Why is IMBA aligned with the pro wilderness groups?- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Why is IMBA aligned with the pro wilderness groups?

    Last time i checked, mountain bikes are not allowed in wilderness. So why is IMBA joining forces with organizations who want more wilderness? It doesn't make any sense at all.

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    Two reasons I can think of

    1) IMBA priorities are more closely aligned to those of wilderness organizations than organizations like logging companies and developers.

    2) By working closely with wilderness organizations IMBA may get them to agree to moving wilderness boundries or to requesting protected but not wilderness designations for certain areas of high value to mtn bikers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    Last time i checked, mountain bikes are not allowed in wilderness. So why is IMBA joining forces with organizations who want more wilderness? It doesn't make any sense at all.
    Could you expand on this a bit? Could you point to an example or a link? I ask because I know of a particular situation where what you say happened, but not recently. And I think bweide makes a good point.

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    For the same reason Anheuser Busch partners with MADD.
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    one quick case in point would be: Region 1 of the us forest service.
    All proposed wilderness will be treated as wilderness. this is a directive from abigal Kimball before she left region 1 to be the head of the us forest service. You can not reroute trails out of these areas. The boundaries where set many years ago. Yes i know imba is working with the mmba on this type of stuff. But we are losing valuable backcountry riding areas to these philosphies. The great burn just went illegal on may 1. glad i got some rides in there last summer. The bummer is congress didn't make this wilderness, the forest service did. with the blessing of the pro wilderness groups which imba is an ally.

    On bwielde statement. It makes sense, but you are using 2 extremes with logging and wilderness. There are plenty of multi use groups that don't want more wilderness and allow access to mechanicalized transportation.

    Wilderness groups don't want bikes, they want wilderness. And bikes are illegal in wilderness.

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    If you're not part of the dialog, then the dialog goes on without you.
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    The bummer is congress didn't make this wilderness, the forest service did. with the blessing of the pro wilderness groups which imba is an ally.
    ...........................
    Wilderness groups don't want bikes, they want wilderness. And bikes are illegal in wilderness.
    I'm confused.
    If Congress didn't approve it then it's not Wilderness. Perhaps it falls into
    one of the pseudo wilderness designations Salazar has tried to create to
    bypass Congressional approval?

    And IMHO, speaking from personal experience, it's not just that the
    environmentalists want Wilderness, many possess an almost violent angst
    towards motorized and mechanized recreation. (One of my projects as a
    Parks Planner was finding a location for an OHV park. It wasn't pretty.)

    From the Sierra Club website:
    "The biggest threat to the Great Burn is the recent increase in motorized "wreckreation." "

    And in some cases these same people may actually be involved in real
    estate/land development and want these types of designations to drive up
    property values of adjacent land owners. I'm always very skeptical of
    people saying they want Wilderness designations for the sake of
    wilderness. There are other driving motives.

    Closer to urban areas...
    Conservation easements are used much he same way, to eliminate
    motorized/mechanized use, even when there is no real conservation value
    to the property the CE is placed on.

    We are facing this issue in my local community where parks and open
    space boards are dominated by real estate and developer interests.
    These "citizen" boards are attempting to place conservation easements on every park and
    open space area and often do so immediately upon purchase of new park
    land without giving the public an opportunity for comment and prior to
    the master planning process.

    The door is not just being shut, but slammed in our faces.

    You may doubt that these people dislike bikes, but note the rise of the
    use of the terms "active" and "passive" recreation when defining allowable
    uses of public lands. These terms are specifically used to limit mechanized
    recreation.

    IMHO I believe we are at a critical juncture in the future of our sport and
    I too openly question the allies IMBA is aligned with and the justification
    for doing so. Perhaps it's time to reassess these partnerships and develop
    are more firm stance on public access to public lands?
    Last edited by UncleTrail; 05-24-2012 at 07:18 AM.

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    Yeah, it's extremely important for IMBA to work with Wilderness advocates to find that middle ground that everyone can work with. IMBA is pushing for alternative land designations that preserve wilderness values, but allow for human powered transportation. It's good to see a few mountain bikers interested in this stuff. I see that the "29'er" and and "Freeride" forums alone get 100 times more interest than trail advocacy.

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    I'm glad to see some people questioning what's going on rather than a bunch of imba fanboys like I expected

    I will continue to support imba as I always have but it is starting to become more uncomfortable the more the organization is turning into a political machine versus a grassroots movement. As long as they keep the best interest of mountain bikers always at the forefront, then I think their heart is in the right place....
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    Quote Originally Posted by dirtyjack View Post
    If you're not part of the dialog, then the dialog goes on without you.
    +1 this ^.

