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  1. #1
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    More Wilderness area proposed - please help

    I'm more of a snomo guy, but do bike frequently. This affects us all!

    There is a proposal being circulated in Colorado's central mountain areas that would increase the size of existing wilderness areas. This expansion would put many area's that WE use to recreate into a designated wilderness area. No more snowmobiling, no more mountain biking and no more atv, moto or 4wd. If one area is taken away, more area's will follow.

    This is being proposed by a private group and will be sponsored by a jr. congressman from the 2nd CO district, Jared Polis. Please contact Congressman Polis to express your opinion on this matter. Contact Link

    This is not being done in a typical manner and the group working on the proposal has figured out how to make an end run push for wilderness. If WE do not act now, the proposal will be a done deal by the end of this year. Please take the time to show your opinion on this matter by talking to every politician you can think of. This includes your City Council, County Governing board, Senators and Congressman. DO IT NOW or you may not be able to use YOUR public lands in the way you would most like to.

    Please look at the maps and call/ write your legislators.

    For more info,

    White River Forest Alliance - http://www.whiteriverforestalliance.com/index.html

    More info at snowwest: http://www.snowest.com/news/index.cfm?ID=2131

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendodendo
    No more snowmobiling, no more mountain biking and no more atv, moto or 4wd. If one area is taken away, more area's will follow.
    I'm sorry to hear that you moto-heads are losing the right to enjoy YOUR public lands in the way you would most like to. But there are other ways to get out in the great outdoors and have a good time.
    Get the sand out of your 'jina and go for a hike!
    Last edited by MarkoInTheBoat; 08-29-2009 at 07:55 AM.
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  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    I'm sorry to hear that you moto-heads are losing the right to enjoy YOUR public lands in the way you would most like to. But there are other ways to get out in the great outdoors and have a good time.
    Get the sand out of your 'jina and go for a hike!

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    I'm sorry to hear that you moto-heads are losing the right to enjoy YOUR public lands in the way you would most like to. But there are other ways to get out in the great outdoors and have a good time.
    Get the sand out of your 'jina and go for a hike!
    Dude, Maybe a little knowledge about the issue before spouting off !!!

    Quote Originally Posted by Brendodendo
    [SIZE="3"]....no more mountain biking....[/SIZE]
    since this a MTB forum it is a very relevant post and should be brought to the attention of an affected user group.

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by dcp_nz
    Dude, Maybe a little knowledge about the issue before spouting off !!!



    since this a MTB forum it is a very relevant post and should be brought to the attention of an affected user group.
    Quote Originally Posted by brendodendo
    no more mountain biking
    Yeah, I'm not fricking blind, bro. I saw the comment on no more mountain biking.

    And yeah, thanks. Yes, I will admit that I dont have a college degree in wilderness ethics or management. Nor have I studied up on the Hidden Gem's proposal. So yes, a LOT more knowledge about the issue before spouting off would be great.

    But I have spent enough time enjoying wilderness areas to know that these roadless gems are very special and have been designated as wilderness for a reason. I have found plenty of ways to enjoy myself out there besides riding a bike, moto, or 'bile.

    This guy comes over from Snowest, whining about losing his rights to do this and that on public land. Well screw him, and the rest of those Snowest rednecks that feel entitled to do whatever they feel like on "their public land".
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  6. #6
    zrm
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    I love riding my mountain bike, but it doesn't trump all my other values.

    I have zero sympathy for the motorized community. They have no one to blame but themselves for the threats their access although they'll blame everyone but themselves. I grew up in motorsports and used to have a very live and let live attitude towards them, but no more.

  7. #7
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    It's crazy letting a race track motorcycle with a big bore gazillion horsepower engine plow up a mountain trail, when something with 200ccs that putt putts would do the same thing, ride you where you want to go, without trenching the trails with roosts.

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    So yes, a LOT more knowledge about the issue before spouting off would be great.
    Insert foot in mouth now.

