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  1. #1
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    Mountain Bikers Seek to Gut Wilderness Act

    " By Kevin Proescholdt On May 12, 2017

    Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA) recently introduced a bill in Congress at the behest of a group of mountain biking proponents that would eviscerate the 1964 Wilderness Act and allow bicycles in every Wilderness in the nation.

    The bill, HR 1349, was introduced on March 15th on behalf of the mountain biker organization, the Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC). This bill would amend the Wilderness Act to allow bikes, strollers, wheelbarrows, game carts, survey wheels, and measuring wheels in every unit of the National Wilderness Preservation System. In an especially cynical and disingenuous move, the mountain bikers seem to hide behind people with disabilities in their effort to make America’s wildest places merely a playground for cycling: the mountain bikers list “motorized wheelchairs” and “non-motorized wheelchairs” as the first uses to be authorized in Wilderness under their bill (even prior to the listing of “bicycles”), though the 1990 amendments to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) have clearly allowed wheelchairs in designated Wilderness for more than a quarter-century.

    The STC had a bill introduced last year in the U.S. Senate by the two Utah Senators, Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, whose lifetime conservation voting records as compiled by the nonpartisan League of Conservation Voters are just a paltry 9% and 10% respectively. That bill would have opened the Wilderness System to mountain bikes, and also to chainsaws. Fortunately, last year’s bill went nowhere. Unfortunately, the new bill could very well advance in the current anti-wilderness Congress, allied with the new Administration that seems hostile to environmental protection. Rep. McClintock, a member of the House Natural Resources Committee, also chairs that panel’s Subcommittee on Federal Lands. This means he is in a significant position of leadership, and could mean that this year’s mountain bike bill might well advance in Congress. McClintock’s lifetime conservation voting record is even worse than those of the Utah Senators, at a barely-registering 4%.

    Last year, anticipating the 2016 Senate bill to open Wilderness to mountain bikes, Wilderness Watch spearheaded a sign-on letter to Congress in opposition to opening up the National Wilderness Preservation System to bikes. It resulted in a total of 114 wilderness-supporting organizations from around the nation signing on, clearly showing that the conservation community is united in its opposition to the mountain bikers’ efforts.

    The 1964 Wilderness Act prohibits bicycles in the National Wilderness Preservation System. The law (36 U.S.C. 1131-1136) bans all types of bicycles as well as all other forms of mechanical transportation in designated Wilderness. Section 4(c) of that act states, “[T]here shall be…no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area.”

    Furthermore, Congress stated the purpose of the Wilderness Act was, in part, to protect these areas from “expanding settlement and growing mechanization….” (emphasis added) (Wilderness Act, Section 2[a].)

    In a deft use of falsehoods and “fake news,” the mountain bikers have claimed that the Wilderness Act actually allows bikes in Wilderness. They claim that the U.S. Forest Service put the ban in place in 1984 when the agency explicitly named bicycles as one of the prohibited forms of mechanical transport in Wilderness (the agency’s earlier wilderness regulations, written in 1965, did not specifically name bikes as a prohibited use since mountain bikes had not yet been invented). These false claims (among many others by the STC) ignore the clear language of the Wilderness Act and the regulations of the other three federal agencies that have from the beginning clearly banned bikes from the Wildernesses they administer. For more information, see “5 Lies Being Used to Get Mountain Bikes into Wilderness”*.

    The STC arguments also evince an incredibly narrow and selfish view of Wilderness as just a recreation “pie” to be divided up among competing recreation user groups, with seemingly no regard for wildness, wildlife habitat, solitude, or future generations’ desires for truly wild Wilderness.

    For over a half century, the Wilderness Act has protected these areas designated by Congress from mechanization and mechanical transport, even if no motors were involved with such activities. This has meant, as Congress intended, that Wildernesses have been kept free from bicycles and other types of machines. Wilderness advocates believe that this protection has served our Nation well, and that the “benefits of an enduring resource of wilderness” (as the Wilderness Act eloquently declares) would be forever lost by allowing mechanized transport in these areas.

    WHAT YOU CAN DO: Contact your U.S. Senators and Representative and urge them to oppose HR 1349 and similar bills that would weaken the Wilderness Act: bit.ly/2pzxqHa "...

    Mountain Bikers Seek to Gut Wilderness Act

    Kevin Proescholdt is the conservation director for Wilderness Watch, a national wilderness conservation organization, www.wildernesswatch.org.

    5 Lies Being Used to Get Mountain Bikes in Wilderness

  2. #2
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    Very good, about time. Bravo. I already contacted my representatives in support of this important move forward in equal access for ALL Americans.
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    In creating wilderness, our grasping country showed its most restraint. “Here, man doesn’t rule,” we said to one another. “Here, nature rules.”

    Wilderness is not a recreation designation.

    Wilderness is not for our entertainment.

    Wilderness has other goals.

    Wilderness is solitude. It is water quality. It is remaining grizzly habitat, as we squeeze down on bears and most other species.

    Wilderness is not supposed to be easy. In wilderness, we abandon even the wheel, and we set out on foot. We come to wilderness to meet the earth as it is, as it was, as it yet might be—if we can hold the line.
    ...

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    The Wilderness Act did not exclude bicycles as originally written and passed into law, that occurred later. Sorry to poke holes in your fairy tale. Is that you M.V.?
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    Wilderness is not supposed to be easy. In wilderness, we abandon even the wheel, and we set out on foot. We come to wilderness to meet the earth as it is, as it was, as it yet might be—if we can hold the line.
    SRSLY? This is the type of hyperbole that could lead to banning clothes, boots and backpacks in wilderness areas.
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    Wilderness here we come!! About time we get OUR land back. Keep up good work Mike Lee and Tom McClintock, lets all support them and open more trails to bikes.

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    I completely disagree with blanket access to Wilderness Areas by bikes. I already access Wilderness a lot, on foot. If you want to access Wilderness, shoulder a pack. Mountain bikers seem to be becoming as self righteous as the motor crowd, sad. (cue horse argument, yawn)

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    My desire to protect those lands from development exceed my desire to shred on my bike. If undone, removal of the Wilderness Act won't be about riding bikes as much as it'll be about mining, selling, and development

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    STC just issued a press release to address the fear mongering this dude from Wilderness Watch (Proescholdt) spins, as well as the phony baloney the Backcountry Horsemen of America recently pushed out to scare horse people:

    WILDERNESS BICYCLE BILLS UNITE BACKCOUNTRY MOUNTAIN BIKERS AND SENSIBLE CONSERVATIONISTS -- Sustainable Trails Coalition

    The Sustainable Trails Coalition is working to promote H.R. 1349, a U.S. House of Representatives bill introduced by Federal Lands Subcommittee Chairman Tom McClintock (R-Calif.). Detailed information regarding H.R 1349 can be found here.

    STC is also working with Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) on the planned reintroduction of his 2016 U.S. Senate bill, S.3205. Additional information on S.3205 can be found here.

    The legislation’s purpose is to restore federal land managers’ authority to regulate bicycle use on Wilderness trails, as they did during the first two decades of the Act, before a blanket ban was imposed by the U.S. Forest Service.

    Thus, the legislation places backcountry cyclists on equal footing with campers, hikers, hunters and equestrians.

    Groups that demand zero mountain biking in Wilderness, Wilderness Study Areas, and Recom*mended Wilderness, and work to expand these areas and shrink mountain biking on federal lands, are making false or misleading statements to lawmakers and the public about the bills. STC hereby presents the facts.

    FALSE CLAIM: The legislation will open all Wilderness trails to mountain biking.

    FACT: The legislation only reverses federal agencies’ blanket bicycle bans, which rest upon a misunderstanding of the Wilderness Act of 1964. When the blanket bans are gone, agency regulations will take over, at which point land managers may enable full regulation and control of mountain biking . . . up to and including existing limitations and bans.

    For example, a Forest Service regulation, unaffected by the legislation, provides that authorized Forest Service employees may “restrict the use of any National Forest System road or trail.” The other Wilderness-administering agencies—the National Park Service, Bureau of Land Manage*ment, and U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service—have similar regulations that would remain in effect.

    FALSE CLAIM: Mountain bikers are divided on bicycle access in Wilderness.

    FACT: All available evidence is contrary. A survey of cyclists on Singletracks.com indicated that 96% of mountain bikers support this effort. An International Mountain Bicycling Association survey conducted in 2016 showed that in California, where Wildernesses abound, about half of IMBA members feel regaining some Wilderness access is “very or extremely important.” Only a handful of mountain bikers, whether or not IMBA members, are actively opposing bicycling in Wilderness.

    FALSE CLAIM: The legislation is dividing the conservation community.

    FACT: This is patently false. Rather, the legislation is exposing and isolating a combination of moneyed interests and Wilderness purists who have adopted Wilderness as a revenue source or a temperance movement respectively. These selfish users of public space believe that whatever they do in Wilderness (multi-day camping, habitual off-trail use, nocturnal disturbance of animals, significant trail damage, trampling of meadows, etc.) is compatible with Wilderness values but mountain biking isn’t. These groups are incapable of assessing their own habits in Wilderness areas, most of which have far greater impact than mountain biking. For-profit commercial pack trains in particular continue to damage iconic Wilderness areas. There is no divide among reasonable conservationists.

