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  1. #1
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    Help Save Central Montana Mountain Biking

    Help us save mountain biking in Central Montana. The Helena/Lewis and Clark National Forest is taking comments. Post your comments and show your support. Thanks

    Go here: Helena National Forest - Planning

    Comment here:https://my.usgs.gov/ppgis/studio/launch/59310


    Help Save Central Montana Mountain Biking-crystal-lake-6-13-11-031.jpgHelp Save Central Montana Mountain Biking-pug-w-m.jpgHelp Save Central Montana Mountain Biking-silver_gulch_june_07_011-1.jpgHelp Save Central Montana Mountain Biking-009.jpg

  2. #2
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    Ugh, sorry to see your area being hit with the wilderness designation too. Idaho lost a lot of great riding the past year because of it.

  3. #3
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    Can someone post a summary of what MTB trails are in these areas? I'm willing to write letters but aside from the CDT I have no knowledge of what is up there.

    Unfortunately all National Forests will be undergoing this wilderness inventory process under the 2012 planning rule. It doesn't mean all the areas in light green are proposed for wilderness recommendation, just that they have been identified as having wilderness characteristics. Typically these are the exact places MTBers value most, just like other trail users. So it is very important to get as many people writing in comments now that let the USFS know what areas are important to us, so they do not get recommended for wilderness.

  4. #4
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    Thanks for bringing this matter to my attention. I will DEFINITELY be writing comments. I have been riding and otherwise recreating in most of these areas for 30+ years (my whole life, basically). I am a 5th-generation Montanan -- my relatives helped build some of the trails and routes in that area.

    I cannot support ANY more wilderness designation in this state as 'wilderness' is currently defined. I will do what I can to voice my opinions, but this has gotten out of hand. Some of the areas listed RARELY even see a mountain biker. One of my favorite trails -- period -- looks to be on the chopping block for mountain bikers. I have never seen another SOUL on that trail. Where, I ask, is the problem?

    If need be, I'll happily go to jail for riding my bike, if that's what it comes to.
    Fat bikes: The Bike Industry's best practical joke on the consumer yet!

  5. #5
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    Thanks for your support guys.

    Yeah it was sad to hear about Idaho getting hit last year with Wilderness.

    I'll list some notes about my area and where I mostly ride. I'm from Lewistown so I mostly ride on the eastern side of these National Forests. Someone from Helena or Great Falls may be able to chime in about the trails on the Rocky Mountain Front, Helena area and Big Belt mountains which I am not as familiar with.

    Big Snowies
    -Ice cave trail-called one of the best trails in montana
    -lost peak trail-eastern big snowies amazing ride
    -uhlhorn trail-trail across the ridge of the snowies

    Little Belts
    -Dry wolf trails
    -pilgrim creek
    -jefferson creek
    -lost fork of the judith
    -middle fork of the judith
    -south fork of the judith
    -miles and miles of others too many to list

    Highwoods
    -pretty much every trail in the range is amazing
    Last edited by montanabiker; 1 Week Ago at 02:49 PM.

  6. #6
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    Damn! The inventory under consideration is a shade over 1.3 million acres, roughly the size of Delaware!

  7. #7
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    So far the majority of comments are against wilderness (no surprise)

    https://my.usgs.gov/ppgis/report/pub...9310?showall=1

  8. #8
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    I'm in favor of both Wilderness and mountain biking. I think we need to lobby for permission to ride bikes in wilderness areas. The ban is based on the term "mechanized travel" which is a stretch to say bikes are 'mechanized travel'. Horses are allowed in Wilderness areas and they cause a lot more trail erosion than bikes do.

  9. #9
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    That is true.
    Unfortunately equestrian and hiking groups are much larger in #'s and many prefer to keep bikes out. It will be a tough fight. Hopefully IMBA helps to fight, along with STC which is going through the political side of it.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by evdog View Post
    Unfortunately all National Forests will be undergoing this wilderness inventory process under the 2012 planning rule. It doesn't mean all the areas in light green are proposed for wilderness recommendation, just that they have been identified as having wilderness characteristics. Typically these are the exact places MTBers value most, just like other trail users. So it is very important to get as many people writing in comments now that let the USFS know what areas are important to us, so they do not get recommended for wilderness.
    I think it's important that everyone understands this. This is NOT the same as what happened in Idaho (new Wilderness created by legislation) or in the Bitterroot (decision by Forester to manage WSA as Wilderness).

    Unfortunately, the trend in R1 to manage WSAs and recommended Wilderness areas as though they are Wilderness means that we can lose access if the forest decides they should be recommended areas. That's why it's important to document MTB use and provide comments. Those comments will be more valuable coming from people who understand what this process actually is.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Shark View Post
    That is true.
    Unfortunately equestrian and hiking groups are much larger in #'s and many prefer to keep bikes out. It will be a tough fight. Hopefully IMBA helps to fight, along with STC which is going through the political side of it.
    You, know, I'm not even sure that's true, at least of equestrians. Hikers, yes. I think if you looked at "trail user-days," mountain bikers may even turn out to be the most frequent users in some areas. But I'd say there are now more mountain bikers than equestrians. But the eq.'s have more money, typically; and unfortunately that's how our country runs these days.
    Fat bikes: The Bike Industry's best practical joke on the consumer yet!

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by cookieMonster View Post
    You, know, I'm not even sure that's true, at least of equestrians. Hikers, yes. I think if you looked at "trail user-days," mountain bikers may even turn out to be the most frequent users in some areas. But I'd say there are now more mountain bikers than equestrians. But the eq.'s have more money, typically; and unfortunately that's how our country runs these days.
    I didn't mean actual trail users. I meant the groups that show up at meetings, lobby for or against access etc.

    IMBA members vs Sierra club #'s.

    We are nowhere close.

  13. #13
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    Gotcha. You're right. I wish it weren't true...
    Fat bikes: The Bike Industry's best practical joke on the consumer yet!

  14. #14
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    I've ridden bikes and horses all my life, but I identify as a cyclist.
    My wife is an equestrian and we live in a very horsey area.
    There are many more MTBr's, than equestrians. Millions more.
    Mtbr's are much more anti-equestrian, than equestrians are anti-mtb.
    Equestrians feel that if they let MTB's in, then MTBr's will just turn around and try to ban them. From what I've seen, they're probably right.

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low Pressure View Post
    Mtbr's are much more anti-equestrian, than equestrians are anti-mtb.
    Equestrians feel that if they let MTB's in, then MTBr's will just turn around and try to ban them. From what I've seen, they're probably right.
    That might be the case in places where people use the word "equestrian." Where there are horsemen and horsewomen, interactions tend to be much more chill. That's been my experience in Montana. Where I live, cyclists have pretty good relationships with the Backcountry Horsemen, even doing some joint trail work weekends.
    "Back off, man. I'm a scientist." - Dr. Peter Venkman

    Riding in Helena? Everything you need to know, right here.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by Low Pressure View Post
    I've ridden bikes and horses all my life, but I identify as a cyclist.
    My wife is an equestrian and we live in a very horsey area.
    There are many more MTBr's, than equestrians. Millions more.
    Mtbr's are much more anti-equestrian, than equestrians are anti-mtb.
    Equestrians feel that if they let MTB's in, then MTBr's will just turn around and try to ban them. From what I've seen, they're probably right.
    That sounds like a very unjustified fear. AFAIK, MTBer's have never attempted to ban anyone from trails.

    I think that the only place where horses are banned are in parks specifically developed for MTB use.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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