Senator Lee Reintroduces Bikes in Wilderness Legislation

May 24, 2021
by James Smurthwaite  
Layers of time. There are fossil records in those cliffs of all that came before us. John Day Oregon.

Senator Mike Lee has re-introduced a bill that could help bikes return to wilderness areas. The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act would empower local managers of Wilderness areas to decide whether to allow and how to regulate non-motorized travel.

Senator Lee's previous Bill, S.B. 1695, was introduced in May 2019 and was supported by the US Forest Service and the Department of Interior but legislators ran out of time to vote on it before the congressional session ended. This new Bill, referred to as S.B. 1686 is a re-introduction of S.B. 1695 that will hopefully be voted on this time.

Hoh River Olympic National Park Washington.

The current legislation, written as part of the Wilderness Act of 1964 prohibits the use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment, motorboats, and other forms of mechanical transport. This means that the current Department of Interior policy considers “mechanical transport” to include non-motorized mountain bikes but also other outdoor equipment such as strollers and game carts. In 1984, as mountain biking emerged and riders started to explore off-road, the term ‘mechanized transport’ was clarified by the Forest Service under increasing pressure from traditional environmental groups like the Sierra Club and the Wilderness Society, and mountain bikes were deemed unwelcome.

However, the Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act could change that. This bill would insert language to the Wilderness Act to ensure that the rules restricting “mechanical transport” do not include forms of nonmotorized travel in which the sole propulsive power is one or more persons. However, S.B. 1686 would not be a blanket permit for bicycling in the Wilderness as local land managers could continue to prohibit any bicycle access depending on what is required to preserve the character of the Wilderness.

bigquotesThe National Wilderness Preservation System was created so that the American people could enjoy our country’s priceless natural areas. This bill would enrich Americans’ enjoyment of the outdoors by expanding recreational opportunities in wilderness areas.”Senator Lee

We'll keep you updated with the progress of the bill as it passes through Congress. For more information on the Wilderness debate, click here. For more information on the Bill, click here.

Posted In:
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388 Comments

  • 385 28
 ebikers, don't fuck this up if it comes to fruition.
  • 131 16
 If it passes, ebikes being in wilderness is a foregone conclusion IMO. Everywhere I ride that has "NO EBIKES" signs has just as many ebikes as places where they're allowed. It's just too hard to bust someone, especially with ebikes that are silent and look just like a normal bike until you're up close.
  • 34 13
 @rickybobby18: 100%, can't give you enough props for this.
  • 32 127
flag bocomtb (May 24, 2021 at 8:16) (Below Threshold)
 @rickybobby18: So you're saying e-bikes aren't that different from acoustic bikes?
  • 45 4
 They are charging their batteries as we speak.
  • 62 10
 You are giving ebikers too much credit. On every forum I've been on people don't give a fuck if ebikes are legal or not. People tell them to ride where they want and ebikers don't care what rules are in place.
  • 15 13
 @rickybobby18: could work something how the FBI are catching insurrection dip shits by letting em stitch themselves up......
Just check their stava.....
  • 63 20
 @bocomtb:

I’m down voting you for describing regular bikes as acoustic. In that context it applies to music and musical instruments only.

Or maybe you do strum your bike?
  • 8 2
 "the sole propulsive power is one or more persons" sounds worded to exclude them.
  • 12 7
 @Bob-Agg: But what if the ebike's battery was charged by a human powered generator? (I'm just making a joke, ebike certainly don't belong in wilderness areas).
  • 16 58
flag slayerdegnar (May 24, 2021 at 11:34) (Below Threshold)
 Name just 1 event where ebikers have ruined access for mtbs? Ebikes are Bush's WMDs. Often labeled as a grave threat but the threat never really existed in the first place. That said, ebikes should not be allowed in wilderness.
  • 13 11
 Lol no one follows ebike rules, and that won’t change.

local shredders and Joeys alike, they all are on E’s now. Maybe not full time, but most serious, especially racers, have an e to add self shuttle dh to their training.
  • 11 11
 @slayerdegnar: Those imaginary WMDs sure did cost the USA and allies a lot of lives, money, self respect.....so many things, sigh....
  • 16 34
flag gravitybass (May 24, 2021 at 11:46) (Below Threshold)
 @rickybobby18: bingo. I do a lot of ebike trail advocacy. Talking with land managers and the thing we always come back to is how unfeasible enforcement even is to begin with. It’s at this point I then I show them a picture of the Levo SL. In 10 years (probably less) eebs will be totally indistinguishable from analogs. People who just spent $5k+ on an ebike (and there are a lot of them now) make more noise in land managers ears than the haters posting in the comments on Pinkbike. Land managers want to do their job, not put up with petty bike bickering, so they allow them. Thank you all land managers btw you do the work of the gods!
  • 2 1
 I laughed loudly enough my office mates wanted to know what was so funny. Nice comment, dude.
  • 11 1
 @Richt2000: Orange bike definitely sit in the percussion section of the orchestra
  • 33 13
 @nvranka: owning an ebike makes your a serious rider the same way a running watch makes you a serious runner.
  • 31 8
 All of us (myself included) want to keep ebikes off non-motorize trails, yet all of us have also built/ridden "illegal" trails on our normal bikes....

Just like how road bikers (myself included) run stop signs, red lights, and ride in the car lane, but at the same time yell at road bikers when we are driving.
  • 55 4
 Don’t toss us all in the same bin. I’m disabled. My eBike has finally allowed me to ride with my friends and family in a way I have not known for nearly 27 years. I agree that eBikes should be limited to certain areas. However, a permit for people like myself would be a game-changing/life-altering thing.
  • 21 4
 @hamncheez: Only a Sith speaks in absolutes. Smile Bot everyone wants to keep ebikes off non-motorized trails. All of the trails within an hour from me allow ebikes (with the exception of Park City Mountain Resort, I believe) and I’ve not seen or heard of any real problems (so far, fingers crossed). People have their personal problems, vendettas, and preferences but beyond the disheartening feeling when someone passes you uphill like you’re not even moving and perhaps the jealously of not having one, we’re all getting along pretty well. I’ve said this before and will say it again: I’ve had more problems with XC Stravarseholes than I expect to ever have with ebikes.
  • 9 8
 @gnarlysipes: Ya, allegedly ebikes aren't allowed on Crest, but I've put people on rental ebikes and taken them down that trail all the time. Everyone (except that one hippie trail runner with dreads) is always polite, accommodating, and having a good time. Never seen any conflict issues with ebikers vs the rest of us.
  • 1 3
 @Mtmw: the density is high with this one
  • 2 4
 @Richt2000: I’ve been known to drum my bike when searching for rattling cables.
  • 6 0
 @Mtmw: I think you mean hoverboard makes you a serious runner.
  • 4 0
 @bocomtb: What's an "acoustic bike"?
  • 2 2
 it's not ever going to come to fruition. STC had a time when their Bill was before a totally Republican Congress and White House. They couldn't get it passed then, and they definitely are not getting it passed now
  • 3 1
 @bananowy: It's like an acoustic car.
  • 15 12
 @jakewashere: 100 percent truth. Everyone railing against ebikes has no clue what inclusivity is. I am 45 i can rip on a pedal bike non assisted, but heaven for forbid i get hurt or get old. It will kill me if I couldn't ride a bike. I can see a day when an ebike is going keep me going. I love bikes that much. I think people are also getting confused on what an ebike is. there should be no throttle, you need to be pedaling to be assisted.

Stop using your 20 year old brains and health for your view point. Expand our minds to include everyone and every angle.
  • 13 0
 @hardstaff: I'm about to turn 48, already got Ti holding my bones together and need more soon, amongst other chronic ailments that will only get worse. Ebikes will eventually keep me going too.... but I won't ride them where they're banned.
  • 3 0
 @kcy4130: What about a fecal powered generator to charge the batteries?.....(I hope someone gets this obscure reference)
  • 1 0
 @WhiteroomGuardian: what a vision! Is what Marty McFly will ride to get Back to the Future to save the wilderness.
  • 9 4
 @krka73: IMHO most bans are because of elitism and ignorance.
  • 12 0
 As far as I know, there are no restrictions excluding eMTBs on any bike trails in NZ. And some trails are even shared by MTBs, eMTBs and pedestrians. And shockingly, the thousands of trails are all fine, the sun still comes up each day, and everyone just gets along happily with everybody else. Maybe the eMTBs aren’t the problem?
  • 2 0
 @notsofastoverfifty: you may be onto something.......
  • 4 2
 @notsofastoverfifty: The thing some people are not grasping here is that these Wilderness Areas in question are currently closed to "ALL MOTORIZED VEHICLES AND BICYCLES."

