fresh fish in stock......
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:
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.
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.
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.
^ 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
IMBA's summary: Forest Service Issues Favorable Recommendation for Bike Access on Continental Divide Trail in Colorado
Originally Posted by CHUM
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.
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.
fresh fish in stock......
IMBA threw their hat in
fresh fish in stock......
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!
...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....
Too bad IMBA hasn't done much, if anything, for the bay area.
It's a great time of year to go see for yourself just how Perfect the PCT is for bikes
They've suckered a bunch of money from the BA!
Originally Posted by beaverbiker
What sections would u suggest? PM?
Originally Posted by TahoeBC
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.
Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun
Haha, oh yea I bet. People spent a lot of money on empty promises. Meanwhile, a lot of local diggers are out there building trail for free so that all mountain bikers can enjoy nature on the public lands.
Originally Posted by rensho
At least not everyone is a sucker...we had a local guy buy shovels and mcleods for the local trail builders as well as throwing some dirt himself. This guy was just a regular community member, father/husband, and local business owner that happened to enjoy the trails being built and felt like giving back. AWESOME!
It'd be rad if bike shops had a tip jar by the cash register with all proceeds going towards tools for local trail builders instead of signing up for IMBA.
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.
Never use your face as a brake pad.
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.
fresh fish in stock......
Update from the Sharing the PCT FB page:
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.)
The above in Red is very true - all suggestions are appreciated, considered and discussed in the overall strategy.
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.)
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...
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.
fresh fish in stock......
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.
Originally Posted by Axe
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.
care to post this email axe?
It was just a link to their "2014-2017 Strategic plan" with some drivel attached.
Originally Posted by Whitewater
You can guess what was my input for their plan.
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.
Executive Director and CEO
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.
Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun
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?
Originally Posted by k1creeker
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:
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.
Originally Posted by X-FXR
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
Back at the beginning of this thread I told you this would happen.
Originally Posted by chasejj
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.
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.
Originally Posted by k1creeker