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  1. #1
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    Ok, I'm a little confused. I don't have my map with me at work. Are these potential areas part of the NF now, and are being considered for Wilderness designation?

    Wilderness=Bad, right?

  3. #3
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    Wilderness Expansion

    NOOOOO!!!!!!! Not to be alarmist, but...it looks like major threat to prime Pisgah riding: Laurel Mtn, Fish hatchery, Turkey Pen. What else is there? Seriously, wtf!

    Y, Wilderness = bad, unless you're a hiker, ONLY a hiker.

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    Quote Originally Posted by swoodbrn View Post


    like major threat to prime Pisgah riding: Laurel Mtn, Fish hatchery, Turkey Pen.
    I don't think so, but maybe I am looking at the map wrong. Looks south east of Laurel and south of Fish hatchery.

    i guess part of Laurel could be in that section.

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    That's pretty much all of Turkey Pen area all the way over to Black Mtn. 5682 takes out Big Creek, Laurel and Pilot Cove. 5651 looks like Butter Gap / Long Branch.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by swoodbrn View Post
    NOOOOO!!!!!!! Not to be alarmist, but..
    Ok, then don't be alarmist. This has a snowball's chance. Remember, the Forest Service wants these areas not to be wilderness as much as we do (so they can log them).

    This is like me drawing a map of potential additions to my house...it just ain't gonna happen.

    ...but to be sure, make sure you participate in the Forest Plan Revision process. I think we *do* need more wilderness acreage in the region, but obviously these aren't the places to do it.

  7. #7
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    Click on "process paper" at the link below for a copy of how these lines were drawn.

    National Forests in North Carolina - Home

    From this, it does appear that mtbwnc is correct that the presented map is very very early in the so-called process.

    The same google search, however, yields the following:

    Western North Carolina | Wilderness.org

    So, yeah, some of the mtb community's input into is going to be needed. I have no idea how, when, or where that's going to happen formally, but if I find out, I will post it here.

    Thanks for posting this Park.

  8. #8
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    I read both of Mike's links - the FS one for a while. It was "Wilderness Scary" to read.

    Despite my call-sign, I am not living in NC right now. But I have lived through a wilderness expansion in WV, and it was bad. Some personal suggestions (by no means gospel and maybe a bit extreme):

    I would first get verbal verification of exactly what areas are being considered (even though the slide show gave some suggestions). Call the Ranger District office. Then make a determination if the areas being studies are worth the fight. Maybe all areas are worth a fight or only some areas. If the FS says "yea, but don't worry about it, it won't happen," assume the fight is on anyway (not against the FS, but against the Wilderness Proponents. The FS can be an ally).

    Second - Start organizing and perhaps make a new (tax exempt) business organization made specifically for mountain bike and wilderness issues, name the organization, get a board of directors, and a spokesperson. A new organization for this purpose alone shows that locals are serious. Obviously, the current mountain bike organizations would play a big role in this organization. A lobbyist may even be needed in the long run.

    Third, the National Wilderness Coalition is your enemy and it is against bikes. One of the many problems we ran into was local Wilderness supporters, who also didn't have a problem with bikes, getting quietly overruled by the Wilderness Coalition home office for suggesting a way to keep bikes in proposed wilderness areas. The Wilderness Coalition went so far as to elicit the assistance of a touring company (that had mtb roots - but had a lot of other irons in the fire) to advocate for wilderness to Congress. By propping this guy up, the Coalition used it as propaganda to suggest the bikers were for wilderness (which of course we were not). It was a divide and conquer approach. The Coalition will also say "well, nobody bikes there anyway," or "there is too much biking." Or they will say "we're just trying to save the Forest (from logging and other industries), and you should too." Call BS on all of these. And no matter what do not let them talk erosion. Tell them to take a hike to Shining Rocks and the Ledges. On the way, the trail erosion is awful.

    The Forest Service claimed to not want more Wilderness - but it happened anyway. We were unprepared and out maneuvered. Fortunately, it does take an Act of Congress. Get all the municipal politicians against it, and move your way up. Get a well-worded petition started immediately (on the internet so people like me can sign). And don't trust a thing the Wilderness Coalition says. If the local bikers are reactive instead of proactive, the chances of losing increase (The Wilderness Coalition depends on mountain biker apathy and even ignorance from some Wilderness Coalition members regarding mtb issues).

    There are methods of compromise such as cherry-stemming. IMBA has some talk about wilderness proposals on its website. In WV, IMBA was virtually non-existent. IMBA also seems timid to me. IMBA is always talking compromise, while the Wilderness Coalition uses faux-compromise (like asking for wilderness it knows it can't get, offer it to the bikers, and then say, "here bikers, see we're compromising - now give us all we really wanted).

  9. #9
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    right. These areas are just inventories of areas that meet the criteria necessary to establish a wilderness designation. They are not proposals, or anything definitive.

    those visuals will hopefully encourage you to send an email with your comments regarding the plan revision.

    send them to NCPlanRevision@fs.fed.us

  10. #10
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    thanks for sharing this, I just learned of it today...
    My one says BRAP!

  11. #11
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    Email sent. thanks.

  12. #12
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    While losing bicycle access to all those trails would be unfortunate, more Wilderness is inherently a very good thing and the Pisgah District is in dire need of more Wilderness.

