• 11-11-2012
    Axe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Maybe if mountain bikers as a group acted more like backpackers with bikes and no backpacks it would work - the problem is too often they act like motocrossers without engines. This is utterly incompatible with the idea of wilderness.

    Lie. Simple as that.

    What is your "idea of wilderness"? Stepping over horse feces on a trail? Pitching a bright colored tent in a middle of a meadow instead of just rolling by it and going back to your home?

    Here is the problem - one group of users of public lands tries to dictate what the "idea" is. But they are wrong. There is NOTHING wrong or incompatible with cycling. Nothing. The is no erosion, noise, pollution or any philosophical differences.
  • 11-11-2012
    CHUM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    ...This is utterly incompatible with the idea of wilderness.

    I believe the original intent of 'wilderness' was to be open to the public for recreation/enjoyment where industrialization would not exist....

    Bikes have proven to be more than manageable over the years, and the impact of riding is equal to that of hiking (according to recent reports).

    Conservation/environmentalism has taken an ugly turn into a nasty exclusionary practice where a minority of fundamentalist 'hikers' believe experiencing nature should be their way, or through a coffee table book if you disagree...

    The PCT currently is in need of trail work (40-50%)...and has been declining in popularity over the past decade....Disregarding what MTB'rs can do to be positive stewards will ultimately hurt the PCT...

    But, this initiative is only for regaining access outside of designated wilderness...;)
  • 11-11-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Lie. Simple as that.

    What is your "idea of wilderness"? Stepping over horse feces on a trail? Pitching a bright colored tent in a middle of a meadow instead of just rolling by it and going back to your home?

    Here is the problem - one group of users of public lands tries to dictate what the "idea" is. But they are wrong. There is NOTHING wrong or incompatible with cycling. Nothing. The is no erosion, noise, pollution or any philosophical differences.

    Only idiots camp in meadows. Maybe horses should wear diapers.

    Maybe you've never seen an idiot riding around with a boom box tied on his handlebars blasting music. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that there would need to be a more sensitive approach then what often occurs. Maybe we should allow bikes in high use wilderness that already are wrecked, like Tahoe or Yosemite valley - these places are already filled "once a year" stupid backpackers with chairs strapped to their backs anyway.
  • 11-11-2012
    imtnbke
    Hi, SS Hack — I think a small percentage of mountain bikers can act in a rudely gonzo way in smaller parks close to cities or destination resorts. I've never found any of those people in anything resembling a Wilderness, though. I mean areas that, like Wilderness, have trail systems that go for tens of miles into remote country. It's just cross-country enthusiasts out there, and they seem to be polite and physically fit outdoor enthusiasts who are just as engaged in their surroundings as Ansel Adams and John Muir must have been.

    On your larger point, Wilderness is an odd construct, unique to the United States in its current form. On the one hand, it's one of the greatest conservation achievements ever: the idea of keeping places roadless and free of infrastructure. It's worked well in that regard. But on the other hand, it ran into a problem in the 1970s and 1980s, when the Forest Service started reversing its 1966 regulation that allowed human-powered mechanical devices, instead adopting an interpretation of the 1964 Wilderness Act that was so severe that key conservation lawmakers like Sen. Frank Church and Rep. Morris K. Udall warned the agency, in 1975 and 1977, that they were going way overboard.

    Church and Udall saw nothing wrong with keeping primitive cabins and similar things in Wilderness, but the Forest Service started taking on a Taliban-like approach, banning everything from footbridges to hitching posts and even much signage, letting trails fall into abandonment, and, incidentally, reinterpreting the Wilderness Act to forbid anything with a wheel—even wheelbarrows for maintenance, bicycles, and baby strollers.

    There is a theory that although this severe interpretation of the Wilderness Act got started under President Carter, it was the Reagan Administration that really liked it, because it had the potential of alienating so many people from Wilderness that little more of it would be created. It's also believed that that's the same reason conservationists like Church and Udall were alarmed. They saw a future of little or no more Wilderness, and regarded that as a threat.

    If that was the plan, it has succeeded brilliantly, and it duped the Sierra Club, Wilderness Society, etc., with a deftness worthy of James Bond. When you write that bicycling "is utterly incompatible with the idea of wilderness," please realize that in 1966 the Forest Service said human-powered mechanical transport was fine. It was only starting in 1977 that the agency started announcing what you're saying. (Even then it dithered, going back and forth on bicycles in Wilderness until 1984, when it finally said no. As a result, people were mountain biking in Wilderness legally in 1983.) Why it decided to do this remains a mystery, because it seemed to have acted on only one or two requests from members of the public. A mystery, that is, unless the conspiracy theory is correct.

    The outcome, whether intended or not, has been disastrous for Wilderness conservation. The conservation movement relies on an ever dwindling cohort of white people in their 60s, 70s, and 80s, many of them reactionary HOHAs, for its Wilderness stance, and that's a sure loser over time for the same demographic reason that the Republican Party can't elect a president. Meanwhile, extractive industries have been happy to watch the Wilderness backers shrink into their reactionary corner, saying no to bicycles, no to snow kites, no, no, no, like George Wallace standing at the schoolhouse door. It's been exceedingly difficult to create new Wilderness areas for many years now, although Obama did get one bill through early in his term.
  • 11-11-2012
    Axe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Only idiots camp in meadows. Maybe horses should wear diapers.

    Well, I see plenty of those "idiots". Certainly way more of them then those phantom "motocrosser" bicyclists you alluded - anywhere where you have to pedal a little to get to.

    In short, your argument does not hold water. There is nothing more unnatural to a bicycle then to any of the hiking and horse packing equipment, there is less impact - as bicycle, unlike hikers, always stick to established trails, and they do not wear trails any more than hikers.

    Yes, horses should wear diapers. Once they do, maybe we can revisit the argument about bicycle "impact".
  • 11-11-2012
    Axe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    like George Wallace standing at the schoolhouse door.

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by George Wallace
    I draw the line in the dust and toss the gauntlet before the feet of tyranny, and I say segregation now, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever.

    Apt comparison.
  • 11-11-2012
    zorg
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Only idiots camp in meadows. Maybe horses should wear diapers.

    Maybe you've never seen an idiot riding around with a boom box tied on his handlebars blasting music. I'm not saying it can't be done, just that there would need to be a more sensitive approach then what often occurs. Maybe we should allow bikes in high use wilderness that already are wrecked, like Tahoe or Yosemite valley - these places are already filled "once a year" stupid backpackers with chairs strapped to their backs anyway.

    I'm not following your reasoning.
  • 11-12-2012
    Empty_Beer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Bollocks. I assume you hike naked on the trail? Do you take your gas stove with you? Backpack? GPS? Tent?

    Ban on bike travel in Wilderness is utterly idiotic. There is NO justification, but the exclusionary ideas of misguided people like you.

    Axe- if you are following the heated debate on Facebook, you'll see that Jfloren is absolutely "for" mtb access on the non-wilderness portions of the PCT (1,600 miles). While I agree with your sentiments about access to the Wilderness, that is unfortunately a completely different battle and not the focus of the PCT initiative.

    www.facebook.com/SharingThePct ... Oct. 28th under "Recent posts by others..."
  • 11-12-2012
    J-Flo
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Bollocks. I assume you hike naked on the trail? Do you take your gas stove with you? Backpack? GPS? Tent?

    Ban on bike travel in Wilderness is utterly idiotic. There is NO justification, but the exclusionary ideas of misguided people like you.

    Whoa there, buddy. Your attack is misdirected, so I won't take it personally. I am strongly in favor of mountain bike access to the PCT, in areas outside Wilderness.

    Bike access to the Wilderness is a completely separate issue, and we need to address the issues one at a time. This discussion is about the PCT. A large number of the people who want to keep bikes off the PCT are focused on the Wilderness areas, and it is perfectly appropriate to point out to them that we aren't talking here about opening bike access to those portions of the PCT.

    Contrary to your mistaken assumption, I also oppose an outright ban on bikes in Wilderness, but that is not relevant to this discussion. Trying to modify/allow exceptions to the federal ban on mountain bikes in Wilderness is a much larger issue that will involve a much larger group of interested people and will obviously take years of effort. I believe it will happen within the next 4-10 years though.

    I also think there are many Wilderness areas, including certain high Sierra stretches of the PCT, that are so obviously pristine and fragile, and with such sketchy or nonexistent trails that allowing cyclists would be a bad idea. I have indeed taken my tent and backback and trekking poles to such places. I'm pretty sure I left no trace. My favorite Wilderness spots are not on the PCT, but are accessible only via cross-country trekking with no trails at all. I've been to wonderful places in the Wilderness that were extremely difficult to reach on foot, I'm darn sure that no horse could get there, and feel it wouldn't be right to see day-trippers on their bikes there if they were crazy enough to try it. That's my opinion, and I am entitled to it.

    And no, I've never hiked naked on the PCT (it would probably be too chilly). There's nothing like a swim in a high Sierra lake after a long hike (or bike ride) though. Cheers.
  • 11-12-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    Well, I see plenty of those "idiots". Certainly way more of them then those phantom "motocrosser" bicyclists you alluded - anywhere where you have to pedal a little to get to.

    In short, your argument does not hold water. There is nothing more unnatural to a bicycle then to any of the hiking and horse packing equipment, there is less impact - as bicycle, unlike hikers, always stick to established trails, and they do not wear trails any more than hikers.

    Yes, horses should wear diapers. Once they do, maybe we can revisit the argument about bicycle "impact".

    Many of my favorite Sierra trails involve so much elevation gain (5,000 feet over 5-6 miles) that it weeds out "meadow campers" and other idiots and maybe it would weed out their biking counterparts. I would hate to be struggling up one of these climbs with a pack and have hoards of biking coming down the switch backs at high rates of speed. Now, if they acted like me and slowed down for safety and a little conversion ...
  • 11-12-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post
    Whoa there, buddy. Your attack is misdirected, so I won't take it personally. I am strongly in favor of mountain bike access to the PCT, in areas outside Wilderness.

    Bike access to the Wilderness is a completely separate issue, and we need to address the issues one at a time. This discussion is about the PCT. A large number of the people who want to keep bikes off the PCT are focused on the Wilderness areas, and it is perfectly appropriate to point out to them that we aren't talking here about opening bike access to those portions of the PCT.

    Contrary to your mistaken assumption, I also oppose an outright ban on bikes in Wilderness, but that is not relevant to this discussion. Trying to modify/allow exceptions to the federal ban on mountain bikes in Wilderness is a much larger issue that will involve a much larger group of interested people and will obviously take years of effort. I believe it will happen within the next 4-10 years though.

    I also think there are many Wilderness areas, including certain high Sierra stretches of the PCT, that are so obviously pristine and fragile, and with such sketchy or nonexistent trails that allowing cyclists would be a bad idea. I have indeed taken my tent and backback and trekking poles to such places. I'm pretty sure I left no trace. My favorite Wilderness spots are not on the PCT, but are accessible only via cross-country trekking with no trails at all. I've been to wonderful places in the Wilderness that were extremely difficult to reach on foot, I'm darn sure that no horse could get there, and feel it wouldn't be right to see day-trippers on their bikes there if they were crazy enough to try it. That's my opinion, and I am entitled to it.

    And no, I've never hiked naked on the PCT (it would probably be too chilly). There's nothing like a swim in a high Sierra lake after a long hike (or bike ride) though. Cheers.

    Most of my favorite spots are also off trail or reached via old brutal "routes" with lot of scrambling. I never see horses or even other hikers. I only wear trail runners and carry minimal gear to minimize impact. Bikes would be a bad idea in these areas; but frankly, not many bikers could ride this stuff anyway. I also know one trail up a 14er not in wilderness that we could ride right now ... of course it would be the most vicious ride of your life. It's up an old mining "road" and would offer a 6k decent with zero hikers - I know lots of places like this, all bike legal in the eastern Sierra.

