POLL: Stance On Biking in Wilderness and Bill HR1349- Mtbr.com

View Poll Results: What is your stance on Biking in Wilderness and Bill HR1349?

58. You may not vote on this poll
  • I believe biking should be allowed in all wilderness areas.

    11 18.97%
  • I believe biking should be allowed in some wilderness areas per HR1349.

    37 63.79%
  • I support HR1349, but I don't think it will pass and I fear what the fallout of that might be.

    2 3.45%
  • I would support HR1349 with changes.

    2 3.45%
  • I believe biking should be allowed in some wilderness areas, but don't believe HR1349 is the best way to achieve that.

    2 3.45%
  • Mountain bikes don't belong in wilderness.

    5 8.62%
Multiple Choice Poll.
Results 1 to 11 of 11
  1. #1
    trail gnome
    Reputation: ray.vermette's Avatar
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    Jul 2008

    POLL: Stance On Biking in Wilderness and Bill HR1349

    People are painting this as a black and white "either you are with us or against us" issue, and I don't think it is.

  2. #2
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    Reputation: life behind bars's Avatar
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    May 2014
    Most Mountain Bikers want access to connect already existing routes ( Arizona Trail) that are interrupted by Wilderness areas. It's not like tens of thousands of Cyclists are going to descend upon the Wilderness like locusts.
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  3. #3
    Dirt Bound
    Reputation: Joe_Re's Avatar
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    Jan 2011
    I voted for the with changes option, only because I don't like the "and for other purposes" bit at the end of the name of the bill.

    Not every wilderness may be compatible with bikes, but bikes should be considered for inclusion, as should the other users listed in the description of the bill.

    I don't live in a place with much of any wilderness nearby. If I did, I would most certainly want the opportunity to ride deep into the wild. Further, I imagine, than someone on foot would tend to. To see places a relative few see. At 40 years old, with a young child, I can't just take two weeks off to hike somewhere, and to be honest I have no desire to go backpacking and never have, other than winter stuff which would be incompatible with any type of bike anyway.

  4. #4
    trail gnome
    Reputation: ray.vermette's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    I should have added other options....

    • HR1349 doesn't go far enough.
    • Mountain bikes should be allowed in some wilderness within tight limitations.
    • I would support HR1349 if different politicians were championing it.
    • I would support HR1349 if I was confident it will pass as-is, unaltered.
    • I can accept not riding in wilderness, if only the FS and conservation groups would stop using the "Recommended Wilderness" designation to evict us from trails we already ride and maintain.

    It's multiple choice, so select two or more options if that better represents your viewpoint.

  5. #5
    mtbr member
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Before the White Cloud Wilderness was established in Idaho, I had the opportunity to ride the Ants Basin Trail, a spectacular 22 mile ride. I saw a total of two people in what is now designated Wilderness. They were both mountain bikers. It's trails like that we have lost access to and will continue to loose access to as more areas are designated as Wilderness. The vast majority of Wilderness trails are not your DH/Shuttle type riding that many opponents of the bill may allude to. Most are hike-a-bike, slow speed, adventure type riding. The bill does not automatically allow biking on every Wilderness trail, but allows land managers to make those decisions locally instead of in Washington. Some opponents claim this will open the Wilderness up to motor vehicles and resource extraction. That's similar to the argument that Marijuana leads to meth addiction. The bill would also allow land managers to use chainsaws for trail maintenance. The Federal trail maintenance budget is just about zero as it is, so that would greatly improve their ability to maintain more trails with fewer people. Again, the opponents will have you believing that the public will be able to bring chainsaws into the Wilderness. The other common argument that holds no water is the environmental destruction that bikes cause- I don't want to beat a dead horse, so I'll stop there.

  6. #6
    mtbr member
    Reputation: CactusJackSlade's Avatar
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    Apr 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by life behind bars View Post
    It's not like tens of thousands of Cyclists are going to descend upon the Wilderness like locusts.
    Exactly.... but the naysayers want the public to believe that they will be over run if this bill passes...
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  7. #7
    trail gnome
    Reputation: ray.vermette's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Poll closed on the 27th.

    There was good support for the bill. No surprise there.

    I was surprised that 10 voted for biking being allowed in all wilderness areas, but perhaps that is due to how people interpreted that poll option versus what I intended it to represent. When I wrote "all", I meant all; like everywhere; like blanket allowance of mountain biking everywhere in every wilderness area, no exceptions.

    Myself, I think mountain biking could happen in many wilderness areas in a safe, sustainable, and environmentally responsible way, but I could also imagine some portions of wilderness areas that are so environmentally sensitive that only scientists and staff are allowed in them. Likewise, I can also imagine there are some heavily used trails with extreme exposure where adding mountain bikers to the user mix would be dangerous. I'm thinking of some of the Grand Canyon hiking trails (though I don't know if these are in designated wilderness, or if they have some other land designation).

    Personally I think the bill is reasonable, and I hope it passes, but given the current political situation, I think it only stands about a 1 in 4 chance. I want it to pass -- not so much because I want to ride in wilderness areas -- but because I see this land designation and recommended/study area designations being used to exclude or attempt to exclude mountain bikers from trails they ride and maintain right now, such as The Whole Enchilada.

    Interestingly, the poll shows whom voted for what, but the numbers don't add up. I don't know if that's because people exploited a flaw in the forum software to vote multiple times for the same option, or they are able to hide their usernames, or the poll software just doesn't work. Whatever the cause, no big deal.

  8. #8
    mtbr member
    Reputation: roughster's Avatar
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    Dec 2017
    I just wish the bill focused on allowing for a case by case basis decision by land managers instead of the blanket "No" answer. I strongly feel that the original intent of the wilderness "non-motorized" was never meant to exclude mountain biking in the first place.

  9. #9
    trail gnome
    Reputation: ray.vermette's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
    Quote Originally Posted by roughster View Post
    I just wish the bill focused on allowing for a case by case basis decision by land managers instead of the blanket "No" answer.
    You mean the original Wilderness Act, not bill HR1349, correct?

    HR1349 allows for a case-by-case decision, if I'm not mistaken.

  10. #10
    ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ SuperModerator
    Reputation: Klurejr's Avatar
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    Oct 2006
    Quote Originally Posted by ray.vermette View Post
    Poll closed on the 27th.
    I opened it back up for a bit, mostly because I wanted to vote as well. But only letting it run 14 days was not enough time to get good participation.
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  11. #11
    trail gnome
    Reputation: ray.vermette's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jul 2008
    No problem. I originally picked two weeks because I figured it would fall off everyone's radar by then.

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