    I'm not sure why the USFS does not look to other areas of the forest to develop trail systems and Wilderness. The Big Pisgah Tract, for example, has an existing trail system that is a lot like Wilderness as it is now. It would be great if they designated it but I'm guessing it doesn't fit their agenda.

    If they want to make a Laurel Mountain Wilderness that is good with me. I'm not afraid to go into the woods on foot. Mountain bikers can stick to Dupont or Bent Creek or where ever bikes are still allowed.
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    Wilderness Expansion

    Hmm, waah...driftwood? You know, the 'b' in 'mtbr' stands for 'bike'? Am I missing some sarcasm in thinking that you're saying you're ok with less bike and more hike trails? I guess I'm a little afraid of going into the woods on foot...afraid I'll wish I coulda brought my bike.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by driftwood View Post
    While losing bicycle access to all those trails would be unfortunate, more Wilderness is inherently a very good thing and the Pisgah District is in dire need of more Wilderness.

    I'm not sure why the USFS does not look to other areas of the forest to develop trail systems and Wilderness. The Big Pisgah Tract, for example, has an existing trail system that is a lot like Wilderness as it is now. It would be great if they designated it but I'm guessing it doesn't fit their agenda.

    If they want to make a Laurel Mountain Wilderness that is good with me. I'm not afraid to go into the woods on foot. Mountain bikers can stick to Dupont or Bent Creek or where ever bikes are still allowed.
    Is that a joke? I don't get it.

  15. #15
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    Wilderness Expansion

    I'm afraid driftwood is a scorned child with hurt feelings. Apparently he has turned against his brethren because he can't have his way. Sad.

  16. #16
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    I am afraid the elevator doesn't hit the top floor in that one.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  17. #17
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    Sorry folks, there is more to our National Forests than just mountain bikes. It is a shame that mountain bikers cannot see the value of Wilderness.

    Losing bicycle access to all those trails would be unfortunate and I think there are better places to designate as Wilderness.

    I haven't turned against anyone. Mountain bikes, for me, are just one of many ways I enjoy our forests. I haven't been solely a mountain bikers for many years. I really like the efficiency of bikes, the variety of terrain I can enjoy on them, and the amount of ground I can cover on one, but my bike is not my only means of transport an I recognize their limitations and impact. From my perspective it seems all that a lot, if not most, mountain bikers only mountain bike.

    As much fun as riding Laurel Mountain or Turkey Pen Gap is I tend to prefer Wilderness on foot to them. I enjoy a variety of activities and a variety of trails. I wouldn't want to go to Wilderness every time I am in the woods but if we had more Wilderness I would likely go there more often.

    The Pisgah District has two Wilderness areas: Shining Rock and Middle Prong. Shining Rock is so heavily used these days most trails really aren't true Wilderness in my opinion. I think in Shining Rock only Fork Mountain and Greasy Cove are class 1 trails. As traffic continues to increase in Shining Rock, Middle Prong is seeing more and more users and is starting to suffer the same effects as Shining Rock. The need for more Wilderness is very real and demonstrable.

    As part of the Forest Plan Revision many users are asking for more Wilderness and Class 1 trails. I'd love to see Class 1 trails for bikes but will settle for more for foot travel only if that is all we can get.

    I agree with Pisgah. Mountain bikers should take this seriously if they do not want to see areas with trails that are currently open to bikes designated as Wilderness or even Wilderness Study Areas.

    Saying it doesn't have a chance might not be as good as working to ensure that it does not have a chance . But whatever...
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  18. #18
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    Its simple. Mountain bikes should be allowed in wilderness areas. On appropriate trails of course...

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    Putting this old shoe back on...

    Theres another meeting coming up in about a month in Asheville.

    Question:

    What is PAS doing to become a stakeholder in these negotiations as they progress?

    I dont mean that to sound cynical...I honestly would like to know since Im out of the loop. I do plan on attending this meeting if Im able.

    I know Pro-Wilderness groups are active and have a fairly loud voice, who's up there speaking up for mtn. bikers? This might be discussed on the PAS website but not everyone who rides Pisgah lives in WNC. Everyone who enjoys these mountains should try to keep informed on how the planned revisions are going.

    This link has already been posted but it really breaks down what is going on with NC Nat'l Forests.

    National Forests in North Carolina - Home

    Check out "process papers" about halfway down to see where the proposed new Wilderness Areas will be...looks like Laurel mtn. area and Turkey Pen if im reading it right...


    thanks ya'll.

  20. #20
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    I'm not on the board or even a member right now, but I will probably take a vacation day so I can attend.

  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Putting this old shoe back on...

    Theres another meeting coming up in about a month in Asheville.

    Question:

    What is PAS doing to become a stakeholder in these negotiations as they progress?

    I dont mean that to sound cynical...I honestly would like to know since Im out of the loop. I do plan on attending this meeting if Im able.

    I know Pro-Wilderness groups are active and have a fairly loud voice, who's up there speaking up for mtn. bikers? This might be discussed on the PAS website but not everyone who rides Pisgah lives in WNC. Everyone who enjoys these mountains should try to keep informed on how the planned revisions are going.

    This link has already been posted but it really breaks down what is going on with NC Nat'l Forests.

