Colorado trail cottonwood pass to tincup pass reroute- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Colorado trail cottonwood pass to tincup pass reroute

    A brand new 16 mile reroute of the colorado trail between cottonwood pass and tincup pass (west of buena vista) opens up this summer. According to the Colorado Trail Foundation, the salida USFS ranger district has made the decision to not allow bikes on this non-wilderness reroute of the CT!

    Anyone have any more information on why they came to this decision? Was there any public input? Is an appeal possible? AFAIK, it would be the first non wilderness section of the CT to ban bikes, which could set a troubling precedent. This section would be an all-time alpine ride if open to bikes.
    Last edited by skiracer88; 06-16-2014 at 05:23 PM.

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    Ugh... really? WTF!

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    Yep. Fwiw, the CTF is suggesting we "contact the salida ranger district USFS for more information" I imagine they are not happy about this decision either

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    Colorado trail cottonwood pass to tincup pass reroute

    Seems I remember some sort of "make sure your voice is heard" post a few months back...


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    That was for the 30 mile reroute south of gunnison, this is a different section

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    Just an update... apparently the USFS in Salida is under the impression that the collegiate west is NOT part of the Colorado Trail, and is only part of the CDT. The CTF says this is not true, and that they are collocated along this section.

    The USFS even mentioned that they have a problem with the CT trail markers that were placed along the new trail and that they were "misleading people". interesting... Apparently the decision to not allow bikes on this portion of the trail was decided as part of a 2005 EIA before the CTF adopted the trail in this area. At this point, I'm not sure if there is anything we can do.

    One good thing that came out of the conversation is that all of the new singletrack to be constructed between tincup and monarch pass will be open to bikes.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by skiracer88 View Post
    Just an update... apparently the USFS in Salida is under the impression that the collegiate west is NOT part of the Colorado Trail, and is only part of the CDT. The CTF says this is not true, and that they are collocated along this section.

    The USFS even mentioned that they have a problem with the CT trail markers that were placed along the new trail and that they were "misleading people". interesting... Apparently the decision to not allow bikes on this portion of the trail was decided as part of a 2005 EIA before the CTF adopted the trail in this area. At this point, I'm not sure if there is anything we can do.

    One good thing that came out of the conversation is that all of the new singletrack to be constructed between tincup and monarch pass will be open to bikes.
    I really think the section you're talking about is the CDNST (Contintental Divide National Scenic Trail, AKA CDT). The Colorado Trail through there goes from Cottonwood Creek into Collegiate Peaks Wilderness and over a saddle to the east of Mt Yale. Then east of Mt Harvard and across Pine Creek. It comes out onto the Winfield road just above Clear Creek Reservoir.

    I'd be really curious to see a position statement from the CTF that makes clear if such a major reroute or alternate is actually happening. It's hell and gone from where the CT goes right now.

    Now, I know of some people who are working hard on getting bikes approved as part of the travel policy on that new section of trail, but they are working with the Continental Divide Trail Alliance, not CTF.

    There's been lots of confusion over the years about the difference between those trail systems, especially since they do share the same alignment south from Fooses.

    Not saying this is for sure wrong, but if I was a betting man I'd bet that the Salida Ranger District is correct on this one.
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    FYI, this is where the CTF stands on the Collegiate west, they are calling it the "Collegiate West Alternative" of the Colorado TrailPlanning a Trip on Collegiate West AlternativeI am not saying the CTF is necessarily right...but as far as they know, the new section is part of the CT.

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    Quote Originally Posted by skiracer88 View Post
    FYI, this is where the CTF stands on the Collegiate west, they are calling it the "Collegiate West Alternative" of the Colorado TrailPlanning a Trip on Collegiate West AlternativeI am not saying the CTF is necessarily right...but as far as they know, the new section is part of the CT.
    So the CT may be taking a opportunity to call it an alternate route, but it's first and foremost a section of the CDT. CDT drove the approval and funding. CT doesn't get to claim it and pretend to set policy.

    Travel policy on the CDT is a tougher nut to crack. There are words in the charter from when the trail was approved by Congress that specifically mention hiking and horses (natch). Opponents like Sierra Club have used that to push for a no-wheels travel policy. Almost took the Monarch Crest section of CDT away from us about 7 years ago believe it or not. I got involved in that. Ultimately worked with the CD Trail Alliance and IMBA and got it settled.