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    I have found plenty of ways to enjoy myself out there besides riding a bike, moto, or 'bile.
    Good for you. Want a cookie?

    Quote Originally Posted by MarkoInTheBoat
    This guy comes over from Snowest, whining about losing his rights to do this and that on public land. Well screw him, and the rest of those Snowest rednecks that feel entitled to do whatever they feel like on "their public land".
    So I guess what you're saying is that it's "your public land"? Sounds like the pot calling the kettle black. Amazing that you'd post such an ignorant statement on a public forum.

    In reality, the mountain bike community had better take a hard look at this proposal because it's really, really scary and affects us big time as mountain bikers.
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  9. #9
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    I'm basically as non-moto as they get, but there is a point here. Mountain bikes are considered "mechanized travel" for wilderness purposes. I don't go for the wilderness is BAD BAD BAD knee jerk reaction, but as mountain bikers and NF users in general we need to pay attention to this proposal in particular and all wilderness proposals in general. If we don't, we lose our voice at the table.

    We lost Pollock Bench years ago in a questionable application of wilderness designation (at least in my mind).

    Regardless of the spin from the moto user groups, this is an issue we need to pay attention to.

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    The problem as I see it with this proposal is the broad brush that is being used in considering what is wilderness. I am by no means familiar with all the areas included but of the ones I am somewhat familiar with, there are some instances that are far from untouched, pristine wilderness and certainly fall well short of what I would consider worthy of Wilderness designation. They include widely used and travelled dirt roads - take for example parts of the Basalt Mountain and Thompson Creek areas being proposed.

    IMHO it is wrong to paint vast acreage as wilderness and cut off access to existing highly travelled roads and trails for many user groups when the area is not worthy of the designation in the first place. This serves no legitimate purpose and creates animosity.
    What is even more wrong is what I understand to be an effort to jam through this controversial legislation with out the normal due process.

    FWIW I have never snowmobiled or dirt biked, it must be 20 yrs since I rode an ATV but I mountain bike alot and I have been known to 4WD occaisionally. I also enjoy hiking form time to time. I don't have an preconceived hatred for motorized users however I generally prefer not to share trails with them. I do support wilderness and the consideration of new areas for that designation, just not areas that don't deserve it.

  11. #11
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    I'm not from snowest. And FYI.. I am not a dick head. I ride my bike in the roaring fork valley. I am also a snomobiler. Does that mean that I have no outdoor ethics? NO, I am environmentally responsible in my personal life and when I'm out using the public lands, be it in my truck, on my bike, on my snowmobile on in a pair of boots. Just because YOU have a problem with motorized access, does not mean we are bad people. Hell, I'll slow as I pass you on my bike if you are walking and slow even more for cross country skiers or snowshoers on my snowmobile. I practice leave no trace and do not advocate for new trail making, 4wd or mountain bike unless it is warranted and been fully planned out.

    The knee jerk reaction is Wilderness for Wilderness sake. When each area needs to be scrutinized on a case by case basis. From my valley, I believe that Thompson Creek and Basalt Mountain are the wrong areas to designate, while the Hay park are of Mt. Sopris is in need of the designation.

    The Hidden Gems proposal creates an all or nothing scenario.

    By the way... do some research before flapping your gums and sounding like a doucher.

    By the way, This affects us all, whether you like moto driven sports or not. Please do not use the argument that moto use is loud and obnoxious. I you want peace and quiet, there are many trails designated for non moto access or use existing wilderness area. The moto community only has access to a limited number of trails and area's and as proposals like these are passed, moto will be limited even more. That means that moto use will be encroaching on areas that are now more frequented by mechanized devices.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Brendodendo

    By the way... do some research before flapping your gums and sounding like a doucher.
    But its sooo easy to do on the interweb. Besides, there are already enough of these wilderness area threads, I figured I could flap my gums in one or two of 'em.