    It's better to work with these groups, try to educate them, and be involved in the process, rather than oppose them head-on and serve as an enemy they can point during meetings we're not invited to.

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    I'm probably like most of you, I'd rather be out digging in the dirt than dealing with the political BS. But it's a good thing we have someone to look out for our interests when important land management decisions are being made. Between the Wilderness advocates (many highly organized groups), equestrian groups (strong lobbies), and just general anti MTB public (Hi Mike), we at least have one small voice to be heard in Washington. I don't always agree with IMBA, but realize they have more collective knowledge than myself and know what works. And just for the record, I love Wilderness AND Mountain Biking.

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    In areas that are seeking Wilderness Area protection or where biker interests have encroached, there is a role for IMBA to play in creating what they call “companion destinations” in these areas by creating recreational opportunities outside the wilderness area. By working to accommodate the interests of mtbrs, IMBA helps avoid direct conflict with these protected lands. That helps promote our cause and our role as RESPONSIBLE members of the outdoor recreation community. Personally, I am fine with not being able to go into Wilderness areas on my bike. I can hike in there instead. No problem. Plenty of other places to ride and I don’t feel the need to gain access to EVERYWHERE.

    IMHO.

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    Idaho Mountain Express: Simpson speculates on future of CIEDRA - May 23, 2012

    boulder whiteclouds just won't go away. You can't reroute ants basin.

    I will get into this a little later when i have more time.

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    Tim - To make it clear for everyone. We are different from other areas. To the best of my knowledge, Region 1 is the only region that will impose the prohibitions of wilderness in RWAs. This policy has been a discussion point with some of our neighbors in WA, and other folks I know throughout the country.

    To make it clear to everyone, the RWAs in Region 1 approved forest plan revisions are managed AS wilderness without congressional approval, which means as forest plans in Region 1 are approved, folks in MT & WA are losing large amounts of backcountry singletrack. To say it lightly, access and conservation is brutal in ID & MT.
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    Quote Originally Posted by bpressnall View Post
    Yeah, it's extremely important for IMBA to work with Wilderness advocates to find that middle ground that everyone can work with. IMBA is pushing for alternative land designations that preserve wilderness values, but allow for human powered transportation. It's good to see a few mountain bikers interested in this stuff. I see that the "29'er" and and "Freeride" forums alone get 100 times more interest than trail advocacy.
    You know that mt. biking in and of itself is certainly a diverse recreation. There are many facets to riding and if i were to break down these 2 popular segments it would be thus. The 29er forum are bikes that are big wheeled, the handling is such you can really focus more on the cardio aspect of riding. Freeride the bikes are built such that mt. bike specific trails challenge the higher threshold of bike handling capability.

    i say they both lean more on focusing on these specific aspects of mt. biking, would you not agree?

    Being around mt. biking you meet so many people, and in their exploits in riding you see where people move around in the assorted preference of what they want to get out of their ride. Many times if people have been riding for years they dabble or have dabbled in all aspects.

    The intangible quotient of being in nature is something that is hard to define, and unfortunately is not in top of mind or priority to people who are focusing more on getting peak performance for an upcoming enduro race, or who is focusing on whatever trick they can pull of on the jumps.

    It's not that it's not important, it's just not top of mind. And for the riders who favor the ability to explore/commune in quiet natural places. Where our focus is to use our bike handling skills to safely navigate the backcountry, where our focus is to use our cardio to set a nice pace to avoid having to spend the night in the woods. Well we are losing epic spots that make such priority within riding appealing to our own community.

    We are losing epic spots that cause our jaw to drop, and to understand how small we are in relation. We have lost and are still losing the quiet naps alongside a lake that is calm and still and which that calm and still is uninterrupted.

    We have been told and are still being sold on the notion that bikes don't belong as a utility in finding, exploring, and enhancing this aspect simply because the existing opportunities reflect what is there.

    i think we are a product of our environment in this way, and many in our own community are buying into the notion that these natural places need to be protected from bikes. When it's my contention that bikes are a great place to bring people in to capture their imagination to where these experiences serve to enhance their awareness, and get them to ponder more on their relation to the natural environment.

    As such...

    Quote Originally Posted by wahday View Post
    In areas that are seeking Wilderness Area protection or where biker interests have encroached, there is a role for IMBA to play in creating what they call “companion destinations” in these areas by creating recreational opportunities outside the wilderness area.
    Why do i get the comfy feeling that as long as we keep quiet with our heads down, that the trip in the back of the bus will go without conflict.


    Quote Originally Posted by wahday View Post
    That helps promote our cause and our role as RESPONSIBLE members of the outdoor recreation community.
    Responsible how and to whom and whose agenda?