    The Colorado Trail, even though it relies on Federal public land, doesn't wind up on Congress' radar screen. Culturally, bikes have been an assumption on non-Wilderness segments of the CT pretty much always. The CDT, no. A new section of CDT/CT (combined) is proposed to be built between Marshall Pass and Marshall Mesa. IMBA and others are fighting to get bikes on it so we don't have to use the rough-as-h3ll section from the top of Silver Creek to the Mesa. But the pre-assumption is that it's for the pedestrian and equine set.

    The trouble with the CDT (and AT and PCT, other so-called National Scenic Trails) for bikes is similar to the trouble with Wilderness Act managed lands. When the legislation was written mountain biking didn't really exist. So without bikes included in any of the language of the originating legislation, there's ambiguity available to be exploited by our opponents.

    Join the Continental Divide Trail Alliance for $35 if you really care (tax deductible) and then be sure to write a letter identifying your opinion and bias. Just like CTF, they have a strong voice regarding policy and development of the trail. They are located in Pine, CO. Stop by and say hey next time you're going to Buff Creek and hand them a check (with your helmet and gloves on). The Director is a friend of mine and a mountain biker. But she may not be able to set the agenda to fit her personal opinion if the financial support for the organization comes from the boot and saddle crowd.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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    [Deleting because my post contained info now out of date.]
    Last edited by imtnbke; 09-04-2015 at 09:42 PM.

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    My first question would be who planned, financed, and built the trail in question? Sounds like the CDT foundation.

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    I'm tired of this perennial second-class treatment, while trail-destroying horses and packstock are allowed to trample everything . . . meadows, streams, campsites, etc. It will be intolerable if bicycles are officially banned from this area.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    I'm tired of this perennial second-class treatment, while trail-destroying horses and packstock are allowed to trample everything . . . meadows, streams, campsites, etc. It will be intolerable if bicycles are officially banned from this area.
    Then put forth a proposal for a trail, pay for and do the years of planning & analysis for the NEPA, organize and finance the thousands of hours of volunteer time it takes to actually build it. I'm not 100% clear but it sounds like the CDT folks took on a lot - maybe all - of the work to get the thing built. If that's the case, the CDT has always been from it's inception a foot and hoof centric organization.

    NOw I could be wrong about the above scenario, like I said, I'm unclear about the dynamic between the CTF and the CDT on this particular trail, but if a trail is built by an organization that by charter primarily serves the hiking/backpacking community I'm not going to adopt a sense of entitlement to ride my bike on said trail. Which isn't to say the MTB community shouldn't try to work with all the parties involved to work out an agreement that allows fo MTB access, but I don't feel the CDT owes me a new place to ride my bike.

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    Thank you for that excellent advice.

    First, the CDTA no longer exists, probably in part because of the attitude you mention, and in its place is an organization whose annual budget is something like $60,000 IIRC, hardly a trail maintenance and design powerhouse, I would think.

    Second, I assume this is the taxpayers' land (i.e., the Forest Service's). I'm not in favor of any agency's aligning itself with an exclusion-minded private lobbying group to keep human-powered users off of trails on publicly owned land, if that is what has happened (I don't know and so far nothing on this thread has clarified matters).

    AFAIK, the United States is the only country in the world with these weird us-versus-them trail organizations like the defunct CDTA and bizarre trail management philosophies. Maybe someday a sociologist or historian will figure out what makes us different from everyone else. I'd put my money on the bad lingering effects of our dour Puritan heritage, which influences policy more than is commonly recognized.

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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    Thank you for that excellent advice.

    First, the CDTA no longer exists, probably in part because of the attitude you mention, and in its place is an organization whose annual budget is something like $60,000 IIRC, hardly a trail maintenance and design powerhouse, I would think.
    The CDTA did go away for a while yes. But now they are back, renamed to the Continental Divide Trail Coalition. Continental Divide Trail Coalition | Connecting the community that supports the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail

    Many of the same people, same location (Pine, CO), same mission.

    They were and are a trail powerhouse when it comes to the CDNST.

    To be very very clear about this: CDTC/CDTA drove the new segment. The CTF has come along later. I'm still not clear about how/if the primary CT route is going to use this new segment or whether it will be an alternative like the Gunnison Spur. If it's going to be the primary route, are they are going to vacate the route between Cottonwood Creek and Leadville? How? How will Tincup pass connect to Leadville? If there is going to be a new route based on this, fights about allowing bikes will continue. So if CTF is moving that way, I would recommend you to ask them how they see the future of biking.

    I'm out of this crap, I've retired from advocacy. But I know key people in the Salida Ranger District and the director of the CDTC is an old friend. If you guys are really concerned about this, first I'd be asking for clarity on what I just wrote about the CT from the CTF. And I'd encourage you to learn all about the background of the new CDNST segment, like who wrote the grants and drove the Env Assessment.