    I read somewhere that fat bikes have way less impact than regular bikes; if true, this could offer a case for increased access.
  • 11-12-2012
    zorg
    You sound like an elitist. I'm not sure I would want to stop and chat with you.
  • 11-12-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    You sound like an elitist. I'm not sure I would want to stop and chat with you.

    Why because I think some places aren't well suited to bikes?

    If you're having trouble convincing mountain bikers on a mountain bike site that mountain bikes should be allowed in wilderness, you might want to fine tune your arguments before going to the Forest Service and other non mountain bikers.
  • 11-12-2012
    zorg
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    Why because I think some places aren't well suited to bikes?

    If you're having trouble convincing mountain bikers on a mountain bike site that mountain bikes should be allowed in wilderness, you might want to fine tune your arguments before going to the Forest Service and other non mountain bikers.

    Clearly, you've made your mind up and I'm not here to convince you of anything. If I read your argument properly, you like wilderness that's so hard that only a few can use it, and you would be bummed to meet cyclists on the trail.

    Frankly, when it comes to wilderness, I don't think that cyclists are interested in long hike a bike anyway.
  • 11-12-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    Clearly, you've made your mind up and I'm not here to convince you of anything. If I read your argument properly, you like wilderness that's so hard that only a few can use it, and you would be bummed to meet cyclists on the trail.

    Frankly, when it comes to wilderness, I don't think that cyclists are interested in long hike a bike anyway.

    I'm concerned with safety issues on tight dangerous trails to be honest. I don't want to fall 1,000 feet after a low-skill biker hits me.

    Sounds like this is all a mute point anyway as most aren't up to the physical challenge as you point out. Meanwhile that bike legal 14er is waiting for you right now.
  • 11-12-2012
    imtnbke
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    I also know one trail up a 14er not in wilderness that we could ride right now ... of course it would be the most vicious ride of your life. It's up an old mining "road" and would offer a 6k decent with zero hikers - I know lots of places like this, all bike legal in the eastern Sierra.

    I assume you're referring to the ride up Black Canyon or Silver Canyon or some similar name (I can't remember it) that gets you on the jeep road to Barcroft Observatory and White Mountain Peak (14,246' elev.). Is that right?

    I've ridden to the top of White Mountain Peak. It was an incredible ride, difficult because of the rough surface in the final two miles and the lack of oxygen. But I did it from the locked gate at the ~11,000-foot level and not from all the way down near the hamlet of Laws.

    If it isn't White Mountain Peak, what route are you mentioning? I'd like to try it.
  • 11-12-2012
    erisch
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    I'm concerned with safety issues on tight dangerous trails to be honest. I don't want to fall 1,000 feet after a low-skill biker hits me.

    I'm kinda on your side when it comes to having bikers whizzing by you when you're climbing up some steep remote trail. But when you think about it, how likely is that chance?

    If it would be legal, how many people would come down the Mountaineer's route on Whitney on their bike? And do we need a law to prevent the one guy a year, who is crazy and skilled enough to do it, from attempting it?

    The back-country makes its own laws wrt "allowing" people on bikes. Some places are just not suitable for riding and so bikers won't go there no matter what. And as I pointed out above, for the few that will try anyway you don't need a law.

    The problem is most likely on the parts of the trail system which is close to "civilization" because this is where most people will go for hiking and biking. And while it might be an inconvenience for hikers having to share the trail with bikes 5 miles from the parking lot it's gonna be complete non-issue 50 miles from the trail head. Not only will you weed out 99% of the yahoos so far out, people who ride there also know that they are far away from help and will ride accordingly.
  • 11-12-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    I assume you're referring to the ride up Black Canyon or Silver Canyon or some similar name (I can't remember it) that gets you on the jeep road to Barcroft Observatory and White Mountain Peak (14,246' elev.). Is that right?

    I've ridden to the top of White Mountain Peak. It was an incredible ride, difficult because of the rough surface in the final two miles and the lack of oxygen. But I did it from the locked gate at the ~11,000-foot level and not from all the way down near the hamlet of Laws.

    If it isn't White Mountain Peak, what route are you mentioning? I'd like to try it.

    No the one I'm thinking of is in the high Sierra across 395. I'll look up the name when I find my climbing guidebook. Lots of legal stuff right now in the Whites as you mention.
  • 11-12-2012
    imtnbke
    Thanks!
  • 11-12-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by erisch View Post
    I'm kinda on your side when it comes to having bikers whizzing by you when you're climbing up some steep remote trail. But when you think about it, how likely is that chance?

    If it would be legal, how many people would come down the Mountaineer's route on Whitney on their bike? And do we need a law to prevent the one guy a year, who is crazy and skilled enough to do it, from attempting it?

    The back-country makes its own laws wrt "allowing" people on bikes. Some places are just not suitable for riding and so bikers won't go there no matter what. And as I pointed out above, for the few that will try anyway you don't need a law.

    The problem is most likely on the parts of the trail system which is close to "civilization" because this is where most people will go for hiking and biking. And while it might be an inconvenience for hikers having to share the trail with bikes 5 miles from the parking lot it's gonna be complete non-issue 50 miles from the trail head. Not only will you weed out 99% of the yahoos so far out, people who ride there also know that they are far away from help and will ride accordingly.

    You make a good point. The real problem is usage. I know many places I can drive to and collect endless firewood and/or giant chucks of obsidian and never harm the environment because nobody goes there.
  • 11-12-2012
    Axe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by erisch View Post
    If it would be legal, how many people would come down the Mountaineer's route on Whitney on their bike?

    I will certainly try biking across Sierra in a few places. I doubt I will meet many people, hikers included.

    Heck, I often ride in a local open space, twenty minutes from a major urban area, and do not see people for hours.

    Perceived possibility of "trail conflicts" is way, way, way over blown. It does not really happen, especially with hikers (since they are usually well trained, and do not get spooked). The only conflict is in some militant anti-human eco-terrorists minds.

    And certainly, there are trails not suitable to bikes. So nobody will ride them. Plenty of legal trails nobody rides. People are generally not idiots. No need for an overbearing bureaucracy to review every little trail. Simplest rule is that if a trail is suitable to horses, it is certainly more then suitable for cycling.
  • 11-12-2012
    zorg
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I will certainly try biking across Sierra in a few places. I doubt I will meet many people, hikers included.

    Heck, I often ride in a local open space, twenty minutes from a major urban area, and do not see people for hours.

    Perceived possibility of "trail conflicts" is way, way, way over blown. It does not really happen, especially with hikers (since they are usually well trained, and do not get spooked). The only conflict is in some militant anti-human eco-terrorists minds.

    And certainly, there are trails not suitable to bikes. So nobody will ride them. Plenty of legal trails nobody rides. People are generally not idiots. No need for an overbearing bureaucracy to review every little trail. Simplest rule is that if a trail is suitable to horses, it is certainly more then suitable for cycling.

    2 miles seems to be the cut off. Most of the backcountry is empty and has plenty of space for everybody.
  • 11-12-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    2 miles seems to be the cut off. Most of the backcountry is empty and has plenty of space for everybody.

    People are very lazy.
  • 11-12-2012
    CHUM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    People are very lazy.


    :lol:

    when you're right you're right :thumbsup:
  • 11-12-2012
    Berkeley Mike
    "Conflict" is, rather, a device utilized to exclude us. "Environmental impact" is utilized as a device as well. The idea of conflict and threat resonate with a remarkable number of people regardless of the facts.

    In working with the State and IMBA the idea of real threat and perceived thread is clearly delineated in discussions which detoxifies things quite a bit. Further, efforts by EBRPD and the State to change current tactical impact of EIRs and the consideration of impact in a different fashion is key for opening up our access. The hikers and equestrians are not happy about these efforts as they make it "too easy" for mtb to get access.
  • 11-12-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Berkeley Mike View Post
    "Conflict" is, rather, a device utilized to exclude us. "Environmental impact" is utilized as a device as well. The idea of conflict and threat resonate with a remarkable number of people regardless of he facts.

    In working with the State and IMBA the idea of real threat and perceived thread is clearly delineated in discussions which detoxifies things quite a bit. Further, efforts by EBRPD and the State to change current tactical impact of EIRs and the consideration of impact in a different fashion is key for opening up our access. The hikers and equestrians are not happy about these efforts as they make it "too easy" for mtb to get access.

    The Sierra wilderness is all federal anyway.
  • 11-12-2012
    Berkeley Mike
    Let me rework this a bit:

    Recently in a National Election a group of people with a desperate hold on "traditional values" had their contrived belief system smacked between the eyes.

    Currently a couple of respected land managers have seen the light and worked with consideration to eliminate processes contrived to simply get in the way. I think it shows a trend.
  • 11-12-2012
    zorg
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    No the one I'm thinking of is in the high Sierra across 395. I'll look up the name when I find my climbing guidebook. Lots of legal stuff right now in the Whites as you mention.

    Is this where they have the bristlecones (sp?)?
  • 11-12-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    Is this where they have the bristlecones (sp?)?

    Those are in the White Mountains on the east side of 395, they'd be bike legal too.
  • 11-20-2012
    Axe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by erisch View Post
    If it would be legal, how many people would come down the Mountaineer's route on Whitney on their bike? And do we need a law to prevent the one guy a year, who is crazy and skilled enough to do it, from attempting it?

    This dude (from another thread - 3'30" in)

    <iframe src="http://player.vimeo.com/video/52834929?badge=0" width="500" height="281" frameborder="0" webkitAllowFullScreen mozallowfullscreen allowFullScreen></iframe> <p><a href="http://vimeo.com/52834929">SEA OF ROCK</a> from <a href="http://vimeo.com/infinite">infinite trails</a> on <a href="http://vimeo.com">Vimeo</a>.</p>

    High Sierra would have some awesome trails for biking.
  • 11-21-2012
    bpressnall
    Looking at the posts, it seems some folks are a bit confused about this issue of opening the PCT to bikes. If it happens at all, it will be in the NON-Wilderness sections, in Nor Cal that's mostly areas north of Lake Tahoe. Mt. Whitney, for instance, is well within Wilderness, and actually several miles from the PCT. The PCT is within Wilderness from well south of Whitney all the way to Carson Pass with just a few small exceptions. Carson Pass to Echo Summit is non-Wilderness, then it goes back in just to the north. North of Squaw Valley the PCT stays out of Wilderness, with one exception, all the way to Lassen National Park. The sections north of hwy 80 get much less use than the more southerly sections, making them, in my opinion, good candidates for bike use.
  • 11-22-2012
    SS Hack
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by bpressnall View Post
    Looking at the posts, it seems some folks are a bit confused about this issue of opening the PCT to bikes. If it happens at all, it will be in the NON-Wilderness sections, in Nor Cal that's mostly areas north of Lake Tahoe. Mt. Whitney, for instance, is well within Wilderness, and actually several miles from the PCT. The PCT is within Wilderness from well south of Whitney all the way to Carson Pass with just a few small exceptions. Carson Pass to Echo Summit is non-Wilderness, then it goes back in just to the north. North of Squaw Valley the PCT stays out of Wilderness, with one exception, all the way to Lassen National Park. The sections north of hwy 80 get much less use than the more southerly sections, making them, in my opinion, good candidates for bike use.

    People were also debating if bikes should be allowed in wilderness as an aside.
  • 11-26-2012
    erisch
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    This dude (from another thread - 3'30" in)

    Impressive, but have you been on the Mountaineer's Route?

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    People were also debating if bikes should be allowed in wilderness as an aside.

