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  1. #1
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    Hatchet piece by Outside Magazine on MTBs in Wilderness

    https://www.outsideonline.com/216540...kes-wilderness

    This appears to be written by someone who is very anti-mountain bikes.

  2. #2
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    This dumbass has no clue. This doesn't have anything to do with the new administration and the argument in support of mountain biking in Wilderness areas started long before.

    Sent from my MotoG3 using Tapatalk

  3. #3
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    I also think there is some misinformation or at least a number of half truths in the commentary.

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    Quote Originally Posted by TheNormsk View Post
    I also think there is some misinformation or at least a number of half truths in the commentary.
    Yeah, it wasn't a well-researched piece.

    I do see the arguments he has regarding the bill's sponsors in congress. They ARE pretty much running the whole debate on selling off public lands. I also feel like they probably have ulterior motives for sponsoring the bill. But with that said, the way he approaches it shows that he didn't do much research into the issue. I think it's more of a case of "strange bedfellows" than anything. What I do feel is that due to WHO the sponsors are and what their known motives are, the bill is unlikely to gain widespread traction. IMO, to pass, it needs the support of far less controversial politicians, and far more moderate ones on both sides of the aisle.

    The way the author approaches the other topics also points to the poor research done for the piece, and supports the OP here in thinking that this person was already strongly anti-mtb in Wilderness (though I would hesitate to say anti-bike, since the author has done multiple pieces on different aspects of mtb for Outside). The author has also done several political pieces for Outside, so I think that's a big influence on the tone of this article.

  5. #5
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    If you didn't notice, there is a "Counter Argument" link down the page, just before #3.
    "I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by." -Douglas Adams.

  6. #6
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    Hatchet piece by Outside Magazine on MTBs in Wilderness

    Quote Originally Posted by chazpat View Post
    If you didn't notice, there is a "Counter Argument" link down the page, just before #3.
    Yes, but the counter argument is dated from 2010.

    I would be more open to the reasons against if there was a counter 5 points for mountain bikes in wilderness with the current political proposals. Then I would feel as if this was a balanced article.
    Last edited by TheNormsk; 04-02-2017 at 09:30 PM.

  7. #7
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    Hatchet piece by Outside Magazine on MTBs in Wilderness

    Another card carrying member of the Mountain Bikers Against Mountain Biking Association
    Last edited by Empty_Beer; 04-01-2017 at 05:17 AM.

  8. #8
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    I haven't had time to thoroughly research both sides of this issue myself, so I'd be interested in hearing (if anyone's inclined to do it) a rebuttal by someone knowledgeable here to the 5 points in the article.

    For example, my gut tells me that the basic point made in the article (point 2) that MTBers have more than enough places to ride already is true. Just yesterday I went for a ride at Horse Ridge in Central Oregon. 30+ miles of fantastic riding, and I didn't see a single other biker there in 2 hours—on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

    For me personally, the bottom line is: do I have plenty of places to ride? My own answer is to laugh and say "Umm...I couldn't ride even half of everywhere there is to ride around here." Before living in Oregon, I lived in West Virginia—and I would have said exactly the same thing there.

    So this makes it difficult for me—as a mountain biker—to understand why some in the community are pushing to amend what I (and many others) consider to be an almost sacred act.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I don't think wilderness areas are broken. I'm totally fine with no bikes in wilderness areas.

    Scott
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  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    that MTBers have more than enough places to ride already
    If you're interested, I suggest you look into the loss of trails for mountain bikers from the Mt. Hood wilderness and talk to the COTA old timers about it. Or look into what's proposed by Oregon Wild (who was behind the Mt. Hood wilderness establishment) and how it will affect trails that we ride. In many cases these are also trails that we maintain.

    Or spend some time on trails that are used by horses (which are allowed in wilderness) and then work through the cognitive dissonance.

    Or look at the wilderness study areas where you ride. Like Hardesty.

    Or watch this.

  10. #10
    zrm
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    Hatchet job or just a point of view that you don't agree with?

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    I haven't had time to thoroughly research both sides of this issue myself, so I'd be interested in hearing (if anyone's inclined to do it) a rebuttal by someone knowledgeable here to the 5 points in the article.

    For example, my gut tells me that the basic point made in the article (point 2) that MTBers have more than enough places to ride already is true. Just yesterday I went for a ride at Horse Ridge in Central Oregon. 30+ miles of fantastic riding, and I didn't see a single other biker there in 2 hours—on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

    For me personally, the bottom line is: do I have plenty of places to ride? My own answer is to laugh and say "Umm...I couldn't ride even half of everywhere there is to ride around here." Before living in Oregon, I lived in West Virginia—and I would have said exactly the same thing there.

    So this makes it difficult for me—as a mountain biker—to understand why some in the community are pushing to amend what I (and many others) consider to be an almost sacred act.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I don't think wilderness areas are broken. I'm totally fine with no bikes in wilderness areas.

    Scott
    Are you fine with bulldozers in Wilderness areas? Because that's how the Boulder-Whitecloud debacle went down.

    #2 is the point I disagree with most strongly, because we are losing access right and left. I live and ride in Montana, where we have a lot of large, intact USFS parcels. Anything greater than 5,000 acres is considered for Wilderness under the 2012 forest planning rule. If a Forest decides to proceed with the recommendation, they'll then exclude uses that don't conform with Wilderness, effectively managing it as Wilderness. Loss of access. Public comment ended last Friday on the local forest plan revision, and there are several fantastic rides on the chopping block. We've lost quite a few in the last five years, and more are pending with the current round of plan revisions.

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    There's one thing that I don't see brought up enough. This was admitted to me by a staunch Wilderness advocate and admitted grumpy hiker. Many Wilderness advocates use Wilderness designations SOLELY to exclude mountain bikes from trails that they love to hike.