    National Forests in North Carolina - Home

    Check out "process papers" about halfway down to see where the proposed new Wilderness Areas will be...looks like Laurel mtn. area and Turkey Pen if im reading it right...


    thanks ya'll.
    I'm not sure what 2bfluid's official role with PAS is but he is their grant writer and perhaps some sort of spokesman and is the only one of them posting in this thread. He says:

    Its simple. Mountain bikes should be allowed in wilderness areas. On appropriate trails of course...
    As much as I'd like to know which existing Wilderness trails in our area are appropriate for bikes I don't think he is familiar enough with the trails to say. (And he is a beginner mountain biker anyway, those trails would all be well above his skill level. Yes, he raced last year's Enduro in the beginner category, that makes him a beginner.)

    I know PAS/SORBA collectively is bound to be smarter than to try to actively argue for mountain bikes in Wilderness but are they going to fight against Wilderness expansion?

    The need for more Wilderness is very real. Other users groups are asking for it and might just get it.

    I think the Big Pisgah tract would make an ideal new Wilderness area. Suggest that over changing existing multi-use trails, regardless of how unexcellent, poorly designed and built they are .
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  22. #22
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    Nice try DW. Trying to dismiss me as a beginner? You are soooo desperate. My opinions are my own unless stated as such. Sorry I only decided to start racing late in the game. I hope you feel better about yourself now. Done anything for Pisgah lately?

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  23. #23
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    Nice try DW. Trying to dismiss me as a beginner? You are soooo desperate. My opinions are my own unless stated as such. Sorry I only decided to start racing late in the game. I hope you feel better about yourself now. Done anything for Pisgah lately?

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    I'm not desperate at all. Just pointing out facts is all.

    As always you cannot back up your opinions or refute my points and I'd love to debate this issue with you but I do not think you have the knowledge and experience necessary. It isn't nearly as simple as you think. Or maybe it is... Bikes are machines and machines are not allowed in Wilderness...

    I honestly don't know what I've done for Pisgah recently. I'm sure your definition of "doing something for Pisgah" is substantially different from mine anyway. I've been having a kick @ss spring and spending a lot of fun time out in Pisgah (including some outstanding Wilderness trips). So much that the last thing I've been thinking about is what is happening on the internet.... Summer is coming and things are only going to get better
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  24. #24
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    hmmm...ok, well then....

    My question never got answered. Is someone from SORBA/PAS in the game so to speak to be an advocate for mountain bikes during these talks? My personal thoughts are its imperative that we keep Laurel Mtn./Big Creek, Turkey Pen, and the areas around the Fish Hatchery open to bikes.

  25. #25
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    Banjo I forwarded your message to the BOD of PAS. I know that they have had discussions on the subject and were planning on attending the meeting and representing MTB's.

    If you want to know something about PAS you should head to their web site or contact them.

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  26. #26
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    DW let's discuss all of your hollow fact-less opinions tonight face to face at Oskar Blues. I as told you the last time I saw you I am happy to discuss anything you want, and I will call you on your crap every time. If you say something I agree with I will let you know that too.

    You are a troll based theorist with little to no reputable trail experience, short on the facts, and shorter still on common sense. Still preaching the glory of water bars?

    Seriously, maybe you should volunteer for the Carolina Mountain Club, the hikers need you. Because you don't do much for mountain bikers or our cause. And at this point I would rather have you against us rather than with us and making us look bad by association.

    I will be there tonight if you can make it. If not, another time.

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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    Banjo I forwarded your message to the BOD of PAS. I know that they have had discussions on the subject and were planning on attending the meeting and representing MTB's.

    If you want to know something about PAS you should head to their web site or contact them.

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    Thanks, I have tried but have not received a response. Figured I'd turn here since it sees more traffic than the PAS site.

    The fact that I haven't heard back and no one seems to know whats going on is a little bit worrisome TBH. I hope there is someone or better many, many people doing something to get our voices heard in a thoughtful, common sense way.

    Mountain bikers have a hard row to hoe if more vocal and influential folks want to see these areas closed to us.

    Thanks for the help.

  28. #28
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    Banjo Just try to remember that PAS is 100% volunteer. Most everyone involved has a day job and a family. Be patient and they should get back to you.

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  29. #29
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    Where is the "Big Pisgah" tract?

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2bfluid View Post
    Banjo Just try to remember that PAS is 100% volunteer. Most everyone involved has a day job and a family. Be patient and they should get back to you.

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    I understand. Didnt mean that to be judgmental of PAS. Im appreciative of what yall do for mountain biking in Pisgah. Im sure yall got folks working on it. If not then SORBA should definitely.

    thanks.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Woodman View Post
    Where is the "Big Pisgah" tract?
    I think DW is referring to the FS land located in the western edge of the Pisgah District, namely the section containing Big Pisgah Mtn. It is a part of the forest that lacks in recreational development, unless you include Panthertown Valley, which is just west in Nantahala National Forest. Panthertown and Big Pisgah Mtn are connected by a common border of FS land.

  32. #32
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    2bfluid, sorry, I am rarely on a computer these days. In fact as soon as I finish this post it is being turned off and won't go on again until I don't know when. And as much fun as going to Oscar Blues with you would not be I have much better things to do with my free time.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I have a lot more experience on trails than you do.

    I know Pisgah trails better than you.