    For me it was more like general reasoning about rules governing activities only a small fraction of people who venture out to these places (which in itself are only a small fraction of the population in the first place) would attempt.
    It's like saying, we need a law which regulates skydiving from altitudes of over 20miles.
  • 11-26-2012
    Axe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by erisch View Post
    Impressive, but have you been on the Mountaineer's Route?

    Yes, descended it after climbing the East face. No, I would not bike it. But I would love to bikepack a whole lot of the trails in the high country. There is no reason for the prohibition to exist, none.
  • 12-19-2012
    CHUM
    quick update:

    NEW POSSIBILITIES FOR THE PACIFIC CREST TRAIL

    From an IMBA blog

    Quote:

    If you live in the Pacific Northwest and love mountain biking, you have probably thought about how great it would be to ride your bike on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), which runs from California to British Columbia and is currently closed to bikes. Each time I hike a portion of the 2,600-mile National Scenic Trail, I find myself wishing that I could also access the stunning scenery, backcountry setting and phenomenal singetrack on my mountain bike. I also think about what a great resource mountain bikers could be in the efforts to maintain the PCT and other long-distance, remote trails.

    The U.S. Forest Service recently indicated that it might consider a process to review the current ban on bicycle access to the PCT. Some bicycle advocates have actively challenged the legal basis for the current bike ban, but IMBA has not joined these efforts. We are instead focusing on communicating with both the Forest Service and other key stakeholders in the recreation community to assess current trail-use issues and identify potential opportunities.

    IMBA believes that mountain bike access to long-distance backcountry trails is extremely valuable, though that does not necessitate opening the entire PCT to bikes (we will not pursue bike access in designated Wilderness areas, and some sections might not be conducive to riding). As the discussions evolve, IMBA will provide updates about which trail segments of the PCT are best-suited for bicycle access, and we will advocate for access to those sections.
    Click on the above link for more info.
  • 12-19-2012
    Schril
    I am for it, at least it would get mtb people out to maintain the open, neglected sections of trail. The trail would be in the best condition since it's inception.
  • 12-21-2012
    Keepiru
    Greetings from germany!
    We have the same kind of wars here. They tryed to ban mountinbikes in my home-mountains on all tracks wich cant be driven on with a non-offroad car. A hudge wave of actions by the local mountainbike-community (massive effort) stopped the process and avoided any more laws on that so far.
    At the end: Its allways worth the effort. The community is really big these days and can make a lot of things possible. Evryone can do small things:
    Slow down and greet friendly if passing other people, don't ride off-track..... common sense style of things. It will take a lot of time to get rid of the rowdy-image the whole sport still keeps somehow. But i think we are on the right way. At least the most of us. :)
  • 12-21-2012
    imtnbke
    Thanks for telling us about the situation in Germany, Keepiru. You're right: we have to both behave and persist, and if we do both, we'll win eventually. Thanks for the encouragement.
  • 02-07-2013
    zorg
    Well, the USFS got scared and declined to take up the issue, probably faced by a deluge of comments from the HOHAs. Here is the answer:

    This letter is in response to your October 22, 2012, email. I appreciate your interest in finding solutions that minimize conflict and the offer to work collaboratively on resolving and improving trail stewardship. My staff and I have a keen interest in improving mountain bicycle recreation experiences and increasing opportunities in appropriate places where shared use with bicycles already exists or is not prohibited. Both here and nationally, the Forest Service has partnered through a Memorandum of Understanding with the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and other organizations to collaborate on the development and maintenance of shared use trails that meet agency goals for resource protection while providing and improving high quality mountain biking experiences.

    Nation-wide the Forest Service provides the largest trail system in the nation with over 157,000 miles within the system. Outside of designated wilderness there are 125,962 miles of trail, of which 123,739 miles are open to mountain bicycling (98%) and 12,389 miles of trail managed specifically for mountain bicycling. We agree that there is much to be gained by selecting focal areas to work with communities and non-profits to improve mountain bicycling opportunities.

    National Scenic and Historic Trails are to be managed for the activities and uses for which they were established by Congress as set forth by law. The primary uses for the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) were determined by the Comprehensive Management Plan and are also found in 36 C.F.R. § 212.21 as “primarily a footpath and horseback riding trail.” The Comprehensive Plan is explicit in its “Criteria for Location, Design, Signing and User Facilities” that the trail should “provide opportunities for hikers, horseman, and other non-mechanized travelers.” The bicycle closure for the PCT (1988) was developed with the unanimous support of the PCT Advisory Council after the Comprehensive Management Planning effort was completed. As you are likely aware, the Advisory Council, required by the National Trails System Act (NTSA) (Sec.5(d)), contained members from each state at the recommendation of the Governors, representatives from each federal or independent agency that the trail passes through, and members appointed to represent private organizations, including corporate and individual landowners and land users.

    Legislative direction for considering additional uses beyond the primary uses of foot and horse travel is found in NTSA Sec. 7(c): “Other uses along the trail, which will not substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of the trail, may be permitted by the Secretary charged with the administration of the trails.” The requirement to determine an identified carrying capacity of the trail and a plan for its implementation (Section 5(e)) would also need to be met. At this time, the Forest Service will not be pursuing a Comprehensive Management Plan Amendment and the rulemaking that would be required solely to consider adding “other uses” to the PCT. We will not be pursing “termination” of the bicycle closure order either for similar concerns. Our focus for management of the PCT continues to be ecological restoration and the backlog of maintenance resulting from wildfires, the Sierra Wind Event of 2011, and the flood events of 2006 and 2009 in Washington State.

    There are many places where shared use with bicycles already exists or is not prohibited, and we support working together to improve mountain bicycle access and opportunities to connect local communities to National Forest System lands. Our region is currently working with the IMBA to identify where these opportunities exist and we welcome your assistance to identify sites and work to leverage resources for planning and implementation. . . .

    Sincerely,

    /s/ [employee] (for)
    RANDY MOORE
    Regional Forester
  • 02-07-2013
    Axe
    Mother f..s
  • 02-07-2013
    Empty_Beer
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by zorg View Post
    Well, the USFS got scared and declined to take up the issue, probably faced by a deluge of comments from the HOHAs.

    Yeah... I'll bet that since this thing launched, both the PCTAssociation and the PCT Manager for the USFS were bombarded by calls and emails from the HOHA's, and didn't hear a peep from the mt. biking community (which is fine, since we were awaiting a response). So the USFS's decision is skewed towards the status quo. Now it's our time to act... but we'll go above the PCTA and the regional USFS people.

    As it says on the "Sharing the PCT" Facebook page, please write the head honcho of the USFS, as well as your local congressman/woman. Info is below:

    "Dear PCT Enthusiast:

    The Forest Service has rejected our request to rescind or reconsider the Pacific Crest Trail bicycle ban. Its letter to us, which we received two days ago, i.e., on Feb. 5, 2013, is posted below in the comments section.

    It is time for you to take action and here are instructions for exactly how to do it.

    We believe the Forest Service's decision is shortsighted, biased, and legally questionable. We are not going to stand by while the Forest Service ignores its own rules. The 1988 bicycle ban emerged from behind closed doors. Decisions made in 2013 cannot be made in similar secrecy.

    The Forest Service's decision is bad policy—bad for cyclists, bad for the trails community, and bad for the long-term preservation and success of a trail that needs all the public support it can get.

    While we work on the legalities, we ask you immediately to insist that the 1988 bicycle ban be rescinded. Here's how to do it in two simple steps:

    1) Contact your member of Congress. Tell them who you are and what you want. Make it reflect your personal views. A sample letter is shown below. Your member of Congress is HERE: Find Your Representative.

    2) Contact Tom Tidwell, the Chief of the Forest Service, in Washington, D.C. Tell him who you are and what you want. Make it also reflect your personal views. His contact info is here: USDA Forest Service (direct e-mail address ttidwell@fs.fed.us).

    Beyond e-mailing your member of Congress and Mr. Tidwell, please spread the word among your friends and fellow trail users. Sign up on our contact list at Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail. And please let us know what you hear back from your elected officials and anyone else. Our e-mail address is pct.initiative@gmail.com.

    Your voice is important and will be heard by those you write to. Each one of you who writes directly impacts the small group of people charged with making broad, far-reaching decisions about how the PCT can be used. Ask for a direct response to your inquiry and don't hesitate to follow up until you get one.

    Re your letter to your Congressmember, here's a SAMPLE.

    (Since your member of Congress likely won’t know much about the PCT, it’s probably best to start your request with an introductory paragraph along these lines:)

    « Dear [name of Congressmember]:

    I am a cyclist who would like to bicycle at least some part of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs for 2,663 miles from Canada to Mexico along the Cascades and the Sierra Nevada. In 1988 the Forest Service closed the PCT to bicycles with no public input. The closure order was simply typed on a piece of paper and signed by three Forest Service employees. I would like that closure order to be rescinded.

    Today, the closure procedure is widely understood to be defective because the original decision was made behind closed doors. Also, the closure order is of a type that’s supposed to be temporary, as in the case of a safety problem with a campsite or a dock that needs repair. Such orders are not designed to put in place an enormously consequential blanket policy and keep it in place for a quarter of a century.

    Mountain bikers did not have a voice in this matter back in 1988, but we are keenly aware of it today. Since 2010, a citizens' group called the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative (PCTRI) has been working on getting the closure rescinded or at least reassessed so that responsible cyclists like me can enjoy at least some portions of the PCT by bicycle.

    But on February 5, 2013, the Forest Service announced that the behind-closed-doors approach remains in effect. It is refusing to hear from the public and plans to keep the entire trail closed to bicycles. I believe the rule to be capricious and baseless.

    I am writing to ask you to ask the Forest Service to rescind the 1988 order. It was summarily imposed, so it can and should be summarily canceled. Unlike in 1988, the Forest Service knows very well how to manage shared-use trails, and the PCT should be no exception. The PCT belongs to all of us and I want my voice to be heard.

    Sincerely,
    [Your name] »

    In addition to the foregoing and any points you think of yourself, you could mention these items to your member of Congress, the Chief of the Forest Service, and the PCTA (but keep it short!):

    1. According to the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative, most of the PCT is lightly used most of the year and parts of it grow over from lack of use by anyone.

    2. The Pacific Crest Trail Association admits that it cannot keep up with maintaining the entire trail. It is always seeking federal funding to do the work. Mountain bikers could quickly become an invaluable volunteer resource for maintaining the trail.

    3. The PCT runs through counties that are struggling economically. The few hikers and horseback riders who use the trail don't seem to be putting much of a dent in those economic problems. Mountain bikers would bring in new revenue to the thousands of local businesses, motels and restaurants along the trail's route.

    4. Mountain biking is quiet, environmentally friendly, and healthy. If everyone in the country who could ride a bike would do so, we’d have a much lower national health bill.

    5. This isn't about allowing motor vehicles on the PCT. Bicycling is human-powered, just like walking, jogging, and skiing.

    6. Please check out the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative's website for more information: Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail.

    Thank you for your support! The campaign is far from over. We remain optimistic for long-term success."

    Why would you take the time to do this? Because if you/we help make a change in policy, you'll be able to legally ride from Donner Summit to Sierra City on a perfect trail. You'll be able to legally ride loops that incorporate parts of the PCT on the west side of Lake Tahoe (Cold Stream Cyn, Tinkers Knob, Granite Chief/Squaw, Alpine, Xmas Valley, TRT, Sayles, etc.)... and much, much more incredible, remote singletrack.

    Please take action.
  • 02-07-2013
    BKXC
    I will take the time to write my congressman tonight. This is well worth my time.
  • 02-08-2013
    CHUM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by sivilized View Post
    I will take the time to write my congressman tonight. This is well worth my time.

    fer sure - this is only a few people making these far reaching blanket decisions...

    Lazy bastids - Make them do their jobs....