The new law would allow "BICYCLES," and extend the complete ban on "ALL MOTORIZED VEHICLES."

Ebikes have a motor, that's how the authorities in charge view it. That's all there is to it. So I don't want bicycles to lose access because ebikers decide to be scofflaws.
  • 5 0
 @krka73: wherever bikes are allowed, ebikes will be there. They tried policing our local trails, it just isn’t feasible.
  • 2 5
 @nvranka: OK, then all bicycles will lose access because ebikers are douches in this scenario.

Hence, my comment at the very top.
  • 3 1
 @krka73: Eventually, the ebike lobby will be as rich as the horse lobby, so I wouldn't be surpised if we see trails banning bikes but allowing ebikes and horses haha
  • 2 1
 @krka73: not too concerned with that, build and ride unsanctioned trails almost exclusively so f*ck it.
  • 2 0
 @hamncheez: Thanks for your sensible way of pointing out the rampant hypocrisy of (analog) bikers!

It seems we all need to realize that we all are no saints - and stop pretending we are.
  • 1 0
 @notsofastoverfifty: Heretic! Stone him…
  • 253 39
 Dear E-Bike users,

The term 'human powered' means the propulsive energy comes from you legs. Not a motor, nor a battery.

No gears are not a motor. They are gears. They change how the input power (from a human source in the case of bicycles) is outputted at the rear wheel.

No...the fact that your bike doesn't have a throttle doesn't change the fact that it has a motor.

You're welcome
  • 27 172
flag GotchaJimmy (May 24, 2021 at 9:23) (Below Threshold)
 a little elitism on a monday morning to remind me that this world is hell
  • 95 6
 @GotchaJimmy: This is just a definition. No elitism here. No motorcycle comparisons, He even addressed it as E-Bikes instead of mopeds, Didn't suggest they are cheating, or need to earn their downhills. Just a different 2 wheeled vehicle.
  • 34 6
 No to mention that literally everyone can enter this "elite". You just need a bit of will power and guess what, analog bikes are even cheaper, would you believe it? Crazy.
  • 27 0
 Wait just a second, are you saying that ebikes have a motor? I thought it was just an assist. /S
  • 5 6
 @GotchaJimmy: get real
  • 11 3
 Don't ebikes still need you to pedal to go forward? If you don't pedal at all, you aren't moving right? I've never used one
  • 6 4
 @Evansmtbsaga: Well, they are human-powered, just not exclusively. As usual, the term human-powered needs to be very precisely defined. In this context I would assume that it means elusively human-powered, since you could create a Jeep with pedals and claim that is could be human powered (by 0.1% but still).
  • 16 4
 i sell ebikes and love ebikes but i agree- it has a motor and doesn't belong in wilderness i do want to take my singlespeed out there, though
  • 1 36
flag graniteandrew (May 24, 2021 at 13:19) (Below Threshold)
 Mechanical Assist is As real As Motorized Assist
  • 2 1
 @graniteandrew: yeah a light singlespeed and a heavy class1 feel pretty similar to me... but not to most
  • 2 39
flag graniteandrew (May 24, 2021 at 13:42) (Below Threshold)
 Unless you’re spinning a 29” gear, it’s all assist, easier input, more efficient output. That’s exactly what gears are for. Ebikes are just a different flavor. @dontcoast:
  • 4 8
flag danger13 (May 24, 2021 at 13:53) (Below Threshold)
 @Evansmtbsaga: Yeah, that's how a moped works, alright.
  • 8 36
flag robway (May 24, 2021 at 14:17) (Below Threshold)
 @danger13: you only pedal a moped to get it started. A e bike stops when you stop pedaling. Don’t be such a hater and don’t comment on things you don’t know.
  • 20 2
 @robway: I think you mean the motor only goes while you pedal. And for reference, I'm 62 years old, I have an artificial knee as well as numerous other health issues. Mopeds don't belong anywhere you can't ride an actual motorcycle.
  • 11 4
 @graniteandrew: MeChAnIcAl AsSiSt Is As ReAl As MoToRiZeD AsSiSt. - there, fixed it for you.
  • 15 2
 I knew the gears are the same as motors argument was coming. And I knew that the it's not really a motor because you have to pedal argument was coming. I thought I could get ahead of it and avoid these shenanigans, but no! I love when e bikers argue on the internet.
  • 9 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: you did try and I thought you did a good job. Just ask them how many watts their derailleur puts out?
  • 11 0
 @Adamrideshisbike: if it’s not a motor and it’s the “same as gears” why is it even there?
  • 6 0
 @pcledrew: I know right? I'm so confused. I guess since they have two wheels and pedals and I'm not a mechanical engineer, I'm just not smart enough to figure this out. It must just be a bicycle.
  • 3 0
 @Spencermon: haha...I don't think logic or reasoning is gonna work at this point.
  • 15 0
 @Evansmtbsaga: On an e-bike pedaling engages an electric motor and on a motorcycle a throttle engages a motor. What’s the difference, they both engage a motor.
  • 3 0
 its mechanized travel, not motorized. thats what fucked mountain bikers.
  • 2 3
 It doesn't matter if you say "human powered" or have some other catch phrase. It's not going to pass.
  • 14 1
 @Adamrideshisbike: we only have the manufacturers to blame. I’ll be honest, in the AM/enduro segment, I’m voting with my wallet, and only buying bikes from brands who don’t sell any e bikes in that category.

I fully understand the benefits of e commuters, and e bikes for other transportation focused rides, I’ve even toyed with the idea of buying a Surly Big Easy.

But for bikes that are primarily designed to run on hand built / maintained trails, no thanks.
  • 6 2
 @Geoman: @Geoman: Exaclty, it's amazing the marketing talk of ebikers. If we cut the semantics out and look at the basic involved motions between a motorcycle and ebike there really is little difference. They both require the user to apply some type of circular force in order to tell the propulsions system to respond. One requires the wrist to be turned with constant pressure and the other feet/legs need to apply this pressure. The only difference is on has a 20mph governor on it.......for now.
  • 4 10
flag graniteandrew (May 25, 2021 at 8:54) (Below Threshold)
 And yet, all you have is silly moped arguments. Prove me wrong and pedal a 29” gear. Moronic luddites are all the same. It’s a very simple equation. Input to output. @Adamrideshisbike:
  • 3 2
 @graniteandrew: Your poorly functioning argument could potentially make some semblance of sense if e bikes didn't also use the same ratio / gear count drivetrains as normal bikes.
  • 2 11
flag graniteandrew (May 25, 2021 at 10:16) (Below Threshold)
 I never said they didn’t. Starting from a base zero of only human power, pretending that gears don’t add to output is silly, ebikes do the same via similar and different means. Only morons believe/pretend they’re under pure “human power” to try and gain some moral superiority, same argument, it’s still cheating, it’s just widely accepted so ignored. @pcledrew:
  • 3 0
 @graniteandrew: 'via similiar and different means'

Like a motor!
  • 1 1
 And? Refute what I’ve said about gears. Otherwise accept you’re just an inefficient cheater. It’s very basic. @Adamrideshisbike:
  • 6 0
 @graniteandrew:

I am an inefficient cheater. (sad face emoji)
Those who ride e-bikes have larger brain and bigger wallet.
I am stuck in past, clinging to old ways.
I will strive to follow the example of the fat-man who rides up hill at blistering pace while leisurely spinning the cranks.
  • 3 4
 See, was that so hard? Good on you for admitting it. I’m sure it’ll help you out in other areas. @Adamrideshisbike:
  • 7 0
 @graniteandrew: I can't help but believe this is a troll account.
  • 7 1
 @graniteandrew: "pretending that gears don’t add to output is silly", man, the level of your ignorance is astonishing. The fact that you cannot understand the most basics laws of mechanics is really sad. I mean, people 10k years ago understood what is a leverage, yet it is too hard for modern US citizen. Maybe look for some perpetuum mobile on kickstarter and invest some money?
  • 2 4
 Have i said anything untrue? Nope. If you get trolled by facts, then what does it say about your argument/opinion? Maybe think it through. The sad truth is Anti ebike arguments always devolve into two tracks, ego(fitness) and access. Both of which are easy to shoot down. @pcledrew:
  • 4 0
 @graniteandrew: You have. You equated input to output and cannot see the falsehood of this.
  • 1 5
flag graniteandrew (May 25, 2021 at 11:30) (Below Threshold)
 Pretending that a pushing a 29” gear is the same effort as a 52t cassette is the kind of inane thinking I like to avoid.

Easier input = greater output. That’s mechanical Assist in a nutshell. You’re welcome.

