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  • 12 Feb 2024 7:23 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    2024 is going to be a big year for the Tucson mountain biking community. It’s implementation time for The Santa Catalina Trail Plan. There’s lots to be excited about, and a lot of work to do. TORCA is pursuing every opportunity possible to bring these new mountain biking opportunities to fruition. There’s never been a better time to contribute, so become a member or donate today.

    The trail plan is going to be implemented in two phases. A phased approach has been adopted to maintain forward momentum while various regulatory processes are completed. Phase I encompasses the projects that are considered low hanging fruit: 50-Year and La Milagrosa. These trails already exist in areas with fewer authorizations needed to begin work. Phase II includes new trails: Fireline, Bug Jr., and Tucson Vista trails as well as reroutes and new connector trails at higher elevations on Mt. Lemmon. All of these trails require extra assessments and approvals before building can begin because they exist in the endangered Mexican spotted owl (MSO) habitat. While it may be a while until building can begin, we’ve been working with the forest service to finalize trail alignments and ensure that once things get rolling, work is completed quickly and to standard.

    The full Santa Catalina trails plan can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coronado/home/?cid=FSEPRD974570

    Trail Plan Phase I

    Adoption of the 50-Year Trail System

    The USFS is adopting these previously unsanctioned trails. After official adoption, TORCA will be able to legitimately perform maintenance on these trails. Since all land west of the fenceline (the one crossed at Upper 50 or Middlegate) is State Trust Land, the 50-Year Trail System will get an additional trail from the Middlegate boundary at the Chutes down to Baby Jesus (will be renamed to Stone Cactus as part of Phase I) on the eastern side of the gate. This new trail will ensure a viable loop will always exist on USFS land should the State Trust Land be sold off for development. The USFS is looking into potential land acquisitions to ensure permanent access to the trail system. Various reroutes of existing trails will aim to improve trail usability, maintainability, and sustainability for all trail users. The character of the 50-Year Trail System will be preserved through any updates, including having slickrock B-lines, with bypasses appropriate for equestrians and hikers.

    The National Forest Foundation has secured funds to jumpstart work at 50-Year. The Forest Service has dedicated its trail crew to assist in construction. We anticipate work to start on this area in the spring of 2024.

    Adoption of La Milagrosa Trail

    Also included in Phase I of the trail’s plan is adoption of La Milagrosa trail. TORCA and the USFS have no plans to alter the trail, but official adoption of the unsanctioned trail means that TORCA can perform trail work legitimately if the need arises.

    Trail Plan Phase II

    The trails in Phase II of the trails plan are still in the planning phase. This means that TORCA is working alongside the USFS and other user groups to finalize trail alignments before the official review and approval process begins. TORCA is advocating for as many bike friendly miles as possible. We hope this phase will include the first bike specific trails in the Santa Catalinas. 

    Fireline Trail

    This new 1.4 mile downhill directional mountain bike trail will include naturally constructed (soil and rocks) features (table tops and drops). The trail is co-located with an existing fire line used for wildfire management purposes on the ridge adjacent to Secret. TORCA has scouted this trail with the USFS and professional mountain bike trail builders to ensure top quality and feasibility. TORCA scouting fireline trail with the US Forest Service.

    In addition to this new trail, a new Bigelow connector trail, as well as adoption of 1918 and Secret will make for a better connected high elevation ride.

    Bug Jr. Trail

    Lower on the mountain, Bug Jr. aims to provide a downhill directional mountain bike trail. This directional, mountain bike specific trail will provide a fast and fun alternative to the existing Bug Springs trail, where downhill riders won’t encounter uphill traffic, reducing user conflict on one of the mountain’s most popular sections of trail.

    Early attempts to scout an alignment for Bug Jr. haven’t yielded any feasible lines so its exact location may change.

    Tucson Vista Trail

    This trail aims to provide an upper-mountain beginner level trail that’s open to hiking, biking, and equestrian use. The trail will connect Rose Canyon, Palisades, Showers Point, Spencer Canyon, Whitetail, and Sunset Trailhead providing excellent opportunities for loops with less time spent on pavement.