    I still cannot believe they are ignoring their own freaking policies....RIDICULOUS...
  • 02-09-2013
    zorg
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    fer sure - this is only a few people making these far reaching blanket decisions...

    Lazy bastids - Make them do their jobs....


    I still cannot believe they are ignoring their own freaking policies....RIDICULOUS...

    e-mail sent
  • 02-09-2013
    sjhiker
    Email sent....
  • 02-20-2013
    Empty_Beer
    Let the Pacific Crest Trail Association know your thoughts
    Another opportunity to have your voice heard... unlike what went down in 1988:

    The Pacific Crest Trail Association, which serves to "preserve, protect and promote" the PCT, just put out an on-line survey asking folks for input on their 2013 Strategic Plan. This is an excellent opportunity for mountain bikers to voice their opinions about how the MTB community can help the PCTA achieve their goals, which are:

    1) The PCT corridor is permanently protected.
    2) The entire PCT is designed, constructed and maintained through partnerships.
    3) The PCT is well-known nationally and internationally.
    4) The PCT Association has the financial resources needed to accomplish its mission.
    5) The PCT Association has the human resources needed to accomplish its mission.
    6) The PCT Association has the systems and infrastructure needed to accomplish its mission.

    The PCTA is currently opposed to bikes. As you can imagine, the positive effect the MTB community can have on these goals of trail construction & maintenance, funding (via memberships, donations and grants), and global marketing should be hard for them to ignore. Not to mention our ability to get youth involved with the trail, creating life-long stewards of this National treasure.

    Whether you have a personal interest in accessing the PCT, or simply support equal access for mt. bikers on public, tax-payer owned trails, your brief input would be appreciated. There are only 3 questions.

    Survey: PCTA 2013 Strategic Plan Input

    For question #2, if you don't have any insight into a particular section in need, feel free to write: "All non-Wilderness portions should be available to bicycles."

    BTW, when you read "preserve & protect" the PCT, it has very little to do with bicycles (if any) and mostly everything to do with maintaining the trail while fending off development and logging encroachments that affect the character of the trail.

    Thank you for your support.

  • 02-20-2013
    bpressnall
    Thanks for the information.
  • 02-21-2013
    mbmattcor
    Thanks EB, I posted my survey answers to the PCTA.

    I did see this link while on their site.

    Mountain bikes and the PCT | Pacific Crest Trail Association

    I can't see why they wouldn't want us as allies to help keep these areas wild forever.

    Looking forward to cleaning up Grouse with you when the snow melts....
  • 02-22-2013
    dirtvert
    Filled out the survey. Thanks for posting this.

    It's probably a long shot, but the the Perfect Cycling Trail is a nice dream!
  • 03-05-2013
    CHUM
    from the Sharing the PCT Facebook page.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________
    Last Thursday, PCTRI sent a letter to the Forest Service's regional forester in charge of the PCT, replying to the agency's initial rejection of our request to cancel or reconsider the no-bikes policy. The reply is long and has a lot of legal stuff in it, but perhaps a few people will be interested to read it. Those who are may want to copy it into a Word or pdf document; it'll be easier to read.

    Here's the text:

    We received your letter of February 6, 2013, declining to rescind or reconsider the 1988 order closing bicycle access to the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT).

    We hereby request that you reconsider the decision. In addition, we would like to meet with you and your staff to discuss this controversy.

    We offer the following reasons for our request, which are in
    answer to items communicated in the letter.

    I. Federal statutes and regulations

    The letter notes the existence of 36 C.F.R. § 212.21, in which the Forest Service declared that the PCT is “primarily a footpath and horseback riding trail.” The regulation was, however, promulgated in 1978, when the only alternative to foot and horse travel was by motorcycle or other motor vehicle. In the context of its time, it is essentially a declaration that the PCT is off-limits to motorized travel.

    In addition, the regulation arguably was superseded by act of Congress, because in 1983 Congress amended the National Trails System Act, which governs the PCT, to declare that “bicycling,” including specifically “trail biking”—i.e., mountain biking—is a suitable “[p]otential” trail use on national trails. (16 U.S.C. § 1246(j).) In addition, as the letter observes, “[o]ther uses along the trail, which will not substantially interfere with the nature and purposes of the trail, may be permitted . . . .” (16 U.S.C. § 1246(c).) This is what allows bicycle use on the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) despite a Forest Service declaration that the CDNST is primarily dedicated to foot and horse travel (see the next paragraph).

    Furthermore, primary (36 C.F.R. § 212.21) does not mean exclusive. The 2009 CDNST Comprehensive Plan declares that “[b]ackpacking, nature walking, day hiking, [and] horseback riding, . . . are compatible with the nature and purposes of the CDNST.” Mountain biking is not mentioned. Yet the same plan also declares that “[b]icycle use may be allowed on the CDNST (16 U.S.C. § 1246(c)) if the use is consistent is consistent with the applicable . . . management plan and will not substantially interfere with the nature and the purposes of the CDNST.” As is well known, lots of mountain biking takes place on the CDNST and there are few if any problems.

    Finally, we note the letter’s reference to 16 U.S.C. § 1244(e), which provides in relevant part that “within two complete fiscal years of November 10, 1978, for the Pacific Crest and Appalachian Trails, the responsible Secretary shall . . . submit . . . a comprehensive plan for the . . . use of the trail, including but not limited to, the following items: [¶] “(1) specific objectives and practices to be observed in the management of the trail, including . . . an identified carrying capacity of the trail and a plan for its implementation.”

    Since the Forest Service believes the PCT Comprehensive Plan must be revised to allow for bicycle use, then, in fairness, it should also have revised it in 1988, when three employees signed the document closing the PCT to bicycles. We are not aware that any such effort was made, and we observe that the 1988 closure order does not appear in the appendices to the plan. In addition, the statute does not call for a plan revision each time there is a change in trail management practices. Finally, within the PCT Comprehensive Plan, language exists that allows for bicycle use. It is found on page 1 of the original version and consists of President Johnson’s embryonic 1965 statement that led to his signing the National Trails System Act of 1968: “The forgotten outdoorsmen of today are those who like to walk, hike, ride, horseback, or bicycle. For them, we must have trails . . . .”

    In sum, we doubt that the enormous undertaking of a PCT Comprehensive Plan revision is required in order to repeal or reconsider the informally created 1988 PCT bicycle closure.
    Although we have asked for rulemaking in the alternative to rescinding the closure order, we also disagree with the letter’s statement that rulemaking, along with a Comprehensive Plan amendment, is required. No rulemaking accompanied the order and none is required to rescind it. It is simply a typed declaration of what should have been a short-term, temporary policy as the Forest Service worked out mountain biking management on the PCT in 1988, as it has since done successfully on the tens of thousands of miles of other trail to which the letter refers.

    II. Public input following the described PCT Advisory Council decision

    The letter mentions that the closure was unanimously supported by the then-existing PCT Advisory Council. We are not aware that any mountain bikers were on that body. More to the point, we know of no evidence that mountain bikers or the public at large were informed about this drastic change in policy.

    The lack of public notice and of an opportunity for public comment are central to our position that the policy must be reconsidered to comply with the Administrative Procedure Act, as well as 36 C.F.R. § 261.70, the Forest Service regulation that provides:

    "(a) Pursuant to 7 CFR 2.60, the Chief, and each Regional Forester, to whom the Chief has delegated authority, may issue regulations prohibiting acts or omissions within all or any part of the area over which he has jurisdiction, for one or more of the following purposes:
    [¶] . . . [¶]
    (3) Protection of property, roads, or trails.
    [¶] . . . [¶]
    (7) Public safety.
    [¶] . . . [¶]
    (9) Establishing reasonable rules of public conduct.
    [¶] . . . [¶]
    (c) In issuing any regulations under paragraph (a) of this section, the issuing officer shall follow 5 U.S.C. 553.
    (d) In a situation when the issuing officer determines that a notice of proposed rule making and public participation thereon is impracticable, unnecessary, or contrary to the public interest, he shall issue, with the concurrence of the Chief, an interim regulation containing an expiration date.
    (e) No interim regulation issued under paragraph (d) of this section will be effective for more than 90 days unless readopted as a permanent rule after a notice of proposed rule making under 5 U.S.C. 553 (b) and (c)."

    In other words, the 1988 bicycle closure became invalid 90 days after its promulgation, because there was no rulemaking pursuant to the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Its effect may have been revived by the Forest Service’s decision of February 6, 2013. But in our view that decision will become ineffective on May 7, 2013, for want of the followup procedures required by 36 C.F.R. § 261.70. We understand that there may be an APA exception for so-called interpretative rules, but in our view a blanket ban on bicycles on the PCT cannot be merely interpretative given its far-reaching substantive nature and the requirement that the policy be harmonized with 16 U.S.C. § 1246(j)’s allowance for mountain biking.

    III. Questions of fairness and policy considerations

    The letter informs us that there are many miles of national forest trail managed specifically for mountain biking. Overall, however, Forest Service policy toward mountain biking is unfair and unjustifiably exclusionary. In California, Oregon, and Washington, the great majority of the most beautiful and remote Forest Service trails are off-limits to cyclists because they lie in Wilderness areas. The non-Wilderness PCT would be one of the few exceptions were it not for the separate closure order that forbids bicycle use on it too.

    The letter mentions the PCT’s problems with “ecological restoration and the backlog of maintenance.” (P. 2.) The Pacific Crest Trail Association (PCTA) has acknowledged that it cannot sustain the entirety of the trail. Presumably this is a PCTA appeal for yet more taxpayer funding. At the same time, the PCTA wants to preserve the restrictionist status quo. Mountain bikers have an established history of doing restoration and maintenance work on trails. It seems incongruous to us that the PCTA and the Forest Service would look askance at a source of volunteer labor, to be provided by a nonmotorized and environmentally benign user group, only to turn to the federal government for more money to fund the PCT for the relatively few people who currently use it. In this latter regard, our research has disclosed that much of the PCT sits virtually unused year-round except for a few weeks during which a smattering of through-hikers may walk a section.

    One continuing problem with the current policy is the manner in which it divides the trail community. On the Internet, PCT purists have been threatening to assault any mountain bikers they find on the PCT. The threats have been coming from hikers who, thanks to the 1988 closure order, regard the PCT as their taxpayer-funded private preserve and retreat. This is a management problem for the Forest Service that a fair policy will alleviate.

    IV. Unbalanced input from interest groups preceding this decision

    Finally, we wish to observe that after the Forest Service communicated to us that a review of the closure order might occur in March of 2013, we asked our supporters not to bother your staff or the PCTA before any review occurred. The PCT traditionalists were not so considerate, however, and bombarded both your office and the PCTA with hostile, pleading, and frantic e-mails. In addition, despite our request, your office has never been willing to meet with us, at the same time that we have the impression it was consulting with the PCTA regarding our request. This strikes us as unfair. Our offer to meet with you and your staff remains open.

    Again, we ask you to rescind or reconsider the 1988 order.
    __________________________________________________ ___________________

    so awesome...so very, very awesome....
  • 03-05-2013
    Jaybull
    emails and survey sent
  • 06-21-2013
    CHUM
    Sorry for all the words....but this is pretty BIG. A lot of official statements about the positives of Mountain Bikers on FS trails...specifically a National Scenic Trail...

    That and the HUGE statement that Mountain bikes are considered a "semi-primitive" mode of travel. Many of these statements directly contradict what the anti-sharing people claim...and debunks many of their arguments to keep us off trails.

    From the Sharing the PCT Facebook page: (edited to remove some content...very long ;))

    Forest Service made a major announcement in favor of mountain biking on National Scenic Trails. The PCT is one National Scenic Trail; the Continental Divide Trail (CDNST) is another.

