Federal Lands which have historically been used by bikers and open to mountain biking are being closed to mountain biking, without balance analysis and public comment. The Sawtooths in Idaho, the Bitterroots in Montana. Provide public comment by Nov 18th to help voice your support for keeping historical mountain bike uses open in some of these ranges.
Post objections by email by including the following comment and content:
To: <firstname.lastname@example.org> Subject: Bitterroot Travel Plan Objection
[Objector Name] [Objector Address] [Objector City, State, Zip] [Objector Phone]
Bitterroot National Forest – Travel Management Plan Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) (hereinafter “Bitterroot Travel Plan”)
– Objections addressed specifically to: pages 24-25 of the Bitterroot Travel Plan The objector believes the Bitterroot Plan is objectionable because
The Bitterroot Plan restricts mountain biking in the areas known as the Sapphire and Blue Joint Wilderness Study Areas (“WSAs”) which were used over an extended period of years for mountain biking before the areas were ever considered for designation as WSA. The ROD finding that “mountain biking was not likely occurring in either the Sapphire or Blue Joint WSAs in 1977” is not correct.
The ROD finding that mountain biking is not compatible with “social and ecological characteristics to preserve wilderness character” cannot be justified on objective criteria; whether environmental, natural or social impact. The USFS is not empowered to impose their subjective values into a land management process
The ROD cites that a consideration of wilderness character must consider “the opportunities for solitude it offered”. Anecdotal data from user groups indicates that usage of the Sapphire or Blue Joint WSAs is of a manageable nature such that users have ample opportunities to use the areas in relative solitude. The Forest Service has zero user counts for mountain biking in the Sapphire or Blue Joint WSAs and therefore cannot draw objective conclusions.
The objector believes his objection could be resolved by amending the Bitterroot Plan and the ROD to allow mountain-biking in the Sapphire and Blue Joint WSAs to maintain historical usage patterns.