Outdoors suggestion: vote to open Wilderness- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Outdoors suggestion: vote to open Wilderness

    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  2. #2
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    I'm not really comfortable allowing mountain bikes into wilderness areas.
    tRump is SCUM.

    Hogan Lake blog. A section of Hogan Lake trails here.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte
    I'm not really comfortable allowing mountain bikes into wilderness areas.
    Me either. There's a place I've been, I'm not saying where, that takes two days to walk to. Then two days to walk back out. That's before you take any time for day hikes or fishing or photography or just hanging out in an amazing place. It would fundamentally change that place if you could ride in and out in a day. The distance, the inaccessibility, the solitude, are all part of the character and experience.

    I think this is like the issue of opening more multi-use trails. Some trails, and even fire roads, are closed to bikes for ridiculous, bogus reasons, with no rational reason for the exclusion. Take the fire roads / ranch roads in certain open spaces. The managers drive on them with a jeep or pickup or even a full blown fire truck, yet the powers that be argue that bicycles would be damaging.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by HarryCallahan
    Me either. There's a place I've been, I'm not saying where, that takes two days to walk to. Then two days to walk back out. That's before you take any time for day hikes or fishing or photography or just hanging out in an amazing place. It would fundamentally change that place if you could ride in and out in a day. The distance, the inaccessibility, the solitude, are all part of the character and experience.
    So, we should close off 100 million acres of land because of that one experience? There got to be a better approach than the wholesale exclusion which serves no purpose other than excluding one user group to make another one happy.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    So, we should close off 100 million acres of land because of that one experience? There got to be a better approach than the wholesale exclusion which serves no purpose other than excluding one user group to make another one happy.
    I think he's right. We should keep them off limits to bikes and open them up to ATV/motorcycles. I could get in there, take pics, relax, then get out in the same day. A good day trip!!!!!



























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  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    So, we should close off 100 million acres of land because of that one experience? There got to be a better approach than the wholesale exclusion which serves no purpose other than excluding one user group to make another one happy.
    I think wilderness is enough of a precious resource to justify this. The problem as I see it is that the Wilderness Act is the only hammer in town to preserve what are really "human powered" recreation areas from resource development.

    I see zero chance of it happening, but a different kind of designation is needed. Not Wilderness, but Not available to anyone with enough money and political pull to lease for whatever purpose they want.

    As it currently stands, I have a very hard time supporting any new wilderness areas. But there are enough true wilderness that I would not support changing the wilderness act.

    _ Booker C. Bense

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by bbense
    As it currently stands, I have a very hard time supporting any new wilderness areas. But there are enough true wilderness that I would not support changing the wilderness act.

    _ Booker C. Bense
    Agreed.
    :wq

  8. #8
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    The current vote count for the proposal below is 126 for and 283 against.

    Allow Mountain Biking in Wilderness areas
    On a case by case/trail by trail basis allow mountain bikes access to Wilderness. Especially the more remote areas where conflicts are not likely. It's proven that mountain bikes have about the same impact as a hiker and far less than horse. The mountain bike is almost the only human powered recreation not allowed in Wilderness. In more crowded areas, since new trail construction is allowed in WIlderness, create separate trails for Mountain Bikers.

    I think the outright ban on all bike entry into the wilderness areas is too much. Some trails should be opened to bikes, if they're open to horseback riders and hikers already.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  9. #9
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    If access were somehow to be allowed, you'd likely need to make new singletracks suitable for mountain biking. Have you hiked some of the steep trails in Wilderness areas recently? Many are hike-a-bike trails.

    Here's a good read on the subject: Mountain Bike Recreation and Designated Wilderness: A Case for Reconsideration

  10. #10
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    The proposal is to open some trails on a case by case basis. Not a blanket access to all wilderness. The author in the link you provide states:

    It is my position that mountain biking should be allowed on some trails in designated Wilderness. My argument is based on historical, philosophical, and political grounds. However, if mountain biking cannot be allowed in designated Wilderness, we need alternatives that provide high levels of resource protection, while accommodating bicycle trail use.