    The Forest Service in Colorado has reversed course about mountain biking on a 31-mile planned CDNST reroute and will allow bicycles.

    They recognize that the CDNST's primary use is for hiking and horseback riding, and yet mountain biking should be allowed where it will not interfere with those primary uses. The documents conclude that in low-visitation areas no meaningful interference is likely and multiuse is beneficial.
    __________________________________________________ ________
    The full text of the documents below:
    Decision:
    http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558...T3_1424409.pdf

    Environmental Assessment:
    http://a123.g.akamai.net/7/123/11558...T3_1424408.pdf
    __________________________________________________ ________

    Some tasty nuggets from the decision (again from the Sharing the PCT FB page):
    [header: Biking [Is] Not Substantial Interference with Nature and Purposes of the Act]

    We believe the selection of Alternative 5 [allowing bicycling, horse use, and hiking on the proposed 31 miles of new CDNST trail to be constructed] meets the most objectives of both the CDNST and the CT [Colorado Trail] as detailed in our analysis below.

    We have thoroughly analyzed the laws, regulations and policy in order to determine that including mountain bikes on this segment is not a substantial interference with the nature and purposes of the Act. [“The Act” means the Trails System Act of 1968, 16 U.S.C. § 1241 et seq.]

    Our review of law, policy and direction together with the considerations specific to this segment indicates that bikes are an appropriate use of the CDNST. . . . [U]se of bikes on this segment does not cause a substantial interference with nature and purposes of The Act.

    We believe “Maximum outdoor recreation potential for conservation and enjoyment . . .” (16 U.S.C. 1242) is best met through the inclusion of bikes in these multiple-use management areas on both the GMUG [Gunnison] and RNF [Rio Grande] [national forests].

    Bikes are considered a semi-primitive non-motorized use.


    After reviewing the effects analysis presented in the EA, we have found no substantial interference from the inclusion of bikes with the nature and purposes of The Act.

    Our decision to include bikes on this segment supports multiple-use, non-motorized family recreation in a wide variety of unpopulated ecosystems consistent with the goals of the CT [Colorado Trail]. Selection of a hiker/horse only alternative would have undermined the duality of the non-motorized trail.

    more:
    Volunteer base consistent with The Act (16 U.S.C. 1250) is primarily mountain biking clubs in this area. Due to limited agency funding and staffing, the GMUG [Gunnison] and RGNF [Rio Grande] [national forests] would rely heavily on these groups for the sustainable construction and long-term maintenance of this trail. CTF [Colorado Trail Foundation] would be the likely continue to be coordinator/agency partner for this segment of coincident CDNST/CT who would network with other non-motorized groups if bike use were included.

    Many hikers have expressed a desire for trail design that avoids pointless ups and downs, moderate grades, grade control (switchbacks), and proper drainage (all features similar to Trail Class 3 with the designed use of Hiker); these nearly identical design features would also be accomplished though our recommendation of Trail Class 2 or 3 with use designed for Bicycle which has the added capacity for volunteer construction and maintenance that is not likely to be generated by hiking groups alone in this remote area of Colorado.

    While we understand CDNST thru-hiker desires for exclusive use of the trail, exclusion of bikes (and for that matter horses), would not be an environmentally or fiscally responsible decision on our part. We believe that if we considered only hiker/horse use, the trail would never be fully constructed and maintenance would rarely occur because of the lack of established hiker or backcountry horseman volunteer groups...

    Local communities rely on tourism generated by opportunities on federal lands. Rural communities would experience the largest economic benefit from the inclusion of all three user groups who would spend money on gas, food, lodging, supplies and equipment.

    and yes...MORE:
    Commenters expressed concern that the use of bikes on this segment of trail would encourage illegal use of the CDNST in the La Garita Wilderness. This segment joins the existing non-motorized alignment before the wilderness boundary where this had not previously been an over-arching concern. This trail junction further serves as an entry/exit point back to the road system for bikers wishing to make a loop. While illegal use may occasionally occur in the wilderness, it is not anticipated to be more of a concern on the new alignment than on the existing route.

    Many segments of the CDNST in Montana, Wyoming, Colorado and New Mexico (where not in designated wilderness) include mountain bikes as a valid use.

    II. Forest Service replies to comments in the EA:

    Policy (FSM 2353.44b(9)) directs that generally the CDNST should be designed for either Trail Class 2 or Trail Class 3 with a designed use of Pack and Saddlestock. Both of these trail classes and associated design features are very similar for either hikers or mountain bikes . . . . Allowing horse uses which is also compatible with the Act increases the footprint of the trail beyond what is needed for either hikers or mountain bikers. Slope (grade) is not expected to be a factor in the design as it is estimated at less than 10% for the proposed alignment.

    EA has considered whether or not a substantial interference with the nature and purposes of the Act would occur with the inclusion of bikes. EA has considered best available science regarding social and resource impacts. None of the readily available science suggests a relationship to clothing of bikers affecting horses. We would assume that a biker’s physiological response on a horse would be similar to that of other animals which we have discussed under wildlife comments below.

    While designated wilderness areas do preclude recreational “mechanized transport,” many other trails are open to mountain bikes in the vicinity even though the opportunity for specifically non-motorized trails appears to be limited.

    [Comment: Bicyclists search for wilderness quality experiences, just like the hiker and equestrian. Bicycling is entirely consistent with the nature and purposes of the CDNST. Bicycling is common in Roadless Areas nationwide.] Reply: User is correct. . . . EA has considered whether or not a substantial interference with the nature and purposes of the Act would occur with the inclusion of bikes.

    We believe proper trail design will minimize conflict potential. Commenter’s signing suggestions are valid. We will work with our partners to determine what works best for this remote and likely little used site.

    [Comment: User conflict will occur, including displacement and disruption of the hiking and quieter trail experiences. The look and feel of mountain bike riding, the speeds, sports gear, relationship to a machine and other aspects of the sport are incompatible with the contemplative, slower paced trail uses envisioned for the trail.] Reply: The Act did not prohibit biking or motorized uses. The Act (16 U.S.C. 1242) describes that National Scenic Trails “will be extended trails so located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of the nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, or cultural qualities of the areas through which such trails may pass.” The 1976 Study Report further describes the purposes of the CDNST: “The primary purpose of this trail is to provide a continuous, appealing trail route, designed for the hiker and horseman, but compatible with other land uses. . . . One of the primary purposes for establishing the CDNST would be to provide hiking and horseback access to those lands where man's impact on the environment has not been adverse to a substantial degree and where the environment remains relatively unaltered. Therefore, the protection of the land resource must remain a paramount consideration in establishing and managing the trail. There must be sufficient environmental controls to assure that the values for which the trail is established are not jeopardized. . . . The basic goal of the CDNST is to provide hikers and horseback riders an opportunity to experience the diverse country along the Continental Divide in a manner that will assure a high quality recreation experience while maintaining a constant respect for the natural environment.
  • 06-21-2013
    Empty_Beer
    ^ an excellent victory for IMBA and mountain biking on public, federally funded trails. I think the ruling is a hyperbole-killer... and shows that the USFS understands how the real world works :thumbsup:

    IMBA's summary: Forest Service Issues Favorable Recommendation for Bike Access on Continental Divide Trail in Colorado
  • 06-21-2013
    rensho
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CHUM View Post

    [Comment: User conflict will occur, including displacement and disruption of the hiking and quieter trail experiences. The look and feel of mountain bike riding, the speeds, sports gear, relationship to a machine and other aspects of the sport are incompatible with the contemplative, slower paced trail uses envisioned for the trail.] Reply: The Act did not prohibit biking or motorized uses. The Act (16 U.S.C. 1242) describes that National Scenic Trails “will be extended trails so located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of the nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, or cultural qualities of the areas through which such trails may pass.” The 1976 Study Report further describes the purposes of the CDNST: “The primary purpose of this trail is to provide a continuous, appealing trail route, designed for the hiker and horseman, but compatible with other land uses. . . .

    Two points:

    1. My 2011 Husaberg is getting on in age and should now qualify as a semi primitive mode of transportation.
    2. If mtn bikes existed in 1976, they would have been included in that study report, no question.

    Hiking is a slow paced activity that affords a lot of contemplative time to wonder if one would be having much more fun if one were mountain biking.
  • 06-21-2013
    Berkeley Mike
    It is so cool to hear this language. Yet it is not just that old assumptions have been challenged but the power of our numbers and the value of the trail work we do that puts us over the top. We cannot be ignored anymore, we are too valuable.

    This thinking is starting to become more prevalent.
  • 07-15-2013
    CHUM
    1 Attachment(s)
    IMBA threw their hat in :)



    yay!
  • 10-23-2013
    CHUM
    Quick update - IMBA expands on gaining access to appropriate sections on National Scenic Trails
    Long Live Long Rides! | International Mountain Bicycling Association


    LONG LIVE LONG RIDES!
    Quote:

    ...The Pacific Crest Trail currently offers no bicycle access. IMBA has already begun advocating for a change in this policy. Not for sections of the PCT that are protected as Wilderness, but in places where mountain biking would be compatible with other uses.

    The revamped “Long live long rides” campaign does not focus solely on National Scenic Trails. We are interested in developing possibilities for multi-hour and multi-day rides wherever we find them. North Dakota’s Maah Daah Hey trail (an IMBA Epic) is a good example of a multi-day ride....

    It was interesting to watch the reaction when a hiking group recently stated, “Some trails aren’t meant to be shared,” and launched an online petition claiming that mountain biking is not an appropriate activity for National Scenic Trails. They were reacting to an IMBA fundraising appeal that pointed to the work I’ve described above. Many of the resulting comments — perhaps even the majority of them — were supportive of increased access for mountain bikers, though plenty of people spoke up for the notion that mountain bikers should not be granted any new access.

    IMBA is committed to the idea that trails can be shared. Mountain bikers do not need access to every inch of every long-distance trail, but there are good opportunities to expand IMBA's shared-use agreements with land managers, and with other stakeholder groups. We are also eager to help, and have much to offer, with volunteer stewardship efforts on these trails. I am utterly convinced that trail experiences are enriched when a diversity of outdoor enthusiasts work together to enjoy and protect common resources....
  • 10-23-2013
    TahoeBC
    It's a great time of year to go see for yourself just how Perfect the PCT is for bikes
  • 10-24-2013
    rensho
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by beaverbiker View Post
    Too bad IMBA hasn't done much, if anything, for the bay area.

    They've suckered a bunch of money from the BA!
  • 10-24-2013
    rensho
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    It's a great time of year to go see for yourself just how Perfect the PCT is for bikes

    What sections would u suggest? PM?
  • 10-24-2013
    zorg
    Well, they're a political organization like any other. They need wins, and those are nearly impossible in the BA with nutters like Connie, MVD and the rest of the Sierra Club ilk. So, they focus their efforts in other places where they can score some wins. Sucks for us, but I can't blame them completely.
  • 10-24-2013
    shredchic
    Yes, IMBA has neglected the BA, but I think that's starting to change now. Chapterhood for SVMTB (romp) as well as MBOSC means we have representation. At least, I am hopeful, but maybe that's because I don't have as long a history as some of you here.
  • 10-24-2013
    Spindelatron
    I'd like to think the IMBA helps to support advocacy when it is in its early stages, and then once organizations are well established and can fund themselves locally they can concentrate on other locations that need help nationally.
  • 11-12-2013
    CHUM
    Update from the Sharing the PCT FB page:

    Quote:

    We're way behind in updating our loyal audience, for which we apologize.

    The lack of a recent update prompted Maxwell Baker to ask yesterday if PCTRI is dead.

    Not at all. But we're at a stalemate.

    We had a meeting with the Forest Service on April 17 that was attended by top FS brass and IMBA's Tom Ward. We're still waiting for the formal response to that meeting, which will come in the form of a letter. But although obviously we haven't seen it, we understand that it's going to be another "no."