    They have lost many other battles regarding mtb use, and Wilderness designation is one weapon that they still have. It may not wind up in any local media, or in the Wilderness proposal itself, but it's there, lurking behind the scenes. The concept of Wilderness has pretty wide support as it is, and as soon as there is a public admission that many advocates just want bikes off of the trails, they'll lose a lot of support.

    I also think that a lot of Wilderness designations don't quite fit. I lived in East TX for a number of years, and went hiking in a Wilderness area nearby. The piece of land had old homesteads on it, the "trails" were old county roads that weren't even all that grown over. There was even STILL trash from when people lived there. Unwound 8 track tapes with the ribbon blowing in the wind. IMO, there was nothing there that warranted Wilderness designation. Some other designation would have fit better, and allowed the land managers a bit more flexibility with removing the lasting impacts of people living there fewer than 100yrs ago.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    I haven't had time to thoroughly research both sides of this issue myself, so I'd be interested in hearing (if anyone's inclined to do it) a rebuttal by someone knowledgeable here to the 5 points in the article.

    For example, my gut tells me that the basic point made in the article (point 2) that MTBers have more than enough places to ride already is true. Just yesterday I went for a ride at Horse Ridge in Central Oregon. 30+ miles of fantastic riding, and I didn't see a single other biker there in 2 hours—on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

    For me personally, the bottom line is: do I have plenty of places to ride? My own answer is to laugh and say "Umm...I couldn't ride even half of everywhere there is to ride around here." Before living in Oregon, I lived in West Virginia—and I would have said exactly the same thing there.

    So this makes it difficult for me—as a mountain biker—to understand why some in the community are pushing to amend what I (and many others) consider to be an almost sacred act.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I don't think wilderness areas are broken. I'm totally fine with no bikes in wilderness areas.

    Scott
    Not everyone has trail excesses and many are losing lots of trails. The whole argument is due to the misuse of the term , mechanized transport. Please research. Can't use chainsaws or wheelbarrows either? How is one supposed to maintain the trails. They just disappear. Back to the forest. So sad.

  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    There's one thing that I don't see brought up enough. This was admitted to me by a staunch Wilderness advocate and admitted grumpy hiker. Many Wilderness advocates use Wilderness designations SOLELY to exclude mountain bikes from trails that they love to hike.

    They have lost many other battles regarding mtb use, and Wilderness designation is one weapon that they still have. It may not wind up in any local media, or in the Wilderness proposal itself, but it's there, lurking behind the scenes. The concept of Wilderness has pretty wide support as it is, and as soon as there is a public admission that many advocates just want bikes off of the trails, they'll lose a lot of support.

    I also think that a lot of Wilderness designations don't quite fit. I lived in East TX for a number of years, and went hiking in a Wilderness area nearby. The piece of land had old homesteads on it, the "trails" were old county roads that weren't even all that grown over. There was even STILL trash from when people lived there. Unwound 8 track tapes with the ribbon blowing in the wind. IMO, there was nothing there that warranted Wilderness designation. Some other designation would have fit better, and allowed the land managers a bit more flexibility with removing the lasting impacts of people living there fewer than 100yrs ago.
    I have two wilderness areas near me. One was designated wilderness in the early 70s and the other a little bit later. Both had some old mining and logging roads in them. Both had some structures. In the years since the designation, those roads have become singletrack and those structures have bit by bit returned to the earth. The Wilderness act takes the long view on things and it actually doesn't take very long for nature to take back it's own.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I have two wilderness areas near me. One was designated wilderness in the early 70s and the other a little bit later. Both had some old mining and logging roads in them. Both had some structures. In the years since the designation, those roads have become singletrack and those structures have bit by bit returned to the earth. The Wilderness act takes the long view on things and it actually doesn't take very long for nature to take back it's own.
    That evidence will never be gone entirely. Plant and animal communities will be visibly affected by that former human habitation for MANY human generations. IMO the current interpretation of the Wilderness Act places unwarranted emphasis on conditions that don't exist anymore, and never will.

    You don't get new people interested in supporting conservation by placing lots of limits on who is able to go out and visit protected places. That, I think, is a far more important issue to be considering as more and more land gets managed as Wilderness (whether it is a dedicated Wilderness in fact or managed as Wilderness by default) as our population continues to increase.

  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    For example, my gut tells me that the basic point made in the article (point 2) that MTBers have more than enough places to ride already is true.
    Mountain bikers have more than enough places to ride according to who? Sierra club? Hikers that don't want to share the trail? Equestrians?

    Unilaterally deciding what is "more than enough" for another user group without allowing them to have a voice and a seat at the table in the discussion, isn't acceptable.

    If mountain bikes were allowed access to all trails outside of wilderness areas that hikers have access do, then maybe I'd tend to agree that we have "more than enough" places to ride. Maybe if I started seeing "No Hiking" signs on trails built and maintained by mountain bikers, my opinion would be different.

    Maybe if the same groups that want to shut out mountain bikes from wilderness areas didn't advocate banning bikes from every other type of land from national forest to city parks, I'd be more willing to accept that position.

    Have you forgotten the post you made in the Oregon forum complaining about there not being anyplace close enough to ride your bike after work? Didn't seem like you felt there were more than enough places to ride then.

    To be honest, I don't have a strong desire to ride my bike in wilderness. Most of the wilderness areas I've backpacked in would have been pretty awful to ride (lot of hike-a-bike).

    I'd much rather see the effort put into maintaining and developing non-wilderness riding opportunities. That is where my $$ and sweat equity have and will continue to go.

    However, the differentiator for me is when areas that have a long track record of mountain bike use are closed down to riding because they are designated as proposed wilderness areas or wilderness study areas and then managed as wilderness.

    If Oregon Wild's proposal to create the massive Crater Lake Wilderness goes through we will lose hundreds more miles of trail (just like at Mt Hood), including most of the North Umpqua trail. That is one of the best rides anywhere.

    We lose that, and there certainly won't be "more than enough places to ride" left.

