In a recent communication from the Pacific Crest Trail Association, there was an article about a bill in front of congress. The bill (Senate Bill S.1695) would allow human-powered vehicles on all trails on wilderness areas (“Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act”). This is an attempt to effectively allow mountain biking on all wilderness trails. The PCTA has issued a letter to the Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests & Mining in objection to this bill and keep the wilderness experience wild. Say no to S.1695 and keep the wilderness wild.
Since I have started to maintain this website and become more involved in the management aspects of our national lands, I’ve realized that it’s generally a complex topic, stymied in politics. Recently, I’ve been working on the subject of forest management after the devastating west coast fires of 2020. You can find more about this effort at Citizens for Sensible Forest Management and some resource information here. It is critically important that politicians hear from stakeholders, and understand where they stand.
There are many changes I’d make to the management of wilderness lands. The introduction of bikes is not one of them. Wilderness areas make up less than 5% of federal land and these are the most remote areas. Trails are often rugged, difficult to navigate, and single track. Most importantly, they are generally limited to hiking, backpacking, equestrian, and in many areas dogs. Bikes, which travel at very different speeds, will create conflict on mixed-use trails. Medical assistance and rescue are often extremely difficult and time-consuming.
I’d ask you to support keeping the wilderness wild. Sign the petition below. This will directly send the text (which you can edit) to Mike Lee and Ron Wyden. These are the chairman and ranking members of the Subcommittee on Public Lands, Forests & Mining.
Above all, share this as much as you can to spread the support! Object to S.1695 and keep the wilderness wild.