    So, as said, it's a stalemate. We have discredited the moral basis for the no-bikes closure order. We've raised serious questions about the legality of the closure. It appears to be no longer much respected among mountain bikers. But the FS shows no inclination to budge. PCTA remains hostile. We have no idea whether the FS will continue to enforce the closure order in non-Wilderness areas. Maybe it will, if only to prod a mountain biker to go to court and try to get the closure order overturned so that the FS can get this monkey off its back. There's no way to tell. (This comment, by the way, should not be construed as an invitation to ride the PCT against the FS's policy or as a statement that fighting a ticket in court would be likely to succeed. The courts are unpredictable and the consequences of a citation could be unpleasant, so don't chance it.)

    Stay tuned.
    Quote:

    What we plan to do is wait for the Forest Service's letter, give you a fuller update on what's been going on, and ask for your advice on what we should do next. This page now has about 1200 or 1300 followers. Your collective wisdom is greater than that of our group, by dint of sheer numbers. (That's why we have the jury system in the U.S.: 12 people chosen at random tend to make better decisions than a judge with 25 years' experience.)
    The above in Red is very true - all suggestions are appreciated, considered and discussed in the overall strategy.

    Bottom line is the PCT (sections) will be opened to Mountain Bikes....its inevitable IMO.

    What we are dealing with is the vestigial thrashings of a vocal minority acting as obstructionists...most hikers (outdoor lovers like ourselves) are happy to share trails in the back country. We all know once you get a few miles from the trailhead it's virtually abandoned...

    my .02
  • 11-12-2013
    Axe
    I have received an email recently, from this Pacific Trail alliance, outlining their plans for the next few years. They are very explicit and thorough in highlighting there disdain for cycling and love for slave animals. Does not look like they will cooperate at all. Bunch of HOHAs, smiling in a group picture.
  • 11-12-2013
    CHUM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Axe View Post
    I have received an email recently, from this Pacific Trail group, outlining their plans for the next few years. They are very explicit and thorough in highlighting there disdain for cycling and love for slave animals. Does not look like they will cooperate at all.

    Yup - I read their strategy as well. Lots of 'defend the trail' rhetoric. And you are right - ZERO cooperation....to the point of absolutely no willingness to discuss anything to do with bikes.

    But they do not make the rules or the laws....they are an Association. If the FS' ban is questionably legal, and there is virtually zero enforcement - is riding the PCT responsibly really "bad"?

    Now don't get me wrong - the USFS can still give you a ticket (misdemeanor I believe)....but it might not hold up in court (which coming from me is a totally uneducated from the gut guess)....

    There will be more traction on this issue fer sure....and I'll post updates as they come in.
  • 11-12-2013
    Whitewater
    care to post this email axe?
  • 11-12-2013
    Axe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Whitewater View Post
    care to post this email axe?

    It was just a link to their "2014-2017 Strategic plan" with some drivel attached.

    You can guess what was my input for their plan.

    Quote:

    After months of hard work by the Pacific Crest Trail Association board, staff, volunteers, partners and you, we are proud to release our new Strategic Plan. Thank you for providing input during the development of this plan. We will use this document as a road map for the future of our work to protect, preserve and promote the Pacific Crest Trail while strengthening the PCTA to meet the challenges that lie ahead.

    The plan includes ambitious but doable objectives that will improve this recreation and wilderness conservation resource that we all know and love. It not only lays out what we hope to accomplish for the next several years, it provides clear methods for us to track and evaluate our progress.

    In addition to day-to-day trail maintenance, we will tackle big issues, such as bringing private parcels that the PCT crosses into public ownership. The ideal of protecting today’s trail experience for future generations of hikers and equestrians will guide all of our work.

    Through strong partnerships, honest relationships and integrity, we will ensure that the PCT is permanently protected, well maintained and effectively managed. And we will see that the PCTA is widely recognized as the trail’s champion and steward and that it has the resources to support this work.

    Now it’s up to us. All of us. Thank you for the important role you will play in implementing this strategy for protecting the trail.

    Sincerely,

    Barney Mann
    Board Chair

    Liz Bergeron
    Executive Director and CEO
  • 11-12-2013
    zorg
    Liz is HOHA #1. The fact that HOHAs as a group are not very smart nor informed. One only needs to read the nonsense on the PCT-L listserv to get a glimpse in the collective foolishness.

    Here is my personal bet:
    - USFS will do nothing because doing something 1) would require a lot of work and 2) would anger a lot of people. They're federal employees, not suckers for punishment. Right now, they feel more anger from the PCTA than from us. They go where the wind blows
    - the USFS understands that their order does not have much standing. So rather than having tested in court, they will probably not enforce the ban through citation. That way, they can tell their PCTA friends that the closure is in the books, eventhough it won't be the case on the trail

    I may be wrong, but I'm guessing that it's open season for riding the PCT outside of wilderness and National parks.
  • 11-12-2013
    X-FXR
    There is no accountability, the Federal Gov’t has no sense of any time line. Six months in the private sector is eons whereas the sloth mopes along with the status quo. There is no impetus to make changes, why? In their opinion hikers and equestrians are the vast majority of users and mt bikers are just a bunch of Neanderthals with no trail etiquette. If you’re not going to enforce it then eliminate the ban for bikes. If one rides on the PCT and no one is there…was it illegal?
  • 11-12-2013
    Empty_Beer
    I tend to agree with Zorg's bets. Good assessment. Although, while I don't know Liz B. personally, I won't cast her as a true HOHA. In the name of protecting her job, she has to denounce MTB... otherwise, the angry villagers will have her head. The PCTA is a textbook example of groupthink. Even if one or some of the employees feel that bikes aren't a big deal and adding more supporters, volunteers and donors to the mix would benefit the trail and the PCTA, they likely can't vocalize that without fear of backlash or losing their job.

    While I also agree with X-FAR's initial assessment, I don't agree with this:

    Quote:

    Originally Posted by X-FXR View Post
    In their opinion hikers and equestrians are the vast majority of users and mt bikers are just a bunch of Neanderthals with no trail etiquette.

    The USFS is generally a friend of mt. biking. I believe they see the fanatical hikers as the neanderthals, and they don't want to deal with the massive amount of whining that would come from even opening the topic for discussion. And I believe they realize if they gave mt. bikers an inch, it would result in un-ending lawsuits that will cost more time and money. Thus, they don't enforce the rule.

    I suppose they are equal opportunity slackers... not gonna do their job to publicly discuss opening the trail, and not gonna do their job to enforce the closure :p
  • 11-12-2013
    chasejj
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chasejj View Post
    Good luck! I've been involved in land use issues in Eldorado Forest and throughout Northern and Central California for 35 years. It will never happen until the political winds in Sacramento shift dramatically. In other words you have to marginalize the liberal treehuggers who have been exploiting the sedentary suburban/urban voter bloc with feel good nonsense and playing on emotions. Same as they do with race and abortion. Cali is for the most part a lost cause in the land battles going on in the US. But I applaud the effort to get involved. Your eyes will be opened by the pettiness and outright ugliness you will observe.
    BTW-Those comments the USFS/BLM will solicite are tossed in the trash. They do what they feel they can get away with and it is always against shared use.

    Back at the beginning of this thread I told you this would happen.
    The various "theories" and other lame defense of the USFS as being on our side is utter nonsense as well.
    They will wear you down with the beaurocracy of responses and meetings and do nothing. Because doing nothing and extending these processes makes it look like they are busy. The only thing they understand is lawsuits which is what the enemy undrstands all too well.
    Give it up or organize a mass protest as a big FU to all of them. Move to Idaho. They haven't been to infected by the California Liberal attitude all that much.....yet.
    Better yet. Don't go to Idaho. I want to keep it nice.
  • 11-12-2013
    X-FXR
    Either do the job or don't the half arse approach is just chicken #$%%#. Perhaps I over generalized but it is the appearance that they are portraying from what I've interacted with them. I hope I'm reading all wrong.
  • 11-12-2013
    CHUM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by X-FXR View Post
    Either do the job or don't the half arse approach is just chicken #$%%#. Perhaps I over generalized but it is the appearance that they are portraying from what I've interacted with them. I hope I'm reading all wrong.

    ???

    not sure who you are referring too.....the PCTRI, or the USFS....or the PCTA???
  • 11-12-2013
    X-FXR
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by CHUM View Post
    ???

    not sure who you are referring too.....the PCTRI, or the USFS....or the PCTA???

    USFS...either enforce the law or revoke it. Nothing like well we don't want to deal with all that's involved to change it but we won't necessarily enforce it either.
  • 11-12-2013
    Axe
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by chasejj View Post
    Back at the beginning of this thread I told you this would happen.
    The various "theories" and other lame defense of the USFS as being on our side is utter nonsense as well.
    They will wear you down with the beaurocracy of responses and meetings and do nothing. Because doing nothing and extending these processes makes it look like they are busy. The only thing they understand is lawsuits which is what the enemy undrstands all too well.
    Give it up or organize a mass protest as a big FU to all of them. Move to Idaho. They haven't been to infected by the California Liberal attitude all that much.....yet.
    Better yet. Don't go to Idaho. I want to keep it nice.

    I am sure your Idaho senators could help out with influencing USFS policies, couldn't they? Not sure how this is a solely California liberals issue.
  • 11-13-2013
    J-Flo
    I have been a long-time major supporter of the PCTA and became a mountain biker only a couple years ago. I wrote Liz Bergeron and Barney Mann a strongly worded letter urging support for limited bike access (limited to non-wilderness areas and mostly remote areas with a few key connector sections) to which Liz gave a thoughtful response, but I may be dropping my support this year given that they have refused to soften their stance. I have to think about it some more.

    PCTA is not run by HOHAs but there are a lot of them in the constituency, and from their perspective it is much safer to stay on the "no bikes" side. Until we get even more numerous, that is. Lest there be too much PCTA bashing, they have done and continue to do a tremendous amount of excellent work. Many parts of the PCT would not exist at all but for their work.
  • 11-13-2013
    TahoeBC
    It took 5 years of lobbying by the HoHa’s to get the Forest Service to close the PCT to bikes, the PCTRI is into it now for a little over a year there’s a long road ahead. Even two of the surviving 3 foresters that signed the now expired order think it would be ok to have bikes in the non-wilderness sections today. You would be surprised at the number of forest Service employee’s that really could care less about bikes on the trail, that attitude goes “VERY” high up the latter. Like others have said it’s easier for the forest service to do nothing than to fight the screams of the vocal minority, the additional work and the enviable lawsuits from the Hoha’s. So I think it will eventually come down to someone getting ticketed and challenging the closure in court or a lawsuit.
    Jfloren you mention the PCTA doing excellent work in keeping the trail open and I don’t doubt that statement but it’s far than enough. Having spent plenty of time on the PCT and the bike legal feeder trails and other nearby bike trails, it’s the bike trails that a far better maintained than the PCT between overgrown trails and downed tree’s they just cannot keep up.
    The fact that the PCT will soon be stealing away two bike legal trails from us that we have ridden for decades in the Sierra Buttes and in exchange giving us the old PCT alignment to ride along with motorcycles without any modifications to the PCT, speaks volumes on the old Bullshit line the Hoha’s use about how the trail was not designed for bikes. BTW they will terminate this section of the PCT before you can get to anything interesting by decommissioning a section of the PCT before it gets to Deer lake trail which is a joke. how long do you think it will be before a use trail develops to reconnect? Probably even created by hikers that rather stay on the crest than drop down to Packer saddle campground.
    If you choose to ride it, be super courteous, yield to all other users. If you encounter though hikers take time to chat to them, they are on a grand adventure and I have yet to meet one that does not have an interesting story to tell. Do your best to make ALL those trail encounter’s positive.
  • 11-13-2013
    CHUM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Jfloren View Post
    I have been a long-time major supporter of the PCTA and became a mountain biker only a couple years ago. I wrote Liz Bergeron and Barney Mann a strongly worded letter urging support for limited bike access (limited to non-wilderness areas and mostly remote areas with a few key connector sections) to which Liz gave a thoughtful response, but I may be dropping my support this year given that they have refused to soften their stance. I have to think about it some more.