    FALSE CLAIM: The legislation would materially amend the Wilderness Act of 1964.

    FACT: The legislation would not accomplish this. Rather, it aims to restore the Act to its original meaning.

    STC is a steadfast backer of the Wilderness Act of 1964. For example, STC opposes allowing power-assisted bicycles (e-bikes) in Wilderness, because the Act prohibits “motor vehicles” and “motorized equipment,” which e-bikes constitute. (To clarify, STC knows of no effort to introduce these devices into Wilderness.) By contrast, Congress meant for rugged, self-reliant travel to define the Wilderness experience, and human-powered mountain biking fits right in.

    FALSE CLAIM: The legislation is a “Trojan Horse” making Wilderness vulnerable to development and eventual sale to private interests.

    FACT: Nothing could be further from the truth. Backcountry cyclists seek the same experience as backcountry hikers and horseback riders and the legislation only grants us a possibility of that experience. Those engaging in this Chicken Little–style fear-mongering offer no evidence in support of their doomsaying.

    STC urges journalists and lawmakers to challenge organizations and people who promote these false claims on Capitol Hill, in the media, and elsewhere.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    My desire to protect those lands from development exceed my desire to shred on my bike. If undone, removal of the Wilderness Act won't be about riding bikes as much as it'll be about mining, selling, and development
    Sadly, many would be all for the posted activities. Mtbers pushing for access only exacerbates and confuses the situation making other activities all that much more acceptable to the masses. I don't know how many professional ecologists/biologists post on these forums, but I'm one and get a little nauseated listening to the typical crowd. Every field ecologist I know is opposed to MTBs in Wilderness and most of them mountain bike. Not saying they aren't out there, but certainly not a sentiment supported by my professional colleagues. We should be thinking many many many generations ahead instead of within our ridiculous social media vomit timeline.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Every field ecologist I know is opposed to MTBs in Wilderness. Not saying they aren't out there, but certainly not a sentiment supported by my professional colleagues.
    Why? Based on what? What is their collective stance on horses and mules in Wilderness? What is their collective stance on overnight camping in Wilderness? What is their collective stance on hunting in Wilderness?

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    Quite a few utilize horses for hauling research equipment miles into the backcountry. Probably half think that should be a selective special use. Most don't think camping is an issue if low impact. Those that hunt put meat in the freezer every year without accessing wilderness or ATVs.

    The main concern is opening new impacts.

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    My guess is that most cyclists in the Wilderness would be through travelers and that by the increased efficiency in which they would do it would have less impact on the resource than through hikers as they would spend less time there and set up fewer camps. The elitism of the HOHA's doesn't fly anymore, and I for one am looking forward to this wall of exclusivity being dismantled. Human propelled includes bicycles.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    My guess is that most cyclists in the Wilderness would be through travelers and that by the increased efficiency in which they would do it would have less impact on the resource than through hikers as they would spend less time there and set up fewer camps. The elitism of the HOHA's doesn't fly anymore, and I for one am looking forward to this wall of exclusivity being dismantled. Human propelled includes bicycles.
    And those hucking off rocks? Mountain bikers have attracted a major asshole crowd since I started 30 years ago. I get more annoyed by bikers than any other faction except poorly behaved dogs on my local trails. My dog listens to voice commands and stops on a dime, it isn't that hard but people are lazy regarding training. The last thing I want in Wilderness is this new generation of self absorbed disrespectful aholes.

    I find it funny (sad really) that you fight ebikes on your current trails but think you should open access over protests of hikers. Where do you draw the line?? Don't you realize that sentiment will be used against you?

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    But... but... but... there are plenty of other places to conduct scientific research. There are plenty of other places to camp. There are plenty of other places to hunt and plenty of grocery stores to buy meat from. ;-)

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    And those hucking off rocks? Mountain bikers have attracted a major asshole crowd since I started 30 years ago. I get more annoyed by bikers than any other faction except poorly behaved dogs on my local trails. My dog listens to voice commands and stops on a dime, it isn't that hard but people are lazy regarding training. The last thing I want in Wilderness is this new generation of self absorbed disrespectful aholes.

    I find it funny (sad really) that you fight ebikes on your current trails but think you should open access over protests of hikers. Where do you draw the line?? Don't you realize that sentiment will be used against you?


    The motor is the red line. I would add that one single string of pack horses creates more impact than any mtbers that I have ever encountered.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    But... but... but... there are plenty of other places to conduct scientific research. There are plenty of other places to camp. There are plenty of other places to hunt and plenty of grocery stores to buy meat from. ;-)
    Not a very well thought out post. Try again and put some argumentative thought into it. Tired of typing on my phone while travelling but will let this thread play out for a while and provide more commentary on a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    The motor is the red line. I would add that one single string of pack horses creates more impact than any mtbers that I have ever encountered.
    As I said, cue horse argument. I don't disagree. But the status quo is what we have and we are destined to lose that. Opening the floodgates is not a solution. Two wrongs don't make a right.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    And those hucking off rocks? Mountain bikers have attracted a major asshole crowd since I started 30 years ago. I get more annoyed by bikers than any other faction except poorly behaved dogs on my local trails. My dog listens to voice commands and stops on a dime, it isn't that hard but people are lazy regarding training. The last thing I want in Wilderness is this new generation of self absorbed disrespectful aholes.
    Kinda funny to read hiker centric and equestrian centric social media where the old fogey's complain about the new generation of hikers and horsemen/women having no respect. ;-)

    Pretty please with sugar on top don't try to compare frontcountry riding on popular/busy trails with backcountry riding far from the trail head... where your average speed in rugged terrain might be 5 or 6mph, and self reliance is the name of the game.

    p.s. Backcountry skiers and Wilderness kayakers are known to huck off rocks as well.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Not a very well thought out post. Try again and put some argumentative thought into it. Tired of typing on my phone while travelling but will let this thread play out for a while and provide more commentary on a week.
    Sorry, Bumpity, but that's the argument people like you use to justify keeping bikes out of 100% of all current and future Wilderness areas 100% of the time. But I admit it does sound pretty dumb when bicycling is replaced with an activity you personally enjoy... because it is dumb to use "plenty of other places" as an argument against access.

    p.s. Don't type and drive, or you might not get to see how this story plays out.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Kinda funny to read hiker centric and equestrian centric social media where the old fogey's complain about the new generation of hikers and horsemen/women having no respect. ;-)

    Pretty please with sugar on top don't try to compare frontcountry riding on popular/busy trails with backcountry riding far from the trail head... where your average speed in rugged terrain might be 5 or 6mph, and self reliance is the name of the game.

    p.s. Backcountry skiers and Wilderness kayakers are known to huck off rocks as well.
    Have you been around long enough to watch change in behavior on local trails? What about the new push for adventure / heli biking? Think that won't spill over?

    As per your prior post, researching wilderness impacts outside of wilderness??? Please explain.

    Locally harvested meat impacts vs grocery store??? Please explain

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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Sorry, Bumpity, but that's the argument people like you use to justify keeping bikes out of 100% of all current and future Wilderness areas 100% of the time. But I admit it does sound pretty dumb when bicycling is replaced with an activity you personally enjoy... because it is dumb to use "plenty of other places" as an argument against access.

    p.s. Don't type and drive, or you might not get to see how this story plays out.
    Not driving but hate typing on phone. Back in a week.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    The motor is the red line. I would add that one single string of pack horses creates more impact than any mtbers that I have ever encountered.
    Reading the "Ebike rant" thread it becomes quickly apparent that having a motor does NOT draw a line for everybody. Somebody (maybe even someone on this forum) will justify a reason he should be allowed to take his ebike into wilderness areas. If we thought that ebikes don't belong on our local after-work trails, then they'd be a hundred times worse zipping around on the PCT and similar trails. Picture trying to leap out of the way when you have a 60# backpack on.

    I agree about the horses. If equestrians would at least pick up their own horseshit I'd be halfway okay with twisting my ankle walking through their dried out postholes.

    I find it hard to believe that the people in power in this country care one rat's ass about mountain biking. Any decision they make will more likely be based on whether or not they and their friends can make money or get more power.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Sadly, many would be all for the posted activities. Mtbers pushing for access only exacerbates and confuses the situation making other activities all that much more acceptable to the masses. I don't know how many professional ecologists/biologists post on these forums, but I'm one and get a little nauseated listening to the typical crowd. Every field ecologist I know is opposed to MTBs in Wilderness and most of them mountain bike. Not saying they aren't out there, but certainly not a sentiment supported by my professional colleagues. We should be thinking many many many generations ahead instead of within our ridiculous social media vomit timeline.
    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Quite a few utilize horses for hauling research equipment miles into the backcountry. Probably half think that should be a selective special use. Most don't think camping is an issue if low impact. Those that hunt put meat in the freezer every year without accessing wilderness or ATVs.

