Important-petition seeking equal trail access for mountain bikers!!!
Hello fellow mtbr members:
A precedent setting decision (Forest Order) is being considered by the Red Rock Ranger District of the Coconino National Forest (USFS). This decision is dangerous as it focuses exclusively on mountain bikers.
Please make the time to read this brief petition as this decision has the potential to effect all USFS lands. If you agree with the message, please sign the petition and share the link with everyone you know.
I'm not a knee jerk petition signer. For me there's not enough info and what's presented is very one sided to know what the situation really entails. Not to mention I'm not knee jerk against the idea of land agencies having the authority to enact emergency closures to protect resources if needed.
Inorder to clarify the Forest Closure Order until we actually get the FS version I have been asked to include the following comment:
The Temporary Forest Order would implement a cross-country travel closure to apply only to MTB use. Hikers and equestrians would be unaffected. Since use of unofficial trails and routes (not part of the FS officially recognized system of trails) is considered “cross-country travel,” all non-system trails would be off limits to mountain bikers. This represents roughly half the trail miles currently available to MTB use. Meanwhile, the unofficial trails will still exist and continue to be eroded by hikers and horses until such time as the FS decides what to do with them. In this light, it’s difficult to believe the RRRD has protection of resources in mind. It seems to be a discriminatory measure.
A “temporary” order can be implemented for one year, with an option to extend an additional year, with no need for a NEPA study. This means the District has up to two years to conduct a NEPA and make the closure permanent. As one experienced advocate at the meeting pointed out, this is what has historically happened in these situations. And, it is not logical that the FS would simply let the closure run out and allow MTB users to go back to the currently allowed use of unofficial routes.
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