    PCTA is not run by HOHAs but there are a lot of them in the constituency, and from their perspective it is much safer to stay on the "no bikes" side. Until we get even more numerous, that is. Lest there be too much PCTA bashing, they have done and continue to do a tremendous amount of excellent work. Many parts of the PCT would not exist at all but for their work.

    Hard to argue facts....

    But some of the PCTA staff goes out of their way to work with other anti-bike cohorts on appealing pro-MTB access decisions like Mike Dawson (PCTA Trail Operations Director and Former AT guy) did with Teresa Martinez (former AT and current CDTC) when they had the CDNST La Garita decision rescinded by appeal.

    That decision by the USFS shattered all the BS fantasies about erosion, safety and trail design....and put an Official positive spin on MTB'rs and their contributions...

    I also have a mess of background info of PCTA award winning volunteers/associates advocating booby trapping of trails and/or other violent fantasies...

    The PCTA needs to actively separate themselves from these lunatics...or get lumped in with them....
  • 11-13-2013
    Piranha426
    IMBA just held a Bay Area summit this past Saturday with representatives (including myself) from the Marin County Bicycle Coalition, Access 4 Bikes, Silicon Valley Mountain Bikers, Bicycle Trails Council of the East Bay, and Monterey Off-Road Cyclists. Tom Ward has his hands full with both the Bay Area and the rest of NorCal - what IMBA really needs is a Bay-Area focused rep, which is something that ideally the chapter program can help with. But I don't think they've necessarily "neglected" the Bay Area.
  • 11-13-2013
    zorg
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    It took 5 years of lobbying by the HoHa’s to get the Forest Service to close the PCT to bikes, the PCTRI is into it now for a little over a year there’s a long road ahead. Even two of the surviving 3 foresters that signed the now expired order think it would be ok to have bikes in the non-wilderness sections today. You would be surprised at the number of forest Service employee’s that really could care less about bikes on the trail, that attitude goes “VERY” high up the latter. Like others have said it’s easier for the forest service to do nothing than to fight the screams of the vocal minority, the additional work and the enviable lawsuits from the Hoha’s. So I think it will eventually come down to someone getting ticketed and challenging the closure in court or a lawsuit.
    Jfloren you mention the PCTA doing excellent work in keeping the trail open and I don’t doubt that statement but it’s far than enough. Having spent plenty of time on the PCT and the bike legal feeder trails and other nearby bike trails, it’s the bike trails that a far better maintained than the PCT between overgrown trails and downed tree’s they just cannot keep up.
    The fact that the PCT will soon be stealing away two bike legal trails from us that we have ridden for decades in the Sierra Buttes and in exchange giving us the old PCT alignment to ride along with motorcycles without any modifications to the PCT, speaks volumes on the old Bullshit line the Hoha’s use about how the trail was not designed for bikes. BTW they will terminate this section of the PCT before you can get to anything interesting by decommissioning a section of the PCT before it gets to Deer lake trail which is a joke. how long do you think it will be before a use trail develops to reconnect? Probably even created by hikers that rather stay on the crest than drop down to Packer saddle campground.
    If you choose to ride it, be super courteous, yield to all other users. If you encounter though hikers take time to chat to them, they are on a grand adventure and I have yet to meet one that does not have an interesting story to tell. Do your best to make ALL those trail encounter’s positive.

    You must spread some Reputation around before giving it to TahoeBC again. :)
  • 12-05-2013
    CHUM
    Latest update - We finaly received the letter from the USFS....and it was as we expected

    THE LETTER HAS ARRIVED

    Quote:

    As expected, we have received a letter from the USFS, which can be effectively summed up in two letters: “NO”

    Although not what we were hoping for, none of us here at the PCTRI are even remotely surprised by this, as it has been the anticipated response since our initial meeting with them. Let us be clear, that we are not by any means considering this a defeat. Quite the contrary actually, as our movement is gaining momentum. We are currently in the process of planning our subsequent actions and will be updating our site as we march forward.

    We’re still in the process of digesting the information contained within the letter, but one thing is clear: the PCTRI and the USFS continue to disagree on several fundamental points, and it may take a much higher authority to formally sort out our differences. Whether or not we want to pursue such avenues remains to be seen.

    At this point, we’re still in the planning phases and are continuing to add supporters of our cause with each passing day. We hope that you all continue to spread the word about the PCTRI and as always, we welcome your thoughts, suggestions and ideas. A copy of the letter has been posted to our history page, and can be found there or by clicking here: USFS November 2013 Reply
    bottom line...this is a stalemate.

    USFS has no interest in changing, nor do they have any real interest in enforcement (my opinion only).

    from the Sharing the PCT FB page Moderator:
    Quote:

    The issue may be decided, for a fraction of the cost, if a Forest Service employee encounters a mountain biker on the PCT and cites her or him, and she or he decides to bring the citation to court and challenge the legality of the closure. This page has hypothesized before that the FS might even be looking to cite a mountain biker so as to get to court and have a court put an end to this morass, one way or the other. Judging by its recent letter to PCTRI, the FS appears not to be happy about those Unabomber-style threats on PCT-L (the PCTA-affiliated discussion group) to sabotage the PCT and/or assault mountain bikers.

    As this page has stated before, however, don't make yourself a guinea pig for a citation. With modern computerization of criminal record systems, even a misdemeanor conviction can present problems, such as not being eligible for a job you want or being unable to visit the United Kingdom or Canada. The closure could be legally valid—the FS says it is, anyway—so people should not defy it.
    For more up to date discussion you can visit the Facebook page on this subject:
    https://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct
  • 12-11-2013
    ABud
    Please Humor this idea.

    Has it ever been considered to ride the PCT with the intent of getting arrested. This would give us standing for a run at the Supreme Court. I believe we could make a strong argument for access. This would be a huge calculated risk but the outcome would be a game changer. Of course this would require tremendous preparation and deliberation prior to execution. We would also require financial and appropriate legal backing.

    If this has been considered then never mind. If it has not then please don't dismiss without further thought.
  • 12-11-2013
    Da Masked Avenger
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ABud View Post
    Please Humor this idea.

    Has it ever been considered to ride the PCT with the intent of getting arrested. This would give us standing for a run at the Supreme Court. I believe we could make a strong argument for access. This would be a huge calculated risk but the outcome would be a game changer. Of course this would require tremendous preparation and deliberation prior to execution. We would also require financial and appropriate legal backing.

    If this has been considered then never mind. If it has not then please don't dismiss without further thought.

    Many folks have ridden the PCT with the understanding that they might be cited (arrested? Highly unlikely). For your scenario to play out someone would need to get cited and either 1) have deep pockets or 2) have a large group of riders willing to kick in to fund a challenge of that sort.

    In the meantime, most folks will just keep riding the PCT because hiker encounters (at least in Norcal) are few and far between and ranger encounters are pretty close to the level of Sasquatch encounters.
  • 12-12-2013
    CHUM
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by ABud View Post
    Please Humor this idea.

    Has it ever been considered to ride the PCT with the intent of getting arrested. This would give us standing for a run at the Supreme Court. I believe we could make a strong argument for access. This would be a huge calculated risk but the outcome would be a game changer. Of course this would require tremendous preparation and deliberation prior to execution. We would also require financial and appropriate legal backing.

    If this has been considered then never mind. If it has not then please don't dismiss without further thought.

    Not a good idea to intentionally seek out a possible misdemeanor....I would guess a Federal Judge would frown on that.

    BUT - if one was to receive a ticket for riding the PCT outside of designated Wilderness (maybe they got lost)....and posted about it here, or via PM, there could be a strong possibility that the ticketed individual would receive some worthwhile advice.

    Now, it will not take 1 ticket "overturned" in court to remove all the teeth from this semi-toothless dubious ban of bikes on the PCT. It would take a few before the FS stopped pursuing the matter.

    In any case - this idea is by no means a good strategy to gain access...even though it may work, it might alienate a lot of good relationships being developed with the USFS.

    So if you, or you know anyone that gets cited for riding the PCT please post up, or shoot me a PM.....
  • 12-27-2013
    CHUM
    Update:

    response letter from the PCTRI quoted below from the "Sharing the PCT" Facebook page

    Quote:

    Mr. Randy Moore
    Regional Forester
    U.S. Forest Service
    1323 Club Drive
    Vallejo, California 94592-1110

    Re: Nonmotorized multiuse on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT)—reply to your letter of Nov. 25.

    Dear Mr. Moore:

    Thank you for your letter of November 25.

    We were disappointed, but not surprised, to read that you are not rescinding Regional Order 88-4 at this time. Still we are asking that USFS engage in a public process to consider an order or regulation that is consistent with current best practices and compliant with the Administrative Procedure Act. The 1988 closure order was created and signed by three Forest Service employees only after the Forest Service Chief declined to issue a regulation. We continue to believe that the Administrative Procedure Act calls for a public process to consider the regulation of trail use on the PCT.

    The 1978 Code of Federal Regulations declaration, which provides that the PCT is primarily intended for foot and horse use, is not an impediment to reassessing the current use regime. We have no problem stipulating that the PCT is primarily intended for those historically established uses. As is the case with the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail, mountain biking can coexist alongside those primary uses. Mountain biking exists alongside horse and hiker use almost everywhere else, including on those tens of thousands of Forest Service trail and road miles to which your November 25 letter adverts.

    Additionally, and beyond the questions of Administrative Procedure Act requirements and the application of the 1978 CFR provision, the Forest Service rightfully prides itself on its own participatory rulemaking processes. In the case of the PCT bicycle closure, there was not, nor has there ever been, a process that would meet Forest Service standards of practice. A cautionary, temporary rule has become established, but because of the lack of an adequate promulgation process, its legitimacy is tenuous.

    We, like you, are saddened by the acrimony that has emerged over this issue. It continues unabated and no end to it seems in sight, judging by posts on the Internet. We pledge to you that for our part we will continue to conduct ourselves civilly and with a commitment to the community’s good as we continue our advocacy.

    We welcome the Forest Service’s generous offer to "organize a professionally facilitated discussion in the coming year, with the goal of finding common ground for resolving disagreements" and your invitation to us to help locate a qualified facilitator. We are trying to find a facilitator that we can recommend, and we look forward to participating in the eventual conference or workshop. We will help create meaningful and productive dialogue at any meeting that does take place.

    We feel very strongly that any such process should have clear goals, milestones and criteria toward planning and creating a national trails system that fairly and transparently reflects conservation and societal needs that have evolved since the current system and management practices were put in place.

    Per your invitation, we will be in contact with [the] Regional Trails Program Manager, and/or [the] Pacific Crest Trail Program Manager, on these matters.

    Sincerely yours,

    PCTRI
  • 05-22-2014
    Empty_Beer
    Survey time
    If you have any knowledge of the PCT between Donner Summit and Jackson Meadow Reservoir, please provide your insights in this survey. Your input is completely anonymous. Share with your non-MTBR pals. Thanks! :thumbsup:

    Info: Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail: Section Survey!

