New Wilderness Bill

5:42 p.m. on September 16, 2016 (EDT)
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figured id start a thread on the new wilderness bill that was part of the spam cart thread.....

make this a thread on the discussion of this bill....

here is the bill as posted by someone else in the other thread...


5:43 p.m. on September 16, 2016 (EDT)
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ill start us off---

i really dont like the bill in general, but i really dont like this last line--

"If a local official fails to make such a determination about a permitted route more than two years after this bill's enactment, then any form of recreational use by nonmotorized transportation methods shall be allowable on that route."




sooooooooo...........a local official can basically ignore or completely forget about the bill and low and behold, non motorized transportation is allowed......



8:32 a.m. on September 17, 2016 (EDT)
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Thanks for restarting this topic...while I know a lot of mountain bikes I have not heard any one of them complain that designated Wilderness is off limits....seems like this might be a small lobby. My initial thoughts:

  • Like you I don't think the default setting for no action should be open trails, if this passes.
  • Bikes,  in my experience, can really degrade trails due to the speed of descent and tendency to widen the trail by going around wet and rough spots. I know of several bike-hike trails that are eroded 3 ft into the ground. Now they are growing sideways to avoid the rut.
  • Hiking and biking are not very compatible uses due to difference in speed. I don't enjoy walking our local Greenway due to having to be constantly aware of bikes coming and going. Agajn, nothing against biking...just not on the same trail.
  • Allowing faster access to the inner wilderness areas will "shrink" the wilderness. Imagine being two days in and having a group of bikes go by!
  • The Act states that Wilderness areas should be "untrammeled by man". Not sure bikes unless ridden slowly meet this definition .
  • Bikes racing through wilderness areas will likely have a larger impact on wildlife than slower hikers.

So I am against this bill and will be writing my representatives in Congress. I think there are plenty of Nationa Forest areas not designated as wilderness where bikers can enjoy trails and build more.

12:47 p.m. on September 17, 2016 (EDT)
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Thanks for reposting...I looked at the Bill once Phil posted it...I am not for this at all..I can look atthe Colorado trail which is mixed use and The illegal Mountain Bikers at the PCT in Mojave...IMBA International Mountain Biker Association has been trying to de regulate trails for over 30 years...There's also another Mountain Bike group ( Money) thats going after the National Scenic Trails they avoid the AT because Congress made that a walking trail only...But this opens a slippery slope and to open...As Kevin has posted and Patman have seen whats the down side to this...I already wrote my congressman and Senator yesterday morning...Although I have no idea what my congressman would do. I asked my Senator to ask the other Congressman in my state to vote NO...He has a good record for enviormental and Wildermess regulation...

7:21 p.m. on September 17, 2016 (EDT)
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Would this just be for Mt.Bikes? Could atv's, motorcycles,horses,jeeps,ect use these areas? I know there aRe tons ofor old logging roads and fire roads in parks too could these be use eventually?  I do ride off road but nowhere near where people would hike or camp and I would hate to hear that noise and see the damage caused because they let this happen. 

9:52 p.m. on September 17, 2016 (EDT)
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A foot trail is a foot trail, especially so in a wilderness area.  Wheeled traffic is not needed and so far not allowed. 

    He founded the Appalachian Trail and he wanted it to be a "real wilderness footpath."  His words.  He considered "his" AT to "be a footway and not a wheelway." Read it and weep, bicyclists.

All these special places are still open to bicyclists---Just leave your machines at home and get out and walk.

Plus, foot traffic is mostly slow---uphill or down.  Most bicyclists tend to "race" downhill on whatever trails they ride.  Just look at Youtube vids.  Hiker speed and bike speed are two totally different beasts.

I "caught" two bicyclists on the North Fork trail in the Citico wilderness last December and got them to turn around after a testy encounter.  Irritable bunch.

9:40 a.m. on September 18, 2016 (EDT)
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Tppi the few times you have argued a point here..I can imagine the verbal beat down they received...You love to be at one in the wilderness...LOL

11:38 a.m. on September 19, 2016 (EDT)
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Mountain bike access in wilderness aside, this bill has little to do with Wilderness. It's a cynical effort to create dissent within the community of Wilderness supporters, nothing more. 

11:42 a.m. on September 19, 2016 (EDT)
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Most of this is an academic exercise by Bureaucrats. 

Last week I ran into one mountain biker.  He was dressed in lycra and looked lost.  The trail was rocky and plenty steep.  Mostly he was carrying his bike and looked like he wished he was somewhere else.  Those are the kind of trails to be on no matter what the law says.

4:42 p.m. on September 19, 2016 (EDT)
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Seth said:

Mountain bike access in wilderness aside, this bill has little to do with Wilderness. It's a cynical effort to create dissent within the community of Wilderness supporters, nothing more. 

 Like to know more of what you think and elaborate on it...:)

11:45 a.m. on September 20, 2016 (EDT)
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There is a longstanding discussion, well, argument is more like it!, about whether prohibiting mountain bikes from Wilderness is a good idea.  It's a divisive issue. Mountain Bikers feel that they are just as entitled to Wilderness access as hikers and horseback riders. Hikers and horseback riders see user conflicts and a "slippery slope" of permitting ever more mechanized access. Forgive me - that's a dumb, over-simplification of a big and complicated argument.

The Sponsors of this legislation, Sen. Lee (R-UT) and Sen Flake (R. AZ) have historically opposed most proposed Wilderness legislation. This legislation proposes to:

"authorize relevant local officials to determine all permissible forms of recreational use by nonmotorized transportation methods over any permitted routes within their jurisdictions"

One way to read the bill is to assume that Sen. Lee and Sen. Flake are desperately concerned about the ability of county Sheriffs to create opportunities for wheelbarrow races in Wilderness areas. A more likely reading is that this bill is a philosophical broadside against the authority of the federal government to manage public lands, and an attempt to make people in the Wilderness community angry. I'm not saying that either of those objectives aren't a valid use of the Senate's time. What I'm saying is that the primary purpose of this legislation isn't providing access for mountain bikers.

Sorry if that sounded rant-like! 

11:21 p.m. on September 20, 2016 (EDT)
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Huh a rant? Umm nope...That's one of those glasses wearing hippie policy understanding, yoga dudes...But yeah always been contention about the policies regarding mechanized access..So how should we be looking at this..We both know a group would challenge with Litigation to get their place...So whats the answer? if any

11:08 a.m. on September 21, 2016 (EDT)
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Namaste, denis! Hahaha. 

My solution? Other than everyone riding more bikes, drinking more beer and hiking more? For years, IMBA promoted an alternate designation, a "Backcountry Area," that was the same as Wilderness, but allowed Mountain Bikes. That seemed like an interesting path to pursue, but I haven't followed the debate closely over the past few years.

April 5, 2020
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