    Go find another group of "greenies" to help you with your cause. Peace
    "When you pay $340 to do a 24 hour race you'll only have enough money to eat mustard sandwiches the rest of the year." -TD

  13. #13
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    Thanks MITB. But you are now my favorite. I can see you being in my fan club.

    EDIT: thanks for pointing out MITB... I am a snowwest member. Very limited. I think I have more posts here in the last few days than on there.

  14. #14
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    This is a very simple issue. Once a user group loses access (moto) more (mtn bike) are to follow. Do some google searches on trail access and it will slap you in the face. A lot of people have issues with motos on trails (everyone's opinion is basically the same, they wreck trails) but we all have mtn biking in common. There are better designations out there to protect wilderness from development, and industry than the Wilderness Act. Hidden Gems proposal increases the Wilderness designation in the White River Forest to over 50%.
    I live 10 minutes from the Eagles Nest Wilderness in Summit Cty. It is a great place to camp, and fish, but economically (one of the pro bullet points for the Hidden Gems designation) it doesn't do much for surrounding businesses. If the designation allowed for Mtn Bikes the economic impact would be far greater. Hotels, Retail, Restaurants etc. Hikers bring what the need on their backs, and don't spend a lot of time in retail shops buying backpacks, boots, and jackets once they're here. Ask Fruita what the economic benefits of Mtn Biking are.
    The sensitive areas of Hidden Gems will be and are right now protected by the location they are in, and the trails available to access those areas. We can designate the are as protected from commercial development and industrial usage to further protect them. If we designate the area as Wilderness we are telling many user groups that they no longer have the opportunity to enjoy this area. Think about getting a handicapped group into the area on roads that are already established, or a family with small children. The Hidden Gems Wilderness is a bad idea. Unless you are a able bodied backpacker who are the only user group to benefit from Wilderness designations.
    you can get passed a dog... nobody fuks with a lion

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm
    I love riding my mountain bike, but it doesn't trump all my other values.

    I have zero sympathy for the motorized community. They have no one to blame but themselves for the threats their access although they'll blame everyone but themselves. I grew up in motorsports and used to have a very live and let live attitude towards them, but no more.
    You were at the Tenderfoot meeting. There are concerned users in the moto community, with organized trail work days (9/19 in the Tenderfoot Area they will be closing braided trails, putting in waterbars, and doing trail cleanup) which is much more than I can say for the Summit Cty Mtn Bike Society whose website has not been updated since what 2004, who when I asked about trail work days, or to attend meetings would not even email me back. Hidden Gems is directly affecting Mtn Biking terrain in Summit Cty, and your group does nothing to mitigate, or expand the public knowledge of this issue. I would love to donate some $ to your cause, but I'm afraid it will be used at the next Backcountry Brewery meeting.
    you can get passed a dog... nobody fuks with a lion

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SicBith
    This is a very simple issue. Once a user group loses access (moto) more (mtn bike) are to follow. Do some google searches on trail access and it will slap you in the face. A lot of people have issues with motos on trails (everyone's opinion is basically the same, they wreck trails) but we all have mtn biking in common. There are better designations out there to protect wilderness from development, and industry than the Wilderness Act. Hidden Gems proposal increases the Wilderness designation in the White River Forest to over 50%.
    I live 10 minutes from the Eagles Nest Wilderness in Summit Cty. It is a great place to camp, and fish, but economically (one of the pro bullet points for the Hidden Gems designation) it doesn't do much for surrounding businesses. If the designation allowed for Mtn Bikes the economic impact would be far greater. Hotels, Retail, Restaurants etc. Hikers bring what the need on their backs, and don't spend a lot of time in retail shops buying backpacks, boots, and jackets once they're here. Ask Fruita what the economic benefits of Mtn Biking are.
    The sensitive areas of Hidden Gems will be and are right now protected by the location they are in, and the trails available to access those areas. We can designate the are as protected from commercial development and industrial usage to further protect them. If we designate the area as Wilderness we are telling many user groups that they no longer have the opportunity to enjoy this area. Think about getting a handicapped group into the area on roads that are already established, or a family with small children. The Hidden Gems Wilderness is a bad idea. Unless you are a able bodied backpacker who are the only user group to benefit from Wilderness designations.

