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  1. #1
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    Caution;  Merge;  Workers Ahead! Big news: Feds to consider allowing bikes on PCT

    For the last two to three years a small group of us has been working to get mountain bike access to non-Wilderness sections of the Pacific Crest Trail. (About 60% of the PCT lies outside Wilderness.)

    We have convinced the Forest Service that its 1988 closure order requires reconsideration.

    As a result, the Forest Service is going to begin a rulemaking procedure, probably in March of 2013, to consider making the non-Wilderness parts of the PCT multiuse. This will involve public notice and comment.

    When something similar happened with the Continental Divide Trail about four years ago, the Forest Service received about 8000 comments. The PCT reconsideration can be expected to generate even more controversy.

    If the Forest Service decides to keep bikes off the Pacific Crest Trail, we can expect that closure to stay in place for the rest of our lives and maybe those of our children. If the Forest Service decides to open it, it will be revolutionary.

    Stay tuned. We'll be looking for your help in coming months.

  2. #2
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    Well, consider me subscribed.

  3. #3
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    Thanks, Kyle509. A lot of places would have exciting, even epic, new riding options. We appreciate your early support.

    Here's what you can do now if you're interested. If you belong to any mountain bike organization, let it know that you support this initiative and ask it to support it as well. Much political maneuvering tends to occur when something of this magnitude appears, and some mtb groups might be hesitant about supporting PCT access (because of a relationship with a particular Forest Service office or employee, for example). There's nothing to worry about. If this goes through, it'll mean that the Forest Service wanted to do it. But change can make people nervous.

  4. #4
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    Revolutionary indeed

  5. #5
    007
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    Holy crap. I've never even heard of the PCT until now, and I tell you what . . . it looks pretty amazing. I'm interested in how this unfolds and certainly support its movement.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  6. #6
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    I'm in! But that trail goes through some very tree hugging happy hikers that want the whole thing to themselves, and they wont let go easily. It's going to be an interesting fight.

  7. #7
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    What an exciting development! A bunch of that non-wilderness trail ain't so scenic either, at least the parts around here! There would be a lot more volunteers for trail work if the FS opened the PCT to bikes too!

  8. #8
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    Horses can use the PCT, it
    isn't just for hikers.

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    For the last two to three years a small group of us has been working to get mountain bike access to non-Wilderness sections of the Pacific Crest Trail. (About 60% of the PCT lies outside Wilderness.)



    We have convinced the Forest Service that its 1988 closure order requires reconsideration.

    As a result, the Forest Service is going to begin a rulemaking procedure, probably in March of 2013, to consider making the non-Wilderness parts of the PCT multiuse. This will involve public notice and comment.

    When something similar happened with the Continental Divide Trail about four years ago, the Forest Service received about 8000 comments. The PCT reconsideration can be expected to generate even more controversy.

    If the Forest Service decides to keep bikes off the Pacific Crest Trail, we can expect that closure to stay in place for the rest of our lives and maybe those of our children. If the Forest Service decides to open it, it will be revolutionary.

    Stay tuned. We'll be looking for your help in coming months.
    WOW very nice

  10. #10
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    I've looked at the PCT site a few times over several years. If you search mountain biking on the site you'll find extremely negative anit-bicycle LIES on the site posted by a trail somebody. This will be a battle that will take MANY of us to counter the BS but WE CAN WIN with our VOTES and COMMENTS, DO IT!!!
    This trail is thousands of miles long, lots to see.
    agmtb

  11. #11
    I didn't do it
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    This is very exciting news. If this happens then I would say this would be one of the more significant access breakthroughs in years. Is there a website with info that we can tap into?

  12. #12
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    Hi, nwbikur Thanks! We don't have a website and we should. I hadn't thought of that and no one else in our group has mentioned it. Do you know of anyone with the expertise to create one? (Free hosting would also be great, but I don't know if that's feasible.)

  13. #13
    Ovaries on the Outside
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    I rolled through about 4 miles of the PCT near Waldo Lake on accident a month ago. I'd love to do it again without the mild accompanying guilt.

  14. #14
    007
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    Agreed on the website. I don't know the first thing about building a webpage so I'm useless in that regard.

    Edit: How about this: Change.org
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  15. #15
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    Hopefully they'll look at the Colorado Trail as an example of how well bikes/peds/horses can get along. Many ago, I did some work on the PCT as part of a professional crew. It sure would be nice to ride it someday!

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by John Kuhl View Post
    Horses can use the PCT, it
    isn't just for hikers.
    This is a key argument point. All studies to date have indicated that horses have more, or at least the same, impact as mountain bikes.
    "Got everything you need?"