    The main concern is opening new impacts.
    What do these colleagues of yours think about efforts to shut down more mtb trails by designating the areas they pass through as Wilderness? Parts of the country are worse for this, but this is the major crux of the problem. A lot of people who are anti-mtb support new Wilderness designations on the sole criteria that they kick mtb riders out. I have spoken to people who espouse this position. I know they exist. They are very vocal people. On the surface, Wilderness designation is great because it usually results in less human impact. But that isn't how it gets played out all the time. Sometimes, it increases the visibility of a site, which results in INCREASED visitation. It often makes it more difficult or more expensive for land managers to address things like insect infestations, invasive plants, etc.

    I know some Wilderness areas that were designated only a couple decades after they were last farmed and houses were torn down. I'm all for restoration of native habitats, but that process seems a bit wonky to me. It seems an alternative designation would be more appropriate, which would allow land managers to work more easily in their restoration efforts. Some Wilderness areas are overused already and need tighter quotas placed on visitation, which I'm not seeing a whole lot of energy expended towards.

    Obviously some places don't need the extra visitation that bikes bring. Some places aren't really appropriate places for bikes (swamps and other wetlands, for example). I know plenty of non-Wilderness areas where bikes and other trail users manage to coexist with some fairly strict endangered species protections (protected buffers around red-cockaded woodpecker nests, for example). But what's wrong with bikes in a "Wilderness" area that's marginally wilderness anyway, where old road corridors are STILL open and graveled? I would personally support MORE potential Wilderness if a designation didn't automatically kick mtb's off of a lightly traveled backcountry trail that riders have enjoyed for decades without destroying the place.

    There's more and more research showing that mtb's don't really impact anything any more than hikers do. Whether it's erosion, or impacts to wildlife, or whatever. The trail itself, and any human presence on it is really what matters.

    What's really going on here is that there is a quasi-religious thing going on with how certain people relate to Wilderness. It's the whole "untrammeled by man" thing, which frankly doesn't exist anymore, and hasn't for a long time. If you want "untrammeled by man" then quit deluding yourself that bikes are inappropriate but hikers and horses are perfectly fine. Kick EVERYBODY out and be done with it. But that's not what this is about.

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    Mt. biker since 1989. There are certainly more people mt. biking now... and the bikes are a lot fancier, but people are still people... mostly good people, but always some bad apples.

    Heli isn't allowed in Wilderness. Next question.

    The flora, fauna and H2o don't know if they are in Wilderness, a roadless area or Wildlife Preserve. What makes research different in Wilderness than in non-motorized roadless areas which aren't Wilderness?

    You're not getting the joke about "plenty of other places". Some people want to source their dinner in Wilderness. Others want to source their bicycling adventure in Wilderness. But one of those groups is told "there are plenty of other places to do that".

    Bikepacking is in its infancy but gaining in popularity, much like backpacking was in the early 1970's before it exploded. Heaven forbid people on loaded bikes end up being allowed to ride the entire Arizona National Scenic Trail, and through the 7 Wilderness areas it crosses.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    There's more and more research showing that mtb's don't really impact anything any more than hikers do. Whether it's erosion, or impacts to wildlife, or whatever. The trail itself, and any human presence on it is really what matters.
    I suspect that the classic arguments about mtb's having a negative impact on wildlife, soils, etc. were really a cover story for people to justify their disdain for other people, and easy targets are those who are different from oneself.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    What do these colleagues of yours think about efforts to shut down more mtb trails by designating the areas they pass through as Wilderness? Parts of the country are worse for this, but this is the major crux of the problem. A lot of people who are anti-mtb support new Wilderness designations on the sole criteria that they kick mtb riders out. I have spoken to people who espouse this position. I know they exist. They are very vocal people. On the surface, Wilderness designation is great because it usually results in less human impact. But that isn't how it gets played out all the time. Sometimes, it increases the visibility of a site, which results in INCREASED visitation. It often makes it more difficult or more expensive for land managers to address things like insect infestations, invasive plants, etc.

    I know some Wilderness areas that were designated only a couple decades after they were last farmed and houses were torn down. I'm all for restoration of native habitats, but that process seems a bit wonky to me. It seems an alternative designation would be more appropriate, which would allow land managers to work more easily in their restoration efforts. Some Wilderness areas are overused already and need tighter quotas placed on visitation, which I'm not seeing a whole lot of energy expended towards.

    Obviously some places don't need the extra visitation that bikes bring. Some places aren't really appropriate places for bikes (swamps and other wetlands, for example). I know plenty of non-Wilderness areas where bikes and other trail users manage to coexist with some fairly strict endangered species protections (protected buffers around red-cockaded woodpecker nests, for example). But what's wrong with bikes in a "Wilderness" area that's marginally wilderness anyway, where old road corridors are STILL open and graveled? I would personally support MORE potential Wilderness if a designation didn't automatically kick mtb's off of a lightly traveled backcountry trail that riders have enjoyed for decades without destroying the place.

    There's more and more research showing that mtb's don't really impact anything any more than hikers do. Whether it's erosion, or impacts to wildlife, or whatever. The trail itself, and any human presence on it is really what matters.

    What's really going on here is that there is a quasi-religious thing going on with how certain people relate to Wilderness. It's the whole "untrammeled by man" thing, which frankly doesn't exist anymore, and hasn't for a long time. If you want "untrammeled by man" then quit deluding yourself that bikes are inappropriate but hikers and horses are perfectly fine. Kick EVERYBODY out and be done with it. But that's not what this is about.
    Aaagghhh hate typing on phone. However, Harold, you always put a lot of well thought out commentary into your posts so wanted to respond re: newly proposed wilderness. I can't speak for others, but that certainly is not part of my agenda. That being said, more habitat connectivity is better and in an ideal world more wildermess/habitat is better from an ecological perspective, so yea, kick everyone out and be done with it if it's really important habitat/ecosystem. But the way it stands, then begins the ongoing argument of what uses cause more disruption to ecological balance and why designate new wilderness yet allow horses/hikers but no bikes. I don't disagree with an alternative designation but I don't know what that would entail, legislatively complex no doubt.

    Also, for clarity and disclosure, I do not work on Wilderness management issues (I do have friends that do). I work on remediation of industrially contaminated impacts to soils, vapor, and groundwater. I also have an extensive background in wetland science.

    Ok, no more phone typing!!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Heli isn't allowed in Wilderness. Next question.

    The flora, fauna and H2o don't know if they are in Wilderness, a roadless area or Wildlife Preserve. What makes research different in Wilderness than in non-motorized roadless areas which aren't Wilderness?
    Heli is allowed adjacent to Wilderness.

    You always want to conduct research in the area related to hypotheses. Surrogates are a much less desirable choice. Wilderness allows a more reliable approach for ruling out unknown impacts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nat View Post
    I suspect that the classic arguments about mtb's having a negative impact on wildlife, soils, etc. were really a cover story for people to justify their disdain for other people, and easy targets are those who are different from oneself.
    Don't disagree. More of an "opening up the floodgates" issue for me. The push for adventure biking is of major concern.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    re: newly proposed wilderness. I can't speak for others, but that certainly is not part of my agenda.
    unfortunately, because it IS part of others' agendas (hell, it may well be some people's SOLE agenda), you gotta be careful what side of this you put your weight behind. I do not want to get behind blanket bans. I want the professionals with local knowledge to make the final call, not some politicians thousands of miles away and decades ago.

    That being said, more habitat connectivity is better and in an ideal world more wildermess/habitat is better from an ecological perspective, so yea, kick everyone out and be done with it if it's really important habitat/ecosystem.
    If this was really about ecology, then we'd go there and everybody would be pissed off. But like I said, this issue isn't about ecology or science.

    But the way it stands, then begins the ongoing argument of what uses cause more disruption to ecological balance and why designate new wilderness yet allow horses/hikers but no bikes.
    Bingo. The research is showing that the differences in degree of ecological impact are negligible (though somewhat different in type) between hikers and mtb's and that horses have more impact than either (for those of you with doubts about these claims, visit scholar.google.com and read some peer-reviewed research on the subject). So yeah, it's not about ecological impact and it never was. I agree that claims of ecological impact are really masking something else.

    I don't disagree with an alternative designation but I don't know what that would entail, legislatively complex no doubt.
    There are plenty of alternative designations that already exist, some of which could appropriately protect from heavy development but still allow for low-impact recreation. It's not like an appropriate designation would need to be created, though maybe in some cases it might be appropriate. But still, I think where STC stands on this issue is a wise position. It would still enable Wilderness to offer a high level of resource protection, but with a bit more of a common-sense application. It would still allow for prohibitions on bikes, but it would also allow bikes to cross a Wilderness boundary where appropriate. Most importantly, it would eliminate Wilderness designations as a weapon of the anti-mtb crowd.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    unfortunately, because it IS part of others' agendas (hell, it may well be some people's SOLE agenda), you gotta be careful what side of this you put your weight behind. I do not want to get behind blanket bans. I want the professionals with local knowledge to make the final call, not some politicians thousands of miles away and decades ago.



    If this was really about ecology, then we'd go there and everybody would be pissed off. But like I said, this issue isn't about ecology or science.