@pcledrew:
  • 8 0
 @lkubica: if you define output as power (watts), then gears don't add to output. That's pretty basic mechanical engineering and your choice of language says more about you than it does about US citizens (granted, we have lots of issues).
  • 7 0
 @graniteandrew: I think you're confusing mechanical ADVANTAGE and mechanical ASSIST. It's much easier to loosen a bolt with a longer lever arm. That's what gears are doing. They alloy your input to be applied differently. sure the 52t cassette is easier than a 36t cassette, but you move much much more slowly at a specific cadence. Whereas an e-bike motor will provide assistance independent of what gear you are in. It is adding energy to the system. (which Is why it needs to be battery powered and charged to function)
  • 1 4
 I think you’ve lost the initial thread, their claim was that geared bikes were purely human powered and enjoy no mechanical advantages/assist, and I disagree. While I could concede on the phrasing of assist v advantage, that’s perhaps a technical error. What remains, is ease of input allows more output on a physical level, so two different simultaneous operations are occurring. Yes no “more” energy is being generated, but the lower input cost does translate to more power over the timeline.
So, I’m comfortable in my use of “assist” we are humans not machines, and IMO it’s fair use of the word. This isn’t a tech review.
Either way, my the main point remains, it’s not human power alone. I could make similar arguments about brakes, shifting cables or any of the other improvements that continue to make mtn bikes better. @Spencermon:
  • 2 0
 @graniteandrew: Thanks for your clarification. So I guess that also rules out wheelbarrows in wilderness areas then? Dang.
  • 3 0
 @graniteandrew: ok so this is a dumb question, but does that mean that I can't wear stilts in wilderness areas?
  • 4 0
 @graniteandrew: I’m also curious about ramps, levers, wedges, pulleys, screws, and wheels in general. I don’t wanna be cited for illegally enjoying mechanical advantage to the dismay of our founders.
  • 3 0
 The circle jerk amongst ebike haters is almost as cringey as ebikes themselves
  • 3 0
 @nvranka: what a broad stoke you paint with. I’m no hater of ebikes. I’m just not cool with chaos and confusion being introduced to create sales for private businesses without any concern for the public it affects. EBikes are motorized period. We already have legislation for motorized off road vehicles. They never wanted to follow it. I think on the street they are an awesome alternative to driving. Off road, the users show no regard to regulations in place. If they would we could figure out how to integrate them, but instead they want to argue that they aren’t motorized and are regular old bikes and just fit where bikes fit. Selfish and inappropriate.
  • 1 0
 @speed10: you aren’t the only person in this thread, I wasn’t picking you out specifically and didn’t @you.
  • 1 0
 @nvranka: oh no? Who is in the circle jerk you were referencing? I know you didn’t @me but you certainly were talking about some group of people
  • 199 12
 As an ex Wilderness Ranger for the US Forest Service I can tell you that many of the Wilderness area's were created to stop the "locals" from taking every last tree in the forest. And by "locals" I mean the US Forest Service Timber crews that controlled all timber sales on National Forest lands. Old overgrown roadbeds that lead right up to the subalpine tell us what they had planed. And before you pull the "tree huger" card on me, I also worked as a sawyer on a Hotshot Crew for many years and have killed more trees than most of you all here. I think there are some places that just don't need anymore human traffic and I'm a little dubious about putting that decision in the hands of the "locals". Rant over.
  • 38 1
 Valid rant though.
  • 18 1
 @Waaz17 In previous versions of these bills, "local" referred to the local Federal land managers rather than state officials or universal blanket bans. Personally, I think if we can trust these local Federal officials to honestly regulate hiker and equestrian users, we can trust them to manage mountain bike access fairly (once we have a seat at the table).
  • 42 16
 I live in western Montana and also have 27 years of making a living with a chainsaw. I totally agree with you and do not want MTBs in the wilderness. There are many other great riding areas. Leave the wilderness out of the equation. I also love to ride but I can walk into and out of the wilderness boundaries and not feel like I’ve missed a thing. I also cannot help but speculate a bigger plan is at hand and once bikes are in then it opens doors to??? who knows, but once the door is open it’s easier to open it more.
  • 5 4
 @Zguitar71: bingo...
  • 33 7
 faster bikes, strava clowns, hack trail builders, entitled recreationist, and lame outdoor "influencers"...I strongly believe wilderness doesn't need more entitled clowns stomping or riding around. Conservation before recreation folks.

are you not entitled? want to explore YOUR public lands? do you wish to see real nature? then go experience wilderness. pack a bag and clean up your shit, enjoy.
  • 99 3
 I am also an ex Wilderness Ranger and I have a huge appreciation for our public lands. My opinion is that the Wilderness Act is completely hypocritical though. It does not have the land's best interest in mind otherwise horses nor grazing allotments would be allowed. However, they saw that compromises had to be made to get these large swaths of land protected and I get that. Bikes do less damage than horses and cattle no question. I have also packed out hundreds of pounds of trash that hikers have left, I don't see that with the biking community.

To say that bikers disturb the primitive qualities of Wilderness is a joke because the city kooks are using their bluetooth speaker and calling SAR when they get tired. To say that these Wilderness areas are "untrammeled" is incorrect.

Although it would increase traffic to these areas it would also help spread out users. I live in an area where the lower elevation trails are open to bikes and hikers and nearly all subalpine and alpine trails are in Wilderness. By allowing bikes in Wilderness it would help alleviate congestion on lower elevation multi-use trails.

I think human powered bikes should be allowed in Wilderness.
  • 2 3
 @Zguitar71: totally agree
  • 7 1
 @Zguitar71: I live within 1/4 mile of Eagles Nest wilderness area and although it would be awesome to have that access, let it be wild. I wouldn't mind seeing no horses or dogs allowed either.
  • 4 0
 @shootermcgavin123: grizzly adams did have a beard
  • 5 4
 You do have a point. This all could just be justification too farm more lumber in the name of providing expanded trail access. They will have to clear SOME trees to make room for more trails. With the price of lumber being as insane as it is at the moment, I wouldn't put it passed congress to use expanded trail access to wilderness as a cover for taking more lumber. I'm far from being a tree hugger, but I know that few politicians ever do anything for the betterment of the public unless it benefits them.
  • 8 0
 @Zguitar71: Amusing speculation, as the same could be said for the proposed wilderness areas that closed off mtb access to pre-existing trail systems in Idaho. The bill is simply reverting the wilderness act to its original form and giving local land managers the option to allow bikes where deemed fit. It isn't opening any doors, only closing them on the political bs and special interest groups. (Cough Sierra Club Cough)
  • 5 0
 @monstertiki: Yes, because a bill that gives possible access to non-motorized mtb's on existing wilderness trail systems via land managers discretion is also allowing logging operations with all the road building and "motorized" heavy equipment that entails... must've missed that clause somewhere...
  • 1 0
 Ex fs/hotshot/ecologist here...100% agree
  • 1 4
 A problem with this Bill is definitely it takes a power that Congress has and gives it to a local local forest ranger. Previously, when an exception to the Wilderness rules was allowed it was written into the Bill for that Wilderness and Congress approved it. Now, with this Bill any local yocal Forest Ranger can make the call
  • 4 0
 @Zguitar71: your shoes are a machine. Laces are a mechanism Of pulleys. The wedge is a type of mechanism found in shoes heel to toe drop that increases mechanical advantage; just like the mechanism of a pedal bike. They are both machines. If you don’t want bikes in the wilderness then don’t wear shoes in the wilderness. Hiking poles, Ski poles, ski’s, horse reigns saddles and spurs Are all machines which are used as mechanized transport. Eat crow punk.
  • 5 0
 @cm888:

Horses are an invasive species. They impact the wilderness a lot more than bikes would. If you don’t want clowns in the wilderness don’t have children or go ahead and stop breathing
  • 2 1
 I say keep it illegal, and let the few who are motivated, poach.
  • 102 0
 Sierra Club about to shit themselves.
  • 74 2
 Along with their buddies at IMBA.
  • 3 0
 I’d love
To be a fly on that wall
  • 7 0
 Good. They should be forced to return the name they appropriated from our noble mountain range and just call themselves the Foot People Gang.
  • 2 3
 The Sierra Club knows this Bill is going nowhere
  • 89 18
 As a diehard MTB, this is a bad idea. Also being from Utah this is a thinly veiled partisan move by Lee. There is a reason why the Feds manage these lands not locals. It would all be mined and developed if Lee was in charge.
  • 13 26
flag unrooted (May 24, 2021 at 8:45) (Below Threshold)
 So much for a nation made up of states, or having elected people make the decisions.
  • 32 12
 I agree. Also, I also reside in Utah. I honestly cannot think of any trail in the state that would be fun to ride that currently exists in wilderness areas. They are all impossibly steep, incredibly rocky and absolutely unrideable thanks to horses that routinely walk on them when wet and muddy. Sometimes there is good in keeping wild things wild and harder to access. I love to MTB more than anyone I know, but we absolutely do not need to be riding everywhere...
  • 15 21
flag Esmond (May 24, 2021 at 8:55) (Below Threshold)
 With the need for copper, silver, and lithium needed for the manufacturing of a green economy. We are going to need to start mining these resources to meet demand. So eventually the wilderness will have to be opened to meet our needs of the new green economy. So if I can ride my bike in the wilderness before this happens that would be awesome, even though my grandkids will never know what a wilderness area is.
  • 5 1
 @unrooted: This land has never been a part of the state Lee is a senator from.
  • 4 1
 utah local here too. couldn't agree more.
  • 6 1
 Yeah as soon as I saw his name in the title I assumed that it was not good
  • 16 3
 @pcpowderhound: don’t paint with such a broad brush. Extreme northern Utah has wilderness trails that would make for incredible adventures by bike. Just because trails are rocky and steep doesn’t mean they aren’t navigable by bike. Notice, I didn’t say rideable.