    Hint: what you'll find if you bother to do that is that it was CDTA and then CDTC after the change to the new organization. And you might just find that CTF had almost no role at all until just recently.

    Maybe learn more and b!tch less. That's basic life advice.
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    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post

    Maybe learn more and b!tch less. That's basic life advice.
    Much easier to do the latter

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    zrm
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    Thank you for that excellent advice.

    First, the CDTA no longer exists, probably in part because of the attitude you mention, and in its place is an organization whose annual budget is something like $60,000 IIRC, hardly a trail maintenance and design powerhouse, I would think.

    Second, I assume this is the taxpayers' land (i.e., the Forest Service's). I'm not in favor of any agency's aligning itself with an exclusion-minded private lobbying group to keep human-powered users off of trails on publicly owned land, if that is what has happened (I don't know and so far nothing on this thread has clarified matters).

    AFAIK, the United States is the only country in the world with these weird us-versus-them trail organizations like the defunct CDTA and bizarre trail management philosophies. Maybe someday a sociologist or historian will figure out what makes us different from everyone else. I'd put my money on the bad lingering effects of our dour Puritan heritage, which influences policy more than is commonly recognized.
    Just curious, where on did you get the idea the the US is "the only country in the world with these weird us-versus-them trail organizations like the defunct CDTA and bizarre trail management philosophies"?

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    Hi, everyone —

    @TomP — Yes, I agree: learn more. It was hard to do yesterday, a Sunday, and I'm trying to do that this morning. As for *****ing: I do get annoyed with the status of mountain biking about once every four years and then I vent. And then, with luck, the next day I calm down, as appears to be the case today.

    I'm happy to answer zrm's question. My opinion, which some people will disagree with, is that the United States is unusual, if not unique, among highly developed countries in its religiosity. One does not see, for example, a broad segment of Christian fundamentalism in Canada, New Zealand, Spain, or Germany. Where this comes from I'm not sure: maybe the influence of New England puritans, or the belief systems of the Scots-Irish who I believe settled much of the U.S. that's highly religious? Not sure.

    I do feel more comfortable pointing out that a lot of the fervor about America's wildlands, especially designated wilderness, is religiously freighted. When you read the rhetoric surrounding wilderness especially, you find it's replete with references to outdoor cathedrals, sacred spaces, primeval this and that, etc.—romantic writing that points to an Edenic setting, before the fall of humankind.

    In general, a prominent strain of modern environmentalism seems to consist of a temperance movement. And, for whatever reason, among the revivalists and preachers within that movement, the wheel (notably the bicycle wheel) apparently is the work of the devil—just as some Puritan sects preached against buttons on clothing (favoring instead hooks and eyes) as the devil's work.

    Of course, it's good to preserve areas for quiet and contemplative visitation and keep them free of roads, logging, and other forms of disruption (although wilderness has plenty of cattle grazing in it). But wilderness purists continue to go beyond this.

    Many people think they no longer believe in God, but religion is probably hard-wired into humans because it conferred a natural selection advantage. So people who no longer attend Methodist or Congregationalist church services, e.g., instead glom onto the Church of Wilderness. Which is why so much wilderness policy is so nutty, and even counterproductive. What wilderness purism has achieved in recent years is (a) less wilderness, (b) less well managed wilderness, and (c) widespread opposition to wilderness. Not exactly a rational approach, but understandable if one is operating according to faith rather than reason.

    In a brilliant essay, the renowned psychologist Jonathan Haidt wrote about this.

    "The key to understanding tribal behavior is not money, it’s sacredness," he wrote. "The great trick that humans developed at some point in the last few hundred thousand years is the ability to circle around a tree, rock, ancestor, flag, book or god, and then treat that thing as sacred. People who worship the same idol can trust one another, work as a team and prevail over less cohesive groups. So if you want to understand politics, and especially our divisive culture wars, you must follow the sacredness."

    The other person I'd refer people to on this topic is the conservationist William Cronon. His famous and controversial essay, "The Trouble With Wilderness," discusses these things. Among movement environmentalists, he is detested for having betrayed the faith. But I'd say this essay is a landmark in conservation thought, and, judging from all vast body of conservation writing it has provoked, others seem to think so too. Here's the link.

    http://www.williamcronon.net/writing...rness_1995.pdf

    And sorry if this post falls into the tl;dr category.

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    Quick follow-up: I typed the b-word in my post just now and mtbr.com converted it to asterisks. I'm impressed! I mean that seriously. I shouldn't have typed the original word, because it probably causes all sorts of filters to activate and then people wouldn't be able to read the thread. Interesting.