    Bingo. The research is showing that the differences in degree of ecological impact are negligible (though somewhat different in type) between hikers and mtb's and that horses have more impact than either (for those of you with doubts about these claims, visit scholar.google.com and read some peer-reviewed research on the subject). So yeah, it's not about ecological impact and it never was. I agree that claims of ecological impact are really masking something else.



    There are plenty of alternative designations that already exist, some of which could appropriately protect from heavy development but still allow for low-impact recreation. It's not like an appropriate designation would need to be created, though maybe in some cases it might be appropriate. But still, I think where STC stands on this issue is a wise position. It would still enable Wilderness to offer a high level of resource protection, but with a bit more of a common-sense application. It would still allow for prohibitions on bikes, but it would also allow bikes to cross a Wilderness boundary where appropriate. Most importantly, it would eliminate Wilderness designations as a weapon of the anti-mtb crowd.
    I would rather get behind blanket bans frankly, if it gets too complex. That makes things much simpler. I think most ecologists would support that if it really was good habitat and provided ecosystem connectivity (all the while frowning about horses). I have legs and know how to walk (assuming you are talking traditional bans). I have never felt limited accessing Wilderness, frankly I don't get the belly aching by the biking community. It comes off as whining to me. Throw a pack on, learn something new, jeebus.

    Yes, there are alternative designations, but I was thinking more along the lines of new wilderness designations that rule out horses but might allow bikes, with clear restrictions.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Sadly, many would be all for the posted activities. Mtbers pushing for access only exacerbates and confuses the situation making other activities all that much more acceptable to the masses. I don't know how many professional ecologists/biologists post on these forums, but I'm one and get a little nauseated listening to the typical crowd. Every field ecologist I know is opposed to MTBs in Wilderness and most of them mountain bike. Not saying they aren't out there, but certainly not a sentiment supported by my professional colleagues. We should be thinking many many many generations ahead instead of within our ridiculous social media vomit timeline.
    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Quite a few utilize horses for hauling research equipment miles into the backcountry. Probably half think that should be a selective special use. Most don't think camping is an issue if low impact. Those that hunt put meat in the freezer every year without accessing wilderness or ATVs.

    The main concern is opening new impacts.
    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    I would rather get behind blanket bans frankly, if it gets too complex. I have legs and know how to walk (assuming you are talking traditional bans).
    The way it's done now is nonsensical, and I cannot support that concept. Either take blanket bans to their logical conclusion (everybody out!), or base trail access on sound science and logical management decisions.

    Yes, there are alternative designations, but I was thinking more along the lines of new wilderness designations that rule out horses but might allow bikes, with clear restrictions.
    You can't have that without a major change in policy. What you say you want would be possible AFTER eliminating the blanket ban on bikes. What I don't support is reasonable accommodation to repair or reroute a trail in the event of something like a landslide, flood, or the old tread becomes too damaged to be sustainable. Locally, a state level nature preserve designation was pushed through on a large chunk of land that mtb'ers have had eyes on for at least a decade for connectivity purposes. MTB advocates got mtb access written into the nature preserve charter, but really only on a crappy existing road fire corridor that we had to share with horses. Nobody was thrilled with that, but the nature preserve charter was not flexible enough to create a parallel singletrack corridor for mtb's that offered some separation between horses and bikes. The road bed is a mess in some places, and there's really nothing we can do about that, either, because of the restrictions in the nature preserve charter. It's better than being prohibited from riding bikes across the preserve to the trails on the other side, but I think it's an example where more flexibility would have been nice and could have made most everybody happier.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    The way it's done now is nonsensical, and I cannot support that concept. Either take blanket bans to their logical conclusion (everybody out!), or base trail access on sound science and logical management decisions.



    You can't have that without a major change in policy. What you say you want would be possible AFTER eliminating the blanket ban on bikes. What I don't support is reasonable accommodation to repair or reroute a trail in the event of something like a landslide, flood, or the old tread becomes too damaged to be sustainable. Locally, a state level nature preserve designation was pushed through on a large chunk of land that mtb'ers have had eyes on for at least a decade for connectivity purposes. MTB advocates got mtb access written into the nature preserve charter, but really only on a crappy existing road fire corridor that we had to share with horses. Nobody was thrilled with that, but the nature preserve charter was not flexible enough to create a parallel singletrack corridor for mtb's that offered some separation between horses and bikes. The road bed is a mess in some places, and there's really nothing we can do about that, either, because of the restrictions in the nature preserve charter. It's better than being prohibited from riding bikes across the preserve to the trails on the other side, but I think it's an example where more flexibility would have been nice and could have made most everybody happier.
    I think current bans make sense (except horses).

    Ah, so you have a burr in your saddle over state lands. Different argument, out.

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    I've been involved with habitat restoration ( salmonids ) and clean-up of marijuana grows on public land for 15 years. I set up a water sampling protocol and trained volunteers to grab samples to get background data for funding sediment removal and building a new bridge, to facilitate spawning of native and hatchery Cojo and Steelhead. I also build mountain bike trails in the same watershed, mitigating old logging skid roads and restoring the natural contours of the land. The land I have access to is private timber land where the owners want us to have a presence to keep the dope growers, equestrians and hikers out. Our trails have no negative impact on the watershed and we are a model for sustainable trail building. This whole idea that you let bikes have access will open the "floodgates" to strip mining and clear cut logging is pure B.S. I've restored the damage that horses have done along with hikers creating social trails through sensitive habitat.

    I've met and lobbied Tom McClintock and he is a very reasonable person, who supports mountain bike access.

    And just so you I'm not blowing smoke here, all of my result can and will hold up in the court of law and all of my lab protocols and procedures were based on the water "bible". If you're a scientist and have to ask what water "bible" is, you have no business in the field.

    Threads like this really piss me off with all the misinformation presented. It reminds of the scene in Good Will Hunting where Matt Damon kicks ass on that preppy POS.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    I think current bans make sense (except horses).
    How does that work? If it works in your mind, then it's not based on any sort of science, which you opened your entire presence in this thread with, as though it predisposed you to evidence-based decision-making. You are demonstrating a pretty emotional attachment to Wilderness and the false narrative that props it up, rather than an evidence-based approach behind reasonable, volume-limited use to keep impacts low.

    Ah, so you have a burr in your saddle over state lands. Different argument, out.
    No, it was just an example, which I brought to light as an example of negative consequences of "clear restrictions" that you mentioned.

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    Mountain Bikers Against Mountain Biking

    /facepalm

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    Quote Originally Posted by norton55 View Post
    I've been involved with habitat restoration ( salmonids ) and clean-up of marijuana grows on public land for 15 years. I set up a water sampling protocol and trained volunteers to grab samples to get background data for funding sediment removal and building a new bridge, to facilitate spawning of native and hatchery Cojo and Steelhead. I also build mountain bike trails in the same watershed, mitigating old logging skid roads and restoring the natural contours of the land. The land I have access to is private timber land where the owners want us to have a presence to keep the dope growers, equestrians and hikers out. Our trails have no negative impact on the watershed and we are a model for sustainable trail building. This whole idea that you let bikes have access will open the "floodgates" to strip mining and clear cut logging is pure B.S. I've restored the damage that horses have done along with hikers creating social trails through sensitive habitat.

    I've met and lobbied Tom McClintock and he is a very reasonable person, who supports mountain bike access.

    And just so you I'm not blowing smoke here, all of my result can and will hold up in the court of law and all of my lab protocols and procedures were based on the water "bible". If you're a scientist and have to ask what water "bible" is, you have no business in the field.

    Threads like this really piss me off with all the misinformation presented. It reminds of the scene in Good Will Hunting where Matt Damon kicks ass on that preppy POS.

    Right on !!!

    The blanket ban is not based on reason and science.

    It's ok to feel differently but public arguments need to be based on logic and science.

    The basis for the support of the blanket ban is the same faulty logic that justifies such vileness as all other forms of prejudice.

    No magical thinking please.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Have you been around long enough to watch change in behavior on local trails? What about the new push for adventure / heli biking? Think that won't spill over?

    As per your prior post, researching wilderness impacts outside of wilderness??? Please explain.

    Locally harvested meat impacts vs grocery store??? Please explain
    See what bikes on narrow trails lead to???!!!!

    HELICOPTERS!!!!!!

    BIKES WITH HELICOPTERS

    HELIBIKES

    BAN HELIBIKES

    PLEASE EXPLAIN


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    double post

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    Anyone that doesn't think adventure biking is going to start pushing limits is naive. Let's revisit this thread in 10 years and see what opinions are then.

    My daughters grew up in southern Utah. I have witnessed the Red Bull rampage shit first hand. It's nauseating to say the least.

    Good on you norton55 for your work, but things change and so will the larger impact from biking if we aren't careful. I started backcountry skiing long before the days of heli issues. Areas like the Wasatch are an enormous fustercluck now and plenty of people never thought it would get to the point it is at now. As I said, things change, and once it does it's really hard to go back.

    I remember talking to friends many years ago about how Chinese manufacturing would eventually dominate the U.S. economy. They thought I was completely crazy. Keep thinking small.