  17. #17
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    Thanks for the good replies—I'd like to learn as much as I can about this (in the limited time I have).

    @twd953: you're right about me griping that there weren't any good places to ride near me—but I think I was talking about right in town (or on the edge of town), e.g. places I could get in a quick 45-min ride after work or during my lunch hour. I've pretty much accepted that this won't be a reality for a long time in my town or many others. But if I'm willing to drive 30+ minutes, sure—there are hundreds of miles of riding.

    Others mentioned...
    • places where people rode for years that were recently designated wilderness
    • places (Montana and the Mt. Hood area in Oregon) where riding has been taken away
    • places that aren't even remotely "wilderness" that were still designated as such

    These all seem like reasonable issues to be unhappy about! But this clearly isn't the case everywhere—and that's part of the problem wth the Wilderness Act—it's all or nothing (and I get why some think it shouldn't be—e.g. more local flexibility).

    I'm only speaking for myself—for me, it comes down to "areas off-limits to bikes" versus "available miles of legal riding"—the point being I don't think you can look at one without looking at the other—as well as how crowded the legal areas are?

    I know those in opposition of bikes in wilderness use the slippery slope argument—which admittedly isn't very good as it can't be proven. But the reason that argument continues to have traction is because it can't be proven that access by motorized vehicles in wilderness won't come next. you can talk all you want about human-powered versus motor-powered...but it still doesn't prove that motors won't ever be allowed.

    Scott
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  18. #18
    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    That evidence will never be gone entirely. Plant and animal communities will be visibly affected by that former human habitation for MANY human generations. IMO the current interpretation of the Wilderness Act places unwarranted emphasis on conditions that don't exist anymore, and never will.

    You don't get new people interested in supporting conservation by placing lots of limits on who is able to go out and visit protected places. That, I think, is a far more important issue to be considering as more and more land gets managed as Wilderness (whether it is a dedicated Wilderness in fact or managed as Wilderness by default) as our population continues to increase.
    I suppose if you're talking about large scale industrial mining with large scale pollution, land disturbance, then yes, the impacts last for generations and maybe you know something I don't but as far as I know, places like that aren't being included in wilderness proposals. Things like cabins, dirt roads, etc are actually reclaimed by natural processes fairly quickly.

    As to your second point who is going there isn't being limited. Howthey travel is. It seems many people don't want to admit that distinction. I ski and occasionally hike/climb in wilderness. Even though mountain biking is my preferred form of recreation and it's what I spend the vast majority of my time doing, I don't for a second say to myself "I can't access lands under the wilderness act. The truth is I simply can't ride my bike there".

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    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    I haven't had time to thoroughly research both sides of this issue myself, so I'd be interested in hearing (if anyone's inclined to do it) a rebuttal by someone knowledgeable here to the 5 points in the article.

    For example, my gut tells me that the basic point made in the article (point 2) that MTBers have more than enough places to ride already is true. Just yesterday I went for a ride at Horse Ridge in Central Oregon. 30+ miles of fantastic riding, and I didn't see a single other biker there in 2 hours—on a sunny Sunday afternoon.

    For me personally, the bottom line is: do I have plenty of places to ride? My own answer is to laugh and say "Umm...I couldn't ride even half of everywhere there is to ride around here." Before living in Oregon, I lived in West Virginia—and I would have said exactly the same thing there.

    So this makes it difficult for me—as a mountain biker—to understand why some in the community are pushing to amend what I (and many others) consider to be an almost sacred act.

    If it ain't broke, don't fix it. I don't think wilderness areas are broken. I'm totally fine with no bikes in wilderness areas.

    Scott
    Quote Originally Posted by SWriverstone View Post
    Thanks for the good replies—I'd like to learn as much as I can about this (in the limited time I have).

    @twd953: you're right about me griping that there weren't any good places to ride near me—but I think I was talking about right in town (or on the edge of town), e.g. places I could get in a quick 45-min ride after work or during my lunch hour. I've pretty much accepted that this won't be a reality for a long time in my town or many others. But if I'm willing to drive 30+ minutes, sure—there are hundreds of miles of riding.

    Others mentioned...
    • places where people rode for years that were recently designated wilderness
    • places (Montana and the Mt. Hood area in Oregon) where riding has been taken away
    • places that aren't even remotely "wilderness" that were still designated as such

    These all seem like reasonable issues to be unhappy about! But this clearly isn't the case everywhere—and that's part of the problem wth the Wilderness Act—it's all or nothing (and I get why some think it shouldn't be—e.g. more local flexibility).

    I'm only speaking for myself—for me, it comes down to "areas off-limits to bikes" versus "available miles of legal riding"—the point being I don't think you can look at one without looking at the other—as well as how crowded the legal areas are?

    I know those in opposition of bikes in wilderness use the slippery slope argument—which admittedly isn't very good as it can't be proven. But the reason that argument continues to have traction is because it can't be proven that access by motorized vehicles in wilderness won't come next. you can talk all you want about human-powered versus motor-powered...but it still doesn't prove that motors won't ever be allowed.

    Scott
    You don't have time to look into it yourself - yet you've found time over the years to have 1,135 posts?

    Hard to tell in your 2nd post which side you are taking. But, I'll offer some questions to ask yourself to develop some critical thought on the issues:

    What is the intent of wilderness designation - or similar designations such as national park, monument, etc? I deliberately left off recreation area. If one has to trade off recreation for environmental preservation - which direction does is the governing agency supposed to lean?

    Assuming you come at a common understanding of what has the highest priority in terms of intent with the wilderness act and designation of areas - is a human powered bike any more at odds than 1. The reintroduction of horses in north america and now massive amounts of damage they do when shod with steel shoes and shitting all over your trail, 2. A hunter using a semi automatic rifle to hunt in wilderness, complete with standard or red dot optics, 3. A fisherman using a rod and reel (mechanical advantage - therefore mechanized)?