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    For those interested, here's a link to the full text of Jonathan Haidt's essay, which ran in The New York Times:

    http://campaignstops.blogs.nytimes.c...ype=blogs&_r=0

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    Interesting. not sure I agree with some of the leaps but interesting nonetheless

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    Quote Originally Posted by Walt Disney's Frozen Head View Post
    Interesting. not sure I agree with some of the leaps but interesting nonetheless
    I agree with Walt's Head, definitely find some of the symbology a bit overdone, but I agree that in a secular world people search for meaning. Sometimes people just care about wild places and creatures and have practical opinions about how to keep it that way. Interesting whether they are victims of puritanism or just enthusiastic.

    And I appreciate the fact that you didn't get defensive when I used the b word imtnbike.

    Just found out I'm going to be visiting this weekend with some key people intimately involved with the CDT and this development. I'll ask some questions. Anybody who has a specific question let me know. If it isn't dickish I'll pass it along. I'll summarize what I've learned Monday.

    Oh, and a little useful info for those of us who really can't communicate without profanity.

    Sh!t, P!ss, @ssh0le, fscker, d!ckhead. My work here is done, mofo.
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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    In general, a prominent strain of modern environmentalism seems to consist of a temperance movement. And, for whatever reason, among the revivalists and preachers within that movement, the wheel (notably the bicycle wheel) apparently is the work of the devil—just as some Puritan sects preached against buttons on clothing (favoring instead hooks and eyes) as the devil's work.

    http://www.williamcronon.net/writing...rness_1995.pdf

    And sorry if this post falls into the tl;dr category.


    While I completely agree with your assessment of the religious zealotry of environmentalism in America, I would take it one step further and say that Marxist radicals in America, knowing human nature and our genetically coded predisposition to become a "flock of sheep" if you will, have co-opted environmental advocacy since the early 1960's in their quest to create their Communist Utopia here in the U.S.. For it is not the environment that they really care about, it is power.

    So after decades of institutionalized brainwashing at the hands of these Marxists in our public and private educational systems, think global warming, they are on the verge of destroying what makes us unique, free will, and enslaving entire populations once again to be victims of the State. It is a sad state of affairs...

    The Language of Despotism | Hoover Institution

    “The beginning of wisdom is to call things by their proper name.”Confucius


    FWIW if your feathers are ruffled by my use the term "Marxist", it is done so loosely since I don't believe a term has been created as of yet to accurately describe the philosophy of those in power today. IMHO it is some sort of hybrid corporate fascism with roots in Marxism. Time will tell. I doubt the people of Russia knew what they were getting into at the turn of the 20 century either.

    Clearly it has roots in Marxism, but what is interesting is how these environmentalists and politicians are being funded and propped up through globalist mega-corporations.... much like the Catholic Church once ruled England, and to what end? we'll have to let the historians figure it out.

    But interestingly enough I heard someone on a progressive radio station being interviewed last night who was advocating taking the world population down to 1.5 billion, "because that is the only sustainable population the Earth can handle". Scary stuff.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by TomP View Post
    ... going to be visiting this weekend with some key people intimately involved with the CDT and this development. I'll ask some questions...
    So I had a conversation with someone who was intimately involved in the development of this trail segment project from the inception. Here's the deal about bikes on it:

    The EA (Environmental Assessment) that was done before a single flag was set or McCloud carried onto the work site said that it would be a no-wheels section. That decision was made by the land managers in 2006. It's done. Decision was made and made final 8 years ago.

    The CTF is moving to (help) manage that segment, and actually went in without authorization and signed it as the CT. They actually call it the CT-W I believe.

    One thing to consider about this: There is a bike-legal section of CDT that goes from the Alpine Tunnel to Tincup (nobody ever has called that bit the Colorado Trail). If you carried through on this new Tincup->Cottonwood section, at Cottonwood Pass you'd encounter the Collegiate Peaks Wilderness. So it could never function as a bike-legal through route. Even if this new part was legal you could only use it to get to Cottonwood Pass, then either turn around or ride down the pavement one direction or down the dirt off to the west.

    As a contrast, the Alpine Tunnel to Tincup section can be used to make a loop from St Elmo. Since there are two bike-legal routes that bridge it, makes more sense for that part to stay bike-legal.

    Let me know if anybody wants further clarification.
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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    Thanks for the clarification and the logistical (legal travel) considerations, TomP. I wonder if this 2006 decision simply escaped everyone's attention, including mine (I try to be aware of things like this).

