of proposed trail
DUBUQUE, Iowa (AP) — A proposed multi-use trail in a Dubuque County nature preserve has neighbors worried the project will increase traffic and harm wildlife.
Project leaders told The Telegraph Herald that the trail would be built in consideration of the natural features of the Interstate Power Co. Forest Preserve.
Tri-State Mountain Bike Riders and Dubuque County officials announced plans for the 6- to 8-mile trail in September. The land will remain the county’s property, but the project will be funded through $160,000 in donations from the mountain bike group. Tentative plans estimate the trail could be completed by June.
Marcella Isenhart’s property borders the preserve. She said the land’s warranty deed prohibits development on the land.
“There will be traffic. There will be noise,” said Isenhart. “There will be destruction of the area. There are so many animals over there. There are so many birds.”
Dubuque County Conservation Board executive director Brian Preston said while the land’s warranty deed prohibits logging, it encourages using the land for recreational activities.
“Really, the change is that we’d be making some additional trails to make (existing) trails a little longer,” Preston said. “Other than that, the hikers and walkers would still be allowed and encouraged to use those trails.”
Tri-State Mountain Bike Riders president Brett Errthum said that while the nearby landowners have valid concerns, all users of the trail would strive to be good neighbors.
Errthum said the organization has supported a similar trail in Asbury, Iowa.
“We don’t allow motorized vehicles,” he said. “The passage of bicycles, runners, snowshoers or others through the woods is pretty silent. . We’re huffing and puffing, getting a good workout, getting through the woods pretty quietly.”
Conservation board members must still vote on whether to change preserve rules to allow mountain bikes on the trials.
Information from: Telegraph Herald, http://www.thonline.com