There’s a few of us intrepid souls that prefer rough natural trails to machine cut flow trails. We are also those that don’t mind 45 minute hike-a-bikes to get deeper into the mountains.

Another travesty: antz basin in the newly minted white cloud wilderness in Idaho. Top 3 trail experience of all time for me. Wiped out with the stroke of a pen. Now the trail is disappearing as the FS can’t keep up with the maintenance and can’t get enough bodies to man the bow saws (because chainsaws.....are evil) that are required to cut out the burn fall every year.

My point is, let the local land managers decide.
  • 15 2
 @pcpowderhound: In the central Wasatch proper (ie: SLC area) , the Desolation trail was originally built for motos before Wilderness was a thing and it's a perfect grade for mtb's.

What is also missed by most is the fact that we have lost HUNDREDS of miles of trails to either new Wilderness or Wilderness Study Areas. WSA's are total BS imo--just land grabs to block out use. They can sit for decades as such and never actually become official Wilderness.

People focus too much on the idea of bikes in places they don't belong (Wind Rivers, High Sierra, etc) when the reality is bikes won't ever be allowed in such places (of which I think any normal person would agree). This is really legislation about not losing any more mtb trails to the big "W", having more resources for trail maintenance, and the like. Too many knee-jerk reactions. Please get educated about this issue.
  • 5 1
 @IamZOSO: 100% agree.

The wilderness trails I'm wanting to ride, are backcountry bike packing ones, like in MT where they set up wilderness study area on hundreds of miles of MTB trails.
  • 2 0
 @pcpowderhound: The law is not a mandate to get first tracks on ancient cryptobiotic soil - I think it said they would look at things on a trail-by-trail basis. I love Utah wilderness too, but this is a National law affecting many other riders in other areas.
  • 4 1
 @pcpowderhound: Upon further educating myself on the bill and especially Mike Lee, I retract my statement.
  • 1 0
 @pcpowderhound: must be a dumb ass then
  • 3 3
 As a diehard MTB this is a great idea. Your comment is the only thing that's partisan.
  • 6 6
 @marklovesbikes: Show me how Lee is anything more than an obstructionist's that only focuses on wedge issues where he can grandstand and create some drama or media time. The guys has done nothing IMO. I am firmly not partisan. I often meet in the middle , but on this issue I am squarely on the left primarily b/c I think wilderness designations are one thing we shouldn't budge on and also b/c I think Lee is a con man.
  • 3 2
 @Tankbike: show me how obstructing a corrupt government from doing anything at all is a bad thing.
  • 2 1
 @unrooted: the dude votes no on everything. Even this:
www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-55278650
  • 3 1
 @Tankbike: did you read Lee’s reasoning???
  • 2 2
 @IamZOSO: Can you imagine what BCC, LCC and Millcreek would look like if everything in those canyons was opened to MTB use, including new MTB trail construction? That is a critical watershed for SLC and vital to our survival in the desert. It is already being loved to death. Traffic in those canyons is beyond repair and MTB traffic would worsen it (Nobody rides their bikes to the trailheads who live in SLC). Would desolation be a fun trail to ride? Probably. But sometimes putting our earth first without the need to have trails everywhere is more important.
  • 5 1
 @pcpowderhound: Agreed. I didn't mean to imply that opening Deso to bikes is the right thing, only that there are trails that may be very appropriate for bikes.

Mostly, for me, this bill is about keeping what we have instead of losing bike trails to new Wilderness or Wilderness Study Areas.

With that said, the trails in Wilderness that are remote and essentially unused are largely in disrepair and opening a very select few to bikes might be a good idea.
  • 3 0
 @IamZOSO: Yes. I actually think we are on the same page here. I absolutely do not want to lose existing singletrack to wilderness AND I believe it possible to peel back some wilderness areas to allow bikes. I do believe it to be an incredibly difficult balancing act between maintaining wild places and keeping access open to MTB use. Some places are better left for us to explore without the use of mechanized equipment, other areas, including their surrounding communities, would actually benefit from allowing bikes.

Let's hope we can find that balance.
  • 3 0
 @pcpowderhound: I think that's the piece of the explanation that is missing. In my mind, opening a select few wilderness trails to human powered travel, doesn't necessarily open the flood gates to an exponential increase in visitation. The vast majority of people will quickly find out that this trail is not a flow trail and go elsewhere. It does open up the trails to the type of adventurers who are likely inclined to go visit there anyway, but it gives another way to enjoy it. Strangely, in this internet era, we might be all speaking the same language. Or at least a recognizable dialect. Nobody wants Disneyland lines at popular wilderness trailheads.

Let's kick another hornets' nest and discuss special yearly permits for the Forest Service to use chainsaws and game carts to clear some of these wilderness trails. Totally under the control of the FS. They have to reapply for the permits every year, etc, etc. Discuss!
  • 44 2
 Grabbing popcorn....who wants plain, who wants butter?
  • 14 0
 extra salted plz
  • 86 4
 No butter for me...I’ve gotta stay fit, my bicycle doesn’t have a motor.
  • 58 18
 Mike Lee? I'd trust that guy about as far as I could throw him.
  • 29 1
 With your bad knee Ed, you shouldn't be throwing anybody
  • 6 0
 @adrennan: just roll her old bones on over here
  • 35 30
 Like the message, but hate the messenger. So protest against riding on PUBLIC lands, because the guy has a letter (R) behind his name that CNN told you to hate.
  • 41 16
 @hellanorcal: Your conclusion that no one could have an unflattering opinion about Lee without input from CNN tells more about you than anything else.
  • 23 8
 @hellanorcal: the only difference between a politician with a D or an R behind their name is what city they came from. They are all backed by the same corporations.
  • 7 1
 @unrooted: Lets hope its Specialized in this case
  • 10 9
 Which is why it’s a public process, you could read the bill if you chose. Not for nothing but, it’s the liberals living in cities turning everything into a paved urban wasteland inventing all that tech everyone has become obsessed with.
  • 21 0
 @hellanorcal: I was working with sustainable trails coalition in 18-19 on this agenda. I presented this to Senator Manchin of WV on behalf of STC. STC needed a Democratic that would co-sign with Lee. Lee was chosen primarily because of his willingness to listen and support the STC. Manchin was chosen for the same reason, as he is the most likely D that would support such a measure. In our meeting he flat out said he would not support because of political fallout.

That being said we had a frank conversation as two West Virginians, and then he asked how else he could help mountain bikers. I told him we needed to purchase 900 acres of land that was selling which included Davis, WV’s famous Moon Rocks, XC races and 15 miles of trails. Since then the WV Land Trust purchased the land for MTB and rec uses forever with help from all kinds of folks, and clutch politicians including Manchin.