    The problem is that more and more land is designated "wilderness" for protection and bike travel is banned, even if there were existing multi-use trails.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by nachomc
    Agreed.
    Actually, there is no need to change the Act. The only thing that needs modification is its interpretation. The Act allowed bikes until the mid 80s.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  12. #12
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    Moccasins and loincloths

    Quote Originally Posted by JL de Jong
    The current vote count for the proposal below is 126 for and 283 against.

    Allow Mountain Biking in Wilderness areas
    On a case by case/trail by trail basis allow mountain bikes access to Wilderness. Especially the more remote areas where conflicts are not likely. It's proven that mountain bikes have about the same impact as a hiker and far less than horse. The mountain bike is almost the only human powered recreation not allowed in Wilderness. In more crowded areas, since new trail construction is allowed in WIlderness, create separate trails for Mountain Bikers.

    I think the outright ban on all bike entry into the wilderness areas is too much. Some trails should be opened to bikes, if they're open to horseback riders and hikers already.
    You've stated my position exactly...

    I seem to remember being in Wilderness Areas where grazing was permitted---WTF??? Maybe that was a long time ago but if horses/pack animals are allowed then so too should bikes. Maybe even electric bikes??? The OHV ban gets a little muddy---if people are allowed to have their fat a$$es hauled in via horse/mule then why not permit "green" OHVs?

    To carry the no bikes rational even further in the opposite direction, how about no Gortex, no ripstop, no Vibram, no stoves, no matches/lighters, no GPS, no cameras, no, no, no.... Moccasins and loincloths for the ladies---men must go barefoot...
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  13. #13
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    The web site is a crock.

    The wilderness issue requires congressional legislation. A popularity vote on a web site means nothing and has zero weight. The other question about priorities is misleading. Forest management and natural resource utilization is not incompatible with recreation use. The one can actually enhance the other.

  14. #14
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    I'd just be interested in banning horses/pack animals from wilderness areas.
    "It's only when you stand over it, you know, when you physically stand over the bike, that then you say 'hey, I don't have much stand over height', you know"-T. Ellsworth

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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jayem
    I'd just be interested in banning horses/pack animals from wilderness areas.
    For me, I'm ok with not being able to ride my bike in a wilderness area for a number of reasons. The biggest reason is that there are too many places closer to higher density populations that, in my opinion, would be of greater impact to the mountain biking community with less impact on the environment. By impact on environment, I'm referring to drive time to trailhead, overall usage rates, etc - I am not referring to a single bike having more impact that a horse. I'm fully aware that my reasoning is by no means "perfect" but, I don't believe any rule or law can ever be perfect.

  16. #16
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    I don't understand why anyone would be against mountain bike access to Wilderness Areas on a "case by case basis."

    If you're near a large population center, I doubt that precious Wilderness Area feels very "wilderness" anyway. Why not spread the trail usage load out & reduce conflicts for all users?

    If you're out in the middle of nowhere hiking or backpacking, what's the difference if you see a fellow explorer or two on a horse or a mountain bike?

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by dave54
    The web site is a crock.
    You're right. It's probably just a way to get people's names and email addresses. Be prepared to get even more junk emails.
    Also known as Menso's dad.

  18. #18
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    All web 'surveys' are a crock. They are essentially a challenge to see which group can game the system best.

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    So, we should close off 100 million acres of land because of that one experience? ....
    No, and I think you are smart enough to know that's not what I was saying there.

    Quote Originally Posted by zorg
    There got to be a better approach than the wholesale exclusion which serves no purpose other than excluding one user group to make another one happy.
    Agreed.

    I'm more or less in agreement with JL de Jong, who posted:
    "The proposal is to open some trails on a case by case basis. Not a blanket access to all wilderness. The author in the link you provide states:

    It is my position that mountain biking should be allowed on some trails in designated Wilderness. My argument is based on historical, philosophical, and political grounds. However, if mountain biking cannot be allowed in designated Wilderness, we need alternatives that provide high levels of resource protection, while accommodating bicycle trail use.

    The problem is that more and more land is designated "wilderness" for protection and bike travel is banned, even if there were existing multi-use trails."

  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0gre
    All web 'surveys' are a crock. They are essentially a challenge to see which group can game the system best.

