Wilderness Designation Would Ban Bikes on Wasatch Crest
"Save Our Canyons is currently in the process of drafting a plan to present before Congress that would seek Wilderness designation for the Wasatch effectively banning bikes on such lands."
Full article via Park City Mountain Biking
I hate how one group's desire to save an area from bad things like development and strip mining effects good things like mountain biking. The Wilderness Act needs a rework to include non-destructive, human powered recreation like mountain bikes.
From the comments section.... would it really ban bikes or is there just bad information going around?
Robert DeBirk says:
November 30, 2015 at 4:36 pm
I’m on staff with Save Our Canyons. SOC has never proposed closing the Wasatch Crest trail. I’m not sure where you’re getting this information, but there’s absolutely no truth to the claim that we are working to close the Wasatch Crest trail or other mountian bike trails in the Wasatch. In fact, SOC has been a proud partner with mountain bikers for years and we’ve worked successfully to get IMBA support for our proposals.
I think we’d all agree that the Wasatch is worthy of additional protections, what SOC has proposed is establishing a national monument to protect both the lands and the uses (climbing, biking, hiking, hunting, fishing, skiing, bc skiing, snowshoeing, etc…) that are part of our quality of life, and our responsibility to future generations.
Our Wasatch National Monument proposal does include additional wilderness areas, but in no way do these these impact mtn biking. In fact, with regard to this proposal we’ve supported the removal of small areas of existing wilderness to ensure Mountain biking is allowed along the BST (where some wilderness exists along the preferred alignment). SOC has demonstrated a willingness to work with all users of the Wasatch for decades and are happy to meet with anyone. Please contact us if you would like to sit, discuss this further and look over some maps together.
In the meantime, we’d love to write a guest post for you detailing our proposal so that you’re readers can have the correct information regarding SOC’s Wasatch National Monument proposal.
This could be an interesting development if the bill goes forward... Potential to OPEN wilderness areas to bikes.
Are Mountain Bikers About to Get Their Day in the Wilderness? | Outside Online
It's a Wasatch National Monument proposal:
Wasatch National Monument | Save Our Canyons
One of the reasons I would be for this is to further combat resorts from expanding their winter operations into backcountry terrain... ex. one wasatch, additional lifts, infrastructure, mc mansions etc.
but.... I also see the ripple effects of this potentially creating a lot of additional red tape for other user groups....mtb trail advocacy, motorized use, and just overall more rules and restrictions during summer recreation.
Sure Save Our Canyons is saying now that mountain bikers won't be affected but next time you go to get a trail built could be even more of a royal PITA. Sure it won't ban bikes from the already built trails but it could allow for some serious rules and the "cracking of the whip" against mountain bikers and new trails or those already "off the radar trails".
After looking at the map if you look closely (along with the national monument) there are quite a few proposed wilderness areas which will affect the future of mountain bike and motorized use in those areas...bright green=proposed
Thanks for posting this map. Looks like a lot of trail milage will be off limits to cycling.
Originally Posted by dmar123
If you are following any of the comments from the OP's link to the Park City article here's a quote from the Angry Singlespeeder...
"The Angry Singlespeeder says:
December 1, 2015 at 1:49 am
The mere suggestion that Park City has some of the least sustainable trails in the west completely negates any validity John has to say. Based on that statement it’s blatantly clear he’s either got an axe to grind or knows nothing about trail building. Not only are Park City trails among the most sustainable in the entire country, but they are also provide an economic engine that most mountain towns would kill for. But of course, in today’s world of hyperactive eco-zealotry, nobody cares about people trying to make a living in mountain towns. Park City trails experience among the most recreational traffic of any mountain town in America, and the trails hold up incredibly well.
Until the blanket ban on bikes in federal Wilderness is overturned, don’t expect any support from mountain bikers when it comes to any kind of federal protection, National Monument or otherwise. The real tragedy here is that mountain bikers are among the most devoted and committed stewards of the environment, donating far many more hours per year of volunteer labor than any other user group. The federal ban on bikes forces us into a corner, making us reject what we want to embrace. Mountain bikers are not the enemy, and it’s about time other user groups traditionally opposed to mountain biking wake up and realize it."
A.S.S. Does not speak for me in this statement. And I would prefer they not claim to. If they are speaking about specific groups like IMBA or something, or themselves, they should say that.
Originally Posted by dmar123
Everyone had come to an agreement on a National Monument status for the Idaho White Clouds, then in the last minute mountain bikers were thrown under the table and it was designated Wilderness.
Don't think for a minute this group would not do the same in order to get what it wants if the feds decide they don't want to deal with the extra headaches involved with a Monument status.
Originally Posted by TahoeBC
Also, don't expect IMBA to lift a finger against this. They are stooges.
I've seen this movie already. Environmental groups make a proposal that clearly limits mountain biking, but they try to argue that it really won't go down that way, so that the mountain bike community stands down. All along, the Mentals have no intention of letting MTBs continue riding in "their" areas. At the last minute the MTBs are thrown under the bus, and there is no appeal process, it is a done deal.
You know, the whole debate has always confused me. If you're up on the Crest, it's a cluster**** of ski lifts, access roads and associated stuff on both sides, with towns and cities visible in all directions. It's pretty developed. I am baffled why a couple more lifts would matter in the grand scheme of things.