    Again, if one comes to a common understanding of the intent of wilderness designation - the slippery slope argument of human powered bikes leading to moto access is just ********.

    Science says human powered biking has negligibly more impact on trail conditions than hiking. Certainly less impact than horses. Even trump couldn't deny the science that shows motos cause the worst damage.

    If one were to imagine that wilderness designation is first and foremost about protecting and preserving the natural landscape/environment of the area - and science says there is no more significant impact when comparing a human powered cyclists to a hiker - how can the ban on bikes be justified? What intent does it serve if it isn't about preserving nature?

    Is it instead about preserving the nature experience that some hikers prefer? If that is the case - then how is this not recreational discrimination? Is it fair for your tax dollars to promote one form of recreation over another when there is no scientific difference in environmental impact? Imagine banning kayaks on rivers because it detracts from the experience of fly fishermen. Does that make sense?

    Why is the hikers "experience" given weight over that of a cyclist? Why is the hikers experience more important? Isn't that the argument whites used for segregating non whites? Having to co-mingle and share a classroom or heaven forbid a bench seat would degrade the white person's "experience?"

    If I feel that there are enough hiking only trails that I'll never be able to hike in my lifetime - then why should we add any more trails as hiker only? Isn't there enough already? Doesn't that sound ****ed up? If it does - that same type of logic applied to a cyclist should sound just as ****ed up.

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I suppose if you're talking about large scale industrial mining with large scale pollution, land disturbance, then yes, the impacts last for generations and maybe you know something I don't but as far as I know, places like that aren't being included in wilderness proposals. Things like cabins, dirt roads, etc are actually reclaimed by natural processes fairly quickly.

    As to your second point who is going there isn't being limited. Howthey travel is. It seems many people don't want to admit that distinction. I ski and occasionally hike/climb in wilderness. Even though mountain biking is my preferred form of recreation and it's what I spend the vast majority of my time doing, I don't for a second say to myself "I can't access lands under the wilderness act. The truth is I simply can't ride my bike there".
    No, I am not talking about large scale mining. I am talking about remnant nonnative plants escaped from gardens. I am talking about trash left behind. I am talking about leftovers from agriculture. Erosion and soil degradation.

    It may not be apparent to you, but I have a trained eye and it is obvious to me when I pass through such places. Those impacts last a lot longer than you think. And many, without some pretty active management might never revert back to some fantasy pre-human condition that hasn't existed for tens of thousands of years.

    And yes, pre European Americans also actively managed the land, and research keeps demonstrating that it was done at a pretty high intensity. The premise of the Wilderness Act is based on a flawed premise of "unspoiled" land, because of what people thought at the time about what things looked like before Europeans arrived.

    Mountain bikes and game carts and handheld chainsaws aren't going to change the character of the land in some substantial way.

    Restricting user group access IS defacto keeping people out of Wilderness areas. It does so because many people just won't go there if they can't do their chosen activity there. Wilderness becomes this "out of sight out of mind" place for people, where they are not seeing the value of it. The whole "untrammeled by man" ethos of the Wilderness Act actively encourages that to happen. That, in turn, hurts conservation efforts because they vote for cuts to funding that land. They vote for political candidates who want to sell off that land. They don't see the value of vast areas of open space where humans are a minor actor.

    Sure, intensity of use should be lower than other areas (like parks, for example, where I would expect pretty high intensity of use), but blanket user group exclusions frankly don't make sense when objective criteria just don't back up the exclusions.

    Sent from my SM-G900V using Tapatalk

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    I suppose if you're talking about large scale industrial mining with large scale pollution, land disturbance, then yes, the impacts last for generations and maybe you know something I don't but as far as I know, places like that aren't being included in wilderness proposals.
    Mining is allowed and has taken place in wilderness areas:

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...prd3826327.pdf


    Also allowed: prospecting, cattle grazing, motorized equipment to support mining and prospecting and cattle grazing and emergency response, snowmobiles, using motor vehicles and power boats and planes to access private property within wilderness areas, hunting for sport, fishing, horseback riding, pack animals, camping, camp fires, rock climbing with all the mechanical equipment that goes along with it, canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, skiing, snowboarding, hiking off trail, trail running, snow shoeing, photography, commercial services including the use of power boats, dogs, wheelchairs, construction of reservoirs, power projects, and power transmission lines.

    Not allowed: bicycles.

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    Not just grazing, but unrestricted riparian grazing. You can't fence exclosures in Wilderness, so cattle graze in the stream, trample the banks, widen the channel, etc.

  23. #23
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    This is relevant to this discussion and my mountain biking:

    http://www.bikemag.com/lines-in-the-...TAtrVisOAUD.97

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    ... also allowed: killing animals with leg traps, telephone lines, drilling for gas and oil and water, construction of water dams, prescribed burns, introducing foreign species to control invasive species, fly-overs by planes and helicopters and hot air balloons and drones.

    Still not allowed: bicycles.

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    Mining is allowed and has taken place in wilderness areas:

    https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE...prd3826327.pdf


    Also allowed: prospecting, cattle grazing, motorized equipment to support mining and prospecting and cattle grazing and emergency response, snowmobiles, using motor vehicles and power boats and planes to access private property within wilderness areas, hunting for sport, fishing, horseback riding, pack animals, camping, camp fires, rock climbing with all the mechanical equipment that goes along with it, canoeing, kayaking, white water rafting, skiing, snowboarding, hiking off trail, trail running, snow shoeing, photography, commercial services including the use of power boats, dogs, wheelchairs, construction of reservoirs, power projects, and power transmission lines.

