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Mountain Biker Admits Bikes Don't Belong in Wilderness

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Old October 16th 07, 01:42 AM posted to alt.mountain-bike,rec.bicycles.soc,rec.backcountry,ca.environment,sci.environment
Mike Vandeman
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Default Mountain Biker Admits Bikes Don't Belong in Wilderness


By Richard, 10-11-07
A couple of points -
1. Yes, cows are allowed in wilderness - all existing grazing rights
were grandfathered into the Wilderness Act due to how widespread
grazing was and still is, an unfortunate political necessity. See
http://www.publiclandsranching.org to see a good overview of this
issue and the detrimental nature of grazing on wild lands.

2. I tend to agree about horses - their impact is far greater than
foot or bicycle traffic - case in point the Wind River Range -
duplicate trails across high alpine meadows, droppings along the
shores of alpine lakes etc. This, of course, stems mostly from
commercial operations with long strings of horses and not so much from
individual users.

3. Nonetheless, mountain biking should not be allowed in all
wilderness - although it is non-motorized - I see wilderness as a
place for peaceful meditation, and as much as I enjoy mountain biking,
this it does not provide. You are simply moving too fast and generally
not appreciating the scenery and natural character of an area as much
when on a bike.

Designating mountain bike trails to exclude ORVs is important and
should be addressed on the ground in negotiations with alternatives
such as National Scenic Areas allowing flexible management or cherry
stems for strictly non-motorized MPV recreation. Dictating this from
the top down as "wilderness lite" in Congress could lead to too many
lands being open to mountain biking.
I am working on creating wildlife habitat that is off-limits to
humans ("pure habitat"). Want to help? (I spent the previous 8
years fighting auto dependence and road construction.)

Please don't put a cell phone next to any part of your body that you are fond of!


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