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Tulsa Bikers, Hikers Concerned Over Proposed Outlet Mall Placement

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A plan to build an outlet mall near Turkey Mountain has some people worried the trails might be in trouble. A plan to build an outlet mall near Turkey Mountain has some people worried the trails might be in trouble.
Turkey Mountain advocate, Tyler Hanes. Turkey Mountain advocate, Tyler Hanes.
The property being considered for development is the far west side of Turkey Mountain and it's separated from the publicly owned Turkey Mountain Wilderness area. The property being considered for development is the far west side of Turkey Mountain and it's separated from the publicly owned Turkey Mountain Wilderness area.
TULSA, Oklahoma -

A plan to build an outlet mall near Turkey Mountain has some people worried the trails might be in trouble.

The outlet mall would force changes to a couple of trails on the west side of Turkey Mountain but none of the ones on public land.

8/20/2014 Related Story: Proposed Outlet Mall Would Close Some Turkey Mountain Trails

There's a lot of confusion about that point, but it's because a lot of trails that are open to the public are really on private land.

There is a devoted fan base of bikers and hikers on Tulsa's Turkey Mountain. They're worried any advance of business onto land around the mountain will start a landslide of development.

8/19/2014 Related Story: Developer Confirms Premium Outlet Mall Coming To Tulsa

"As soon as you start putting something on Turkey Mountain, the infringement, the encroachment is going to come very quickly,” said Turkey Mountain advocate, Tyler Hanes.

The trails on Turkey Mountain seamlessly cross from public onto private land, and its 50 acres of private land that's up for development.

It's on the western side, on the northeast corner of 61st and Highway 75. It's mostly flat, but the trails are rocky and lead to more challenging trails further back.

Proposed Outlet Mall Site

"We want to go hard and fast and technical and you can't really do that with all the foot traffic in the way,” said trial rider, Frank Dewan.

Proposed Site To 81st Street

There are plenty of other trails on Turkey Mountain, but many of them are geared more toward people walking, with families or dogs. The others are the rough kind that mountain bikers prefer and they hate to see them go.

Hanes is part of just one group hoping to protect Turkey Mountain from any development.

“In Tulsa, there's not many places you can go and escape the city without a 30 minute to hour drive and be on actual dirt trails,” he said.

The property being considered for development is the far west side of Turkey Mountain and it's separated from the publicly owned Turkey Mountain Wilderness area.

Several other large tracts of private land sit in between the two but the public has always had access to all of it.

“And part of the land over here on private land, we do work on and maintain and that's why we have so much love for it,” said Hanes.

Even though there's a buffer between the two, the development here would cut off some trails that people have enjoyed for a long time. 

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