    Not allowed: bicycles.
    Yes, all those things were grandfathered in in 1964 as a compromise to get the legislation passed. However, those pieces of private property inholdings in wilderness are always high priority for acquisition and with time, most inholdings are bought or traded for. The land if it hadn't already will undergo a mineral withdrawal which will prevent any future mine claims. The FS must grant property owners (including miners) access to their property, but contrary to what some people might think, that does not mean the owners can build roads to their property where none exist. Motorized over ground travel to private property might be allowed under a very specific set of conditions if a road to the property already exists but in reality, something like that would almost certainly be "cherry stemmed" into the legislation. Most people with an inholding will either have to walk, or if they can afford it, use a helicopter.The same set of circumstances exist for the other things you mention - some water diversions with the permitted access may be grandfathered into a wilderness area, but no new improvements will be allowed. Existing grazing permits are honored but once again, over time, they are eventually retired.

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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    The land if it hadn't already will undergo a mineral withdrawal which will prevent any future mine claims. The FS must grant property owners (including miners) access to their property, but contrary to what some people might think, that does not mean the owners can build roads to their property where none exist.
    Old mines once retired can become economically viable again with advances in technology or changes in the market, and the Wilderness Act does nothing to stop it:

    Idaho mining dispute raises questions about the future of wilderness ? High Country News

    "So why, then, did the Forest Service just approve a mining company’s request to build a four-mile road and make as many as 571 trips a year with bulldozers, dump trucks and drill rigs into the Frank Church?"

    "...the Forest Service approved a plan that will bring jackhammers, dump trucks and drill rigs into the Frank — as well as suck up to 25,000 gallons of water per day from Coin Creek and construct 11 drill pads."

    What was it you said about large scale mining operations?

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    Couple of notes:

    No new mining claims can be approved in Wilderness areas.

    Existing mining claims are allowed to prove that they can produce a mineral worth extracting. That's been the law since 1872. Over 140 years.

    If not, their claim is effectively dead.



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  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    Old mines once retired can become economically viable again with advances in technology or changes in the market, and the Wilderness Act does nothing to stop it:

    Idaho mining dispute raises questions about the future of wilderness ? High Country News



    "So why, then, did the Forest Service just approve a mining company’s request to build a four-mile road and make as many as 571 trips a year with bulldozers, dump trucks and drill rigs into the Frank Church?"

    "...the Forest Service approved a plan that will bring jackhammers, dump trucks and drill rigs into the Frank — as well as suck up to 25,000 gallons of water per day from Coin Creek and construct 11 drill pads."

    What was it you said about large scale mining operations?

    You're talking about something that hasn't happened. Something like this will be tied up in courts for years. Few believe this will go forward,

  29. #29
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    No new mining claims can be approved in Wilderness areas.
    New claims can be staked in Wilderness Study Areas and on land bordering on or surrounded by Wilderness areas, so the threat is still there.

    Existing mining claims are allowed to prove that they can produce a mineral worth extracting. That's been the law since 1872. Over 140 years. If not, their claim is effectively dead.
    Is there a time limit to this, or can the claim owner drag things out indefinitely, so long as they file the paperwork and go through the motions?

    I've read there are tens of thousands of claims, in and immediately surrounding, wilderness areas, national parks, and monuments in California alone, and large corporations have been recently buying up claims and filing new claims in land immediately surrounding these areas. Seems they've figured out that threatening to build a mine in or right next to treasured natural areas is a good way to extort money from the government.

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    Here's a long list of all the things that are allowed in wilderness areas, complete with footnotes and legal citations:

    www.wildernessbicycling.org

    The same website also provides good points that rebut the points in the article the OP linked to at the start of this threat.

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    Quote Originally Posted by twd953 View Post
    If Oregon Wild's proposal to create the massive Crater Lake Wilderness goes through we will lose hundreds more miles of trail (just like at Mt Hood), including most of the North Umpqua trail. That is one of the best rides anywhere.

    We lose that, and there certainly won't be "more than enough places to ride" left.
    This is really it. There are so many wilderness proposals afoot, that we'd stand to lose not only trail quantity, but trail quality. Some of the very best trails with magnificent scenery are in areas that are also coveted by wilderness advocates. They would argue that we mountain bikers can just ride our bikes in low-elevation clearcuts and other degraded areas where the trail mileage may be significant, but the experience is nowhere nearly comparable to the more natural areas where they recreate.

    I probably wouldn't support the efforts of the STC if it weren't for the fact that we really stand to lose out on a good many spectacular riding areas due to special interests wanting those areas for themselves.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    Quote Originally Posted by Harold View Post
    Yeah, it wasn't a well-researched piece.
    When you cite "four experts" without giving names, that points to some serious sloppiness. Maybe they are experts on climate change or the feeding habits of iguanas, which would place their opinions on mountain biking in a frame of ignorance.

    I could make the claim that I spoke with 11 experts who agree that the op-ed writer is a drunk. Or pretty much any other lie that I can make up. That is unless I can actually name and quote the experts in question.
    Riding Washington State singletrack since 1986

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    This has to be one of the most ignorant posts on Wilderness I have ever read. If in Wilderness Areas "Mechanized travel," is banned where are you allowed to ride: a snowmobile, power boat, drive a car, eta?
    Last edited by R38; 04-28-2017 at 08:52 AM.

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    Are you responding to one of my posts? I can absolutely assure you these things do happen in wilderness areas.

    Congress built in all sorts of exceptions for preexisting uses and to appease companies and the wealthy. Except for bikes. For some reason, bikes are the boogeyman, but gasoline engines are not, among a long list of other things.

    Check out the link above and the one below.

    Everglades boat rentals and everglades boat tours of Everglades National Park Florida

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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    Are you responding to one of my posts? I can absolutely assure you these things do happen in wilderness areas.

    Congress built in all sorts of exceptions for preexisting uses and to appease companies and the wealthy. Except for bikes. For some reason, bikes are the boogeyman, but gasoline engines are not, among a long list of other things.

    Check out the link above and the one below.

    Everglades boat rentals and everglades boat tours of Everglades National Park Florida
    Yeah, those boat tours are in open water on the Florida coast. They aren't exactly jet boats.

