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  1. #1
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    MTB in National Parks?

    http://www.9news.com/news/watercoole...1801&catid=337

    I take back all the mean, nasty things I've said about GW.

  2. #2
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    Yeah, I saw that, too. Not sure exactly how I feel about it. I guess I should be more excited about it than I am.

  3. #3
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    Bush has done something right? This explains the early snow this year. Hell has actually frozen over. Gotta love it when his autocratic methods actually work in your favor for once though.

    I like how the guy refers to the "mountain bike lobby" as though we have our own version of the NRA with political clout.

  4. #4
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    I am not all that excited about this either. In itself this rule change won't do anything, It only gives more authority to local managers to make decisions about trail use.
    There are only four national parks in Colorado and combined are a relatively small amount of land. I am skeptical that many trails in Colorado will end up being open to bikes because of this change.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by Moustache rider
    I am not all that excited about this either. In itself this rule change won't do anything, It only gives more authority to local managers to make decisions about trail use.
    There are only four national parks in Colorado and combined are a relatively small amount of land. I am skeptical that many trails in Colorado will end up being open to bikes because of this change.
    Points taken. I was caught up between the daydream of riding virgin singletrack and the novelty of approving a Bush policy. Deeper consideration reveals that this might not be a great thing.

  6. #6
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    I think this is great. It's not necessarily anything new, though. IMBA has been working on this for several years and already there are a few parks nationally that have riding open to bikes.

    It's already been said, but the govt has difficulty managing at a federal level. This puts more control in the hands of local managers. Realistically, this means that some service roads, etc will open up but it's doubtfull that many singletrack will.

    Also, for what it's worth, the entirety of RMNP falls under wilderness protection, so no riding off pavement there
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  7. #7
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    I like how the "Associated Image" in the article shows road biking. Should I be concerned that Colorado's News Leader doesn't know what mountain biking is?

  8. #8
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    I can't really see most national parks being mountain bike destinations, but it would be nice to have options. I went on a trip to Wyoming a couple years ago with my wife. We did some mountain biking in the snowy and wind river ranges, and then drove to jackson for a few days of hiking. We passed through Yellowstone and found out they have one trail open to bikes. It was singletrack by no means (mostly a wide gravel path), but it was pretty fun just to ride across that type of country. You can cover a lot more ground on a bike, and it can be fun to just go on a leisurely ride in a place like that.

  9. #9
    zrm
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    While it would be nice to maybe be able to ride some singletrack in national parks. I real;y don't have a problem with not being able to ride my bike everywhere I go. I'm OK with having most of the off road areas in National Parks limited to foot traffic. It makes the backcountry less crowded. Still, s nice here and there would be nice.

    That said, I'm getting ready to enjoy Canyonlands National park by doing a one day White Rim trip on my bike, so I guess there are at least a few opportunities to get out there on two wheels.

  10. #10
    "Oldfart from Wayback"
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    Whether it happens or not

    It would have been nice to have kept rolling on this ride, looking back where I'd already ridden



    instead of having to stop here




    Looking beyond.








  11. #11
    Going, Going, Gonzo
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    Quote Originally Posted by thump
    Bush has done something right?
    Maybe you'd like to explain to the class how Obama's Finance Chairwoman's Chicago Family-Owned Bank was securitizing subprime loans in 1992 - and FAILED in 2001? Bush's fault?

    "Obama helps shield ACORN from Criminal Prosecution in the Economic Crisis"

    What up wit dat, Holmes? O protectin his Marxist gangsta homies?
    Signature? I don't need no stinking signature.

  12. #12
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    Here's the press release from the group quoted in the 9 News story


    For Immediate Release: October 13, 2008
    Contact: Bill Boteler (202) 265-7337

    INTERIOR READIES MOUNTAIN BIKE EXPANSION IN NATIONAL PARKS — Lame Duck Rule Would Clear Way for Mountain Bike Trails in Park Backcountry

    Washington, DC — The Interior Department is preparing to jettison a two-decade old regulation that protects parks in favor of opening more backcountry trails to mountain bicycles, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The plan would eliminate public review and comment for new bike trails, which could be opened in any park area not prohibited by law.

    Assistant Interior Secretary Lyle Laverty will propose “Mountain Bike Final regulations November / December”, according to an agency schedule obtained by PEER. This action would cap to a longstanding campaign by the International Mountain Bicycle Association (IMBA) to weaken current park protections.

    “This is a lame duck gift for our Mountain-Biker-in-Chief,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that this proposed regulation is well past the proposed deadlines announced this summer by the White House Chief of Staff. “With all the troubles facing the country, the White House should be concerned about more than where the president can ride his bike.”

    While PEER applauds getting more people out of their cars to bike on the paved and dirt roads of our parks, mountain biking on narrow trails may damage resources and conflict with visitor enjoyment. For this reason, the National Park Service adopted regulations for bicycles in 1987, during the Reagan administration, which allow mountain bikes on trails only after an individual park follows a stringent decision-making process that allows for closer scrutiny. The process requires notice of a proposed regulation in the Federal Register and publication of a special federal regulation. Several parks have adopted the necessary special regulations to allow bikes. Among the parks are Saguaro National Park, Arizona and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California.