    Joining Forces With the ATA on Red Ridge Trail

    The Arizona National Scenic Trail is being rerouted off of Oracle Ridge and onto Red Ridge Trail from the top of the mountain down to Catalina Camp. Collaboration between the ATA and TORCA will mean that this rugged backcountry trail remains in better condition than it has in the past. 

    Rerouting Lower CDO Trail

    The Canada Del Oro (CDO) Trail was largely destroyed by the Bighorn Fire and the following record breaking monsoon season, making traversing the lower part of the trail from the intersection with Red Ridge Trail to Charouleau Gap Road a slog through a deep sandy wash. The trails plan includes a reroute to this section of trail, moving out of the CDO drainage and uphill to the east.

    Helping Out

    While we’re still waiting on approval for many projects, TORCA is on the lookout for, and pursuing, funding opportunities to expedite completion of the mountain bike related projects in the trails plan. While we’re an all-volunteer organization that relies heavily on our volunteer trail workers, sometimes we need the help of professional trail crews. Many of the funding opportunities available to trail work non-profit organizations include a stipulation of an in-kind contribution from the awardee. That means TORCA has to fork over a percentage of the awarded funds, or provide a cost-equivalent amount of volunteer labor.

    That’s where you come in. You can help to make the execution of the trails plan the best it can be by contributing in the following ways:

    Become a Member

    If you aren’t already a TORCA member, sign up at https://torca.org/join-us

    Donations

    Many of our funding opportunities require that TORCA foots the bill for any work performed, and is later reimbursed. Having cash on hand allows us to focus more effort on trails projects and less on fundraising, keeping forward momentum.

    Come To Trail Days

    In addition to actually doing some of the digging yourself, every hour volunteered counts as part of TORCA’s in-kind contribution. This means that fewer funds leave the TORCA bank account and can be used elsewhere.

    Get Involved

    TORCA is always looking for dedicated folks to help out in the organization. Come to a board meeting to get the inside scoop and see how the donuts are made.

    Have any questions? Send an email to our board of directors at torcainc@gmail.com

  • 16 Nov 2022 5:49 PM | TORCA INC (Administrator)

    ***IMPORTANT!***

    This year is the 10th anniversary of TORCA’s inception. After a decade of working and reopening trails, volunteering with the Coronado National Forest Service, coordinating events, educating, fundraising, being AZT stewards, and advocating for the mountain we all know and love, we are on the cusp of achieving something we've sought to do since the very beginning: Bring new trails to the mountain. 

    This trails plan is a huge step forward toward supporting an outdoor community that has grown exponentially in recent years and is guaranteed to only continue its growth. We realize that it may not be as full and all-encompassing as many would hope for nor does it include everything we have proposed over the years. Nevertheless, it is ambitious, inclusive, and desperately needed, as nothing substantial has happened in the Santa Catalinas in at least 20 years. However, many projects and suggestions we've submitted have been included in one variation or another, and it is our hope that they will help set up the mountain for future successes. Included are our thoughts on the plan as it sits and what we agree with (or hope to change) to streamline the process and to improve the overall plan for all users. The Coronado National Forest office has been very open to working with TORCA as a partner during this comment period. They have been committed to listening to and helping with implementing our suggestions on this draft, so we can refine it before the final version is submitted.

    We HIGHLY encourage you to offer your opinions during this comment period, whether good or bad, as this will possibly be the last time for public input into this plan. The squeakiest wheels get the grease, and mountain bikers were overwhelmingly the loudest voices of the previous comment period. Please pass this forward to everyone you know who uses the mountain or may use it in the future as this will affect everyone. 

    Feedback can be submitted by email to sm.fs.scrd@usda.gov.

    Thank you all, and we can't wait to get digging!