    Couldn't have said it better. Well put! Only thing you forgot is to remind people to act! Jared Polis is backing this thing, letters to him voicing our opposition are needed!!
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  17. #17
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    There's a lot going on in this proposal.

    I see proponents are now claiming (Allyn Harvey Aspen Times letter to Editor 9/10/09)
    "nearly all of the existing trails in the Roaring Fork Valley, including all the most popular ones, will not be affected by the Hidden Gems proposal."
    and ( http://www.whiteriverwild.org/)

    "the Hidden Gems proposal will have no effect on any of the popular (or even slightly popular) mountain bike trails in the Roaring Fork Valley. "
    What does "nearly all" mean? what does "most popular" include?

    I'm trying to verify these statements by pouring over the maps because it is directly counter to my prior understanding and the position of several MTB advocates in the valley. The fact that some of the most popular mountain biking trails in the area were originally included and are now being touted as having been drawn out of the proposal does not inspire much confidence given that the entire surrounding area which includes a whole bunch of connecting trails is still in.
    I will post again on this if I can add anything further.

    I am also pretty annoyed by the hypocrisy of the groups pushing this proposal.
    For instance Sloan Shoemaker, the executive director of the Wilderness Workshop and on the steering committee of the Hidden Gems Campaign wrote in a guest opinion piece in the Aspen Times on 9/11/09

    "Wilderness designation is reserved for areas where the Earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man. It is built on the idea that some areas should be set aside so that current and future generations may get the same opportunity to experience landscapes in their natural and primitive state. "
    Hey thats great man but then why go on and say:

    "The Wilderness Act, by contrast, sets uniform management standards for all Wilderness Areas. It embraces grazing and associated upkeep, it allows trail building for travel by foot or horseback."
    I had to look up definition of untrammeled (per dictionary.reference.com) as meaning "Not limited or restricted; unrestrained." and I'm still not sure he's using it right but I think what he's saying is we should leave it in its natural and primitive state except for things we like such as building trails that only some user groups can use.

    Its a complete farce to suggest that "foot and horseback trail building" and "grazing and associated upkeep" (whatever the heck that is) are consistent with "natural and pristine" or "untrammeled by man". Surely it's either "natural and pristine" OR lets build some trails and allow grazing - can't be both.
    Last edited by dcp_nz; 09-16-2009 at 01:29 PM.

  18. #18
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    Some interesting replys..

    After reading some of the posts on the subject of wilderness, I find it interesting that there is a large divide between pro-wilderness and anti-wilderness people within the user group. It would seem that our government would rather close the land to a wide variety of users instead of managing the land. There is always going to be user conflicts on public lands (sheep grazers vs cattle grazers come to mind). My hope is that more emphasis is put on law enforcement than creating new wilderness. 1 BLM ranger for over a million acres is a joke.

    We have a lot of great resources in Grand Junction that are abused by vandals and people illegally dumping it really makes me angry. I ride motos out in the north desert and see these people that just don't give a F*** about the areas that they are damaging. I see the Bullet holes in the info Kiosk at 18rd and get pissed because I have done a lot of work building mountainbike trails and making an area for people to enjoy, only for some ******* to F*** it up by shooting up the signs. At last count, I inventoried 33 abandoned vehicles on public lands in the north desert wasteland. The BLM doesn't have money to remove them, not to mention the trash piles.

    A more visible presence of law enforcement would go a long way to mitigate vandalism and damage to our public lands for all users. Instead, we get poor management of our existing areas and wilderness. It really isn't the land management agencies fault, they don't have a budget to effectively manage the land. Does anyone remember the conflicts that used to arrise at the Lunch Loop/tabaguache area. The BLM and the City started to manage the area and there are considerably fewer issues. In reality, management of public lands is better than exclusion.