    Quote Originally Posted by wahday View Post
    Personally, I am fine with not being able to go into Wilderness areas on my bike. I can hike in there instead. No problem. Plenty of other places to ride and I don’t feel the need to gain access to EVERYWHERE.
    i'm not fine at all with the Wilderness ban and anyone who mt. bikes should not be happy with the status quo, nor the sweeping ban of bikes in these areas.

    IF there wasn't such a ban, you would find that many trails within Wilderness are not fit for mt. biking and as such would be managed as such and that is reasonable. Given the status quo, you look at the maps, with the understanding that you can HIKE EVERYWHERE, how obtuse the inference that mt. bikers who are defending what little access left be shown in any regard close to entitled.

    The statement gain access to EVERYWHERE. Please demonstrate any land management decision where mt. bikers gain access to EVERYWHERE? Because brother that's where i'd like to hang my hat.

    This isn't to belittle efforts as such, but let's be realistic. We are at a position of weakness, we have bartered as such, and as opportunities dry up we will adopt a more marginalized approach to what we get on our experiences on a mt. bike.

    And as opportunities grow in other areas, we really are shortchanging the upcoming generations in this regard.

    It's just really unfortunate in the grand scheme of things, that mt. biking in and of itself is not thought of as a legitimate means of bringing nature to the upcoming generations, and manage towards that. To me, i certainly would like that ability to ride in epic beautiful places, but it's NOT about that.

    Being involved in community efforts, and within my own experience of mt. biking illuminating these positive aspects of which i speak. The current path of policy, where our collective hands are being forced, really are shortchanging these opportunities of which i speak.

    Or more simply

    i've built trails in front country where i witness families riding, and you can tell they ALL want to be there, the enthusiasm is genuinely obvious. i see families on hikes in Wilderness where the parents are DRAGGING their kids with them, and you can tell they want to go home and play video games.

    THAT'S what kills me about this antiquated management plan we call Wilderness.
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  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahday View Post
    I am fine with not being able to go into Wilderness areas on my bike.
    I'm not.
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    Why is IMBA alligned with pro wilderness groups?

    First of all, if you poll the IMBA board of directors, you will find they are members of the Sierra Club. Been that way for over two decades. What has it benefited mountain bikers? Well, what did it benefit the British when Neville Chamberlin instituted a policy of appeasement with the Nazis? What has it benefited Israel to give away land to the Palestinians? Appeasement and giving land away to your enemies brings hope of a better tomorrow. When it never happens, you can double-down and offer more concessions, or you can wake up to the fact that some people will always hate you and work to eliminate you from the picture. IMBA has had a couple decades to wake up to the facts. Maybe a friendly nudge from members is not the best approach. Bring in General Patton for a serious wake-up smack in the face. Being an advovcate means getting mean and nasty when your getting your ass kicked by The Sierra Club.

  20. #20
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    If there's anyone here more against preventing people access to their land than me, I will be surprised. In particular I feel Skookum and Uncle Trail and their pain. May be wrong, but here are (probably) mature and lifetime-committed individuals who know that the duty of "our generation" is to pass the love of our land on to others.

    How do you do that when the political feeling is that you may be a risk because you own a bike and want to use it? And erode and confront other users and get hurt and be liability risk and not have enough money and friends to change that image? And when IMBA has fingers in the pie of the groups that label you as lesser citizens?

    Well, oddly to me and maybe others in this thread, recently IMBA (Australia) turned up to challenge and support local land managers and reassure them of the benefits of authorized MTB vrs the risks of the current situation in our area, that being almost no legal and lots of "illegal" trail in an area with a population exceeding needs - a lot. Looks good locally we hope.

    So, will IMBA always be a force for MTB or will it die/be absorbed into other user group umbrellas - those with more money or clout? Time will tell. Logic suggests the vast majority of the MTB community will fail to come to the party and back IMBA with numbers, political, financial or even muscular/digging support. Maybe, in the end the only groups that do back IMBA will stand to gain politically and not really care about MTB. Sounds bad doesn't it?

    While I (still) struggle to see the need for committees and politics in MTB - the power of the people still makes more sense to me - reluctantly I can see what IMBA has to offer. Coordination. For now and at least in this country they seem to have the ear of the uninformed. They also seem to support sensible multi-use trail development and perhaps see that trail encounters can be a very positive experience, rather than a point of conflict.

    I sure hope IMBA means that where you live?

    So long as IMBA represents the need of people to gain access to our world, whether on a bike on otherwise, then they are worth supporting. Don't fail us IMBA, or else!

