[BVC-CHAT] Fwd: Take Action to Increase Bicycling Opportunities in National Parks
Jean Marie Linhart
jmlinhart at gmail.com
Mon Dec 29 10:54:00 CST 2008
---------- Forwarded message ----------l
The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) has proposed an important rule
change that will make it easier for parks to open trails to mountain
biking. IMBA urges mountain bikers to register comments in support of
the new rule. We have been asking the NPS to make this change since
the 1990s — we now enter a 60-day commentary period to make the change
Take Action Now!
We know that several groups are working hard to defeat this proposal.
It will take thousands of comments supporting the NPS to ensure the
rule is approved. Please lend your voice to the discussion today.
Bicycling broadens recreational offerings in national parks and helps
Americans get much-needed exercise. It connects people with the
natural world and is a fun, low-impact activity. Observers of national
parks worry that the NPS is losing relevance with today's youth —
bicycling can help address that problem. Mountain biking is a great
way to help kids fall in love with parks. According to the Outdoor
Industry Foundation, bicycling is a leading "gateway activity" that
gets kids outside and interested in outdoor pursuits, such as hiking,
camping and fishing.
Many trails will not be good candidates for bicycle use. IMBA
recognizes that bicycling will not be considered in Wilderness Areas
or Wilderness Study Areas, and that many historic parks and
battlefields will not be suitable for mountain biking. We also know,
however, that shared-use trails have proven successful in thousands of
locations, including many federally managed parks.
The most promising properties offer a combination of non-Wilderness
lands and underutilized facilities that make them good candidates for
expanded mountain biking opportunities. IMBA-affiliated clubs can
assist the NPS in identifying the best locations for mountain biking.
If the local NPS staff agrees an opportunity exists, our clubs stand
ready to provide park staff with volunteer resources.
As the proposal explicitly states, none of the NPS procedures for
environmental review — or opportunities for public commentary — will
be diminished by this rule change. What it achieves is a more
manageable system for adopting mountain biking trails. The proposal
states, "As a general matter, the proposed rule provides park
superintendents with a more efficient and effective way to determine
whether opening existing trails to bicycles would be appropriate in
the park unit they manage."
Thanks for taking action,
Mike Van Abel
International Mountain Bicycling Association
se Take Action Now!
Top: Youth experiencing Fort Dupont Park by bicycle. Bottom: IMBA
volunteers at Whiskeytown National Recreation Area.
You can read IMBA's white paper analysis of the proposed rule change
and view the entire text in the Federal Register online. We believe
that this measure will enhance national parks and deserves your
support — please file your comments and help bring responsible,
sustainable mountain biking to America's most treasured places.
Don't underestimate the importance of supporting mountain biking in
National Parks. State and local land managers look to these places to
guide their access considerations. Maybe you don't have a unit of the
National Park Service in your backyard, but many of IMBA's 700 clubs
do. They need your help today!
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