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    Hi, nwbikur Thanks! We don't have a website and we should. I hadn't thought of that and no one else in our group has mentioned it. Do you know of anyone with the expertise to create one? (Free hosting would also be great, but I don't know if that's feasible.)
    Quote Originally Posted by OO7 View Post
    Agreed on the website. I don't know the first thing about building a webpage so I'm useless in that regard.

    Edit: How about this: Change.org
    I don't have any expertise either but maybe somebody could jump in and lend a hand now that the word is out.

    It seems like something like this might take some coordination so having a website seems like a good start. We're going to be up against some stiff and very organized opposition on this. Anything that could unite the various local trail advocacy groups would be essential. I'm sure there will come a time when public comment will be needed so the website might be good for making announcements like this as well.

    Exciting stuff ahead!!

  18. #18
    007
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    The Change.org petitions look very simple. I think the important part of it will be a) getting the correct information on the petition and b) getting the word out. I think it will not be hard to garner "support" or signatures from a large volume of MTBers based on this site and all the local boards that the trail will affect.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  19. #19
    007
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    Glad to see this Stickied . . . now lets get started with a petition. In case you can't tell, I'm pretty motivated about this.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  20. #20
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    I'm in.. huge hiker myself but also always willing and glad to share the trails. If I am on my bike I slow down and say hi to hikers or equestrian folks. If I am hiking I move out of the way as much as I can. I don't get all the hate. The PCT should be open to all.. I was just on a portion of it last month and it is amazing. I bet you.. no I guarantee you more maintenance would be done by the MTBers.

    Don't look down here...

  21. #21
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    Thanks to everyone who's expressed interest or is offering to help. It might be a while before we ask for anything. Following suggestions on various mtbr threads (I've posted this news on 5 Pacific or Nevada regional forums plus the Passion forum), I realize we should create a Facebook page. I'll be working on that and report back.

    007, your enthusiasm is most welcome! The idea of a petition makes sense. It can't hurt, even though the Forest Service will be asking for everyone's input when the decision-making process gets going, hopefully in just five months. If you'd like to work with me on designing one, please send me a private message.

    There are two other things that you can and others can do now if you have time and motivation:

    The first is to contact the sports editor of your local newspaper and ask him/her to write a story about this. There's been some great sports coverage about mountain biking access in the past:

    Sandsberry: Mountain bikers belong in the Wilderness : Sports Yakima

    The second very helpful thing would be to contact one board member (assuming that's all you have time for) of the Pacific Crest Trail Association (Pacific Crest Trail Association - Home) and talk with him/her about the value of including mountain bikers in the PCT trail community. The PCTA is conservative; the staff are opposed to bicycles on the trail, and that is the group's official policy. But it's the PCTA board that sets the policy. Some of the board members might be willing to change the policy. Here's a link to the board members:

    Pacific Crest Trail Association

  22. #22
    007
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    Thanks to everyone who's expressed interest or is offering to help. It might be a while before we ask for anything. Following suggestions on various mtbr threads (I've posted this news on 5 Pacific or Nevada regional forums plus the Passion forum), I realize we should create a Facebook page. I'll be working on that and report back.

    007, your enthusiasm is most welcome! The idea of a petition makes sense. It can't hurt, even though the Forest Service will be asking for everyone's input when the decision-making process gets going, hopefully in just five months. If you'd like to work with me on designing one, please send me a private message.

    There are two other things that you can and others can do now if you have time and motivation:

    The first is to contact the sports editor of your local newspaper and ask him/her to write a story about this. There's been some great sports coverage about mountain biking access in the past:

    Sandsberry: Mountain bikers belong in the Wilderness : Sports Yakima

    The second very helpful thing would be to contact one board member (assuming that's all you have time for) of the Pacific Crest Trail Association (Pacific Crest Trail Association - Home) and talk with him/her about the value of including mountain bikers in the PCT trail community. The PCTA is conservative; the staff are opposed to bicycles on the trail, and that is the group's official policy. But it's the PCTA board that sets the policy. Some of the board members might be willing to change the policy. Here's a link to the board members:

    Pacific Crest Trail Association
    PM Sent. I think the value in a petition is that it can provide an indication to legislators of the extent of interest surrounding this topic. Even though its you are correct that the actual decision making will involve input from multiple sources, this can be one loud voice if we get enough people on board. It would SUCK to see the opposition come to the table with a few thousand signatures if we weren't prepared.
    Alcohol may lead nowhere, but it sure is the scenic route!

  23. #23
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    I agree with that, and we appreciate your help on getting the petition going.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoHeadsBrewing View Post
    This is a key argument point. All studies to date have indicated that horses have more, or at least the same, impact as mountain bikes.
    Horse impact around 10x that of a mountain bike and a hiker as equal to a mountain bike.
    agmtb

  25. #25
    bt
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    I know a section moto guys thrash often

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