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    Quote Originally Posted by Ridnparadise View Post
    Logic suggests the vast majority of the MTB community will fail to come to the party and back IMBA with numbers, political, financial or even muscular/digging support.
    I'd change "logic" to "results", but that right there is THE BIG PROBLEM with MTB access to trails in the USA. Bikers are selfish and lazy, want it all done FOR them the way THEY want it, so they can ride it, and then go do the other things they want to do. They want the cake and icing and the beer and BBQ GIVEN to them, do not want to pay for it with time or money and / or sweat.

    We have a great situation in our local area, because quite a few of us spend the time with land managers and those who govern the local areas, when we would rather be riding or building. We have built the personal relationships that build trust and get us access.

    That relationship building to engender trust is what IMBA is attempting to do on a national and international scale, but the majority of riders cannot be bothered to help, it will take away from their (decreasing) riding time.

    They can then cry and complain, and post on the Internet about how they are kept out of places, while expecting someone else to do it for them.

    The equestrian groups and the moto groups figured this out years ago and are very organized because the understood they would loose with no organization to work with the land managers. Why are MTB riders so dense, the writing is on the wail, IN THEIR FACE, and then turn around to go ride and whine.
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    ... and if we just ...

    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    I'd change "logic" to "results", but that right there is THE BIG PROBLEM with MTB access to trails in the USA. Bikers are selfish and lazy, want it all done FOR them the way THEY want it, so they can ride it, and then go do the other things they want to do. They want the cake and icing and the beer and BBQ GIVEN to them, do not want to pay for it with time or money and / or sweat.

    We have a great situation in our local area, because quite a few of us spend the time with land managers and those who govern the local areas, when we would rather be riding or building. We have built the personal relationships that build trust and get us access.

    That relationship building to engender trust is what IMBA is attempting to do on a national and international scale, but the majority of riders cannot be bothered to help, it will take away from their (decreasing) riding time.

    They can then cry and complain, and post on the Internet about how they are kept out of places, while expecting someone else to do it for them.


    The equestrian groups and the moto groups figured this out years ago and are very organized because the understood they would loose with no organization to work with the land managers. Why are MTB riders so dense, the writing is on the wail, IN THEIR FACE, and then turn around to go ride and whine.
    Great post!
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  23. #23
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    IMBA

    Great organization for the urban cyclist. There support of wilderness does not make them a great organization for the backcountry mountain biker. Because of this, i quit after being a member for 10+ years.

    Wilderness. I have spent alot of time in congressionaly designated wilderness. Starting in jr high we always did the horse pack wilderness elk hunt. Pack into a wilderness area and set up the wall tent for 10 days. Grew up doing this. I got a backpack to keep going into wilderness area when it wasn't elk season.

    I got into whitewater pretty heavy and got to be a safety kayaker on many multi day wilderness river trips. Great fun. Along the way i picked up a mountain bike, that was in college. Started wondering why i couldn't ride my bike where i was backpacking.

    Still doing the river trips, and the hunting trips, even the backpacking trips. But i don't see where we need any more wilderness designations. we have plenty as it is. Personally i would love to see another designation come up.

    Wilderness that is not along a river is the most under utilzed land there is. With our population growing we need more places to recreate and play. Not less.

    To me the sierra club, and the idaho conservation league are public enemy #1.


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    Is it not also possible that the IMBA is teaming up with pro-wilderness groups to generate alliances that could lead to allowing mtbs in wilderness areas? If its going to happen, its more likely to be because you have supporters and allies, not because you stomped your feet and walked away in protest. There are pro-wilderness activists who support bikes in wilderness areas, afterall. And legislation is a shifting target that can change:

    Mountain Bike Recreation and Designated Wilderness: A Case for Reconsideration
    Wilderness Act Does Not Ban Mountain Biking | Bill Schneider | NewWest.Net

    There is a lot to be said for making friends and allies as a strategy for convincing them that, really, we are good folk who are responsible stewards of the outdoors. I don’t see that you gain a lot by being standoffish and refusing to be part of the conversation. One can do all of that and still maintain the integrity of their position (“I support the hard work hikers have done to keep trails in wilderness areas. We share your passion. So, can we get some access, too?”)

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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son View Post
    First of all, if you poll the IMBA board of directors, you will find they are members of the Sierra Club. Been that way for over two decades. What has it benefited mountain bikers? Well, what did it benefit the British when Neville Chamberlin instituted a policy of appeasement with the Nazis? What has it benefited Israel to give away land to the Palestinians? Appeasement and giving land away to your enemies brings hope of a better tomorrow. When it never happens, you can double-down and offer more concessions, or you can wake up to the fact that some people will always hate you and work to eliminate you from the picture. IMBA has had a couple decades to wake up to the facts. Maybe a friendly nudge from members is not the best approach. Bring in General Patton for a serious wake-up smack in the face. Being an advovcate means getting mean and nasty when your getting your ass kicked by The Sierra Club.
    You are right. It's like negotiating with Iran.

