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 Post subject: Wilderness Act
PostPosted: Sun Sep 13, 2015 11:32 pm 
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Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 12:20 pm
Posts: 849
Location: Tantalizingly close to Colorado
Some friends of mine are upset that the US Forest Service wants to designate the Magdelena and San Mateo mountains as wilderness areas. The problem being that there are quite a few off-road/mountainbike trails throughout the area, and if the area is reclassified as wilderness, bikes would not be permitted. I've never been there myself, but it's upsetting to me from a few standpoints, besides the fact that I'd like to ride those trails one day.
-From a land use standpoint, it is public land that is actively being used by public citizens on well established trails. Even if reclassified, these activities should be grandfathered in. Apparently, previously occurring activities such as resource extraction, grazing, etc. can be grandfathered in.
-Why isn't this state owned land?
-Those most affected almost didn't find out about it in time...the comment period ends Sept. 25th. If only they would have checked with the Volgons two solar systems over, they would have known their planet would be demolished for the intergalactic highway.
-So, no bikes, but horseback riding is ok. A 500 lb horse can do quite a bit of trail damage.
-The act was passed in 1964, long before people thought about taking bicycles off road. I'm sure the intent was to keep motorized vehicles out. The act was "reinterpreted" in 1986 to ban bicycles.

What's driving the expansion of wilderness areas? If I understand their website correctly wildfires would not be suppressed. So is this a way to deal with firefighting resources that are spread thin? Fine, but still, why no bikes?
Wilderness protects natural processes, like fire, needed to sustain wildlife habitat and ensure rich biodiversity.

I'm not opposed to calling something wilderness to prevent development that would damage the ecosystem. I just don't like the arbitrary application of draconian rules without consideration to the affected community or individuals.

Anyone have any thoughts on this? Is it a lost cause? I'll still submit a comment, even if it is futile.

 Post subject: Re: Wilderness Act
PostPosted: Mon Sep 14, 2015 6:43 am 

Joined: Fri Apr 04, 2008 11:22 am
Posts: 1020
This pdf document lays out the 'why' of it. ... 097666.pdf

It looks like some do allow biking, others don't.

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