    And, despite the name of that tour, no, motorized boats are not allowed into wilderness areas in ENP.



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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Yeah, those boat tours are in open water on the Florida coast. They aren't exactly jet boats.

    And, despite the name of that tour, no, motorized boats are not allowed into wilderness areas in ENP.
    Citations? Because everything I've found online contradicts you. It only takes a single internet search to find references, pictures, and videos of people using power boats in the Everglade Wilderness Waterway.

    Even the Everglades National Park Wilderness trip planner contradicts you:

    https://www.nps.gov/ever/upload/Wild...anner_2009.pdf

    There are many areas of very shallow water that may be encountered along the Wilderness Waterway. Powerboats over 18' long may have to detour around Alligator Creek and Plate Creek. The “Nightmare” is passable only to paddlers at high tide. To prevent prop dredging, which results in increased turbidity and the destruction of submerged natural features, boats with drafts of two feet or more, including the propeller, should not use the waterway.
    Follow the link and note the map that shows the boat ramps where you can launch your boat from, and the "Powerboaters Checklist".

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    And then note the map.

    That boats with motors are allowed for about 2 miles, from the bay/ocean, at which point they are effectively useless. If someone wants to take their power boat further, be my guest. Hope they have a radio and lots of batteries. We regularly ran aground​ in a 16' canoe with a 100lb person, 143lb person, and 100lbs of food, water and equipment. 4" draft, by my best guess.

    And, note that jet/air boats are prohibited.

    Source: I've paddled about 100 miles of that wilderness area. The "trail" gets down to <4' wide regularly. So tight that it's faster and easier to pull on mangrove branches with your hands than paddle. You have to do the nautical equivalent of a 3- or 5-point turn on occasion.
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    The map only shows one small dotted water course in the south which is for non-motorized vessels only. All the other water courses, including the 99 mile Wilderness Waterway, motor boats are allowed.

    I didn't claim motor boats were practical for exploring the ENP wilderness, just that they are allowed, which you are now conceding to, after previously writing:

    ...motorized boats are not allowed into wilderness areas...
    So thanks, I guess.

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    This what I don't like about the federal government. I don't like bureaucrats in Washington deciding how best to use the land my backyard. I know very little about Oregon and certain trails relative to mountain biking and other already established signs of human activity. What I do know much better are those things in the areas I live in. The Arizona trail for example has many sections in wilderness that frankly are little different from there areas not in wilderness. There is no big change from one area to another other than a line on a map. Some those trails are worth riding and some not, but why have a guy in DC who has never been to the area making these decisions. Let the locals decide where Mtn bikers can coexist in wilderness and other trails. Also Sedona Az has many national forest trails, but at 6000ft there elevation there is a "wilderness boundary" and we can't ride over that. So that cut off certain trails which just happen to climb over that elevation. Why? I can't figure it out as 5980 and 6010 look the same. Now there are some trails where Mtn bike should not go given the terrain and current usage patterns, but again. Let the local land mangers make those calls.

    As for the article. It is usless politcal rant with no focus on the actual merits of the propoals. They spent so much time blaming Trump for this when it pre-dates Trump even being the nominee. This has zero do with Trump and making it about him shows how little the author understands.

    If someone can make a real argument on why Mtn bikes (human powered of course) hurt wilderness areas show it to me. I take the approach of not why SHOULD we be allowed, but why should we NOT be allowed. Motos are entirely different since they are motorized. Bike like cross country skiing. Still human powered, but using a little technology to make travel more efficient. No again. I can see real arguments for trail XYZ given the terrain and current usage patterns, but not a blanket statement.
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  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    This what I don't like about the federal government. I don't like bureaucrats in Washington deciding how best to use the land my backyard. I know very little about Oregon and certain trails relative to mountain biking and other already established signs of human activity. What I do know much better are those things in the areas I live in. The Arizona trail for example has many sections in wilderness that frankly are little different from there areas not in wilderness. There is no big change from one area to another other than a line on a map. Some those trails are worth riding and some not, but why have a guy in DC who has never been to the area making these decisions. Let the locals decide where Mtn bikers can coexist in wilderness and other trails. Also Sedona Az has many national forest trails, but at 6000ft there elevation there is a "wilderness boundary" and we can't ride over that. So that cut off certain trails which just happen to climb over that elevation. Why? I can't figure it out as 5980 and 6010 look the same. Now there are some trails where Mtn bike should not go given the terrain and current usage patterns, but again. Let the local land mangers make those calls.

    As for the article. It is usless politcal rant with no focus on the actual merits of the propoals. They spent so much time blaming Trump for this when it pre-dates Trump even being the nominee. This has zero do with Trump and making it about him shows how little the author understands.

    If someone can make a real argument on why Mtn bikes (human powered of course) hurt wilderness areas show it to me. I take the approach of not why SHOULD we be allowed, but why should we NOT be allowed. Motos are entirely different since they are motorized. Bike like cross country skiing. Still human powered, but using a little technology to make travel more efficient. No again. I can see real arguments for trail XYZ given the terrain and current usage patterns, but not a blanket statement.
    So, you're saying that you don't think that bureaucrats should be able to take the recommendations of local scientists under consideration, then act on them?

    You make it sound like they randomly decided to do these things, or do it to spite you. They don't.

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    19 years after the WA passed, science wasn't used by the federal agency that issued a blanket ban on bicycling in Wilderness.

    Hatchet piece by Outside Magazine on MTBs in Wilderness-1983.jpg

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    So, you're saying that you don't think that bureaucrats should be able to take the recommendations of local scientists under consideration, then act on them?

    You make it sound like they randomly decided to do these things, or do it to spite you. They don't.

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    I don't trust any bureaucrat. I trust the ones in Wash DC far less than my local ones. I won't get into recommendations from scientists.
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    I don't trust any bureaucrat. I trust the ones in Wash DC far less than my local ones. I won't get into recommendations from scientists.
    Yeah. What has science ever done for us, right?