    Would you like to refute that point? Then why don't you back up your claim that mountain bikes belong in Wilderness by sharing exactly which current Wilderness trails in our area are appropriate for bikes? How often are you in our Wilderness areas? Which Wilderness trails have you hiked? What do you value about Wilderness?

    You made the claim, now offer something to back it up. I'll check this thread again tomorrow am to see what you managed to type out....






    Other mountain bikers who are concerned about losing trails to Wilderness might want to read what Pisgah wrote.

    My suggestions would be to:

    - suggest other areas than current multi-use trails to become Wilderness such as the Big Pisgah Tract (google it).

    - tell the USFS that mountain bikers want (more) Class 1 trails as well. Agree with the hikers that there is a need for them. Agree that trails like Laurel Mtn. and Turkey Pen Gap should be Class 1's. Say that mountain bikers are willing to maintain them to Class 1 standards.





    Saying that this doesn't have a chance and doing nothing would be a lot easier and maybe it doesn't have a chance but is that a chance mountain bikers should take?

    Saying that mountain bikes simply belong in Wilderness is going to be a very hard fight to win.
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    Oh geez, I suppose next you will want to pull out your d!ck in order to compare sizes.
    Just stick it in granny and start grinding.

  34. #34
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    It seems that the Big Pisgah Mtn tract is too small to be a candidate for wilderness designation. It seems that the FS generally look at tracts that are 5,000 acres or more for wilderness consideration. Looking at the Big Pisgah Mtn tract, at least on the map, seems to be considerably smaller.

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    5,000 acres was indeed the size the FS looked at during this GIS based exercise, unless the tract was adjacent to existing Wilderness.


    Quote Originally Posted by wncbiker View Post
    It seems that the Big Pisgah Mtn tract is too small to be a candidate for wilderness designation. It seems that the FS generally look at tracts that are 5,000 acres or more for wilderness consideration. Looking at the Big Pisgah Mtn tract, at least on the map, seems to be considerably smaller.

  36. #36
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    2bfluid, sorry, I am rarely on a computer these days. In fact as soon as I finish this post it is being turned off and won't go on again until I don't know when. And as much fun as going to Oscar Blues with you would not be I have much better things to do with my free time. YeahYeahYeah

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I have a lot more experience on trails than you do. That might be a pretty shaky limb. And your assumption is based on.... your ego.

    I know Pisgah trails better than you. Sure, you just don't know the best ways to fix them. You could learn though and we would be having a different conversation

    Would you like to refute that point? Then why don't you back up your claim that mountain bikes belong in Wilderness by sharing exactly which current Wilderness trails in our area are appropriate for bikes? Not many as most are a mess and no one seems to be putting much effort into saving them. How often are you in our Wilderness areas? Much, much, much, more so in the past.Which Wilderness trails have you hiked? Well there were the wilderness trails I hiked in Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and New Mexico, (Should we count roadless areas in BC?) and yes even NC. Too many trails to count. Been out of your fish bowl lately? I have hit most of the trails from 276 to Cold Mountain to 215 and maybe a couple of others. What do you value about Wilderness? I don't where to even start and stop with you. Wilderness is awesome, adding bikes to the equation makes it even better. Would you ride bikes in wilderness areas if they were permitted? I would.

    To answer your question about which trails are viable in the local wilderness areas. My answer would be, none. Possibly the Cold Mtn access from the Boyscout camp, but even that is a stretch. Most need major work and could not support any increase in traffic. So are you also opposed to new trails built in wilderness areas. With newer best practices the new trails could be great for bikes.

    While it is not labelled as a Wilderness Area, most of Pisgah is still wilderness with some roads and multiuse trails within it, IMHO.


    You made the claim, now offer something to back it up. I'll check this thread again tomorrow am to see what you managed to type out....
    You just keep grasping at threads. Spend more time actually building and maintaining trails with folks who are more educated than you are concerning trails, as in professionals, and you will be much better off.





    Other mountain bikers who are concerned about losing trails to Wilderness might want to read what Pisgah wrote.

    My suggestions would be to:

    - suggest other areas than current multi-use trails to become Wilderness such as the Big Pisgah Tract (google it).

    - tell the USFS that mountain bikers want (more) Class 1 trails as well. Agree with the hikers that there is a need for them. Agree that trails like Laurel Mtn. and Turkey Pen Gap should be Class 1's. Say that mountain bikers are willing to maintain them to Class 1 standards.



    I believe this whole exercise is a waste of time and tax payer dollars. All it takes is an act of congress to makes this happen, good luck.

    Saying that this doesn't have a chance and doing nothing would be a lot easier and maybe it doesn't have a chance but is that a chance mountain bikers should take?Nope we should stop this before it starts.

    Saying that mountain bikes simply belong in Wilderness is going to be a very hard fight to win. Thanks for stating the obvious. If this happened, there is actually a chance these trails would get taken care of.
    Last edited by 2bfluid; 06-11-2014 at 04:48 PM.
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  37. #37
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    BP,

    Sorry for not responding sooner, been kind of busy with the BigDig.

    The mountain bike community (Julie White and myself attended on behalf of SORBA) was represented at the USFS Wilderness and Special Designations workshop held at the Crowne Plazza in Asheville (April if I remember correctly). FS is just doing what is required in the planning revision process for the upcoming new LRMP (Land and Resource Management Plan). They are required to identify potential wilderness expansion and locally they developed a GIS exercise with the treshold of 5,000 acres or more. It was strictly a GIS based excercise: 5000 acres, inventoried as roadless (though class 1 roads can exist) and that created maps. No real world study in terms of current uses (types and amounts) etc. Graveyard Fields was shown on the map as potential meeting the criteria, and we all know how many folks use that area making it far from a wilderness experience.