POLITICS is madness, sometimes it works. Just gotta be the squeaky wheel sometimes and find who will work for your cause In a RESPONSIBLE way.
  • 55 19
 It's not about the damage that bikes do vs anything else, it's about the damage that comes from easier access for people in general. There should be places in this world that are hard to access.

www.patagonia.com/stories/why-wilderness-matters-more-than-you/story-90114.html
  • 60 10
 If you need to limit access then do it directly. Use a permit system. Don't use equipment bans as a clumsy, indirect way to achieve the same end goal.
  • 17 31
flag unrooted (May 24, 2021 at 8:42) (Below Threshold)
 That blog post is the reason I refuse to buy Patagonia.
  • 19 5
 @unrooted: I don't buy it to avoid looking like a yuppie.
  • 20 5
 @bocomtb: "You must only walk" is probably one of the simplest, least clumsy way of minimizing access. Especially compared to setting up an agency, fee structure/lottery, access impact studies, etc.
  • 32 0
 I like Patagonia, but man, I don't see any discernable difference between a bunch of horses and hikers being able to use an area and mountain bikers.
  • 17 7
 I agree with that blog post. We need to limit access, not expand it. Sure it isn't fair and yes everyone should be able to enjoy the outdoors. But the damage currently being done is off the charts. I say this as a mtber and an ebiker. I have had to close off so many off trail shortcuts lately, not to mention the ever-widening of local trails. The trails were never meant to sustain such traffic. Opening wilderness areas to bikes is a terrible idea. And yes, the ebike riders will most definitely screw it up. Again, I say that as someone who rides an ebike but sees too many yahoos blasting up and down our local trails not caring about etiquette or damage.
  • 3 0
 @bocomtb: We've managed hundreds of thousand of private timber for decades. Enforcement is the obvious problem of said permit system. Especially with regards to guys with motors accessing exponentially more terrain quickly. Its way more effective to just lock it up to anything with a motor. It works better than anything else.
  • 30 4
 @KavuRider: chicken little argument as usual. That argument from Patagonia is full of *sugar*.

If one really wants to protect Wilderness, about we close to the horsey crowd who form pack trains to go take out of shape tourists glamping in Wilderness while defecating everywhere. Horses are not even native to the Americas. Furthermore, cyclists rarely go for a week in Wilderness to camp and what not. Most MTBers will go do a 20-25 miler and then go home for a shower. Being in and out in one day is way less disturbing to the wildlife. Finally, setting up a permit to limit number of visitors is really easy to do, though it's probably not necessary in most places.

Anyhow, glad to see that the bill is brought back up again. One day, it'll happen, simply because it makes sense. Wilderness belongs to all human powered users, not just the chosen few that have lobbied their way into a monopoly access.
  • 14 0
 @KavuRider: Then close them off to all uses. Horses and hikers can do just as much damage
  • 29 6
 Here's an unpopular opionion, and I am 100% open to this statement and you should be too:

There are some places bikes don't belong.

And thats just fine.
  • 5 1
 @bocomtb: This. Limiting wilderness to hikers doesn't cap use in a place like I-70 just west of Denver where there's millions of hikers.
  • 12 1
 @bicyclelifestyle: So let local land managers decide where they do and do not belong.
  • 6 0
 You've probably seen this, but I like to take a look at it from time to time:

www.bloomberg.com/graphics/2018-us-land-use
  • 2 1
 @bicyclelifestyle: I 100% agree which is a large part of why I support the STC
  • 5 4
 @KavuRider: what were they meant for then? We live on a human inhabited planet....and you want the humans not to, uh, inhabit it?
  • 10 0
 @aug7hallak: Based on this article if we converted half the golf courses to bike parks we would have an additional 1 million acres of land to ride on, in what is probably mostly urban areas. Sounds like a win to me.
  • 10 4
 @nvranka: no I don't think we need to drag our footprint over every inch of this planet. Especially because all people do is trash it.

Maybe we don't need to have bikes go everywhere.
  • 4 1
 @HB208: no argument!

But I don't see how opening an area up to MORE users is going to help.
  • 3 3
 @KavuRider: why not just make access harder? Require nature preservation classes, or annual licenses that can be revoked for not following rules etc....

I don’t give issues like this any thought so I’m sure my suggestions make no sense, but I’m all for increasing the barrier to entry, but not revoking privileges entirely.

Some areas close for parts of the year to help nature have a chance to regrow etc, that’s fine too.

Nature is meant to be enjoyed. We should focus on how to do that sustainably rather than saying “no nature for you! You don’t deserve it”

Restrict photographs, give citations to Instagram influencers, do things to make it harder to discover the best nature spots and you’ll reduce the crowds immediately. Most people only go because someone told them to nowadays.
  • 6 4
 @nvranka: let’s start a new organization: Stop the Public from Using Public Lands.
  • 3 0
 @nvranka: dialogue is good!

Rotating areas is a great idea! I am not sure education will work with most people. They seem to disregard the rules anyway.
But these are good ideas!

I am not sure if nature is "meant" for anything, besides just existing. Instagram influencers and youtubers would have you think we should all travel to these pristine areas. But that is how they get trashed.
  • 13 1
 @KavuRider: dude, all those Wilderness areas used to be inhabited before European settlers deemed them to be so special as to kick out the natives.

Anyhow, banning cyclists to limit usage is conflating issues. If issue is overusage, limit it. Hikers/cyclists have the same impact, though cyclists rarely do multi day trips in wilderness while taking a crap everywhere. So, one can argue that cycling impact Wilderness less. The banning of cyclists is an irrational argument made for 2 reasons: either some puritanical imagery of wilderness as some kind of new age religion, or to limit the usage of public lands to one's preferred mode of enjoyment (i.e. hiking or atop some poor horse).
  • 4 4
 @zorglub: you have a great point there. I would be all for limiting ALL users. Upvote!

I guess my fear is that allowing bicycles in these areas opens up Pandora's box and once opened it won't be closed (mining, resource extraction). Maybe I am just cynical!
  • 7 0
 Not understanding all the comments here that are saying it’s okay for bikes to be banned from areas, but horses are okay? Horses damage trails incredibly more than bikes. Have you never been on a multi use or horse trail? They are atrocious. Looks like a gopher on crack went wild. Also as stated, bikes are in and out quickly, and rarely have I seen trash on mtb trails. Besides all the horse poop that is never picked up, I’ve literally seen horse parties dump trash trail side many times. So to sit here and wax poetics that horses are okay and bikes are not is asinine.
  • 4 1
 @SvenNorske: Agreed. Horses and cattle should be banned from wilderness areas. Still not sure bikes should be either. We need truly wild places and North America has some of the last, best ones. If you disagree with this seek out some outdoorsy Europeans. You will find out that they come to the America's to experience what Europe has lost forever. Once it's gone you cannot get it back.
  • 2 0
 @KavuRider: Ive hiked many wilderness trails with heavy horse use and they make alot of trail shortcuts and unplanned reroutes.
  • 5 1
 @KavuRider: That's the slippery slope fallacy. If bikes are again allowed in Wilderness, then the only consequence will be for bikes to be allowed in Wilderness. The odds of opening Wilderness to extraction via a new law are absolutely nil.
  • 3 2
 @DavidK4: I don't get it. I am in no way defending or advocating for equestrians or hikers. Not sure where anyone is getting that. I would happily ban them from some areas as well.

My point is I don't see how adding another user group to areas that are already seeing damage is going to help anything.
  • 3 1
 @zorglub: someone might add a gold dredge to the front of their bike then they could mine the Wilderness!!!!!!!!!
  • 2 0
 @bicyclelifestyle: sure, but the wide swaths of wilderness and wilderness area systems should be blanket ban them either. Should be left to the local land manager. You should agree with this statement, and that's just fine.
  • 3 0
 @zorglub: also, on a per mile basis cyclists litter much less than hikers
  • 1 0
 @zorglub: exactly
  • 30 0
 I know in Oregon we have lost a lot of mtb trail access when new wilderness areas were created near Mt. Hood. There were many miles of trails that got almost no pedestrian traffic because they did not have any scenic views or cool destinations. They were great for bikes but one in one sweep they were all off limits. I'm guessing the trails are barely passible now. It would be great to get access again!
  • 16 1
 That’s the BS part about these rules. Half of the trails in “wilderness” don’t get used anyway or are too hard to access on foot. Seems insane that bikes couldn’t be allowed in places. Obviously there’s popular hikes and trails in wilderness that should stay foot traffic only but there’s a lot of opportunities for more pedal oriented trails.
  • 2 2
 @parisgore: The non-motorized MTB stuff is so easy to manage too. A decent park ranger (likely on an EBike) could easily bounce around and keep things kosher.
  • 2 1
 @parisgore: And then the US Forest Service and BLM complains that they don't have the resources to maintain those trails.
  • 1 9
flag LeDuke (May 24, 2021 at 10:48) (Below Threshold)
 @parisgore: If they are too hard to access on foot, you think people on bikes are going to be pedaling up and down them? Really?
  • 39 15
 It’s Mike Lee. He doesn’t do anything if it doesn’t help his own wallet or the fundamentalists Mormon agenda.