    I've had 3 positive reps on this thread, obviously I'm not the only one thinking along these lines.

  41. #41
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Anyone that doesn't think adventure biking is going to start pushing limits is naive. Let's revisit this thread in 10 years and see what opinions are then.

    My daughters grew up in southern Utah. I have witnessed the Red Bull rampage shit first hand. It's nauseating to say the least.

    Good on you norton55 for your work, but things change and so will the larger impact from biking if we aren't careful. I started backcountry skiing long before the days of heli issues. Areas like the Wasatch are an enormous fustercluck now and plenty of people never thought it would get to the point it is at now. As I said, things change, and once it does it's really hard to go back.

    I remember talking to friends many years ago about how Chinese manufacturing would eventually dominate the U.S. economy. They thought I was completely crazy. Keep thinking small.

    I've had 3 positive reps on this thread, obviously I'm not the only one thinking along these lines.
    This has nothing to do with pos reps or heli skiing. It's about the manipulation of scientific data to cloud the facts.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Anyone that doesn't think adventure biking is going to start pushing limits is naive. Let's revisit this thread in 10 years and see what opinions are then.

    My daughters grew up in southern Utah. I have witnessed the Red Bull rampage shit first hand. It's nauseating to say the least.

    Good on you norton55 for your work, but things change and so will the larger impact from biking if we aren't careful. I started backcountry skiing long before the days of heli issues. Areas like the Wasatch are an enormous fustercluck now and plenty of people never thought it would get to the point it is at now. As I said, things change, and once it does it's really hard to go back.

    I remember talking to friends many years ago about how Chinese manufacturing would eventually dominate the U.S. economy. They thought I was completely crazy. Keep thinking small.

    I've had 3 positive reps on this thread, obviously I'm not the only one thinking along these lines.



    Yeah, the rep makes it totally legit. Seriously though, you make it sound like 10's of thousands of mountain bikers are going to descend on the Wilderness like locusts and that's simply Alarmist. Most mountain bikers simply want some access to connect routes where it makes sense. Look at the number of re-routes just on the AZ Trail. Blanket bans? Little wonder the anti access are looked on as Fascists by some people. Blanket bans are the tool of the lazy and incompetent. Solutions not exclusions. The only thing that should not be up for discussion of inclusion is motors. My two pesos, which isn't shit at current exchange rates.
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    Quote Originally Posted by norton55 View Post
    This has nothing to do with pos reps or heli skiing. It's about the manipulation of scientific data to cloud the facts.
    I haven't manipulated any scientific data to cloud the facts. I have pointed out references to how things can change beyond current perceptions.

    If you think current data is the end all be all to predict future impacts and pressure on resources, you need to revisit your thinking and step outside the box a bit.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    Yeah, the rep makes it totally legit. Seriously though, you make it sound like 10's of thousands of mountain bikers are going to descend on the Wilderness like locusts and that's simply Alarmist. Most mountain bikers simply want some access to connect routes where it makes sense. Look at the number of re-routes just on the AZ Trail. Blanket bans? Little wonder the anti access are looked on as Fascists by some people. Blanket bans are the tool of the lazy and incompetent. Solutions not exclusions. The only thing that should not be up for discussion of inclusion is motors. My two pesos, which isn't shit at current exchange rates.
    Hmmm, what's the acronym to replace NIMBY with "not my sport"? Don't you see the hypocrisy with all your back and forth on the e-bike thread and this? It's okay to disallow other uses unless it affects you? WTF???

    Blanket ban was referring to as it stands now. Not new bans. The rep comment was only to point out that there is more support for my views than currently represented on the thread.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    I haven't manipulated any scientific data to cloud the facts. I have pointed out references to how things can change beyond current perceptions.

    If you think current data is the end all be all to predict future impacts and pressure on resources, you need to revisit your thinking and step outside the box a bit.
    Really, what have you done to restore and mitigate human impacts. Think outside the box? i do it all the time. Future impacts? i have a 15 year track record of success.

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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Hmmm, what's the acronym to replace NIMBY with "not my sport"? Don't you see the hypocrisy with all your back and forth on the e-bike thread and this? It's okay to disallow other uses unless it affects you? WTF???

    Blanket ban was referring to as it stands now. Not new bans. The rep comment was only to point out that there is more support for my views than currently represented on the thread.




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    Quote Originally Posted by norton55 View Post
    Really, what have you done to restore and mitigate human impacts. Think outside the box? i do it all the time. Future impacts? i have a 15 year track record of success.
    Well, you need to look to the future was the point. I am not discounting your work, only the predictions for changes the future will bring to the sport.

    I pull noxious weeds practically every day all summer long, but the importance of that seems to be ignored by bikers since it doesn't impact the ability to ride your bike on a trail. It's not all about water quality, right? Really really sick of spotted knapweed.

    What have I done to restore and mitigate human impacts? That's all I deal with professionally day in and day out. Granted it's not biking related but still...

    My newest project has an estimated 700,000 gallons of diesel fuel sitting on groundwater. Will it get cleaned up? Yep. Will it be easy? Nope.

  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    Well, you need to look to the future was the point. I am not discounting your work, only the predictions for changes the future will bring to the sport.

    I pull noxious weeds practically every day all summer long, but the importance of that seems to be ignored by bikers since it doesn't impact the ability to ride your bike on a trail. It's not all about water quality, right? Really really sick of spotted knapweed.
    Today is the future 15 years ago. The world hasn't come to an end. We have native species returning to the water shed. Think about it.

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    See above add on in response to your post (after you replied). Yes, I do a lot to mitigate human impacts, including soil, indoor air vapors, and surface water in addition to groundwater. So, yeah, I care a lot and do a lot to deal with human impacts, even if it's not related to biking.

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    See above add on in response to your post (after you replied). Yes, I do a lot to mitigate human impacts, including soil, indoor air vapors, and surface water in addition to groundwater. So, yeah, I care a lot and do a lot to deal with human impacts, even if it's not related to biking.
    OK, I have 40 years of water/wastewater treatment and disposal, ground water remediation and treatment. I have since retired and have my own consulting business. You are missing the point of this thread. I've dealt with people like you in my career and unless you stick to point of this thread I'm wasting my time in engaging with you.

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    Quote Originally Posted by norton55 View Post
    OK, I have 40 years of water/wastewater treatment and disposal, ground water remediation and treatment. I have since retired and have my own consulting business. You are missing the point of this thread. I've dealt with people like you in my career and unless you stick to point of this thread I'm wasting my time in engaging with you.
    You asked what I have done to mitigate human impacts. I simply responded that I have experience mitigating human impacts. You seem pretty thin skinned if you have worked in the realm of remediation.

    I have done a lot of watershed management and planning work as well. I think we come from the same realm, just a different slant on things. That's okay. Debate is good, eh?

    And you haven't worked with me, so how would you know if you have worked with people "like" me? That doesn't sound very scientific.


    I have worked with people from many many different sectors and aspects of life. I have got along just fine with most everyone I have ever worked with. I think you are jumping to conclusions prematurely.

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    Deja vu with the same arguments used when the National Park Service opened up a small number of trails to mountain bikes a few years ago. The trails that ended up being opened were mostly old roads, and somehow entire wilderness ecosystems did not collapse. Most people did not even notice the NPS allowed bikes on some trails.

    There are still a few of us around in California that remember Sen barbara boxer introduced a California Wilderness Bill at the behest of the California Wilderness Coalition. This bill proposed numerous new wilderness areas all over the state, some bizarre amoeba shaped gerrymanders specifically drawn to include existing mountain bike trails (they publicly admitted it). Fortunately the bill went nowhere and the organization has since scaled back their proposals. Too many organizations ( IMHO domestic terrorist groups) still hold a secret desire to ban mountain bikes from public lands. They are media savvy enough not to admit it.
    So many trails... so little time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    Deja vu with the same arguments used when the National Park Service opened up a small number of trails to mountain bikes a few years ago. The trails that ended up being opened were mostly old roads, and somehow entire wilderness ecosystems did not collapse. Most people did not even notice the NPS allowed bikes on some trails.

    There are still a few of us around in California that remember Sen barbara boxer introduced a California Wilderness Bill at the behest of the California Wilderness Coalition. This bill proposed numerous new wilderness areas all over the state, some bizarre amoeba shaped gerrymanders specifically drawn to include existing mountain bike trails (they publicly admitted it). Fortunately the bill went nowhere and the organization has since scaled back their proposals. Too many organizations ( IMHO domestic terrorist groups) still hold a secret desire to ban mountain bikes from public lands. They are media savvy enough not to admit it.
    And newly proposed designations versus long existing Wilderness, are a completely different can of worms. So yeah, that's a topic for discussion at the local level for sure.

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    I also work in environmental assessment and remediation. I also support the efforts of STC. So maybe my environmental work qualifies for a pro-access argument.

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    Whoohoo!! I've donated to STC so I consider this money well spent.