    I found it interesting that there is another large contention of users not wanting more wilderness: sportsmen. They have many facets and all are opposed to new wilderness designations and this NC Wildlife Resources Commission. Please find some of thier comments letters and emails here to the FS:
    http://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_...prd3801796.pdf

    We all need to remember FS does not designate Wilderness, that comes from Congress. The current political climate in NC is not even close to being good for a new wilderness bill and with so much opposition from the sportmens (and many groups whom represent them) my best guess is it will not happen. The 2 biggest concerns are the 2 current WSAs over on the Grandfather District. You used to be able to ride bikes on the trails there, but all that was posted no bikes a few years back (but my guess is some riders ignore such postings which is sad).

    I am not telling folks not to worry about this. But I am saying don't over react as of yet.

    SORBA has been involved in the planning process and has several meetings with folks from Wilderness Society (and even a bike ride). WS knows all too well that a legit wilderness bill would need to be supported by the mountain bike community and thus not likely to push for any wilderness on trails in areas currently with mtn bike use.

    AS far as bikes on trails in wilderness, forget about that. Not going to happen. I was on IMBA's Board when we drafted the current Wilderness Strategy and we decided not to try and open that can of worms.
    IMBA Announces Strategy for Wilderness and Mountain Biking

    https://www.imba.com/resources/land-...rness-and-imba





    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    hmmm...ok, well then....

    My question never got answered. Is someone from SORBA/PAS in the game so to speak to be an advocate for mountain bikes during these talks? My personal thoughts are its imperative that we keep Laurel Mtn./Big Creek, Turkey Pen, and the areas around the Fish Hatchery open to bikes.

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    Thank you Woodman for this informative and rational reply. If my memory serves me correctly,(and that is a big if) I recall a similar exercise in identifying potential wilderness additions when the FS went through the process of forming the 1987 management plan for NC national forest. At that time mtbs were not really in the mix, althought I did include mtbs in my response to the public comment request concerning that plan. IMHO, I have always though that the Pisgah District ought to be a designated National Recreation Area, much like the Mount Rogers region in Virginia.

  39. #39
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    I think you are dead on about the recreation area. But it takes an act of congress too.

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  40. #40
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    2bfluid, sorry, I am rarely on a computer these days. In fact as soon as I finish this post it is being turned off and won't go on again until I don't know when. And as much fun as going to Oscar Blues with you would not be I have much better things to do with my free time. YeahYeahYeahSorry, but you aren't worth my time. I'd rather play in the woods than drink beer with you or play on the computer.

    I'm going to go out on a limb and say that I have a lot more experience on trails than you do. That might be a pretty shaky limb. And your assumption is based on.... your ego. My assumption is based on the fact that no matter how hard you try or how much stuff you peck out on your phone's keyboard you are unable to talk about specific trails. I'm out in the woods a lot, on a lot of different trails, you mainly stick to Dupont.

    I know Pisgah trails better than you. Sure, you just don't know the best ways to fix them. You could learn though and we would be having a different conversation
    I'm not sure what fixing trails has to do with knowing them. I'm actually on the trails, you talk about them on the internet.

    What does the 'best way to fix trails' have to do with Wilderness Expansion? You are trolling and trying to bait me but will say I do not believe that the brand of trail work you like and lap up is the only way to fix a trail and I'm not the only trail user who feels that way.


    Would you like to refute that point? Then why don't you back up your claim that mountain bikes belong in Wilderness by sharing exactly which current Wilderness trails in our area are appropriate for bikes? Not many as most are a mess and no one seems to be putting much effort into saving them. Where do you get this stuff? Most trails in Shining Rock and Middle Prong are actually in pretty good shape. Sure, there are a few big problem spots (such as Art Loeb III from Ivestor Gap to Crawford Creek Gap), but most of those trails are in great shape. Haywood Gap, Buckeye Gap, Green Mtn., Fork Mtn., Greasy Cove, Art Loeb IV, and Shining Creek are not at all a mess. Instead of spewing forth crap why don't you get out and take a hike this weekend so you can actually see the trails you are bashing? If you actually did use those trails you would see that people are very actively maintaining them. The CMC is doing an excellent job out there. I encountered a trail crew on Fork Mtn. earlier this year - talk about remote!

    Also, where in the forest have you encountered Rangers? Last year the USFS had Rangers on the ground in Shining Rock working to educate users about Wilderness. The area around Shining Rock Gap had been littered with trash, camp fires and groups bigger than 10 in previous years. The USFS is actively working to educate users and clean up Shining Rock.

    SAWS, Southern Appalachian Wilderness Stewards, were also out doing education last year but they seemed to be sticking to Ivestor Gap and trying to educate users before entering the Wilderness. SAWS also has a trail crew who camp and work all summer on the trails.