Sounds like he just wants to give his local buddies in the timber industry control over forest land.
  • 16 10
 @hellanorcal: yup. this has nothing to do with cyclists.
  • 13 1
 Is there any evidence that this changes how the forestry industry can access wilderness areas? Reading the bill, it seems to only change the definition of nonmotorized travel to include bikes. Considering Utah is a huge tourism state for bikers, it isn't out of the question he would want to change this.
  • 6 10
flag jmhills (May 24, 2021 at 10:02) (Below Threshold)
 @HB208: A mine will outweigh every dollar spent by a mountain biker.
  • 13 2
 @jmhills: Yeah, but nothing in the bill says "mining will be allowed." IDK if you fully understand how the senate bill process works, but if it isn't in the text (or able to be inferred from the text), it isn't going to be allowed.
  • 12 0
 @HB208: I don't trust Lee as far as I can throw him, but it is a very narrowly worded bill and I don't see an obvious slippery slope. He might be angling to legalize game carts which is a big deal with hunters.
  • 2 3
 @HB208: I do. Very well, actually (I teach AP gov). The issue here is with the person and his supporters, the financial ones, point to my level of skepticism. I do not foresee a sudden use of human powered carts in order to open the land but looking at his committees, and his public donors, I, and many others, seem to be justified in our skepticism.

If you look at the way a bill can become a law, you will also know that the initial version of a bill is NEVER the same version when it passes. You float a bill to open up Wilderness land and you open up the opportunities to expand access. No bikes but horses is the most stupid thing as horses do more damage and transport in more invasive species than a bike ever will. The difference between the last bill, which really was looking to open up the land to game carts more than anything else, and today's bill is the political climate. The 'drill baby drill' arm of the party has never been stronger. We will have to mine to be 'green' but where will that start?
  • 2 0
 @jmhills: Yeah, and we seen what happened to Bear's Ear
  • 2 0
 he isn't a fundamentalist mormon though ... so you are full of shit
  • 20 0
 I hope that, if passed, this get used responsibly. I would love to have long, quiet rides in wilderness. I would not like the "busy" wilderness areas (looking at you Central Oregon, Enchantments, and Sawtooths) to be even more full.
  • 38 5
 It likely won't. Toxic individuality, lack of respect, and personal responsibility persists in American culture. If this passes, in time, probably by the time my kids are my age, we'll all be talking about the need to re-claim these places as Wilderness and close them down to ALL public access because they're getting trashed. This is already happening in Colorado and elsewhere, and while I don't like the increased regulations that are happening (dispersed camping areas being closed down), I do see them as a necessary check on the loosening/lack of regulations over the years and reliance on personal responsibility. Unfortunately "Leave No Trace" and Smokey the Bear marketing do not work, there's enough evidence that we're loving these areas to death. It's unfortunate.
  • 6 1
 @chacou: Close it to all before its too late.
  • 9 4
 @MikeyMT: There's areas that do get closed certain times of the year to allow for wildlife and habitat to have a break. There's a reason that Wilderness, BLM lands, National Parks, National Monuments, National Forests exist, meaning there's a reason for distinction between them. Wilderness should stay wild allowing for only the "wild human" mode of transportation, ie: foot on ground, whether that's a human foot or an animal foot carrying a human on their back. I wish people like Mike Lee that want so badly for the local economy to be able to reap benefits of outdoor recreation on public lands, would focus more efforts on development on the lands that are already approved for that kind of use, local, state, and other federal land like National Forest and BLM.
Some of the worst managed land in my locale is the land owned by the local governments. City and County of Denver and Jefferson County own an outsize portion of public lands in our community and they do a shit job of managing them and they're nearly impossible for our local trail organization to work with. So when I see people talk about "more local government control", I laugh. Meanwhile some of the most receptive land managers are the local USFS ranger offices, but they're part of the conspiratorial gubment 1600 miles east! Wink
  • 27 0
 @MikeyMT: Apologies for continuing here, but here's an anecdote from this weekend. A buddy and I went for a ride in National Forest on Saturday morning to an area that's popular with 4WD and motos. It technically doesn't open to 4WD/motos until June, but the trails are open to hikers and mountain bikes. There's large steel gate at the trail head to keep jeeps, side-by-sides, motos, etc. off the 4WD road that accesses all the trails until the local USFS ranger opens it up in June.

We followed the single track from the trail head up until it starts to cross the 4WD roads. Ruts and tracks from motos and side-by-sides, and possibly some Jeeps, were all over that place. Someone had decided to, recently it appears, do donuts in a meadow. When we came back down we followed the 4WD road to the gate. Those off-roaders are a resourceful bunch, because someone had just moved the boulders from around the side of the gate so you could get past on your side-by-side or moto (or maybe even a jeep could sneak through).

My point is, people suck and can't be trusted to respect nature.
  • 3 0
 @chacou: Agree 100% especially on the better managing the land we already have. BLM land is notoriously shitty and poorly managed.
  • 6 0
 @chacou: My family has managed over 400k acres of private timber in PNW. We've seen what you described countless times. At least they aren't shooting each other and drug running like the Mushroomers.
  • 3 1
 @chacou: If you're talking about Rampart, it was open as of this past weekend. The June open date is a guideline, it opens as soon as the worst of mud season has passed.

No excuses for a*sholes going off trail though. SxS and new OHVers have been causing problems, same story as pretty much any outdoors activity.
  • 1 0
 @texag: I'm not talking about Rampart. I'm further north and I steer clear of that area, it's crazy busy down there.
  • 4 0
 @texag: Without divulging the area since it's one of the few places that hasn't been completely over crowded, per the local ranger district, it's a closure, not a recommendation.
"Note: The area is closed to motorized vehicles from December 15 to June 16 to minimize disturbances during the elk calving season."
  • 3 1
 @chacou: toxic individuality?
  • 3 0
 @chacou: Gotcha, thought you were talking about Rampart, no worries.
  • 6 2
 @TwoNGlenn: In the simplest terms, it's a lack of empathy. ie: "My freedoms are the most important thing and doing anything I don't want to do for anyone else is an infringement upon my freedoms". More in depth www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/culture-shrink/202005/how-america-fell-toxic-individualism
  • 2 0
 @texag: If you figure out where I'm referring to, keep it on the hush, no Strava Wink
  • 5 2
 @chacou: I understand, but beware of where the rejection of the individual leads, Winston. I’ll take individualism over the gaping void of the collective any day.
  • 7 9
 @chacou: also, that link you provided is pure left wing drivel. It’s an anti-capitalist screed from someone who never worked a day in a for-profit company.
  • 9 1
 @TwoNGlenn: Sure. For more great reading on these concepts, which I'm sure you'll simply disregard as liberal BS is the work of Robert Putnam, robertdputnam.com Bowling Alone and The Upswing are excellent historical cultural analysis. But I doubt that matters since he's not a contributor to Reason Mag or other far-right Reaganomics promoting institutions. Best regards. (Warning: There's a picture of Obama in the slideshow on his homepage, just in case that triggers you)
  • 5 0
 @TwoNGlenn: haha, love the 1984 reference. Have you read it?
  • 8 8
 @chacou: eh relax. We don't know each other. Don't get too excited because I called a crappy opinion piece for what it is. I read the whole thing and thought maybe the author should diversify her exposure to the world. I'll check out your other link, too.

There are many forces at work trying to shape Western culture. Individualism has been a cornerstone of our culture for quite some time. To call individualism toxic is yet another way to chisel away the foundations of our society. Couple that with the growing Marxist inclinations in American politics and that spells doom for our way of life as we know it.

Or maybe I'm just misinterpreting things and you're saying some individuals are toxic. Then I agree. Some people suck. They always have and always will.
  • 3 0
 @TwoNGlenn: Apologies, if I could delete the comment I would. I let myself get dragged into the straw man, obviously you've read 1984, to make the reference. If you have the interest check out The Upswing by Putnam, at least give the description a skim. It's a good analysis and I think he present some solid ideas to bring this country back together working toward a shared vision.
  • 12 5
 @chacou: I'll give it a look. Beyond individualism, I think it's important we have a sense of duty and obligation to serve something bigger than ourselves. Pride in country should be high on anyone's list for no other reason than to make this place (USA) a better place to live. But, sadly, it's been fashionable to say the USA sucks, we're all irredeemable racists and and evil capitalists, etc. Sprinkle some Critical Race Theory into the equation, which has infiltrated our public institutions, and we have a recipe for eternal resentment, hate, and cultural decline. I'm an optimist day to day, but in the end, we're all f*cked. Mountain biking takes me away from all that silliness, yet here I am on a mtb forum talking about it. Dang.
  • 5 0
 @chacou: The new bill allows the local land manager to 100% close the wilderness to bikes for 365 days a year if they think that is appropriate. The only areas that will be opened up are ones which the local land manager feels the trails and nature will not suffer from some cyclists.