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    Quote Originally Posted by MarkMass View Post
    Whoohoo!! I've donated to STC so I consider this money well spent.
    Thank you! Since the board of STC is all volunteer and we are all putting a lot of time and effort into this your money is going a long way. All of your donations are being spent on one simple thing ending the blanket ban on cycling in Wilderness areas.

    Contrary to what a select few have posted here this means that local land managers still have a choice to allow cycling or not on any trail. Just as they are allowed to manage camping less than 100' from a stream. Our legislation does not allow cycling on every trail.

    If anyone would like to donate please consider buying a shirt through our website:

    www.sustainabletrailscoalition.org

    You can buy a shirt or add on extra funds in addition to help us return the Wilderness act to its original pre-1977 intent: to allow non motorized travel.

    Thanks again!!


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    “In this day of man’s increasingly mechanical approach to the outdoors, when thousands experience nature not for what it is through observation but as a playground, there aren’t many places left where one is guaranteed one won’t be run over by a Jeep or snowmobile or mountain bike. Preserving those wilderness areas * at the cost of a disgruntled few seems worth the price.”

    - Dennis Coello, author of The Complete Mountain Biker

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    It seems like the "disgruntled few" aren't so few after all.


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  59. #59
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    The "disgruntled few" have a bigger stick this time.
    You meet the craziest people riding e-bikes!

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  60. #60
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    The "disgruntled few" have a bigger stick this time.
    That's the American way, isn't it.
    Right or wrong, just bludgeon your way forward. Screw nuance or thoughtfulness.

  61. #61
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    Man the MBAMB sentiment is thick here today


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  62. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by tungsten View Post
    That's the American way, isn't it.
    Right or wrong, just bludgeon your way forward. Screw nuance or thoughtfulness.


    You describe the process used to exclude bicycles from Wilderness perfectly, thanks.
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    Thank you! Since the board of STC is all volunteer and we are all putting a lot of time and effort into this your money is going a long way. All of your donations are being spent on one simple thing ending the blanket ban on cycling in Wilderness areas.

    Contrary to what a select few have posted here this means that local land managers still have a choice to allow cycling or not on any trail. Just as they are allowed to manage camping less than 100' from a stream. Our legislation does not allow cycling on every trail.

    If anyone would like to donate please consider buying a shirt through our website:

    Sustainable Trails Coalition

    You can buy a shirt or add on extra funds in addition to help us return the Wilderness act to its original pre-1977 intent: to allow non motorized travel.

    Thanks again!!
    Who are your corporate sponsors?

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    Mountain Bikers Seek to Gut Wilderness Act

    Quote Originally Posted by tungsten View Post
    Who are your corporate sponsors?
    Trump and Putin

    But seriously there are no corporate sponsors

    All of our donations are from individuals. We've raised a lot of money and because we are organized in such a lean fashion it goes a long way.

    So we certainly are not a disgruntled few, thousands support us and want to see the Wilderness act support human powered travel.


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  66. #66
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    Quote Originally Posted by tungsten View Post
    Who are your corporate sponsors?




    Who are yours?
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  67. #67
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    I support the STC. I've bought a shirt, given donations, actually talked with my States Senators and my representatives and I'm an IMBA chapter board member fighting the good fight.

    Big thanks to Davey, Ted and the other members of the STC. Great job out there.

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    I'm a mountain bike guide in southwest Utah

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silentfoe View Post
    I support the STC. I've bought a shirt, given donations, actually talked with my States Senators and my representatives and I'm an IMBA chapter board member fighting the good fight.

    Big thanks to Davey, Ted and the other members of the STC. Great job out there.

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    Big thanks to you! Especially on engaging your representatives. Many more of us need to do that.


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  69. #69
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    Quote Originally Posted by tungsten View Post
    “In this day of man’s increasingly mechanical approach to the outdoors, when thousands experience nature not for what it is through observation but as a playground, there aren’t many places left where one is guaranteed one won’t be run over by a Jeep or snowmobile or mountain bike. Preserving those wilderness areas * at the cost of a disgruntled few seems worth the price.”

    - Dennis Coello, author of The Complete Mountain Biker
    This desperate post is supposed to make us feel bad?

  70. #70
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    I firmly believe that bikes are equivalent to any of the other currently allowed human powered prosthetic devices such as skies, kayaks, tents, rubber rafts, fishing poles, cameras, telescopes, ropes and even swiss army knives that are used in the wilderness. Why, because these are all non essential items for survival yet all are specific to a particular"outdoorsman's" activities. The original Act was undeniably created for the outdoorsman to allow them to do their outdoor activities while ensuring that motorized machines were not present. These motorized machines were also very clearly targeted at automobiles, trucks, trains, snowmobiles, etc., with motors that could propel riders at any speed up and down the mountains. Now that the unimaginable machines have evolved (some say bikes in the mountains could not have been imagined), the so called stewards of the lands have taken it upon themselves to try to include everything while conveniently forgetting about the outdoorsmen narrative. The focus of the argument should be about the definition of an outdoorsman and the activities that are most commonly occurring in the current era and work with the premise that while there are always impacts (oh yeah the pesky humans), they should be mitigated and managed as much as possible or restricted if not possible.

    The preservationist really need to take a good look in the mirror. Their circular arguments of convenience are very surprising and frequent. For example, using terms such as "human impact" as a scare tactic is absurd because walking across a meadow causes human impact as does spitting on the ground. Often one sees these terms in the same sentence as arguments and then as defenses; cant have it both ways. Granted in all cases repeated use of any kind causes impact with sustaining evidence, e.g., trails, but this aspect was never part of the original Act. As such, I do believe controlling the use load, when properly monitored, is something that could/should exist. This is a minor nit.

    Maybe this is a battle about the lesser of evils? However, I think not because if that were the case the battle would be fully aligned against mules and horses and yet there seems to be a lot less fight if any at all. Then there are the argument such as bikes are made of steel and rubber and therefor cannot be acceptable. Unfortunately so are all of the other items noted above and all are allowed (rafts with oars, cameras, therma-rests, etc). They endlessly chase their tails on these arguments entrap an all or nothing conclusion, but then say walking does not count as human impact. If the conclusion is that all impact is eliminated, than so shall walking.

    So in the end it has become clear to me the preservationist are extremist in disguise? Dr Google says, "a person who holds extreme or fanatical political or religious views, especially one who resorts to or advocates extreme action." I think this language should be noted in every written document on the subject, especially on documents that will be recorded (letters to Congress etc).

    Hat's off to STC for trying to make a difference in a rational and inclusive way. Ill donate for sure...even get a shirt!

  71. #71
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    Quote Originally Posted by tungsten View Post
    “In this day of man’s increasingly mechanical approach to the outdoors, when thousands experience nature not for what it is through observation but as a playground, there aren’t many places left where one is guaranteed one won’t be run over by a Jeep or snowmobile or mountain bike. Preserving those wilderness areas * at the cost of a disgruntled few seems worth the price.”

    - Dennis Coello, author of The Complete Mountain Biker
    Ah! Another copy/paste bike hater. How many times and places have you posted this quote?: https://nsmb.com/forum/forum/the-sho...ks-494/?page=2

    Maybe Dennis Coello needs to be asked his thoughts, 18 years after he wrote that? How many more tens of thousands (if not millions) of acres of cherished lands have excluded mountain biking due to Wilderness designation since 1989?

    Cue up the Edward Abbey quote about hiking, biking and horseback riding vs. motorized sightseeing... ;-)

  72. #72
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    I completely disagree with blanket access to Wilderness Areas by bikes. I already access Wilderness a lot, on foot. If you want to access Wilderness, shoulder a pack. Mountain bikers seem to be becoming as self righteous as the motor crowd, sad. (cue horse argument, yawn)
    Thank you. I'm with you.

    Online forums and bad online polls make it look like all mountain bikers are for wilderness access and it's just not true. I am perfectly fine with not having access. Trail numbers are growing across all other types of designated public land, even if we lost that one trail system in Idaho that someone will certainly mention...

    And don't forget the standard civil rights plea, like somehow owning a toy is supposed to be equal to actual discrimination. Wheels are already allowed in wilderness for wheelchair users so the concern for real discrimination is already taken care of.

  73. #73
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    I just want to ban horses from wilderness, that's all.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  74. #74
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    Blanket bans are the equivalent to zero tolerance policies.

    Why do we pay good money for managers to oversee issues and then strip away their ability to make the tough calls? The fallback position is always, "well, it's policy." BS! If you're paid to make the tough calls, make them and stand by them.
    "The maturity of an 8 year-old boy coupled with the insecurity of a teen aged girl."

  75. #75
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    Quote Originally Posted by jmmUT View Post
    Thank you. I'm with you.

    Online forums and bad online polls make it look like all mountain bikers are for wilderness access and it's just not true. I am perfectly fine with not having access. Trail numbers are growing across all other types of designated public land, even if we lost that one trail system in Idaho that someone will certainly mention...

    And don't forget the standard civil rights plea, like somehow owning a toy is supposed to be equal to actual discrimination. Wheels are already allowed in wilderness for wheelchair users so the concern for real discrimination is already taken care of.
    STC is not asking for blanket access and never has.

