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"Mountain bikes in national parks a bad trend", by biologist Brian Horejsi



 
 
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  #1  
Old January 8th 09, 05:30 AM posted to alt.mountain-bike,rec.bicycles.soc,rec.backcountry,ca.environment,sci.environment
Mike Vandeman
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Posts: 4,798
Default "Mountain bikes in national parks a bad trend", by biologist Brian Horejsi

http://www.codyenterprise.com/articl...a204560581.txt

The threat of expanded mountain biking in national parks is staring
down on the fraying edges and core of our parks.

Through the years, mostly years in which mountain biking was not so
popular, the vast majority of Americans came to believe that national
parks could be enjoyed by walking the trails or driving the paved
roads, whether on your mountain bike or in your Chevy.

It seemed intuitive that such a exceptional idea, and the exceptional
places that brought that idea to life, should be free of mechanized
access. It was a given that excluded motorized access.

With snow machines already prying the door open, an avalanche of
mechanization, pollution and conflict is surging forward. Yes, the
industrial recreation world is drooling over access to national parks
and the Bush administration has been there with their legislative and
rule making pry bar, trying to force even more commercialization.

And now we have the threat of mountain bikes. Letís go through the
list of problems this represents.

First, this is another retreat from the notion of what a national park
represents, and what role it has to play in the psyche of a free
America. Along with wilderness, no human construct represents freedom
of the masses like national parks.

And many hikers are negatively impacted by the even occasional flow of
bikers on trails. Bikes and bikers kick up dust and make noise.

Other times they seem to sneak up and surprise hikers, and for a
species like us that is visually oriented, mountain bikes are an
intrusion of mechanization and urbanization.

Bikers, itís claimed, only want some front country routes ??ď you
know, the ones that receive concentrated routine use from day hikers,
the ones that older hikers use almost exclusively, and those that
people with children use almost exclusively. No conflict there, right?

The claim that people are going to use bikes more as they age ??ď just
when their balance, eyesight and hearing is in decline ??ď is
nonsense. The front country routes are going to be increasingly
important for older walkers and families, so conflict will increase.
This seems like forcing conflict on your most intense use areas.

Iím tired of the excuse that bikes are less of a physical and
psychological impact than other kinds of park use. Get it through your
head; some kinds of park use involve natural means of travel ??ď and
yes, they have to be tightly regulated, as in horse use ??ď and some,
as in the bike proposals, involve artificial, man made means of off
road travel.

A bike on a ridge top provokes a different physiological,
psychological and behavioral response from a person than a horse or
someone on foot.

Some people that have slipped into indifference want to throw the
bikers a bone. And promoters of mechanization of parks are driven by
the same behind-the-scenes agitators driving the off road vehicle set
??ď mostly manufacturers, dealers and other people who promote
commercialization.

Letís see how thatís been going. First, renewed snowmobile use in
Yellowstone, continuing widespread slaughter of bison, then guns in
all national parks, and recently a call for widely extended cell phone
use/coverage, towers included, in Yellowstone.

Now, another step; mountain bike mechanization of the park. Anyone see
a trend here ??ď or maybe an avalanche?

Itís a common ploy by promoters and the indifferent to call for
activists and citizens and scientists to look the other way ??ď this
is not worth our time and effort, they proclaim. And it works.
Mountain bikers killing wilderness bills in California are a perfect
example of what happens when you keep throwing pork chops to the
hounds.

Wilderness activists and citizen supporters dropped the ball there.
They thought they didnít have to defend every inch of public rights,
every public principle and every vision of public ownership. And the
hounds leaped up and bit them.

Americans are again faced with the same kind of threat, but this time
itís mountain biking in national parks. Seems like itís time to bite
back.

(Brian Horejsi lives near Calgary, Alberta, Canada, and is a wildlife
scientist, public process advocate and frequent user of Yellowstone
Park. He earned a degree in forestry from the University of Montana
and spends about a month every year in the Yellowstone and Livingston
areas.)

(EDITORíS NOTE: Mountain biking opportunities are limited in
Yellowstone Park.

Because much of the park is managed as ďwildernessĒ most of
Yellowstone is off limits to mountain bikes, Chief Deputy Ranger Tim
Reid says.

Nearly all paved roads in the park are open to bicycling and several
gravel roads are open to bikes, including the Old Gardiner Road and
Blacktail Plateau Drive.

There also are about a dozen trails open to mountain bikers throughout
the park.

Reid says a potential rule change that could open other national parks
to additional mountain biking should not have much impact on
Yellowstone.

ďI donít see it really changing things here,Ē Reid added. ďBiking
opportunities are inherently limited in Yellowstone because most of
the park is managed as wilderness.Ē

A map of trails open to bikes and more information about riding in
Yellowstone is available at
www.nps.gov/yell/planyourvisit/bicycling.htm.)
--
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!

http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande
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  #2  
Old January 9th 09, 12:10 PM posted to alt.mountain-bike,rec.bicycles.soc,rec.backcountry,ca.environment,sci.environment
Siskuwihane[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 534
Default Finally bought a mountain-bike thanks to Michael J. Vandeman.

On Jan 8, 12:30*am, Mike Vandeman wrote:
http://www.codyenterprise.com/articl...on/doc496517f8...


I can't wait to get started on my new hobby. Kudos to Michael J.
Vandeman for getting me interested in mountain-biking.
  #3  
Old January 10th 09, 12:34 AM posted to alt.mountain-bike,rec.bicycles.soc,rec.backcountry,ca.environment,sci.environment
Tom Sherman[_2_]
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Posts: 9,890
Default Finally bought a mountain-bike thanks to Michael J. Vandeman.

Siskuwihane wrote:
On Jan 8, 12:30 am, Mike Vandeman wrote:
http://www.codyenterprise.com/articl...on/doc496517f8...


I can't wait to get started on my new hobby. Kudos to Michael J.
Vandeman for getting me interested in mountain-biking.


Please post your ride experiences to alt.mountain-bike.

--
Tom Sherman - 42.435731,-83.985007
LOCAL CACTUS EATS CYCLIST - datakoll
  #4  
Old January 12th 09, 04:39 AM posted to alt.mountain-bike,rec.bicycles.soc,rec.backcountry,ca.environment,sci.environment
Siskuwihane[_2_]
external usenet poster
 
Posts: 534
Default Finally bought a mountain-bike thanks to Michael J. Vandeman.

On Jan 9, 7:34*pm, Tom Sherman
wrote:
Siskuwihane wrote:
On Jan 8, 12:30 am, Mike Vandeman wrote:
http://www.codyenterprise.com/articl...on/doc496517f8....


I can't *wait to get started on my new hobby. Kudos to Michael J.
Vandeman for getting me interested in mountain-biking.


Please post your ride experiences to alt.mountain-bike.


I'll do that, after all this snow melts.

 




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