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  1. #1
    mtbr member
    Reputation: delnorte's Avatar
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    New USFS policy towards mtn bikes

    Copied & pasted this from TGR. Seems like a good signal:

    Forest Service Memo Bolsters Biking Access
    SportsOneSource Media Posted: 9/9/2008

    The U.S. Forest Service has notified its employees that going forward, mountain biking is to be managed in the same way as hiking and equestrian rather than motorized travel, according to a presentation made at the IMBA World Summit by Jim Bedwell, Forest Service director for recreation, heritage and volunteers

    At the summit, Bedwell said a memo written by Deputy Chief Joel Holtrop is a significant step in the evolution of mountain bike management on Forest Service lands, and has been distributed to agency staff at the regional and local levels.

    At the core of the letter are important clarifications on the nature of mountain biking and how this activity is addressed in management plans.
    Holtrop writes, "I want to emphasize that mountain biking is a non-motorized use of National Forest System trails, along with hiking and horseback riding. In our planning and policy documents, a distinction between mountain biking and motorized uses...should be made."

    As Bedwell explained, "The Forest Service uses letters to communicate quickly to field units about important issues they may face, and to promote consistent understanding about how to approach them. In some cases, such as this one, the letter precedes desired policy revision, which requires a longer and more involved process to complete."

    Bedwell's announcement comes at a time when some national forests have applied similar restrictions to bicycles and motor vehicles. IMBA believes most Forest Service staff understand bicycling is a quiet, non-motorized, low-impact activity, and hopes the letter provides the guidance necessary for consistent treatment of mountain biking on every national forest.

    "Deputy Chief Holtrop's letter also acknowledges the important and productive partnership between IMBA and the U.S. Forest Service," says Bedwell. In 2006, the two entities renewed their Memorandum of Understanding for the third consecutive time and mountain bikers are prolific stewards in many national forests. The volunteer National Mountain Bike Patrol works to inform, assist, and educate mountain bikers and other trail users on Forest Service lands across the country.

  2. #2
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    Bikes Don't Poop

    This is great for everyone. Thanks for posting this info. Thanks to IMBA.

    Now, if we can just get cow riding approved on the trails...


    C Cow

  3. #3
    Single Speed Junkie
    Reputation: crux's Avatar
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    Really a step in the right direction. Hopefully wilderness trails will soon follow.

  4. #4
    saddlemeat
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    Quote Originally Posted by C Cow
    This is great for everyone. Thanks for posting this info. Thanks to IMBA.

    Now, if we can just get cow riding approved on the trails...


    C Cow
    Plenty of warm fresh cow goodness on the trails in my neck of the woods... guess there's just no accountin' for taste.
    A Useful Bear is a handy thing.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
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    Quote Originally Posted by crux
    Really a step in the right direction. Hopefully wilderness trails will soon follow.
    Dang...I was hoping that opened up access to the Wilderness areas. Does the Forest Service not...hmm....govern the Wilderness areas?
    "My life's ambition is to see a musical version of MacBeth performed by chickens."

  6. #6
    Goin' Down ain't bad!!!
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    We can change the world if we only try...

    Good news... Thanks for sharing DelNorte. I'm working something up now to present to IMBA. I myself want to know what the status is of addressing the fact that the Wilderness Act was changed in the 80's to specify Mechnical Conveyance in place of Motorized Travel. In fact on many Wilderness signs you'll see it specifically states no "motorized travel". That's because the signs were in place and pre-date the changes to the Act.

    I'll share a response when I get it. In the mean time be real nice to the Horsemen when you poach the Wilderness....
    Dug-da-Goat

    "Oh momma, could this really be the end? To be stuck outside of Mojo with the High Side Blues again!!!"

  7. #7
    Single Speed Junkie
    Reputation: crux's Avatar
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    I have worked with IMBA before and they are a great group of people who have helped out mt biking quite a bit in recent years. As with everything it won't happen over night, but it is still a step in the right direction. As cyclist we need to keep our speed down on multi-use trails when encountering hikers or this movement could backfire (Plenty of examples from plume trail, or just think of north foothills on a weekend). With that said the wilderness issue is still up in the air, but it might not be considered poaching much longer....

  8. #8
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    Your funny.....poaching Wilderness ha, ha!

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