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    wahlday

    after many, many meetings with the forest service, i learned you need to speak for yourself. I never ran away crying, i just don't run to the organizations. just so you know, I used to speak for a couple of groups at various land use meetings. In the last few years, i have turned groups down. It is just not worth the backstabbing, that goes on behind the lines. However it was very rewarding to stand in front of a us senator, the undersecretary of the forest service and the undersecretary of the blm and tell them how i feel on federal lands, And the cool thing was you could tell them what you wanted and not be arrested. So i have been in the battle for about 20 years.

    As others have stated, there in no negotiating with the pro wilderness groups. It is really to bad.

    A whole new land use designation has to come about.

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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    ... THE BIG PROBLEM with MTB access to trails in the USA. Bikers are selfish and lazy, want it all done FOR them the way THEY want it, so they can ride it, and then go do the other things they want to do. They want the cake and icing and the beer and BBQ GIVEN to them, do not want to pay for it with time or money and / or sweat.
    I don't entirely agree with this part of your post. In my area, there is a big force of builders, or at least financial backers, that is untapped because the projects are rejected by the liability fearing government or blocked by legal action from environmental groups. The illegally built trails are evidence of this.

    The forestry industry has it easier that MTBers.

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    Quote Originally Posted by wahday View Post
    Is it not also possible that the IMBA is teaming up with pro-wilderness groups to generate alliances that could lead to allowing mtbs in wilderness areas? If its going to happen, its more likely to be because you have supporters and allies, not because you stomped your feet and walked away in protest. There are pro-wilderness activists who support bikes in wilderness areas, afterall. And legislation is a shifting target that can change:


    There is a lot to be said for making friends and allies as a strategy for convincing them that, really, we are good folk who are responsible stewards of the outdoors. I don’t see that you gain a lot by being standoffish and refusing to be part of the conversation. One can do all of that and still maintain the integrity of their position (“I support the hard work hikers have done to keep trails in wilderness areas. We share your passion. So, can we get some access, too?”)
    How old are you and how long are you willing to wait for something positive to happen?

    Personally, I have a ten year rule when waiting for land managers to get something done. After that, I see to it that passionate trail users get the job done. There is no stomping of feet. Just pro-active hard work.

    I suppose there is a need for making friends and allies. After all, I recall FDR sitting down with Stalin, in order to defeat Hitler. I would have preferred that FDR stick a knife in Stalin's heart during that get together. What many people here on the forums fail to recognize or acknowledge, is there is a lot to be said for telling your land manager that he has failed you and the public, by not keeping up with recreational needs, then going out into the woods and forcing the issue. I could cite Sedona, where over the last 5-7 years there has been as many as 50 new trails built. 45 of them were built by mountain bikers with no permission but plenty of skills in design and building techniques. You could try to tell me that burns bridges. I'd say you are completely mistaken. The results are that most, if not all those new trails have been adopted by the Forest Service. Some are being ridden by large numbers of riders and have yet to be officially adopted. Yes, it's a gamble wildcat builders are taking. They could be caught and fined. Few ever are.

    I can also cite examples where the Forest Service became to alarmed by the numbers of people out building trails without their knowledge, they met with riders and offered to build new trails if they agreed to stop building their own trails. The riders always agree, then they get new trails and usually keep building other trails. The Forest Service, most predictably, then throws up their arms and ignores it all. After all, they are government workers who get paid exactly the same if they work hard or don't work at all.

    You may not be into civil disobedience. You may enjoy sitting through public meeting after public meeting, for years and years, with no sign of progress, no actual new trails for bikers. My advice to folks who live in areas like that is to move to some place where new trails are built each and every year, either by land managers who have some degree of passion for riding, or by riders who will not tolerate inaction.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    As others have stated, there in no negotiating with the pro wilderness groups. It is really to bad.

    A whole new land use designation has to come about.
    Yes it does.
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  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by slocaus View Post
    I'd change "logic" to "results", but that right there is THE BIG PROBLEM with MTB access to trails in the USA. Bikers are selfish and lazy, want it all done FOR them the way THEY want it, so they can ride it, and then go do the other things they want to do. They want the cake and icing and the beer and BBQ GIVEN to them, do not want to pay for it with time or money and / or sweat.

    We have a great situation in our local area, because quite a few of us spend the time with land managers and those who govern the local areas, when we would rather be riding or building. We have built the personal relationships that build trust and get us access.

    That relationship building to engender trust is what IMBA is attempting to do on a national and international scale, but the majority of riders cannot be bothered to help, it will take away from their (decreasing) riding time.