    Maybe people are doing something to save those trails

    How often are you in our Wilderness areas? Much, much, much, more so in the past.Which Wilderness trails have you hiked? Well there were the wilderness trails I hiked in Montana, Idaho, Alaska, Wyoming, Oregon, Washington, Utah, and New Mexico, (Should we count roadless areas in BC?) and yes even NC. Too many trails to count. Been out of your fish bowl lately? I have hit most of the trails from 276 to Cold Mountain to 215 and maybe a couple of others.
    You know so much but can't even name trails by their name. Most trails from 276 to 215? That would be every trail in Shining Rock and not a single one in Middle Prong. In order to really understand the PRD's Wilderness Areas and the issues they face you really need to get on the ground in Middle Prong as well as Shining Rock.


    What do you value about Wilderness? I don't where to even start and stop with you. Wilderness is awesome, adding bikes to the equation makes it even better. Would you ride bikes in wilderness areas if they were permitted? I would.
    Bikes will not be allowed in Wilderness. And for good reason. Bicycles would ruin Wilderness for me. I like that there are places in this world where I can go to get away from machinery and technology. The last thing I would want to encounter would be a bicycle or a chain saw as I work my way across Green Mtn. I'm not the only crazy person out there who thinks that true Wilderness without bicycles is a good idea.


    To answer your question about which trails are viable in the local wilderness areas. My answer would be, none. Possibly the Cold Mtn access from the Boyscout camp, but even that is a stretch. Most need major work and could not support any increase in traffic. So are you also opposed to new trails built in wilderness areas. With newer best practices the new trails could be great for bikes.
    If there is a trail in Shining Rock or Middle Prong that might be suitable for bicycles the correct answer would be the Little East Fork trail. Art Loeb IV, the trail that goes from Camp Daniel Boone to Deep Gap/Cold Mtn. trail, is definitely not appropriate for bikes. Little East Fork is currently open to horses (I do not think horses belong in Wilderness) and is an old road/rail grade all the way up to Ivestor Gap. If you have ever been on it you would know .

    Quit with all the hearsay crap and actually get out there and look at the trails.


    While it is not labelled as a Wilderness Area, most of Pisgah is still wilderness with some roads and multiuse trails within it, IMHO.

    Okay, here is where you show just how dumb you are. Most of Pisgah is not Wilderness. It is nowhere close to Wilderness. Do you even know what Wilderness is? Just because it feels remote and wild, to you, does not make it Wilderness.

    You made the claim, now offer something to back it up. I'll check this thread again tomorrow am to see what you managed to type out....
    You just keep grasping at threads. Spend more time actually building and maintaining trails with folks who are more educated than you are concerning trails, as in professionals, and you will be much better off.
    I know the theories. I wasted an entire day playing mark the reroute with y'all last winter. I don't need to go through that again.

    Why don't you get out there and hike some Wilderness trails? Do the Green Mtn. > Haywood Gap loop this weekend and report back.





    Other mountain bikers who are concerned about losing trails to Wilderness might want to read what Pisgah wrote.

    My suggestions would be to:

    - suggest other areas than current multi-use trails to become Wilderness such as the Big Pisgah Tract (google it).

    - tell the USFS that mountain bikers want (more) Class 1 trails as well. Agree with the hikers that there is a need for them. Agree that trails like Laurel Mtn. and Turkey Pen Gap should be Class 1's. Say that mountain bikers are willing to maintain them to Class 1 standards.



    I believe this whole exercise is a waste of time and tax payer dollars. All it takes is an act of congress to makes this happen, good luck.
    You are all over the place. You respond to the thread, with a lame blanket statement, and once your ignorance is exposed it is now a waste of time. You are the desperate one - always trying to discredit me even when you have no clue about the subject.

    Saying that this doesn't have a chance and doing nothing would be a lot easier and maybe it doesn't have a chance but is that a chance mountain bikers should take?Nope we should stop this before it starts.
    Which is it? A waste of time or something that should be stopped before it starts?

    You claimed it was simple: mountain bikes should be allowed in Wilderness.

    Is that your plan for stopping it?

    Saying that mountain bikes simply belong in Wilderness is going to be a very hard fight to win. Thanks for stating the obvious. If this happened, there is actually a chance these trails would get taken care of.
    Once again, the trails are being taken care of. I'm not going to get in the debate about just what mountain bikers are doing to maintain trails in this thread no matter how hard you tempt me but please stop making false claims about things you have absolutely no experience or knowledge about. I'm guessing you don't realize that all trail work in Wilderness has to be done by hand. That would mean you could not use a chainsaw, backhoe, bulldozer, or any of that other machinery that your type seems so dependent on to maintain the trails.


    So, in summary you have very little experience with Wilderness trails, apparently don't even know the basic requirements of Wilderness, don't know of any Wilderness trails appropriate for bikes, acknowledge that there is little chance of getting bikes in Wilderness but yet you are still right, as always.

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  41. #41
    drunken pirate
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    Quote Originally Posted by wncbiker View Post
    It seems that the Big Pisgah Mtn tract is too small to be a candidate for wilderness designation. It seems that the FS generally look at tracts that are 5,000 acres or more for wilderness consideration. Looking at the Big Pisgah Mtn tract, at least on the map, seems to be considerably smaller.
    I believe it is only 1-2000 acres. Can Wilderness areas cross state highways? If so there is plenty more land across 281. Could part of the Nantahala be incorporated into a Big Pisgah Wilderness area? I don't know those answers so if you do please share (I do not pretend to know it all).