    Regards,

    TJ.
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by TJ.
    In reality, management of public lands is better than exclusion. [/FONT]

    Regards,

    TJ.
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  20. #20
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    The Chairman of the Subcommittee on National Parks, Forests and Public Lands of the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources has scheduled a hearing on October 1 to consider H.R. 1925, America's Red Rock Wilderness Act of 2009.

    This legislation -- which will ban off-highway vehicle (OHV) access to public lands to those who live and recreate in
    Utah -- was introduced by New York Representative Maurice Hinchey.


    However, not a single Representative from Utah is supporting H.R.1925.

    Specifically, H.R. 1925 would designate more than nine million more acres as federally protected "Wilderness," and directly affect the Moab, San Rafael Swell and Chimney Rock areas (to name a few) in Utah.

    These popular OHV areas represent some of the most important remaining OHV recreation areas in Utah, and are some of the most popular with responsible OHV riders. The proposed Wilderness designation would also make the land off limits to ATV riders, mountain bikers and horseback
    riders.

    Coming on the heels of the recently enacted Omnibus Public Land Management Act, which closed 2 million acres of public lands, this vast Wilderness bill will take away additional recreation opportunities currently enjoyed by local residents and visitors alike.

    The AMA needs your help now to stop H.R. 1925. The fastest way to reach your U.S. Representative is to call them. You can find contact information for your elected officials by entering your zip code on AmericanMotorcyclist.com, clicking on "Rights," then "Issues and Legislation." Additionally, a prewritten e-mail is available for you to send to your Representative immediately by following the "Take
    Action" option and entering your information.

    Please contact your Representative right away and urge them to oppose H.R. 1925.

    It's VERY VERY SIMPLE! Just click here...


    http://capwiz.com/amacycle/issues/al...ertid=14061961

    ... and you will be taken to the AMA's (American Motorcycle
    Association) website. Enter your zip code and a letter will be sent to your representative urging them to vote NO on this bill.\

    I realize this is being backed by a motosports org, but it will affect all users and will greatly impact the economy of the area. How many of you dream of riding the famous Moab singletrack. If this bill goes through you will never get that chance.

    Tim

  21. #21
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    I just finished three days in Rabbit Valley, riding pretty much everything on the Utah side. We saw several groups of motos on Western Rim, Zion Curtain and sections of the Kokpellis. They were all extremely polite. We stopped and chatted with a couple of the guys and gave them some info on the trail conditions up ahead. The fumes aren't great for that few moments when they pass, but otherwise there were no conflicts. I'd even say it was cordial. I would have more respect for the wilderness proponents and their arguments for preserving pristine areas if they included themselves in a total ban on human use - no hiking, no horses, no rock climbing, no camping, no human access of any kind - it's wilderness after all - right? It's the method of carving out the preferred forms of use that irks me - as though hikers don't leave scars on the landscape! What do you call a trail? It's a SCAR people! A miles long eyesore, usually filled with pile after pile or horse sh!t - but that use is somehow compatible with wilderness designation.
    When I see an adult on a bicycle, I do not despair for the future of the human race. ~H.G. Wells

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    I'm sitting here in my office looking out the window at one of these areas of proposed wilderness areas (North Independence A).
    It has houses right up to the proposed boundary and is right outside town, and therefore not really worthy of wilderness designation. It is also extremely steep and difficult to access and therefore is at zero risk of logging or drilling and so does not need protection which is one of the main thrusts of this proposal. Why exactly is this area being included in a wilderness proposal? IMHO its nothing more than a land grab.

    I also don't understand the stated position of the wilderness workshop group that they won't negotiate with MTB user groups anymore because they've already conceeded a bunch of existing trails. What a ridiculous position to take - it was wrong and stupid to include those areas in the first place. To refuse to continue dialog with other user groups because you were wrong before is just asinine!!
    Last edited by dcp_nz; 09-30-2009 at 10:46 AM.

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