    They can then cry and complain, and post on the Internet about how they are kept out of places, while expecting someone else to do it for them.

    The equestrian groups and the moto groups figured this out years ago and are very organized because the understood they would loose with no organization to work with the land managers. Why are MTB riders so dense, the writing is on the wail, IN THEIR FACE, and then turn around to go ride and whine.
    Then the onus is on the mtb groups to keep doing a better job in bringing in the community to appreciate the work. Define the cause that will erode the negative tendencies you brand our community with.

    Look i was part of building a trail where nearly 4000 volunteer hours were logged in two years. It's one trail out of 16 or so trails. Lots of the work was done by a core group, but i worked my ass off to bring in, and serve to others in an open manner.

    i busted my ass off on the trail putting in the hours, but when i had people there i busted my ass of making it a fun enriching experience. The myriad of people i worked with from ALL walks of life give me SOOOO much a different perspective and RESPECT for our community.
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  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son View Post
    How old are you and how long are you willing to wait for something positive to happen?

    Personally, I have a ten year rule when waiting for land managers to get something done. After that, I see to it that passionate trail users get the job done. There is no stomping of feet. Just pro-active hard work.

    I suppose there is a need for making friends and allies. After all, I recall FDR sitting down with Stalin, in order to defeat Hitler. I would have preferred that FDR stick a knife in Stalin's heart during that get together. What many people here on the forums fail to recognize or acknowledge, is there is a lot to be said for telling your land manager that he has failed you and the public, by not keeping up with recreational needs, then going out into the woods and forcing the issue. I could cite Sedona, where over the last 5-7 years there has been as many as 50 new trails built. 45 of them were built by mountain bikers with no permission but plenty of skills in design and building techniques. You could try to tell me that burns bridges. I'd say you are completely mistaken. The results are that most, if not all those new trails have been adopted by the Forest Service. Some are being ridden by large numbers of riders and have yet to be officially adopted. Yes, it's a gamble wildcat builders are taking. They could be caught and fined. Few ever are.

    I can also cite examples where the Forest Service became to alarmed by the numbers of people out building trails without their knowledge, they met with riders and offered to build new trails if they agreed to stop building their own trails. The riders always agree, then they get new trails and usually keep building other trails. The Forest Service, most predictably, then throws up their arms and ignores it all. After all, they are government workers who get paid exactly the same if they work hard or don't work at all.

    You may not be into civil disobedience. You may enjoy sitting through public meeting after public meeting, for years and years, with no sign of progress, no actual new trails for bikers. My advice to folks who live in areas like that is to move to some place where new trails are built each and every year, either by land managers who have some degree of passion for riding, or by riders who will not tolerate inaction.
    i think most rational folk won't go down your path, but at the same time i think everybody can understand how you came to the conclusions and decisions you make.

    But a key statement you make is having land managers that have some degree of passion not necessarily for riding per se, but in building community effort through our recreation.

    If it is devoid it really takes the assistance of the land manager to help develop the process. Enter politics...
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  32. #32
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    Seems like some input from IMBA would help here. Anyone, care to comment?
    Last edited by Flyin_W; 05-30-2012 at 08:34 AM.

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son View Post
    How old are you and how long are you willing to wait for something positive to happen?

    Personally, I have a ten year rule when waiting for land managers to get something done. After that, I see to it that passionate trail users get the job done. There is no stomping of feet. Just pro-active hard work.

    I suppose there is a need for making friends and allies. After all, I recall FDR sitting down with Stalin, in order to defeat Hitler. I would have preferred that FDR stick a knife in Stalin's heart during that get together. What many people here on the forums fail to recognize or acknowledge, is there is a lot to be said for telling your land manager that he has failed you and the public, by not keeping up with recreational needs, then going out into the woods and forcing the issue. I could cite Sedona, where over the last 5-7 years there has been as many as 50 new trails built. 45 of them were built by mountain bikers with no permission but plenty of skills in design and building techniques. You could try to tell me that burns bridges. I'd say you are completely mistaken. The results are that most, if not all those new trails have been adopted by the Forest Service. Some are being ridden by large numbers of riders and have yet to be officially adopted. Yes, it's a gamble wildcat builders are taking. They could be caught and fined. Few ever are.

    I can also cite examples where the Forest Service became to alarmed by the numbers of people out building trails without their knowledge, they met with riders and offered to build new trails if they agreed to stop building their own trails. The riders always agree, then they get new trails and usually keep building other trails. The Forest Service, most predictably, then throws up their arms and ignores it all. After all, they are government workers who get paid exactly the same if they work hard or don't work at all.