    I know there are existing Wilderness areas that are short of 5,000 acres, Bald River Gorge, for example.

    Either way, users are asking for more trails and more Class 1 trails and the Big Pisgah Tract is worthy of consideration. If/when the USFS suggests changing trail designations having suggestions for other areas to develop might not be a bad idea.
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    Thanks Woodman.

    I figured it would be something like that. Not to underestimate future expansion but if we're waiting on this congress to pass anything right now we might as well pull up chair and get a cold drink...it'll be a while.

    I saw those couple future planned expansion areas and freaked out a bit haha

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    I think in North Carolina NF land, at least as I remember it (and it may have change) there are a number of criteria a tract of land must meet before it can be a candidate for wilderness designation. The tract needs to be 5000 acres or more, or be located next to a current wilderness area; it needs to be included in the current roadless area inventory, and it needs to contain wilderness qualities. Again, I am going on memory and am paraphrasing. So, this would exclude any state designated road, or any road open to vehicles from passing through the area, although it seems you can have a road running through an area with a wilderness on each side ( highway 215 with Shining Rock and Middle Prong).

  44. #44
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    Quote Originally Posted by wncbiker View Post
    I think in North Carolina NF land, at least as I remember it (and it may have change) there are a number of criteria a tract of land must meet before it can be a candidate for wilderness designation. The tract needs to be 5000 acres or more, or be located next to a current wilderness area; it needs to be included in the current roadless area inventory, and it needs to contain wilderness qualities. Again, I am going on memory and am paraphrasing. So, this would exclude any state designated road, or any road open to vehicles from passing through the area, although it seems you can have a road running through an area with a wilderness on each side ( highway 215 with Shining Rock and Middle Prong).
    Interesting. And in that case it looks like the maps they published are indeed the only areas in the PRD that fit the criteria. Honestly, the Laurel Mtn. area would make a very sweet Wilderness Area. BUT I'm not sure that is the best way to manage that tract or the rest of the forest... We need more trails and more Class 1 trails. More Wilderness would be great but isn't going to solve the issues (heavy use) the forest faces alone.

    Wilderness is awesome. I really recommend mountain bikers, and all forest users, take the time to explore and discover our Wilderness Areas. (and not just the out and back to Shining Rock)
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  45. #45
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    Its hard balancing my wants for sweet mtn. bike trails and my want for empty Wilderness Areas to explore. Its hard to beat loading a pack with a few days of food, a tarp, and a sleeping bag and taking off for Fork and Green Mountain trails, and just cruising around Middle Prong. Bushwacking all around Birdstand Mtn., going out to random rock outcrops and small feeder creeks are great. Off trail is the way to go and it does something for me that riding doesnt. Its more spiritual at the risk of sounding cliche'. Its a really intimate way to experience our mountains.


    Id love to see more of that but not at the risk of losing my riding trails too. I f***ing love mountain biking and losing Laurel or TP would suck.

    Seems like the area west of 215 and north of MP would be a great addition. Dunno it that qualifies for "Wilderness".

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    Middle Prong Extension is listed in the proposed areas for inclusion into wilderness. There is some awesome backcountry like territory in there including some mtbing that is no longer available since Double Springs Gap road has been designated as a Linear Wildlife Clearing.

  47. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Banjopickin View Post
    Its hard balancing my wants for sweet mtn. bike trails and my want for empty Wilderness Areas to explore. Its hard to beat loading a pack with a few days of food, a tarp, and a sleeping bag and taking off for Fork and Green Mountain trails, and just cruising around Middle Prong. Bushwacking all around Birdstand Mtn., going out to random rock outcrops and small feeder creeks are great. Off trail is the way to go and it does something for me that riding doesnt. Its more spiritual at the risk of sounding cliche'. Its a really intimate way to experience our mountains.


    Id love to see more of that but not at the risk of losing my riding trails too. I f***ing love mountain biking and losing Laurel or TP would suck.

    Seems like the area west of 215 and north of MP would be a great addition. Dunno it that qualifies for "Wilderness".
    Nice post and well said.

    I think we need more of everything.

    More Wilderness.

    More technical and challenging multi-use trails.

    More easy, beginner trails.


    We don't need to lose anything else. [I would not consider a Laurel Mtn. Wilderness to be a loss. Wilderness inherently protects and saves the land.]


    Tomorrow I will be as deep into Shining Rock as I can get. Sunday I might hike Andy Cove and go to Sliding Rock
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  48. #48
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    You are correct there are designated Wilderness areas smaller than 5,000 acres including Bald River (3,700 or so acres). But push back from those opposed (which is a really large camp of folks) help the FS here settle in on the 5,000 acre threshold. Area must be inventoried as Roadless but can have Class 1 roads (never maintained) up to a certain density. Keep in mind, almost all Wilderness areas and Roadless areas in NC have old roads or rail grades. There is a difference between an old RR grade or timber extraction road and something in the current FS inventory as a road. Other criteria was no logging activity in the area for over 20 years.

    No, a state road can not bisect a wilderness area, but you can have 2 different Wilderness areas (if both on either side of the road meet the rest of the criteria including the 5,000 acre rule). From a mountain bike perspective, bike advocates often advocate for "cherry stemming" meaning keeping an important trail open to bikes with Wilderness on either side of the trail (different Wilderness areas often). That is a strategy that works out west where there are large roadless areas in many places with trails running through that currently have bikes.