    We have thousands of donors who have all contributed a small amount. The sum total amounting to a fund that has kept pressure on this issue for over 2 years and has seen two different bills develop. How can you claim that off road cyclists are not "for Wilderness access"?

    No one is making a discrimination case. Even though the 1984 rule making banning bikes was quite biased. STC is approaching this issue from a legislative standpoint.


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  76. #76
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    Since I am so far removed from the actual location of any wilderness areas, this all seems so backwards and unreasonable. I always thought that controlling/restricting access to wilderness areas had everything to do with preventing fires from internal combustion engines/exhaust, preventing the leakage of fuels or oils, preventing resource exploitation, and generally minimizing human impact. I don't see how bicycles can be excluded under those same criteria.

    We have had our share of mountain bike access issues here. The ultimate conclusion across the board was that each land manager would decide where, and often when, mountain bikes would be allowed. Each area is different, so it required a case-by-case approach. Blanket statements just made no sense at all. Local knowledge played a large part in identifying and avoiding sensitive areas. Actual science was brought to bear on the decisions. Statistics were logged. Changes were monitored. Amazingly, not every area allows mountain bikes. Just as amazing, is that some areas that used to be restricted were now opened!

    Besides, it's not like someone is going to be building a bike park or something. I would have to think that any new wilderness trails, if they were allowed, would look like the old IMBA-style singletrack, or maybe even more minimalist than that. This hardly promotes the RedBull reputation of MTBing. It results in something more like backpackers on wheels.

    -F
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  77. #77
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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    STC is not asking for blanket access and never has.

    We have thousands of donors who have all contributed a small amount. The sum total amounting to a fund that has kept pressure on this issue for over 2 years and has seen two different bills develop. How can you claim that off road cyclists are not "for Wilderness access"?

    No one is making a discrimination case. Even though the 1984 rule making banning bikes was quite biased. STC is approaching this issue from a legislative standpoint.


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    Davey.....why don't you post a copy of the bill so some of the folks here will make post's based on the real info, not hearsay and blinded prejudice.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem View Post
    I just want to ban horses from wilderness, that's all.
    And the Asses..........Donkeys and Hikers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by norton55 View Post
    Davey.....why don't you post a copy of the bill so some of the folks here will make post's based on the real info, not hearsay and blinded prejudice.
    Sure:

    https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-...bill/1349/text

    Although our quite similar bill last year resulted in a lot of tin foil hat stuff, not because of the bill but because of the sponsors. There is no logic behind these land grab conspiracy theories but they seem quite convincing to a very vocal minority.

    Please keep in mind "and other purposes" is legislative boiler plate. This bill will only add bikes, baby strollers, wheelbarrows and game carts on a case by case basis.

    STC has never had contact with the oil and gas industry or any other resource extraction industry. If I ever found out about such a tie I would leave STC immediately and publicly denounce the effort.

    Thankfully this isn't the case and I don't have to.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    We have had our share of mountain bike access issues here. The ultimate conclusion across the board was that each land manager would decide where, and often when, mountain bikes would be allowed. Each area is different, so it required a case-by-case approach. Blanket statements just made no sense at all. Local knowledge played a large part in identifying and avoiding sensitive areas. Actual science was brought to bear on the decisions. Statistics were logged. Changes were monitored. Amazingly, not every area allows mountain bikes. Just as amazing, is that some areas that used to be restricted were now opened!
    This seems to me to be the right approach. I have no problem with groups, including MTBers, not being allowed access when there is a science-based rationale. What would be annoying, however, would be seeing certain groups get allowed access (like equestrian) while denying access to other users for no other reason than one group has more power than another.

    I would also hate to see pristine wilderness or fragile ecosystems get ruined just because people, MTBers included, want to play.

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    Quote Originally Posted by kpdemello View Post
    This seems to me to be the right approach. I have no problem with groups, including MTBers, not being allowed access when there is a science-based rationale. What would be annoying, however, would be seeing certain groups get allowed access (like equestrian) while denying access to other users for no other reason than one group has more power than another.

    I would also hate to see pristine wilderness or fragile ecosystems get ruined just because people, MTBers included, want to play.
    This is the exact approach of STC's bill. BTW equestrians and hikers excluded cyclists in 1984 just in the exact unfair manner you described. There was no science or safety facts to back up the decision.


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    Quote Originally Posted by Empty_Beer View Post
    Ah! Another copy/paste bike hater. How many times and places have you posted this quote?: https://nsmb.com/forum/forum/the-sho...ks-494/?page=2

    Maybe Dennis Coello needs to be asked his thoughts, 18 years after he wrote that? How many more tens of thousands (if not millions) of acres of cherished lands have excluded mountain biking due to Wilderness designation since 1989?

    Cue up the Edward Abbey quote about hiking, biking and horseback riding vs. motorized sightseeing... ;-)
    In 1989 I would have had the same opinion. I was quite against bikes in Wilderness back then.

    However, a lot of things have changed since then with Wilderness and proposed Wilderness designations removing hundreds of miles of trail mileage in very scenic areas that bikers have enjoyed for decades. The reasons for excluding bikes from these areas just don't make any sense from a logical standpoint and appear to be driven by emotional ideology. And so, the continued loss of riding areas has really changed my mind on the matter.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by norton55 View Post
    And the Asses..........Donkeys and Hikers.
    Just hikers. I like donkeys.

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    Here's what I see, day to day at my shop, that is the real issue. Words like "play" and "toy" and "well it's just a bike..." and "I ride for sport". Kills me. The bicycle is a TOOL for transportation, fitness is an after affect. The riders pushing limits like at the Red Bull Rampage represent 0.0001% of mountain bikers. People looking to "shred" are not going to hump out into the back country unless they can drive there. The main reason that I support the efforts of the STC is so I can pack out my bike with 30lbs of camping gear and head out into the "wilderness", mainly to get away from people and to experience the beauty and ruggedness of nature. Saying that I can just "shoulder a pack" and experience it that way is a statement, not an argument. That is true, I could do that. However, I have a business to run, a family to attend to and all the other aspects of life that limit my time off. So if I get two, maybe three days off, I want to maximize my experience. Using a bicycle facilitates that. How many miles can you average a day hiking? 10? 15? 20 if you march. With a fully loaded bike (40lbs extra), I have averaged 60 miles a day for three days, with plenty of time each night to explore around my camp site. I find it interesting that this never comes up from the HOHA's, most of whom are retired baby boomers, just the whole "safety on the trail" thing. Answer me this, other trail users: do you think I'm going risk $10,000 in bike and camping gear, let alone my health, bombing and shredding a back country trail??? Where rescue would be at best described as delayed? We don't want access for "shredding", we want access be cause we love nature. We want access by bike because for my generation, retirement will consists of getting put in the ground.

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    ^ legit


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    Here is my 2 cents:

    I live in Utah and enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and backpacking. I do fear what will happen if the Wilderness Act is amended.

    As an example of my fear, HR 621 was a bill proposed by Jason Chaffetz of Utah that would have allowed 3.3 million acres of public land to be sold.

    Here is a quote from Chaffetz as to why he pulled the billChaffetz withdraws public land sale bill after outcry from hunters and anglers | Idaho Statesman)

    “The bill would have disposed of small parcels Pres. Clinton identified as serving no public purpose but groups I support and care about fear it sends the wrong message,” Chaffetz wrote. “I hear you and HR 621 dies tomorrow. #keepitpublic.”

    In Chaffetz own words he fears the sale would have sent the wrong message. Does amending the Wilderness Act send the wrong message as well?

    One of the most important things to remember though is that Chaffetz pulled the bill because of the outcry from not only conservation groups but hunters and anglers as well. These groups have different agendas but they came together to support saving public lands. All these users want the same thing, a place where they can get away and do what they enjoy. For me, that is what mountain biking is all about and I do not hate other user groups for wanting the same thing.

    The big question for me is: Do you take a chance and amend the Wilderness Act and see what happens? I do not have a problem with other user groups but I do see the value in not having commercial development, roads, or structures.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fleas View Post
    Since I am so far removed from the actual location of any wilderness areas, this all seems so backwards and unreasonable. I always thought that controlling/restricting access to wilderness areas had everything to do with preventing fires from internal combustion engines/exhaust, preventing the leakage of fuels or oils, preventing resource exploitation, and generally minimizing human impact. I don't see how bicycles can be excluded under those same criteria.

    We have had our share of mountain bike access issues here. The ultimate conclusion across the board was that each land manager would decide where, and often when, mountain bikes would be allowed. Each area is different, so it required a case-by-case approach. Blanket statements just made no sense at all. Local knowledge played a large part in identifying and avoiding sensitive areas. Actual science was brought to bear on the decisions. Statistics were logged. Changes were monitored. Amazingly, not every area allows mountain bikes. Just as amazing, is that some areas that used to be restricted were now opened!

    Besides, it's not like someone is going to be building a bike park or something. I would have to think that any new wilderness trails, if they were allowed, would look like the old IMBA-style singletrack, or maybe even more minimalist than that. This hardly promotes the RedBull reputation of MTBing. It results in something more like backpackers on wheels.