I really really doubt that any manager will open up any trail that could get "busy" with cyclists or where the wildlife will be impacted, or one which has hikers/horses on it much. The local land manager will not want to deal with angry horse owners and hikers. There's thousands of miles of almost unused backcountry trails in wilderness and wilderness study areas, and right now maybe a horse party goes through it once a week. If opened up, there'd now by a handful of cyclists a week.

I see this bill as impacting Bikepackers mostly, and "marathon" xc riders next, but "trail" and "downhill" riders likely to get almost no new trails.
  • 3 0
 @TwoNGlenn: Yet here we are Wink , I suspect we'd have an enjoyable post ride beverage and discussion if that ever came to be. Best regards.
  • 1 0
 @kiwifyx: My opinion is still that Wilderness areas should remain wilderness areas, there's plenty of other public lands to develop for the uses you describe. It's ok to have places that are hard to get to and not playgrounds for us humans.
  • 1 0
 @kiwifyx: Just reading some of your other comments and you seem to be much more knowledgeable about this specific issue than I am, and I'm trying to understand a bit more here.
So, this would basically designate Wilderness Areas, which have been approved by Congress, to be managed like Wilderness Study Areas, which would be up to the local BLM or USFS office? If that's the case, then it seems pointless for Congressionally approved Wilderness Area designation.
I'd rather see BLM, USFS develop and improve trails in our existing National Forest that is not already designated as Wilderness, they already can't keep up with the existing strain, feels like opening more easy to access public land to people would just add to that strain on the system.
  • 6 0
 @chacou: as others have pointed out its also about preserving access to trails currently used for mtb that have their designation changed. It seems a lot less likely that a land manager would ban mtbs from trails thru currently use. This is what is happening currently when designation changes due to the blanket mtb ban in the current "interpretation".
  • 1 0
 @catweasel: From what I understand though, those "trails currently used for mtb" are likely in Wilderness Study Areas, which are under control by local land managers and thus could have bike/OHV access but are also considered "next-in-line" for Wilderness Area consideration by Congress. Congress could look at a WSA and say "that's already been trammeled by humans so it doesn't really fit the Wilderness Area designation criteria any longer". But it sounds like this bill would change that designation entirely, allowing areas that are "trammeled by humans" to be designated Wilderness Areas. Which makes me think why Wilderness Area designation would even exist, just re-classify all Wilderness Areas as Wilderness Study Areas (or call it whatever you want, but the management remains). Again, I'm far from an expert, this is mostly just from reading up on the National Wilderness Preservation System via sources like www.blm.gov/programs/national-conservation-lands/wilderness ...aside from that I also wonder who's going to enforce these new rules, I understand the problem exists currently that they can't really enforce the rules now due to lack of funds/staffing. So it seems like this would just put more strain on land managers who are already stretched thin, unless Sen. Lee has some secret money pot to help fund the management.
  • 4 0
 @chacou: I agree to probably 95% or maybe 99% of wilderness areas. What's got me frustrated is that studies show that horses do more trail damage than bikes. So either we're for protecting the wilderness and we allow nobody or just hikers, or we're for "mostly protecting" the wilderness and we allow hikers, horses and bikes.

Then there's a few percent of wilderness that are remote areas with existing trails, where bike access will result in a handful of people doing bike packing trips, and no issues. One of the wilderness study areas in MT, before it was designated, locals would say how they'd do these bike rides back there and see maybe one other person on a two or three day trip.

Things like the Colorado trail where you have to divert around sections where it goes through wilderness, are crazy. The horses and pack mules carrying lots of gear and $hitting on the trail can just walk straight through. Talk to hikers about the mess horses leave when they're tied up next to the trail for the night. And horses aren't even native. Blows my mind.

I would not support a bill that opens up wilderness. This one I do support (although I'm really uneasy about Mike Lee supporting it), as it means local land managers can decide. There'll be some wilderness that has an old mining or forestry gravel road through it, and is remote. Some land manager will see that bike packers cannot damage the old road by a few riding it each week, and it's so remote that it'll never be overcrowded. So let's get that stuff opened.
  • 2 0
 @kiwifyx: Well put, appreciate the response and 100% agree on the horses. For what it's worth, I live very close to Lost Creek Wilderness which is one of the Wilderness Areas that the COT crosses and bikes must detour. I also live in a community that abuts Mt. Evan's Wilderness. Due to our proximity to the Denver metro area, my fear is that the COT segment through Lost Creek Wilderness, which we love to hike and backpack with our young kids, would become even more crowded and throw in that much of the new crowd would be travelling at a much higher rate of speed.
I understand the bill, as you've explained, the Pike NF Ranger office could still keep that segment closed to cyclists, which based on your description would likely be the case. Anecdotally, there's a popular MTB area, Buffalo Creek, in the Pike NF that abuts the LCW, and it's crazy crowded with all kinds of users, mostly bikes and horses (it's really not a fun area to hike because of the amount of bikes) and COMBA (local mtb trail org, among other groups) already have issues with maintaining those trails due to staffing and the amount of work (it's never ending). I'd love to see more trails and areas to ride and do long through rides, but I'm hesitant that we can do it in a responsible way considering we're already not able to keep up with maintenance on existing areas that are open to cyclists. Best regards.
  • 2 0
 @chacou: Right now Wilderness Study (i.e. land that is being studied to see if it should be made wilderness) and Wilderness are treated the same for bike access. This doesn't change.

What changes, is wilderness and wilderness study areas can be opened up if the local land manager thinks it will be good.

I totally agree about BLM and USFS land needs to be looked at too, and State Parks etc. Basically saying that BLM land is good for biking and Wilderness is bad for biking, is just too blanket a policy to be useful. Some BLM land is not suitable for biking, but some Wilderness land is suitable for hiking.

I would like to see the bill passed and then Bikepacking.com start publishing some multi-day routes either in Wilderness or ones that cross a small section of wilderness which was impossible before the bill was passed.

I don't want to see DH or Enduro type trails opened up on the edge of a wilderness area and having dozens of riders hit that same trail over and over.
  • 2 0
 @kiwifyx: Ok, after some more searching I stumbled upon this great read, looks to be a thesis project. I'm coming around to the idea, the author makes a very good case referencing the Human-Powered Wildlands Travel Management Act which I think I saw you mention in some other comments. www.colorado.edu/law/sites/default/files/attached-files/ruckriegle_final.docx_2.pdf

...now to stop pissing into the wind here on PB and do my job Wink
  • 36 16
 E.D. Bikes WILL ruin this. Buncha fat dumbshits who have no idea what they are doing, tearing up the trails. Go ahead and downvote. Your Viagra boner is fake, and so is your knowledge about stewarding the environment.
  • 6 2
 This made me laugh...good job.
  • 5 2
 My testosterone treatments are real though, right?
  • 3 12
flag zorglub (May 24, 2021 at 9:37) (Below Threshold)
 Another wildernut puritan.
  • 4 5
 STC picked the most Anti-Environment and Right Wing Senator to sponsor their Bill. Good luck with that.
  • 23 5
 @jamessmurthwaite - it's S.B. 1686 (not 1696), here's the link. www.congress.gov/bill/117th-congress/senate-bill/1686

If anyone in here trusts Mike Lee on public lands issues, I don't know what to tell you. The title of the bill is "A bill to amend the Wilderness Act to allow local Federal officials to determine the manner in which nonmotorized uses may be permitted in wilderness areas, and for other purposes." Curious what those other purposes are.
  • 21 12
 I do not know what the other purposes are, but I can assure you they are not good. Mike Lee is not to be trusted by anyone for any reason. The guy is a snake
  • 9 0
 "...and for other purposes" is standard language used in bills introduced in Congress. Even the Wilderness Act itself had that statement included in the official bill that was passed in 1964: parkplanning.nps.gov/showFile.cfm?projectID=29224&MIMEType=application%252Fpdf&filename=WildernessActText%2Epdf&sfid=152506
  • 8 6
 @mt-outlaw: Fair enough. But you have to be a little apprehensive when Lee is involved. I can assure you that NOTHING about him, his voting record or his motives have the environment or recreation access on his mind. This a a veiled attempt to gain access to natural resources and pillage the land for money. He doesn't care about mountain biking. He cares about what is best for him, trust me.
  • 7 2
 I am a fan of this bill and donated to the campaign that started this bill. But I 100% agree, Mike Lee cannot be trusted at all. He's up to something by supporting this. I don't know what it is, but I wish he was opposed to this bill rather than sponsoring it.
  • 25 7
 Non motorized bikes. The bike industry stabbed its self in the bike making electric motored vehicles. I agree keep them off the trails. Meat power only.
  • 12 0
 I live in Idaho which has a significant portion of the state held as wilderness area (there is confusion in the comments about public lands vs wilderness area it seems- most of my state is BLM/USFS which is much different than Wilderness). My opinion is if they are ONLY changing the definition of a mechanized vehicle, and by local land manager they are referring to the local federal ranger system- then this seems like a great idea.

