Banner Forest plan calls for fewer trails and use restrictions

BannerBikeBig changes may be coming to Banner Forest Heritage Park.

The 635-acre county park in South Kitsap could have fewer trails and more restrictions. Higher-impact uses, such as mountain biking and horseback riding, may be limited to certain designated trails, according to a draft plan I obtained through a public records request.

You can read the full draft below.

The changes are aimed at protecting habitat, including a 139-acre conservancy inside the park.

The plan recommends decommissioning trails in the conservancy and near wetlands.

Many trails could also be renamed. “Wormhole,” “Pulverisor,” “TunnelVision” and other names likely dreamed up by mountain bikers could give way to names that “reflect the park’s Northwest locality and origins,” according to the plan.

The plan has been tinkered with for years. An earlier version was crafted by volunteers appointed by County Commissioner Charlotte Garrido. It was was scheduled for adoption in late 2012 but appears to have lost traction. The plan was recently re-worked by an editor Garrido hired but declined to name. This most recent draft was finished and delivered to park officials on March 5.

Parks Director Jim Dunwiddie said he did not play a role in developing the draft and is unaware of a schedule for its adoption.

Banner Draft Plan 2014

PHOTO: A mountain biker passes members of the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance during a Banner Forest trail maintenance work party in November. Tristan Baurick/Kitsap Sun

3 thoughts on “Banner Forest plan calls for fewer trails and use restrictions

  1. I was disappointed to find out today that Kitsap County did not fund the trails planner this year, so far. I hope this situation changes soon so a “real” trails planner like, Dennis Oost, or Eric Baker, can proceed with sections of the North-South Connector from central Kitsap to Jarstad Park. The County needs to support trails for the good of more people. Less parks, more trails.

  2. The Stewardship committee is still recommending no net loss or gain of trails and this plan is not approved. The Stewardship committee has not stopped fighting. They are having a meeting tonight if you’d like to know more about their plans the stewardship committee is meeting tonight.

    Tue, April 1, 6:30pm – 8:00pm
    Where: Long Lake Community Center, 5100 Long Lake Road SE, Port Orchard, WA 98367

  3. Commissioner Garrido should release the names of those who worked on this.

    Kitsap County money was spent to develop this.

    The Kitsap County Parks Department should also clarify the process for how adoption/implementation of Banner Forrest usage rules will go forward from this point.

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