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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Yeah. What has science ever done for us, right?

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    I made no comment on science. I did that on purpose.

    BTW.... I am an engineer.
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    Yeah. What has science ever done for us, right?
    Show us the science that demonstrates that mountain biking impacts the environment more than horseback riding, or more than any of the other activities that I identified earlier in this thread that are currently allowed in Wilderness areas.

  46. #46
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    Show us the science that demonstrates that mountain biking impacts the environment more than horseback riding, or more than any of the other activities that I identified earlier in this thread that are currently allowed in Wilderness areas.
    I've never said they do. Ever. And living in an area where horses regularly post-hole the local trail systems, I agree with the premise that MTBs cause less damage than horses. Far less.

    I've only suggested that Wilderness areas are nominated, for preservation, based on the recommendations of scientists, who are almost always local to that area, working for the BLM or USFS. That's it.



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    Almost anyone can recommend an area for designation, including associations, corporations, user groups and very well connected individuals. The process is not a without special interest involvement and political currency as some would have you believe. Lobbyists and special interest groups (political donors) play a very large role in the process more often than not. In other words, money talks.


    https://www.google.com/url?sa=t&rct=j&q=&esrc=s&source=web&cd=1&cad=rja&u act=8&ved=0ahUKEwjFkr_mvNbTAhXHxVQKHWD8CeEQFggpMAA &url=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.wilderness.net%2FNWPS%2Fdesi gnation&usg=AFQjCNEMGhBowFoPwk8g5fWAknwj93f7wA
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  48. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by Le Duke View Post
    ..
    I've only suggested that Wilderness areas are nominated, for preservation, based on the recommendations of scientists, who are almost always local to that area, working for the BLM or USFS. That's it.
    That is NOT it. It not that simple as Tiretracks has shared. As with most government things it really a mess of a process. He who yells the loudest, comes with the biggest check, etc has the most say. This is why I distrust government. The more government control that exists means the "winners" are not the "people" (meaning normal people like you and I). The "winners" are those that play the game lobby government. They contribute money to "R" and "D" etc. If you support my pet project I will support yours. The ONLY chance we "people" have to simply remove government from as much of lives as possible. Starting with the government that farther away from us. Gov't in Wash DC cares only about Wash DC. It is a swamp for a reason. Local governments have problems too, but instead of being a few in sea of 300 million people we can be a few in sea of a million or maybe just thousands.

    Just my take. You may not agree what exactly I think government should do or not, but that is ok. I do think it however hard for anyone to really believe government is currently reflecting the us as individuals in the way we would like.
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    The argument that allowing bikes in Wilderness is going to open the door for other uses such as mining, is like arguing that marijuana should be illegal because it leads to heroin. File under grasping at straws. "Wilderness is not for recreation", Ok, then we shouldn't allow hunting, fishing, hiking, skiing, boating, rock climbing, peak bagging, photography, bird watching...well you get the point. If environmental damage is the concern, then livestock would also have to be banned. Oops, can't go there. OK, let's go for definitions of transportation in Wilderness. Human powered...uh oh, that's not going to work. How about mechanized? Yeah, that might work, but we'll just have to ignore the fact that ski equipment is mechanized and hope no one notices. Also, any mechanized devices that are not used specifically for transportation, such as guns and fishing gear should also be exempt. We'll, that kind of narrows it down to game carts, which I have never seen in my lifetime, and bicycles. Score!

  50. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    Are you responding to one of my posts? I can absolutely assure you these things do happen in wilderness areas.

    Congress built in all sorts of exceptions for preexisting uses and to appease companies and the wealthy. Except for bikes. For some reason, bikes are the boogeyman, but gasoline engines are not, among a long list of other things.

    Check out the link above and the one below.

    Everglades boat rentals and everglades boat tours of Everglades National Park Florida

    backcountry airstrips in the Frank Church.

  51. #51
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    Quote Originally Posted by JoePAz View Post
    That is NOT it. It not that simple as Tiretracks has shared. As with most government things it really a mess of a process. He who yells the loudest, comes with the biggest check, etc has the most say. This is why I distrust government. The more government control that exists means the "winners" are not the "people" (meaning normal people like you and I). The "winners" are those that play the game lobby government. They contribute money to "R" and "D" etc. If you support my pet project I will support yours. The ONLY chance we "people" have to simply remove government from as much of lives as possible. Starting with the government that farther away from us. Gov't in Wash DC cares only about Wash DC. It is a swamp for a reason. Local governments have problems too, but instead of being a few in sea of 300 million people we can be a few in sea of a million or maybe just thousands.

    Just my take. You may not agree what exactly I think government should do or not, but that is ok. I do think it however hard for anyone to really believe government is currently reflecting the us as individuals in the way we would like.
    Can you give some examples of: "As with most government things it really a mess of a process. He who yells the loudest, comes with the biggest check, etc has the most say'.
    On MTBR, the reputation is infamous.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Can you give some examples of: "As with most government things it really a mess of a process. He who yells the loudest, comes with the biggest check, etc has the most say'.



    All of the corporations crying about the possibility of Bears Ears not being named count? You'd have to be blind or willfully ignorant to believe that special interests hold no sway in these matters or that the government doesn't turn every single thing they touch iinto a boondoggle of waste and political payoffs.
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  53. #53
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    All of the corporations crying about the possibility of Bears Ears not being named count? You'd have to be blind or willfully ignorant to believe that special interests hold no sway in these matters or that the government doesn't turn every single thing they touch iinto a boondoggle of waste and political payoffs.
    What corporations are raking it in with Bears Ears? Who is being paid off?

    How much waste do you think there is with a national monument that employs a handful of people?

    Do we have to destroy everything that's beautiful in this country, just to show high quarterly earnings?