    TORCA's Stance on the 2022 CNF Trails Plan.docx

  • 7 Nov 2022 11:35 AM | TORCA INC (Administrator)

    The Draft Santa Catalina Trail Plan is now available and accepting public feedback. You can access the plan here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/coronado/home/?cid=FSEPRD974570&fbclid=IwAR3bL-fg7Iu9T0Bx_5Wrs0JYX1QygS3ZFjiyz7Y9vVjfva7pNGXEI9jtdOQ.

    Our organization has concerns about what is being proposed. If you participated in the initial sensing period, we highly encourage you to read what the Forest Service is proposing make your voices heard. TORCA’s next board meeting is this Wednesday, November 9th at 6:30 pm at Tucson Hop Shop. We will be discussing the draft and want your feedback. Please join us as we work to shape the future of mountain biking on Mount Lemmon.

    Later this week, TORCA will be posting an official statement regarding our stance on the trails plan.

  • 1 Aug 2022 4:03 PM | TORCA INC (Administrator)

    TORCA is grateful for this aide to be able to restore our trails. Thank you Athletic Brewing for your support in our community.

    The great outdoors is Athletic Brewing's favorite place to be with an ice-cold brew. They created their Two For The Trails program to make an impact - Athletic Brewing donates 2% of all sales to protecting and restoring trails worldwide.

    We’re proud to be one of the recipients this year to help our project. They've exceeded their $1,000,000 donation commitment through this grant program and will award funds to over 100 organizations across the globe.


  • 10 Feb 2022 9:05 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    Spring feels like it's here and we are excited to keep the ball rolling with more work days on the books! Thus far we banged out a bunch of days on Green Mountain and Fantasy Island and we're now focused on some other gems. Please check out our events page for details or visit our events page on Facebook. Remember, you can't spell "community" without the "U"!

     

    Feb 19th Red Ridge 4X4/Productive Hike

    March 26th and 27th. Red Ridge Overnighter

    April 24th AZT Bellota

     

    Dates and Trails subject to change so please check back!

  • 3 Jan 2022 12:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    TORCA has been at work for the better part of 10 years establishing a relationship with Forest Service in the hopes of one day developing new trail opportunities. Well that day has come!! The first step in that process is a public comment period. This comment period is now OPEN! This is where you get an opportunity to speak up and clearly define what you would like to see on Mt. Lemmon.

    While we appreciate the "New Mtb trails" comments, we'd like to encourage people to think less broadly and instead, think specifically about what you'd like in the way of "experiences". Do you like Red Ridge and CDO trails? Then state that you'd like to see more Back country trails like CDO and Red Ridge. How bout an Alpine XC loop around Rose Canyon for those hot summer days. On that note, maybe you think Mt. Lemmon trails are too hard and not beginner friendly. Then let them know that. Perhaps you'd like a place where kids can progress at a Duthie Hill style Bike Park? Or maybe another super rowdy Milagrosa style trail is what you'd like to see? On that note, want to legitimize unsanctioned trails like Milagrosa and 50yr Trails and bring them into the "system" of trails? Tell them!! The more comments we submit, the harder it is to deny the need for more mtb opportunities.

    The FS has developed a nifty interactive system that allows you to drop a comment exactly where you want to see your desired "experience". A quick tutorial (2 minute read) will explain how the system works and then you can start submitting as many comments as you'd like. Please go on make your voice heard! Comment period ends Jan 31st so don't wait! Remember, this is the first step. But it is a VERY big step! Please share! Link Below.

    https://storymaps.arcgis.com/stories/c9e7536a1d4b41989427f6e9071f13bb

    RECOMMENDED TO USE GOOGLE CHROME INSTEAD OF SAFARI.

  • 26 Oct 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    We've been waiting for this one for a long time! Come check out a movie about the life and legacy of a mtb icon, Stevie Smith! #chainsaw This is a full length feature film and we have partnered with Anthill Films to screen this before anyone can purchase it. So come on down to Risky Business on Tanque Verde on Dec 2nd. Show will start at 630pm. We'll have @Motosonora Brewing on tap and all pints of their delicious beer that evening will go to help restoration of trails affected key the Big Horn Fire! If you have attended a TORCA work day in 2021, you're in FREE! Member priding is $15 and non-members is $25. Space will be limited to 100 people so you may want to get there early!