Given the track record of wilderness advocacy groups for screwing over outdoor recreation of many kinds (especially bikes) I'd happily vote for Vail resorts to build to their heart's content up their rather than see it go to some sort of BS "protected" status that basically just keeps people out.
You can donate the the STC. www.sustainabletrailscoalition.org
We are working to change things so a new wilderness area would not abolish off road cycling.
I'd be happy to answer questions. I am on the board of the STC.
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This exact deal went down where I live and recently in Idaho as well.
Originally Posted by honkinunit
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This is a Camel's Nose situation. Don't think it's not a big deal.
Has the potential to be a huge deal. SOC doesn't even list bikes as being banned in wilderness areas on their site. Certainly seems like critical information that is 'convenient' to leave out...
Not sure how all this lobby/politics stuff works, but is there a place or person we can contact to be actively involved or way to stay up to date with this proposal??
I'm the editor of parkcitymountainbike.com and will be making continual updates to the site as more information is made available. Additionally, the PCMTB Facebook Page is continually updated in regards to MTB advocacy issues here in the Wasatch and beyond.
Originally Posted by dmar123
In the meantime, pay close attention to the Mountain Accord process as that is the driving force behind these designations. Below are the contacts for both Mountain Accord & Save Our Canyons, let them know that as long as bikes are not allowed in Wilderness, Wilderness not an acceptable solution in the Wasatch.
Carl Fisher, Save Our Canyons - (801) 539-5333 / firstname.lastname@example.org
Rob DeBirk, Save Our Canyons - email@example.com
Mountain Accord Contact Page
Additionally, the Sustainable Trails Coalition has been doing great work in the fight for Wilderness access at a congressional level in DC. Even if it's just a couple bucks, any money you can throw their way will go towards additional bike access here and beyond.
Sustainable Trails Coalition
Where to the human-powered winter recreation folks stand on this? Wasatch Backcountry Alliance | Human-powered Winter Recreation Community
Seems like a concerted effort with all those who are concerned with access would be more effective in a fight to preserve access as well as maintaining the integrity of the terrain of the Wasatch.
"Fart in a paper bag, after eating the #17 plate from filibertos. STRAVA!" M77Ranger.
^^thanks for the links!
Heres another link to a video of the Accord folks speaking at SJ Quinney College of Law. If you want to know exactly what all this stuff is about then watch the video. On Wednesday, Nov. 17, Mountain Accord Program Director Laynee Jones, and Executive Committee Members Nathan Rafferty (Ski Utah) and Carl Fisher (Save Our Canyons) spoke to students, faculty and community members at the S.J. Quinney College of Law.
After watching it seems that this is a pretty big deal. Also it made me realize even more that mountain biking had virtually zero presence here. I don't think they mentioned mountain biking once during the video.
Mountain Accord » Accord Leaders Speak at SJ Quinney College of Law
some key discussion points
1st 25:00 - Mountain Accord Overview
26:24- Summer Use Wilderness Proposal
35:50-Congress Legislation, National Monument, New Wilderness
40:03-Constraints,Boundries, Bucket Proposal
57:57- One Wasatch, Ski Link
Mountain bikers should support wilderness. While I agree that a ban of bikes in wilderness is not ideal, wilderness is still worth having. I want new bike trails. I want better bike trails. I also want well developed trails where mountain bikes are NOT allowed. We also need a lot of space where bikes should not go. We don't have to ride everywhere. I support Save Our Canyons. There is way more I agree with than disagree. All mountain bikers should support non biking trails. We should volunteer our time and our money and help a managed use model that takes care of many user groups. Let's ditch the combat approach and support areas of non biking. If we do that, we can get better trails for bikes. Ask someone you know who understands trails why this is true.
Originally Posted by a.d.85
Let me say this one more time:
ALL MOUNTAIN BIKERS SHOULD SUPPORT NON BIKING TRAILS!
It is the right thing to do.
Support Wilderness at what cost? Until we're sanctioned to only mtb specific flow trails and bike parks? I don't know about you, but that is not why I ride. Yea, those trails are fun and all, but the ability to escape into the woods and get lost in the mountains on your bike away from all the bureaucracy and ******** of everyday life is what keeps me, and I'm sure many others, coming back for more. I'm 100% in support of protecting land and keeping places wild, but not when a select group of users gets to decide who's able to play within the boundaries based on personal bias and fear mongering.
This isn't just vigilante rhetoric. More and more backcountry trails, just like the Crest are being taken away while riders are given yet another dumbed down "flow trail" to take their place, which we're supposed to regard as progress. It's happened in Montana, all over the west coast, this summer in Idaho, and don't think for a second it won't happen here if no one speaks up.
Originally Posted by YRG
Sorry. You are deluded. The people behind proposals like this want bikes restricted to roads, period.
Exhibit A: Boulder, Colorado. People think Boulder is some kind of cycling mecca, but the reality is that mountain bikes have use of less than 5% of the city and county owned open space trails. A few years ago a new management plan for the area along the foothills was rolled out. In it, there was finally a route to ride from the city of Boulder to the few, lame trails south of town. There was no question anywhere in the process that this route would be part of the plan, UNTIL the final draft, which was submitted and approved over the vehement howls of every cyclist and every cycling organization in the county. It didn't matter. The hikers and equestrians won, mountain bikers got nothing.
The same thing has happened over and over, and it will happen again here. Then a little more area will be declared "Wilderness", and a little more, and a little more. Wake up.
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