    Survey: Survey #5: Donner Summit to Jackson Meadows Reservoir



    There will also be a survey for the segment from Jackson Meadows Reservoir to Wild Plum CG/Sierra City (soon).
  • 05-22-2014
    TahoeBC
    Besides being a segment perfectly suited for cross country type bike riding much of the segment runs through Sierra Pacific property that they graciously provided
    an easement for the PCT. While "Hiking" this segment last fall I could not help but notice the trees they had felled across the trail, which of coarse they would be
    taking at a later point, but they had no problem driving there heavy machinery back and forth across the trail. God forbid a bike tire hits that dirt though.
    I'm very curious on what kind of jurisdiction the forest service has on this segment though there property if any at all?
  • 05-22-2014
    FKFW
    Done. Thanks for the heads up!
  • 09-18-2014
    Empty_Beer
    Please submit comments to the USFS
    So the Pacific Crest Trail Association appears to be working with the USFS to gain more power, control and management of the PCT, by working with them to create a "Management Area" for three National Forests the trail currently goes through (Inyo, Sierra & Sequoia -- the "early adopters"... more to come). In theory, this is something anyone could support as it does help with permanently protecting the trail corridor from development and extraction. But, giving the PCTA and their anti-bike stance more power is no bueno. They could literally rule that no MTB legal trails can cross the PCT (or get near the trail)!

    So it's time for mt. bikers to write the Forest Service again and oppose this "Management Area" portion of the proposed Planning Rule. It's also a great opportunity to let your voice be heard by the USFS about this ridiculous ban on bicycles on the PCT.

    Make comments here: https://cara.ecosystem-management.or...t?Project=3375 -- Do this by Sept. 27!

    See the details regarding the PCT starting on page 59 here.

    Here are a few letters other trail advocates have shared:

    #1
    Quote:

    "The conservation of the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT) is very important to me. For this reason, I take great interest in the current proposal to establish special management areas such as what might be created along the PCT corridor so as to better care for the trail. However, I am loath to support any proposal that may perpetuate the unfair, inappropriate and unnecessary exclusion from the PCT of trail users who would like to experience parts of the trail by bicycle.

    The 1988 temporary Closure Order that is the basis for the bicycle exclusion is badly outdated; reflects 25-year-old management practice; never involved significant public input; does not serve the long-term conservation goals for the PCT; and unfairly prevents a significant segment of the public from accessing any part of the public trail in a safe and sustainable manner. Preserving a 2,650-mile public trail for the exclusive use of a relatively tiny segment of the public is bad policy and it erodes public support for the trail.

    Until USFS agrees to a transparent, public review of the 1988 Closure Order, it is very difficult to support efforts that may perpetuate the plainly outdated ban on bicycle access."
    #2
    Quote:

    "To the Decision Makers addressing the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests Land Management Plans:

    As an avid outdoorsman and a lover of the gorgeous Sierras, I am pleased to see efforts to sustainably manage this magnificent natural resource. However, I must strenuously object to the codifying of the ill-advised ban on bicycle across these portions of the PCT (as well as non-Wilderness areas across the PCT as a whole)

    The 1988 temporary Closure Order that initiated the bicycle ban is outdated; reflects an incomplete management practice, failed to include significant public input, and most importantly does not serve the long-term conservation goals for the PCT. Preserving a 2,650-mile public trail for the exclusive use of one or two user groups at the expense of an equally low-impact user group bad policy and it erodes public support for the trail. Until USFS agrees to a transparent, public review of the 1988 Closure Order, it is very difficult to support efforts that may perpetuate the plainly outdated ban on bicycle access.

    I have hiked portions of the PCT and cycled adjacent trails which cross the PCT. The portions I hiked were perfectly suitable and sustainable as cycling routes. Moreover, the wording in the plan that implies the possible further removal of cycling access to key trails which cross the PCT is particularly disturbing.

    Hikers often cite bad behavior by cyclists as a reason to perpetuate the ban. However, hikers and backpackers are more likely to build illegal fire rings, smoke in high fire danger areas, relieve themselves within close proximity of water sources, and cut switchbacks, thus creating new avenues for erosion. The point is that no one user group has exclusive claim to either vice or virtue and it makes no sense to ban one but not the other. Where trails are sustainably built, multiple studies, including those commissioned by the USFS, demonstrate the impact of cycling and hiking to be roughly equivalent and both to be far less impactful than equestrian use, which is given top billing in the plan. Cyclists impact hikers, but hikers also impact cyclists; there is no basis for placing one above the other. If you're still concerned about protecting the hiking experience at the expense of cyclists, please consider that 1,000 miles of the PCT's 2,600 mile length passes through designated Wilderness, thus still providing hikers and equestrians with tremendous opportunity for a bike-free experience.

    Bottom line: Cycling should be allowed where it can be done suitably and sustainably, which includes some portions of the PCT. There is simply no rational justification for a blanket exclusion on all portions of the PCT to preserve the elitist experiences of a highly vocal, but no more equally valid user group. Please reconsider the perpetuation of the unfair blanket ban against this low-impact, conservation minded user group."
    #3
    Quote:

    "Dear Sir or Madam:

    "I cannot support any proposal that may perpetuate the unfair, unenforceable, and probably unlawful putative exclusion of bicycle riders on the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT). It's unclear to me whether this plan does this, but if it does, count me against it.

    The August 31, 1988 closure order that is the basis for the bicycle exclusion is properly deemed temporary under the Forest Service's own rules and regulations, and it expired long ago. It was promulgated by three Forest Service field personnel who typed up the closure order after the Forest Service headquarters rejected a request for a bicycle ban in 1987. Thereafter, in violation of the Administrative Procedure Act that the Forest Service is required by law to abide by, local Forest Service personnel let it become a permanent plan with no public notice or comment. And since the public wasn't aware that the plan was implemented with no opportunity for public input, it accepted it for the most part, until the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative challenged it in 2010. (See Sharing the Pacific Crest Trail.) That Catch-22 (no notice, therefore no complaints until 2010) has been bad: bad for the law, bad for the PCT, and bad for public support for wildland conservation.

    Additionally, the PCT bicycle ban is antiquated, reflects the minimal understanding of how to manage nonmotorized trails for multiuse of a quarter-century ago, does not serve the PCT's interests (the trail cannot be maintained with the small cadre of hiker volunteers who currently make themselves available), and unfairly prevents a significant segment of the public from accessing any part of the public trail in a safe and sustainable manner. Granting exclusive use of a 2,650-mile publicly funded trail mainly for the use of a few hundred through-hikers has resulted in public indifference about the trail, and its hundreds of miles of overgrown and poorly maintained sections are the proof of the pudding.

    Until the Forest Service agrees to a thorough-going review of the 1988 closure order, one that complies with the Administrative Procedure Act by allowing public participation, attempts to put patches on the inadequate existing management scheme are a waste of time.

    Certainly in the interim the Forest Service should direct its current and retired employees not to harangue mountain bikers who are on non-Wilderness PCT sections. Their presence there may be entirely lawful."
    More chatter about this on the FB page: https://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct
  • 09-18-2014
    Diesel~
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    So the Pacific Crest Trail Association appears to be working with the USFS to gain more power, control and management of the PCT, by working with them to create a "Management Area" for three National Forests the trail currently goes through (Inyo, Sierra & Sequoia -- the "early adopters"... more to come). .....

    Make comments here: https://cara.ecosystem-management.or...t?Project=3375 -- Do this by Sept. 27!

    Thanks for the call to action, EB! Comments submitted.

    -D
  • 09-18-2014
    SS Hack
    Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT
    I'd proofread those carefully before sending. Sierra is always singular - there is never a "s" at the end, no matter what you read around here. Also how do hikers impact bikers, again? What proof do you have that bikers will be better at not popping near water or camping in improper sites? The letter should site studies to prove that bikes are less damaging than horses. You need hard facts not emotions, you're up against 150 years of tradition.
  • 09-19-2014
    TahoeBC
    The big issue here is the PCTA will be given the right to say how trails are used withing the PCT Corridor, this is a "PRIVATE" lobbying group how is it that they get veto power over trails that intersect the PCT. This means no new bike legal trails that cross the PCT, a trail that cuts this state and in fact the whole west coast in half. We could even loose access to trails leading up to the PCT, if adopted in Tahoe this could potentially impact trails like the TRT out of Big Meadows, Sayles, Bryant Meadows, Pony Express, DLRT.

    This is a ******** backdoor deal going down as a way to shut out bikes, I think any letters should really focus on not allowing the PCTL to have a final say on trails within the PCT "Corridor"
  • 09-19-2014
    chasejj
    Thank you for for speaking the truth TahoeBC. I have seen very similar tactics in Eldorado Forest for 30 years.
    Now prepare to be flamed as hater who just doesn't get it.
  • 09-19-2014
    SS Hack
    Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT
    They all ready issue all through hike permits, long history there.
  • 09-19-2014
    TahoeBC
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by SS Hack View Post
    They all ready issue all through hike permits, long history there.

    So what?? so your willing to give the PCTL final say on how trails can be used on publicly funded land? that's a little different that issuing a permit wouldn't you say?

    "To maintain the outstanding primitive hiking and horseback experiences, new crossings of the PCT by trails for bicycles or other mechanized transport should be avoided except as mutually agreed on by the forest and the Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail Association"

    I like how they don't even define how big the trail corridor is within the document either.

    "The use of bicycles and other mechanized transport and motorized use is prohibited on the
    PCT tread and within the trail corridor "
  • 09-19-2014
    vernonator
    Tahoe BC,
    I respect your take on the entire issue. Do you mind sharing your letter with us? I'd like to crank one out on behalf of A4B.
    Thanks!
  • 09-19-2014
    Wilderness Rider
    This is a fight we need to force to happen. If we as bikers don't fight this fight it will never happen. Ideally IMBA could identify a very passionate pro mt bike attorney that is willing to take this on. And someone that has the ear of one of our congressman & senators. The economic benefit is very real and measurable to small mountain towns such as Truckee, where mountain biking is seeing explosive growth.

    When I recently wore to Congressman McCintock, I was very clear how an out dated forest service order is negatively impacting the local economy. While at the same time wasting gov't resources as there is talk of creating a parallel trail to the PCT around Donner Summit which would cost hundred of thousands of dollars. Which makes absolutely no sense when a perfect trail already exists and could be open with the swipe of a pen.

    The whole concept of preventing bikes on the PCT in non wilderness areas is just outdated and wrong on every level. Not one legitimate argument exists.

    Will it the PCT open to bikes in the next 20-30 years that I have left of being a mt biker? Odds are against it for sure but never say never..
  • 09-19-2014
    TahoeBC
    I really don’t want to share it for a few reasons, one being that I think if to many come in looking alike possibly they are not valued as much, and sometimes I’m not that elegant in forming my thoughts in the most politically correct ways ;)

    Personally I think we should focus less on asking that the PCT be opened to bikes and more on why a private organization is being given the right to say how publicly funded land can be utilized, I think we need to try and keep what we do have at this point. Many new restrictions are being proposed within the PCT corridor with no definition of how big the corridor is? The wording in the document carefully guided by the PCTA seems to override the temporary closure order and pretty much closes down the future of any potential access to the non-wilderness sections by bike. They seem to be getting carte blanch to reroute the PCT onto existing mutil-use trails if they choose. The PCT splits the entire west coast in half; it's not fair to limit any new crossings of the PCT by bikes.
  • 09-19-2014
    Wilderness Rider
    Quote:

    Originally Posted by TahoeBC View Post
    it's not fair to limit any new crossings of the PCT by bikes.

    This is 100% true but does not go far enough...not just crossings, the trail itself should be open to bikes. Bikers are not out destroying or negatively impacting anyone's experience any more than hikers or equestrians do..

    We're talking about a trail that runs on federal and state land in non-wilderness areas...keep in mind that we all support and pay various aspects of this with our tax $$.

    It would be another story if bikers were the enemy or evil but come on..we are stewards of the land as much as hikers and equestrians (except we don't sh*t on the trail)....