  • 25 Sep 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    September 19th marked the first day of Green Mountain Trail's rebirth. Mother Nature was not kind to this trail and not only burnt it to a crisp, but also walloped it with rain this past monsoon season. To quote TORCA co-founder Art Alcantara "I've never seen a trail in this bad of shape". Upon the scouting hike, TORCA boardies found the trails completely washed out in areas with some eroded areas virtually impassable. In true TORCA fashion, we didn't see obstacles, we saw opportunities. Sunday saw a outpouring of support from locals and ushered in 26 workers. The focus of the work day was benching, reconstruction of tread, Erosion control and brushing. We got a bout 3/4 of a mile rehabbed looking quite good. We still have a ton of work to do but we have more work days scheduled (October 9th and November 6th) as well as a conservation crew that will be helping out for a  week. Your donations and grants went to fund this conservation crew and much needed tools to accommodate all the workers. An executive decision was made on game day to offer workers an extra raffle ticket for their efforts on Sunday making it a 3 raffle ticket day! Someone is going to be rocking a sweet set of Crank Brothers E Synthesis11 Carbon wheel set at the end of the year! Thanks to everyone who came out to support us and thanks to MotoSonora Brewing for the post work Belly Tank Blondes! 

  • 26 Aug 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)


    2021 marked the beginning of a new initiative to educate trail users on the responsibility that we have to our trails and how we can impact our trails and community in a positive way. With the influx of new users and the slow learning curve about our responsibilities, we thought it was imperative to be more visible and discuss our responsibilities and what's at stake. In that vane, we are currently producing a hang tag that bike shops can hang from new bikes or hand out at the point of sale in the hopes to educate them on what to carry on them while riding and how to be good stewards of the trails. Those pamphlets will be out shortly. Another avenue that we thought we could engage the public is through a podcast. We put together a Facebook live event and brought on Adam Milnor, Forest Service Recreation Line Officer to discuss what we are doing on the Forest, long term plans and the role that we play in getting new trail opportunities. It was a smashing success!! Actually, we made some good impressions with listeners but let's just say we are way better at digging then we are being media personalities. That said, we're going to stay the course and continue to do our best to educate folks, even if it means boring people to tears. The boys at Motosonora Brewing opened up the "cold box" VIP room for us to tape and while it may have been a failed attempt at Interweb stardom, the beer was DELICIOUS! So there's that... @ episodes have been filmed thus far, but we have plans for many more. Next up, we'll have the ladies of Tucson Mtbing on the show and it'll be electric! So tune in and look for the FB live event details soon! The link below is for Episode 2 with Industry Veteran and Highway 2 Rep Moe Hutchison. We had a lot of fun! Check it out. Next show is in October!


  • 31 Jul 2021 12:00 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    August 31st is right around the corner. Why is this date significant? The Owls will be exhausted from all the romance and we'll be clear to work in the Owl PAC's! We're excited to get back to work! We'll have the event info updated shortly but int he meantime, mark your calendars for September 19th, October 9th and November 6th. We'll in all likelihood, add more days to the calendar as well and as work gets completed. In conjunction with the Santa Catalina Ranger District, we'll be throwing a ton of resources at getting Green Mountain opened as well as working on drainage issues from all the rain we've been getting.

    All participants in our work days will get two raffle tickets for everyday they volunteer towards our giveaway for a mean set of CrankBrothers E-Synthesis11 Carbon Wheelset. That's a $2500 wheel set for throwing some dirt! These wheels have SR51 Carbon Hoops, and Industry 9 Hydra Hubs! You can also buy more tickets online and will get a free ticket for becoming a member or renewing a membership. So sign up today!

    Look forward to seeing everyone very soon. Please forward any questions to suvlako@gmail.com.

    Cheers!

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