Your support is needed to protect valuable singletrack in one of Colorado's largest roadless areas, West Hermosa Creek. A new management plan for public lands outside Durango, Colorado, includes a proposal to close access to the famous Colorado Trail and several other cherished routes. Local riders are proposing a common sense solution that would protect natural resources and bicycle access.
Take Action! Tell the Forest Service you support bicycle-friendly protection of Durango's West Hermosa Creek. The deadline for comments is March 12, 2008.
There are many ways to protect land and allow for bicycle access. For West Hermosa Creek, the Forest Service should recommend that Congress create a National Protection Area. This designation prohibits mining, logging, road-building and motorized travel while allowing bicycling.
For the larger Hermosa Creek area, which encompasses West Hermosa Creek, the Forest Service should recommend that Congress create a National Conservation Area. This would protect more land than a Wilderness designation alone. A National Conservation Area allows existing motorized travel on designated routes, but it bans road building, mining and structures.
Also at issue is the plan's failure to consistently treat bicycling as equal to and in the same category as hiking and equestrian travel. Bicycling should not be lumped together with motorized travel and should not be referred to as "mechanized" travel. Bicycling should be appropriately categorized as a "non-motorized" activity. The environmental impacts of bicycling are similar to hiking and considerably less than other uses.
Bicycling should be allowed on trails unless they are specifically closed to this use. The plan now proposes the opposite--that trails will be closed unless designated open. This is inconsistent with the policy of many National Forests across the country.
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