    -F
    Quoted Fleas because he seemed interested in the subject:

    Despite there being no reported incidents the NPS wrote this history as to why cycling was banned from the Wilderness Areas in Pt Reyes National Seashore:

    Mountain Bikers Seek to Gut Wilderness Act-npshistory.jpg

    Please check the header: I still haven't located Mia Monroe's center for reformed cyclists but I'll let you know if I find it.

    Plain and simple biased reasoning was used to ban cycling from an area set aside for recreation. The NPS continues to used this biased reasoning and inflammatory language today. The NPS also bars cycling from 2/3rd of the non wilderness trails in the park. Even though the NPS' own history clearly states that cyclists should have access to the non wilderness trails:

    https://www.nps.gov/parkhistory/onli...pore/admin.pdf

    The "fun" starts on page 191

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEUT View Post

    The big question for me is: Do you take a chance and amend the Wilderness Act and see what happens? I do not have a problem with other user groups but I do see the value in not having commercial development, roads, or structures.
    I'd argue that the Wilderness Act and how it was intended to be managed was amended in 1984 when bicycles were arbitrarily (and semantically) banned after lots of lobbying from the Sierra Club. Game carts (and other non-motorized wheeled devices) were tossed out shortly after bikes, as collateral damage to the Wilderness purists' preferences. Clearly, game carts, wheelbarrows and strollers existed long before someone decided to put knobby tires on a bicycle... yet those forms of "mechanical transport" weren't banned from the inception of the Wilderness Act. It took 20 years or so to ban them as well.

    STC is working to restore the true intent of Wilderness access. The wording in the legislation will change the regulatory piece of the land management... and does NOTHING to open Wilderness to development, roads, extraction or motorized uses.... but that's what the opponents of this legislation are fighting HARD to get people to believe.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Silent_G View Post
    ...I find it interesting that this never comes up from the HOHA's, most of whom are retired baby boomers, just the whole "safety on the trail" thing. Answer me this, other trail users: do you think I'm going risk $10,000 in bike and camping gear, let alone my health, bombing and shredding a back country trail??? ...
    People that use the safety argument are demonstrating their ignorance of how bikers intend to use the Wilderness. You are right no loaded bikepacker is going to be shredding down trails. Generally, shredding like the naysayers fear requires full suspension, and FS bikes do not make good bikepacking rigs. A full loaded hard tail is not going to be careening wildly downhill, skidding corners and making jumps. Much of the time an UL hiker will pass me on my bike.

    It's like saying trail running is the same as backpacking. Phony argument.
    So many trails... so little time...

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    Quote Originally Posted by NEUT View Post
    Here is my 2 cents:

    I live in Utah and enjoy mountain biking, hiking, and backpacking. I do fear what will happen if the Wilderness Act is amended.

    As an example of my fear, HR 621 was a bill proposed by Jason Chaffetz of Utah that would have allowed 3.3 million acres of public land to be sold.

    Here is a quote from Chaffetz as to why he pulled the billChaffetz withdraws public land sale bill after outcry from hunters and anglers | Idaho Statesman)

    “The bill would have disposed of small parcels Pres. Clinton identified as serving no public purpose but groups I support and care about fear it sends the wrong message,” Chaffetz wrote. “I hear you and HR 621 dies tomorrow. #keepitpublic.”

    In Chaffetz own words he fears the sale would have sent the wrong message. Does amending the Wilderness Act send the wrong message as well?

    One of the most important things to remember though is that Chaffetz pulled the bill because of the outcry from not only conservation groups but hunters and anglers as well. These groups have different agendas but they came together to support saving public lands. All these users want the same thing, a place where they can get away and do what they enjoy. For me, that is what mountain biking is all about and I do not hate other user groups for wanting the same thing.

    The big question for me is: Do you take a chance and amend the Wilderness Act and see what happens? I do not have a problem with other user groups but I do see the value in not having commercial development, roads, or structures.
    If it's amended in the way that STC proposes, then I don't think that there's anything to worry about. I don't think that any mountain bikers want to see any commercial development, roads, or structures in Wilderness areas and would seriously fight any changes in that direction.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54 View Post
    People that use the safety argument are demonstrating their ignorance of how bikers intend to use the Wilderness. You are right no loaded bikepacker is going to be shredding down trails. Generally, shredding like the naysayers fear requires full suspension, and FS bikes do not make good bikepacking rigs. A full loaded hard tail is not going to be careening wildly downhill, skidding corners and making jumps. Much of the time an UL hiker will pass me on my bike.

    It's like saying trail running is the same as backpacking. Phony argument.
    There would also be day trippers on FS bikes in the Wilderness. Just how big of a problem would that be?

    Prior to the Boulder-White Cloud Wilderness designation, all manner of mountain bikes did roam those trails without conflict with other users or resource damage beyond what hikers did. The riders that choose to use backcountry trails are very respectful of other users and the environment.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

  92. #92
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    Quote Originally Posted by BumpityBump View Post
    The last thing I want in Wilderness is this new generation of self absorbed disrespectful aholes.
    This statement disqualifies any possibility of objectivity in anything else this person has to say. His opinions have nothing to do with environmental impact, intent of the bill, or any other such falsehoods.

    Where do you draw the line? Same place the authors of the wilderness bill did....with a living power source.


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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    This statement disqualifies any possibility of objectivity in anything else this person has to say. His opinions have nothing to do with environmental impact, intent of the bill, or any other such falsehoods.

    Where do you draw the line? Same place the authors of the wilderness bill did....with a living power source.


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    Well said


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    Quote Originally Posted by Davey Simon View Post
    How can you claim that off road cyclists are not "for Wilderness access"?
    Never said that. And it's very clear that I never said that.

    What I said is that many people like to make stronger claims about how many MTBers actually support your cause than they should. Why? Because they are based in biased polling and anonymous online posts- not science.

    Go to any number of Sociology or Tourism and Recreation Depts. in one of our great mountain town colleges and find a professor or grad student who would be interested in getting real numbers about what MTBers and other stakeholders actually think. It would not be that hard or expensive. And it may even help your cause.

    About the discrimination trope- it pops up every time. It'll come in time here.

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    I ride moto, mountain bike, and ebike. I don't support bikes in the wilderness and I think horses are great. Correct me if I'm wrong but I am sure I have read stories of biking trails that were allowed to go through wilderness after the trail was allocated to "corridor" status. In other words, the bikes are not allowed in the wilderness but a narrow "corridor" was created to keep them legal.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jmmUT View Post
    Never said that. And it's very clear that I never said that.

    What I said is that many people like to make stronger claims about how many MTBers actually support your cause than they should. Why? Because they are based in biased polling and anonymous online posts- not science.

    Go to any number of Sociology or Tourism and Recreation Depts. in one of our great mountain town colleges and find a professor or grad student who would be interested in getting real numbers about what MTBers and other stakeholders actually think. It would not be that hard or expensive. And it may even help your cause.

    About the discrimination trope- it pops up every time. It'll come in time here.
    You actually said this:

    "Online forums and bad online polls make it look like all mountain bikers are for wilderness access and it's just not true."

    So what is true then?

    STC has never pushed a discrimination argument.

    Unless that is coming from someone that isn't part of STC? One of the mountain bikers that couldn't really be in favor of cycling allowed on a case by case basis in the Wilderness. Because that just isn't true. Right?


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    Quote Originally Posted by Giant Warp View Post
    I ride moto, mountain bike, and ebike. I don't support bikes in the wilderness and I think horses are great. Correct me if I'm wrong but I am sure I have read stories of biking trails that were allowed to go through wilderness after the trail was allocated to "corridor" status. In other words, the bikes are not allowed in the wilderness but a narrow "corridor" was created to keep them legal.
    I'm unaware of any situation like that. The boundaries of the Wilderness are changed occasionally to preserve access. But generally more trails are lost than those saved. None of these trails exist inside a Wilderness area, at best they remain close to a Wilderness area. Occasionally a cherry stem exists in a Wilderness area but they generally for vehicle access, are not a through access and usually allow access to private property.

    Never mind trails that are closed to cyclists because they lead to a Wilderness area. Or trails that are closed to cyclists because they are in a Wilderness Study Area. Or the 2/3 of non Wilderness trails in the Wilderness area close to where I live that are closed to cyclists "just because". Never mind the public meeting closing the Wilderness trails nearby stipulates that the non Wilderness trails remain open.




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    The big question for me is: Do you take a chance and amend the Wilderness Act and see what happens? I do not have a problem with other user groups but I do see the value in not having commercial development, roads, or structures.
    I'd think twice about messin' with the Wildness Act with this clown as Sec. of Interior.....

    Mountain Bikers Seek to Gut Wilderness Act-zinke-card.jpg

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    Mountain Bikers Seek to Gut Wilderness Act

    Damn tungsten is dropping all of the logical fallacies today.




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    Quote Originally Posted by tungsten View Post
    I'd think twice about messin' with the Wildness Act with this clown as Sec. of Interior.....



    Sea Gulling as usual because you have no substantive argument.
    You meet the craziest people riding e-bikes!

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