    If people want to complain about fraud, waste and abuse, take a long, hard look at the military and military procurement system. A national monument that costs relatively little to maintain is pretty low on the totem pole.

    The only reason these places are being reviewed is because someone wants to mine or drill them. That's it.



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  54. #54
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    Quote Originally Posted by tiretracks View Post
    All of the corporations crying about the possibility of Bears Ears not being named count? You'd have to be blind or willfully ignorant to believe that special interests hold no sway in these matters or that the government doesn't turn every single thing they touch iinto a boondoggle of waste and political payoffs.
    Have any specific examples? Not sure what you are talking about regarding "corporations" and Bears Ears.
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  55. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by formica View Post
    backcountry airstrips in the Frank Church.
    This is what is being hidden behind the anti-mtb smoke screen.
    I ride with the best dogs.




  56. #56
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vespasianus View Post
    Have any specific examples? Not sure what you are talking about regarding "corporations" and Bears Ears.
    The oh-so-evil Patagonia and other miscreant companies that decided to take their outdoor show elsewhere in response to the Utah state legislature's efforts to destroy public lands in Utah.

    Because, you know, public lands are a terrible thing.

    Just remember the next time you're riding in Moab: Utah doesn't want you there.
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  57. #57
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    Ski equipment is mechanized travel? I don't think you understand how a ski binding works.

  58. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by zrm View Post
    Ski equipment is mechanized travel?
    How is it not?

    Hatchet piece by Outside Magazine on MTBs in Wilderness-us07988180-20110802-d00000.jpg

    Better yet, let's hear you explain how rock climbing (which you claimed to occasionally do in wilderness), with its pulleys, ropes, and ratchet mechanisms, is not mechanized travel.

  59. #59
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    damn noisy animal threatening polluting trail despoiling bicycles!

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    I help manage a conservation area and when I was faced with the argument that the addition of mountain biking on sustainably designed trails might endanger or ruin sensitive flora & fauna that we weren't aware of (?!) and my response was, "then maybe folks shouldn't be hiking there", "they" were appalled. "You mean if you aren't allowed, no one should be allowed?", they asked. My response, "well, if it's that sensitive...". So, the compromise was a more limited amount of trail development that is shared by both. Sensitive areas are travelled near on a limited basis so that folks can see what sort of things are protected and that conservation efforts should be promoted by all

  61. #61
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    in So Vt USFS lands, I helped w/the expansion of new horse and mtnbk trails (SInce I ride both horses & bikes) only to see the horse folks get the official permission. It took years & years to convince the USFS to allow mtnbks on the horse trails. Faced with multiple "interim rangers", finally a ranger from out west, who mtn & fat biked, in addition to back country skiing, etc... was able to use "forest speak" and put together a document that ultimately stated that an EIS did not need to be completed in order to allow mtnbks where horses were permitted. Bikes were clearly not in the same erosion/impact category as horses. Admittedly, none of these trails were "sexy singletrack", but still incredibly quiet beautiful nature environs that can be enjoyed by bikers now too (signs are still lacking, and references to "prohibiting wheeled vehicles" are still present)

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    what about high tech foot wear? Snowshoes & skiis offer a mechanical advantage, no? Why wouldn't they use as criteria, machines that require fuel? The fuel required to operate a bicycle is no different than that required to operate hiking boots, etc... Internal combustion engines of all forms could be used as criteria, and then they could still include chainsaws if they want.

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    equipment related mechanical advantage... (and more likely than not, manufactured out of non-natural substances...)

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    Quote Originally Posted by sam-eye-am View Post
    You don't have time to look into it yourself - yet you've found time over the years to have 1,135 posts?

    Hard to tell in your 2nd post which side you are taking. But, I'll offer some questions to ask yourself to develop some critical thought on the issues:

    What is the intent of wilderness designation - or similar designations such as national park, monument, etc? I deliberately left off recreation area. If one has to trade off recreation for environmental preservation - which direction does is the governing agency supposed to lean?

    Assuming you come at a common understanding of what has the highest priority in terms of intent with the wilderness act and designation of areas - is a human powered bike any more at odds than 1. The reintroduction of horses in north america and now massive amounts of damage they do when shod with steel shoes and shitting all over your trail, 2. A hunter using a semi automatic rifle to hunt in wilderness, complete with standard or red dot optics, 3. A fisherman using a rod and reel (mechanical advantage - therefore mechanized)?

    Again, if one comes to a common understanding of the intent of wilderness designation - the slippery slope argument of human powered bikes leading to moto access is just ********.

    Science says human powered biking has negligibly more impact on trail conditions than hiking. Certainly less impact than horses. Even trump couldn't deny the science that shows motos cause the worst damage.

    If one were to imagine that wilderness designation is first and foremost about protecting and preserving the natural landscape/environment of the area - and science says there is no more significant impact when comparing a human powered cyclists to a hiker - how can the ban on bikes be justified? What intent does it serve if it isn't about preserving nature?

    Is it instead about preserving the nature experience that some hikers prefer? If that is the case - then how is this not recreational discrimination? Is it fair for your tax dollars to promote one form of recreation over another when there is no scientific difference in environmental impact? Imagine banning kayaks on rivers because it detracts from the experience of fly fishermen. Does that make sense?

    Why is the hikers "experience" given weight over that of a cyclist? Why is the hikers experience more important? Isn't that the argument whites used for segregating non whites? Having to co-mingle and share a classroom or heaven forbid a bench seat would degrade the white person's "experience?"

    If I feel that there are enough hiking only trails that I'll never be able to hike in my lifetime - then why should we add any more trails as hiker only? Isn't there enough already? Doesn't that sound ****ed up? If it does - that same type of logic applied to a cyclist should sound just as ****ed up.
    Sam,

    Really like your explanation of the issue. Thank you for sure.

    Rob, III

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    Horses are mechanical contraptions. Leg bones are complex levers. Sinew and tendons are pulleys. Muscles use internal combustion energy.

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