    Agreed. The honest ones at least post a disclaimer that they are not scientific.

  21. #21
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    Makes sense to me. My guess is that 90% of the wilderness backcountry is pretty much empty anyway, so adding MTBers to the mix would not impact many current users.
    Faster is not always better, but it's always more fun

  22. #22
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    The problem with even beginning the discussion of letting bikes back into Wilderness is simple.

    95% of Wilderness users use the same 5% of Wilderness. Places like Yosemite, Mt. Whitney, etc - and often only some of the trails even in the high use areas. That 5% of Wilderness is already crowded, there are lines to get permits, and sometimes you even need a permit for day hikes (imagine having to reserve a permit 6 months in advance to go on a bike ride - yikes!). It makes no sense to add bikes into the mix.

    But to the vast majority of Wilderness users, that small fraction is the ONLY thing they know as Wilderness.

    So it's really hard to start the discussion with "we are only talking about places and trails that you never go to, and that you have never even heard of."

    Like zorg said, I don't think the law needs to be changed - it just needs better interpretation. Bikes are "mechanical transport" but not in the spirit of the Act, which was to prevent transportation not covered by the previous examples in that clause (cars/jeeps, boats, planes) - things like tramways, etc that carry people. The banning of bikes is a narrow interpretation - obeying the letter but not the spirit of the law. Same with banning baby strollers (but not wheelchairs - they are afraid of the ADA and disabled advocates!).

    The reaction to the bikes-in-Wilderness idea will be negative unless we can get people to realize that we aren't talking about bikes on popular trails that are already crowded.

    And it doesn't help that modern downhill bikes look pretty darn close to an off-road motorcycle with the engine pulled out...and off-road motorcycles have proven time and again that they can really trash trails. And we have to admit that some soft soil types can be degraded quickly by bikes (and horses - but if the trail in question never got any horse traffic and might see a ton of bike traffic, the horse argument is pretty weak), so the case-by-case basis must be left to the judgement of the land management biologists and trail planners.

    It would help advance the pro-bikes-in-Wilderness idea if we did a very reasonable case-by-case analysis of some places we might like to bike in Wilderness. It will be difficult though - since most of us who hike in Wilderness visit the same 5% as everyone else!

  23. #23
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    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/08/27/op...=1&ref=opinion

    (Ted Stroll's worthy op-ed in today's New York Times, "Aw, Wilderness")

    IMHO it is ludicrous that MTBs are not allowed, on a case by case basis at a minimum. Not that there's much Wilderness I personally want to ride, mind you, as I'd much prefer artfully machine-dug hand-finished MTBer designed flow-maximized trail either a short or no driving distance from home. But if they up and take Grouse from us there will be civil disobedience guaranteed!

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by Finch Platte
    I'm not really comfortable allowing mountain bikes into wilderness areas.
    Care to explain why?

    Why can not I ride across Sierra Nevada on many excellent trails - with nobody in sight, and without leaving a trace?

  25. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel
    And it doesn't help that modern downhill bikes look pretty darn close to an off-road motorcycle with the engine pulled out...and off-road motorcycles have proven time and again that they can really trash trails.
    One needs to be a complete idiot to confuse a human powered contraption with a 45hp/300lb vehicle.

    Average rider on a bike probably weights less then an average backpacker.

    Quote Originally Posted by locoyokel
    And we have to admit that some soft soil types can be degraded quickly by bikes (and horses - but if the trail in question never got any horse traffic and might see a ton of bike traffic, the horse argument is pretty weak), so the case-by-case basis must be left to the judgement of the land management biologists and trail planners.
    No, we do not have to admit something that is not true. A properly constructed trail does not degrade from bikes any more then from hiking - and both are minimal compared to horses.

  26. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by Curmy
    Care to explain why?

    Why can not I ride across Sierra Nevada on many excellent trails - with nobody in sight, and without leaving a trace?
    4,800+ posts and you haven't figured out that Finche is never serious?

  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by 0gre
    4,800+ posts and you haven't figured out that Finche is never serious?
    No, I was too busy listening to how awesome I am to figure out the intentions of other participants here.

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