    You may not be into civil disobedience. You may enjoy sitting through public meeting after public meeting, for years and years, with no sign of progress, no actual new trails for bikers. My advice to folks who live in areas like that is to move to some place where new trails are built each and every year, either by land managers who have some degree of passion for riding, or by riders who will not tolerate inaction.
    Being a child of the 60's, the environmental movement, Earth Day, tanstaafl, The Population Bomb - I love Civil Disobedience, from Thoreau, to Edward Abbey, to Dave Berry, Earth First, the Monkey Wrench Gang.

    In this day and age, it fails more than it works, sadly. Sedona is a small percentage of success, a very small percentage.

    "In Good Company" - A film about the importance of mountain biking to a community - Pinkbike
    "The physician heals, Nature makes well" - real fortune cookie

    CCCMB trail work for trail access - SLO, CA

  34. #34
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    I do want to say thank you to the trail builders. I do appreciate it.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by tim208 View Post
    wahlday

    after many, many meetings with the forest service, i learned you need to speak for yourself. I never ran away crying, i just don't run to the organizations. just so you know, I used to speak for a couple of groups at various land use meetings. In the last few years, i have turned groups down. It is just not worth the backstabbing, that goes on behind the lines. However it was very rewarding to stand in front of a us senator, the undersecretary of the forest service and the undersecretary of the blm and tell them how i feel on federal lands, And the cool thing was you could tell them what you wanted and not be arrested. So i have been in the battle for about 20 years.

    As others have stated, there in no negotiating with the pro wilderness groups. It is really to bad.

    A whole new land use designation has to come about.

    Well said Tim.

    While not an easy thing to do.
    Sometimes it's best to stand alone and be the lone voice of logic.

    You just cannot reason with some people and there comes a time
    when you have to take a stand for what you really believe in and give
    up the politically correct notion that everything must be part of a
    compromise.

  36. #36
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    Quote Originally Posted by wahday View Post
    Is it not also possible that the IMBA is teaming up with pro-wilderness groups to generate alliances that could lead to allowing mtbs in wilderness areas?
    This reminds me of a certain user group who kept wanting to take the OS
    staff on bike rides to "show them" what MTB riding was all about....
    this was going to solve all the access issues and trail conflicts. "If
    they could only ride an AM bike and see the trail from our POV... we
    could make them mountain bikers too."

    Behind closed doors OS managers always got a good chuckle out of that.
    I'm sure the pro-wilderness folks do too.

    Some people just don't care about bikes. You can't change that.

    So IMHO you have to find a way to work around these people or you get
    perpetually stuck in complacency and compromised goals.

  37. #37
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    Quote:
    Originally Posted by The Prodigal Son
    How old are you and how long are you willing to wait for something positive to happen?

    Personally, I have a ten year rule when waiting for land managers to get something done. After that, I see to it that passionate trail users get the job done. There is no stomping of feet. Just pro-active hard work.

    I suppose there is a need for making friends and allies. After all, I recall FDR sitting down with Stalin, in order to defeat Hitler. I would have preferred that FDR stick a knife in Stalin's heart during that get together. What many people here on the forums fail to recognize or acknowledge, is there is a lot to be said for telling your land manager that he has failed you and the public, by not keeping up with recreational needs, then going out into the woods and forcing the issue. I could cite Sedona, where over the last 5-7 years there has been as many as 50 new trails built. 45 of them were built by mountain bikers with no permission but plenty of skills in design and building techniques. You could try to tell me that burns bridges. I'd say you are completely mistaken. The results are that most, if not all those new trails have been adopted by the Forest Service. Some are being ridden by large numbers of riders and have yet to be officially adopted. Yes, it's a gamble wildcat builders are taking. They could be caught and fined. Few ever are.

    I can also cite examples where the Forest Service became to alarmed by the numbers of people out building trails without their knowledge, they met with riders and offered to build new trails if they agreed to stop building their own trails. The riders always agree, then they get new trails and usually keep building other trails. The Forest Service, most predictably, then throws up their arms and ignores it all. After all, they are government workers who get paid exactly the same if they work hard or don't work at all.

    You may not be into civil disobedience. You may enjoy sitting through public meeting after public meeting, for years and years, with no sign of progress, no actual new trails for bikers. My advice to folks who live in areas like that is to move to some place where new trails are built each and every year, either by land managers who have some degree of passion for riding, or by riders who will not tolerate inaction.

    "i think most rational folk won't go down your path, but at the same time i think everybody can understand how you came to the conclusions and decisions you make."Skookum


    I can. I feel like a very lucky rider, because our local LMs have suddenly and almost unexpectedly decided to support MTB! How that happened will remain a total mystery to 99% of riders, for ever. Most of the dedicated local riders and builders who should be lauded for their decades of club-level, trail building, maintenance and other efforts probably don't even know what is going on. Out of a climate of illegal vrs authority has come a cooperative of people on both sides wanting a future for MTB.