    By contrast, under the plan pushed by IMBA, each park manager could designate backcountry trails open to mountain bikes by making a simple notation in an internal document called a “compendium” which is available to the public upon request but receives no public notice or public comment prior to approval. Nor would a park manager prepare any environmental compliance under the National Environmental Policy Act or other laws prior to adoption.

    “The pending proposed bicycle rule is a step backward for park conservation. IMBA is correct to anticipate that such a lax and nearly invisible process will open many more trails to bikes,” commented PEER Board member Frank Buono, a long-time former NPS manager. “We think the current rule is a good one. PEER does not oppose mountain bikes on trails in backcountry areas that are outside of designated, proposed or recommended wilderness but each proposal to allow bikes on backcountry trails should be thoughtfully and publicly considered.”

    Similar to the pending revision of the NPS gun rules sponsored by the National Rifle Association, the IMBA mountain biking proposal will not be accompanied by any review to determine how the proposed regulation would affect the quality of the parks environment.
    Morrison, Fruita, Crested Butte, Salida

  13. #13
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    I don't know who wrote that press release, but it is full of misinformation. The Park Service can't open trails without following the NEPA process (which involves proposing a management plan and alternatives, assessing the environmental impact, formally accepting public comment, etc.). Only an act of congress can remove that requirement.

    The change that IMBA is backing is an NPS rule (I believe the story originally claimed it was an executive order). It will streamline the internal process the NPS uses to select trails for possible bicycle access, removing the need for individual parks get approval from bureaucrats in Washington DC. As far as I can tell, the public process will look just the same with months of studies, meetings, and an outcome nobody likes. (I'm only half joking about the last point - park managers often feel they ave found the right balance when all sides complain).

    Hopefully this will speed the introduction of mountain biking in National Parks, but I would not expect the see quick changes.

    IMBA's press release on the subject is here.

  14. #14
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by MiguelH
    Here's the press release from the group quoted in the 9 News story


    For Immediate Release: October 13, 2008
    Contact: Bill Boteler (202) 265-7337

    INTERIOR READIES MOUNTAIN BIKE EXPANSION IN NATIONAL PARKS — Lame Duck Rule Would Clear Way for Mountain Bike Trails in Park Backcountry

    Washington, DC — The Interior Department is preparing to jettison a two-decade old regulation that protects parks in favor of opening more backcountry trails to mountain bicycles, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The plan would eliminate public review and comment for new bike trails, which could be opened in any park area not prohibited by law.

    Assistant Interior Secretary Lyle Laverty will propose “Mountain Bike Final regulations November / December”, according to an agency schedule obtained by PEER. This action would cap to a longstanding campaign by the International Mountain Bicycle Association (IMBA) to weaken current park protections.

    “This is a lame duck gift for our Mountain-Biker-in-Chief,” stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that this proposed regulation is well past the proposed deadlines announced this summer by the White House Chief of Staff. “With all the troubles facing the country, the White House should be concerned about more than where the president can ride his bike.”

    While PEER applauds getting more people out of their cars to bike on the paved and dirt roads of our parks, mountain biking on narrow trails may damage resources and conflict with visitor enjoyment. For this reason, the National Park Service adopted regulations for bicycles in 1987, during the Reagan administration, which allow mountain bikes on trails only after an individual park follows a stringent decision-making process that allows for closer scrutiny. The process requires notice of a proposed regulation in the Federal Register and publication of a special federal regulation. Several parks have adopted the necessary special regulations to allow bikes. Among the parks are Saguaro National Park, Arizona and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California.

    By contrast, under the plan pushed by IMBA, each park manager could designate backcountry trails open to mountain bikes by making a simple notation in an internal document called a “compendium” which is available to the public upon request but receives no public notice or public comment prior to approval. Nor would a park manager prepare any environmental compliance under the National Environmental Policy Act or other laws prior to adoption.

    “The pending proposed bicycle rule is a step backward for park conservation. IMBA is correct to anticipate that such a lax and nearly invisible process will open many more trails to bikes,” commented PEER Board member Frank Buono, a long-time former NPS manager. “We think the current rule is a good one. PEER does not oppose mountain bikes on trails in backcountry areas that are outside of designated, proposed or recommended wilderness but each proposal to allow bikes on backcountry trails should be thoughtfully and publicly considered.”

    Similar to the pending revision of the NPS gun rules sponsored by the National Rifle Association, the IMBA mountain biking proposal will not be accompanied by any review to determine how the proposed regulation would affect the quality of the parks environment.
    I'm not sure if just changing the use designation on an existing trail would require a full blown NEPA. The park supervisor might be able to do it with just a CE decision. Maybe not though. I'm not sure how the regs differ in a National Park from National Forest.

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