This 2010 article is a good explanation of wilderness and mountain biking (mechanized non-motorized use):
I found this especially interesting:
A 2006 study by the National Park Service concluded that "Horse and ATV trails are significantly more degraded than hiking and biking trails...[T]he proportion of trails with severe erosion...is 24% for ATV trails, 9% for horse trails, 1.4% for hiking trails and 0.6% for bike trails."
Personally, I have to reluctantly support the IMBA position as a reasonable compromise. It is better to be effective than right sometimes.
Speaking of feds and riding, there is a lot of "travel planning" coming up as land managers take on the contentious issue of people and their chosen conveyances on the land. Lots of opportunity for mountain biker involvement.
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Thread: Wilderness and Mountain Biking