    Would that have happened without riders stamping their ideas into the ground as trail? Not a chance! Would bureaucrats and politicians see past liability without pirate opposition? No way! Do we own the land or do our public servants and lawyers?

    These are questions that have to be raised against and balanced against arguments for centralised negotiations. Does IMBA stand for all riders or does it stand for itself and the expansion and preservation of that authority and profitability? Let's face it, every institution and "authority" is out to fend for itself first and foremost.

    I say we should fight for our rights, like others here and base that fight on what IS right, not what is said to be right.

    However, if IMBA comes to your place and in front of your eyes makes your opponents stop, think and even agree, then that's not bad. Who else outside your place would or could do that? IMBA? Questions questions........

  38. #38
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    IMBA's FAQ on Wilderness beelow. You'll find much more at imba.com/resources

    What is Wilderness?

    The 1964 Wilderness Act protects more than 106 million acres from road construction, development, motorized travel and most forms of resource extraction and manmade structures. Unfortunately, many people do not realize that bicycles are not allowed in Wilderness. Federal land agencies in the 1980's interpreted the Wilderness Act to prohibit bicycles, though previously they had been allowed. Wilderness is often seen as the gold standard in land protection, but Congress can use similar prescriptions like National Protection Area, National Scenic Area and other designations that preserve the land, allow bicycles and may be more relevant to local cultures and needs.

    [Back to the top]
    Does IMBA Support Wilderness?

    Yes, IMBA currently supports bills that contain Wilderness provisions in California, Colorado, New Mexico, Oregon and Virginia. Along with local cyclists, IMBA has worked with legislators and stakeholders to protect hundreds of thousands of acres and preserve our most important trails for bicycling. We believe new bills should be reviewed on a case-by-case basis.

    [Back to the top]
    What is IMBA's Wilderness Strategy?

    IMBA believes mountain biking, a low-impact, muscle-powered recreation, is an appropriate trail use on public lands and is consistent with the values of Wilderness land protection, which includes recreation in natural landscapes.

    When proposed Wilderness Areas include significant mountain biking opportunities, IMBA pursues boundary adjustments and alternative land designations that protect natural areas while preserving bicycle access. IMBA can support new Wilderness designations where they don't close singletrack bicycling opportunities.

    IMBA mobilizes and leads its grassroots network to participate in local negotiations over Wilderness lands expansion. It is essential that IMBA, cycling clubs and individuals speak strongly for mountain biking in the early stages of Wilderness discussions. Through education, outreach, community building, partnerships and media relations, mountain bikers can influence and support appropriate land protection bills, including Wilderness.

    [Back to the top]
    Do Mountain Bicyclists Support Land Protection?

    IMBA members highly value land conservation, clean water and clean air. The vast majority of mountain bicyclists enjoy riding in natural areas on narrow trails, away from roads, development and resource extraction. Our activity brings us closer to nature and fosters a desire for environmental protection. Backcountry travel by bicycle is demanding, yet highly rewarding, and cyclists wish to protect these experiences.

    [Back to the top]
    Is IMBA Trying to Get Bicycles in Wilderness?

    No, IMBA respects the federal land agencies' regulation that bicycles are not allowed in existing Wilderness. When proposed Wilderness legislation impacts significant mountain bicycling trails, IMBA suggests alternative designations, non-Wilderness corridors or cherry stems and boundary adjustments that will protect the land and allow our use to continue.

    [Back to the top]
    Does IMBA Collaborate With Other Stakeholders?

    Yes, collaboration is almost always the most productive approach to addressing today's natural resource protection issues. Most recently in Virginia, IMBA and local cyclists worked with the Wilderness Society, Forest Service and other groups to create the Virginia Ridge and Valley Act. This legislation, if passed by Congress, will protect 55,000 acres. Important mountain bicycling trails will be protected as a National Scenic Area, free of motorized travel, roads, resource extraction and structures.

    [Back to the top]
    Are Bicycles Appropriate in Wild Places?

    Yes, bicycling is a human-powered, low-impact, quiet form of travel compatible with wild places and the intent of the Wilderness Act. There are instances where bicycling may not be feasible or appropriate. Some trails in proposed Wilderness areas are too rugged or steep for our use. On some national trails, such as the Appalachian Trail, IMBA respects the prohibition of bicycles. In other cases, trails should be closed to all forms of recreation (hiking, bicycling, horse use, etc.) when sensitive plants, wildlife or weather-related seasonal conditions are present.

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