    There is this one goofy Wilderness area in AL that has Wilderness on both sides of the road and then a parking lot and gate and Wilderness bridges that gap. I visited when working on a FS trail assessment (25 mike horse trail system) on the Bankhead NF several years ago. On the other side of the gate and in the Wilderness area, a giant concrete bridge and the old county road continuing (broken asphalt). In my opinion (and many others) this is very contrived Wilderness and why so many folks get turned off of the designation. Wilderness is supposed to be areas untrammeled by man. I visited a Wilderness area east of Bend OR last year (Badlands Wilderness) and there were roads all over the place and full on trash dumps (old metal parts, cans etc) in the Wilderness. Again, very contrived.

    I am not at all convinced true Wilderness exists in NC. I was in Shining Rock recently and it was far from a Wilderness experience. Way too many people, and the impact was huge. Worst trails on the PRD.

    That being said, folks may have a wilderness (small w) experience in places that are not designated Wilderness (big W). It all depends on thresholds and perspectives. I have spent a ton of time in the woods since the early 70s and thus my threshold for what is a wilderness experience is pretty high. Some one from the city who has spent very little time in the woods will have a much lower expectation.

    As far as bikes in Wilderness (Big W) is concerned, there are indeed many trails in NC Wilderness that would easily accommodate bikes. One example: from Ivestor Gap out to Shining Rock Gap. After all it is the same old rail grade as the one to Ivestor. In fact I rode that back in the late 80s before No Biking signs got posted. Many other examples. It is however a non starter, and a waste of time to advocate for. That being said, Congress can write into a Wilderness Bill anything it wants to and has a history of recognizing historic use. There is a Wilderness area that allows motor boats, a Wilderness Area in Alaska that allows float planes and many other examples.

    And as far as bikes being "mechanized travel", many forms of machines are allow in Wilderness. Guns are clearly a machine and allowed all day. Compound Bows used for hunting, pully and wheels all day long. Shock absorbing hiking poles, good to go. Mechanical ascenders used in climbing (and climbing cams for protection), no worries.
    Just not bikes (and hand gliders). Cell phones OK, and GPS units (which send a signal into outer space and back) are fine.

    Congress did not outlaw bikes in Wilderness in the 1964 W Act nor did they in the 1975 Eastern Wilderness Act. The FS made that ruling much later and in an arbitrary way. San Fran Attorney studied this and wrote a position paper highlighting in his opinion that Congress did not at all intend to outlaw bikes. There is a lot in the W Bill about self reliance and fitness challenges and riding a bike on a trail certainly fits that.

    Many support Wilderness designations for the no logging aspect. I support less logging in our area and even no logging in many areas. I have been fighting that battle for over 30 years. My first real trail project was back in 1986 rebuilding a section of the Mountains to Sea Trail wiped out by the building of a logging road and big timber sale over on the Grandfather District. There are however many other designations that do allow for mountain bikes and chainsaws and trail relocation but don't allow for logging. Examples include National Scenic Areas or National Conservation Areas. Pushing for these alternative designations is a good strategy for bike advocates.
    Last edited by Woodman; 06-13-2014 at 06:00 PM.

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    Mountain bikes are completely compatible with Wilderness. If a horse can stomp holes and crap all over the place, bikes will hardly be noticed. Moreover, the Wilderness Coalition's position with respect to mountain bikes is outrageous. The hikers and horses always expect mountain bikers to support Forest related causes other than wilderness, but when wilderness is proposed, they gang-up against the bikers.

    The Wilderness Coalition claims wilderness designation protects against logging, mining, drilling . . . whatever. But the idea of kicking-out a legitimate user group (that actually cares about trail maintenance and trails) so unrelated parties cannot develop or exploit is total BS. Mountain bikers are a legitimate user group and should be allowed in Wilderness. If IMBA can't see that . . . the organization needs to rethink its priorities. NC is the perfect state to attack current wilderness policy. If more wilderness is desired, it should allow mountain bikes. End of story!

    The Wilderness Coalition depends on mountain biker apathy, division and defeatism to achieve its ends.

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    Good perspective Woodman,

    I actively use both our S. Pisgah district riding trails and the hiking only trails both in and out of Wilderness areas. Backcountry off trail travel, mountain biking, and fly fishing are my big 3. Im not trying to prevent or promote how and where bikes can go. Im 110% for new trail for bikes but at the same time there is a need for land set aside for only foot travel. I wouldnt want to see bikes or horses being allowed in areas like Shining Rock or Middle Prong. I go to those places to escape the crowds(not at Shining Rock haha) and seek quiet reflection in nature. That sounds really hippy I know but its nice to have land to do that in.

    I dont think horses or bikes should be allowed in Wilderness and to my knowledge they arent in NC. It is a shame that all the folks that have a vested interest in forest lands cant come to a consensus and find middle ground on how best to enjoy our forest.

    There is so much good that could come from a beneficial and mutual partnership. Just the other day I saw that a horseback riding club went out and cut some dead fall off of Squirrel. That is a huge help to everyone who uses that trail. I dont think any mtn. bikers would've lugged a saw out there and done that.

    Im not "in the loop" but has there ever been an effort put toward fostering and building relationships with other user groups/clubs?

    I probably already know the answer to that haha

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