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    Quote Originally Posted by imtnbke View Post
    Thanks for the clarification and the logistical (legal travel) considerations, TomP. I wonder if this 2006 decision simply escaped everyone's attention, including mine (I try to be aware of things like this).
    You know, personally, I bet I've sent over 100 comment documents for nearly that many public land decision comment periods. I don't doubt I sent one in. But the decision was 2006. The comment period was probably 2005 or even 2004. And since the CDT is less well-known as a biking trail system, it may not have made it onto many peoples' radar. If IMBA or somebody didn't raise a kerfuffle about it nobody might have been paying attention.

    Hell, I can't even remember what I ate for breakfast in 2005. How could I remember if I was concerned about travel policy on a piece of singletrack way up on the continental divide?

    Well, that's a joke--I would probably remember if I had thought that was an issue worth fighting for back then. And I don't remember what I had for breakfast yesterday...
    Tom Purvis - Salida, CO - http://teamvelveeta.tom-purvis.com

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    It's true. I ride in Colorado most years but live in California, so I'm not well placed to hear about stuff like this. As for IMBA, we have to keep in mind that back then IMBA was smaller, and I don't think it had its regional directors. I would bet that nowadays IMBA would be well aware of this unfortunate Environmental Assessment, just as it's fully engaged with the La Garita CDT reroute proposal, which has gone back and forth on whether it'll be multiuse. I hope everyone is an IMBA member. Things like this show that it's essential.

  28. #28
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    Does anyone happen to know what the EA was called? I'd like to look at it to understand how the bike exclusion was presented.

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    I was told that this is where you can read the EA. I haven't had time (and won't) to wade through all of this stuff, so if you can find anything relevant, please post it here. Thanks.

    Pike and San Isabel National Forests Cimarron and Comanche National Grasslands - Maps & Publications

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    Trails would be constructed or
    reconstructed according to the “More
    Difficult” pack and saddle stock trail
    standards, as found in the Trails
    Management Handbook (U.S. Forest
    Service 1991b) and in Table 2-5 (also see
    Figures 2-2, 2-3, 2-4, and 2-5 for
    examples). Trails would be designed for
    hiking and pack and saddle stock use
    during the snow-free season. The location
    and layout of the realignments would not
    be designed for winter use. This trail
    standard would provide a primitive and
    challenging trail experience. The trail
    layout and design process has ensured that
    no segment exceeds a 25% grade as
    directed by the Trails Management
    Handbook. The majority of the trail
    averages a maximum of 12-15% grade in
    order to minimize impacts from pack and
    saddle stock use on the trail tread and to
    minimize maintenance needs and
    associated costs. The trail would not be
    designed or managed for mountain biking.

    With Alternative C, approximately 46
    miles of trail would be available to
    mountain bike use (Maps B-7 and B-8).
    However, trails within the Collegiate
    Peaks Wilderness, between Cottonwood
    Pass and the Tincup Pass road, and
    between Sheep Gulch and the Silver Basin
    trail within the Clear Creek drainage
    would be closed to mountain bike use.
    Those sections outside of designated
    wilderness would be closed to mountain
    bike use to protect resources, particularly
    fragile alpine soils and plants, steep
    sideslopes and highly erodible soils, and in
    locations where they are in conflict with
    the nature and purpose of the CDT. All 46
    miles available to mountain bikes would
    be located on singletrack. This alternative
    would add 7.5 miles to the total mileage
    available to mountain bike use in the
    Study Area. The additional mileage
    would be the result of trail relocation from
    motorized routes to non-motorized routes
    that can accommodate mountain bike use. No existing mountain bike routes would be closed
    with this alternative. The entire length of this alternative would be designed for or passable to
    pack and saddle stock users.

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  32. #32
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    Man... I hope this nonsense has finally been put to bed in modern EAs: "Those sections outside of designated wilderness would be closed to mountain bike use to protect resources, particularly fragile alpine soils and plants, steep sideslopes and highly erodible soils"

    We've designed this trail for use by pack and saddle stock users... but we're concerned about the impact of bikes on fragile alpine soils and plants.


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    Yep, I think it was chosen by the CDT folks as non-mechanized due to it being the only sizable chunk of new trail construction outside of wilderness and they can say "we didn't close any mountain bike routes" as a "compromise". Its very easy to throw some BS verbiage in there about protecting the environment, but this was likely done simply because the CDT people don't like bikes.Its nice that we have organizations like IMBA calling BS on this kind of thing these days...

  34. #34
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    Agreed. I'm also glad the antibike CDTA is defunct. No doubt it was behind this silly reasoning.

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