Wilderness was designated in fairly huge blocks in this state and there are definitely portions that would handle bikes without real issues. Many of these areas aren't prime hiking spots and the wildlife doesn't seem to be overly detered by people. Meanwhile other parts seem pretty sensitive and bikers shouldn't be there. A federally employed ranger familiar with the local trails designating which trails are appropriate and working with local mountain bike organizations for signage and some maintenance seems completely reasonable.

Yes there will be enforcement issues because there's always buttmunches out there, but those guys would probably be poaching trails anyway.
  • 60 51
 Google how much of Utah & Nevada's land is owned by the Federal government. Its over 80%. The idea that a centralized agency, over a thousand miles away, can better manage the land than the local citizens of that state is a huge claim that requires huge evidence, none of which I've seen.

Bravo for Lee doing this.
  • 71 16
 I can't help but question what back door stuff Lee has planned here. If this is genuinely just serving bikes, I am pleasantly surprised. Just have a feeling he is sneaking something in for his oil and mining handlers.
  • 24 43
flag hamncheez (May 24, 2021 at 8:02) (Below Threshold)
 @adrennan: Evidence that he has oil and mining handlers.

If the locals in a specific state vote that they would prefer some of their land be allowed for economic development, is that a bad idea? At what point is democracy bad?
  • 34 4
 @adrennan: There isn't anything lurking in the backdoor. The political organization behind the bill--Sustainable Trails Coalition--was founded by a couple of Marin County liberals who have next to nothing in common politically with Senator Lee besides mtb access issues.
  • 28 1
 @adrennan: As one of his constituents I am extremely skeptical as well but I just read the bill and it is very straight forward and looks to be beneficial to outdoors enthusiasts like bikers, hikers and maybe climbers as well. It does have the following definition which will effect the whole E-Bike aspect. "NONMOTORIZED TRAVEL.—The term ‘nonmotorized travel’ means a method of human travel that does not use a propulsive internal or external motor with a nonliving power source."
  • 33 11
 @hamncheez: I guess not. I mean it's OK that locals in Brazil can burn down the rain forest so they can turn it into farmland while starving the planet of oxygen. Because really it's a geat idea to allow locals to dictate what they want because hell some condos and industrial complexes are more important than keeping the natural land pristine for the next generation.
  • 3 0
 They are moving BLM or Department of the Interior to Colorado or something @hamncheez
  • 28 4
 @hamncheez: first comment: "...how much of Utah and Nevada land is owned by the Fed...."
Second comment: : "if the locals in a specific state vote they would prefer some of their land be allowed..."

Its not, by law, "their" land.
  • 16 2
 @hamncheez - By your own statement it is not Utah or Nevada's land... It's the federal government's land as they own it.

Sure people could vote to return this land to the state's, but the US Voters as a whole deserve adequate compensation for the asset that has appreciated and they have spent countless dollars in maintaining. If the state of Utah wants to make a bid, I suggest the state votes on a price and terms to present to US Voters for said parcels. No different than any other real estate transaction. The problem here is I don't think Utah has the balance sheet strength to do so.
  • 16 10
 @mexicant: First off, nearly all of the oxygen we breathe comes from phytoplankton in the ocean, not from forests. But I get your point- The Amazon has an immense value beyond just lumber or farmland. However, these farmers are desperately poor. If you were in their situation, watching your kids go hungry, and some guy says "Hey drive this bulldozer and clear this land , and I'll pay you double what you make now" you'd do it too.

So what should we do? Should we invade Brazil to stop them? One of the biggest environmental disasters in the last 100 years was when Saddam Hussein lit the oil wells on fire to create a smoke screen for his invasion of Kuwait. It was equal to something like 100 oil spills. How did our "fix" of Iraq go over? Our record of Imperialism, even though we had good intentions, hasn't been great. Many of us here out West see Washington, DC, a city 1,000 miles away, full of corrupt politicians who get to rule over us, as Imperialism, not Federalism.
  • 11 24
flag hamncheez (May 24, 2021 at 9:03) (Below Threshold)
 @Lemmyschild: @dhx42 Yes, and those lands should be returned to State control.
  • 23 5
 @hamncheez: They were never part of State control so how could they be returned? Utah was a territory prior to being a state which was acquired by the US Government via the Mexican-American war...

I get your point of some people's desire to have the land managed by local government/constituents, but Americans, as a whole, deserve adequate return on investment since its our land. The state needs to make an offer... This argument that the state of Utah should just get the land is absurd.
  • 7 1
 Yeah, look at all the great private riding in someplace like Massachusetts.
  • 7 6
 @hamncheez: yep, bad idea. Reminds me of some other state's rights arguments from the 19th century...
  • 8 9
 @GotchaJimmy: Reminds you of what? Have the courage to say it. You think the idea of Democracy is the same thing as slavery.
  • 9 8
 @dhx42: Why not have 100% of the Western states owned by the Federal government? The Federal government gives land away all the time in land grants. Its not like the Feds purchased the lands, and taxpayers need an investment return. Settlers came West and pushed Native Americans out, and then the Feds came in and just claimed it. Or the Feds would conquer the Native tribes themselves.

I'm just saying the closer Democracy is to you, the better it will work. Empires don't work (except for those at the top), and that is part of the reason why the Framers were mostly Federalists.
  • 9 0
 @adrennan: good point, I wish everyone questioned every politician’s motivation for proposing new laws and not believe and trust the first thing they hear as the truth.
  • 19 2
 The federal government is not great at managing public lands, but in relationship to states they are crushing it. State management makes it too easy for lands to be sold to pollitically connected locals. Here is an excellent article with hard data:

www.fieldandstream.com/keep-public-lands-in-public-hands

It is meant for hunters/anglers, but is relevant to all of us.
  • 6 4
 @hamncheez: Tropical deforestation contributes about 20% of annual global greenhouse gas emissions. Sure forests do not produce a net increase in oxygen, but oxygen has never been a problem. It's the CO2 released into the atmosphere that has been causing global warming, and as a result more intense hurricane seasons plus more fires burning down millions of acres of land throughout the country.

Source: www.edf.org/sites/default/files/10333_Measuring_Carbon_Emissions_from_Tropical_Deforestation--An_Overview.pdf
  • 14 5
 @Stinky-Dee: ever since Mike Lee's name got tied with STC, I have had concerns that would try to snake something. I need to go give the current version of this bill a read. Just expressing concern since he has a history of trying to abuse public lands for an extra dollar today (Re: Bear's Ears)
  • 14 2
 @hamncheez: I completely agree that the decision to allow bikes, non motorized, on a particular trail should be local. I don't agree that feds should give states the land. That happened in Montana, and the state sold a lot of it to cover a state budget deficit. They privatized a load of public land that all of us people that live there, used to hunt, hike, bike on. And now we're not allowed on the land. Mostly uber rich out of staters bought the lands and turned them into private hunting area and/or built mansions. That is definitely not in the local interest. Lands that could have been publicly used, enjoyed, cherished for hundreds more years, gone. Just gone. All because of some hopelessly short sighted politicians were too weak to cut spending or raise taxes! That really made me angry.
  • 12 3
 @hamncheez: how do you "return" something that was never theirs?
Logic Fail.
  • 6 2
 @hamncheez: We fought a war over the land....People died. Why shouldn't we get a return? What benefit do Americans get for giving it away?

Your argument about more local government vs. more federal government is neither here nor there. Like any other parcel, someone can buy it. If the people of Utah want it so badly, the should make an offer that is attractive to the american people. We'll vote on it!
  • 3 9
flag hamncheez (May 24, 2021 at 9:54) (Below Threshold)
 @Jaquill: Ok, lets invade Brazil. Worked so well in the Mid East.
  • 6 6
 @RVA: Ask the Nevadians how well the Feds managed their land near the Atom Bomb test sites.
  • 11 11
 @dhx42: Most of the non-Federal land in States was "granted" to the states. Grants are the Feds releasing land to their own citizens. Its not a company giving away company cars without compensating shareholders.

I'm of the opinion the Feds shouldn't own any land at all outside of Washington, DC. Nowhere in the Constitution is authorization given to the Feds to own land.
  • 10 10
 @hamncheez: Well the majority of Americans are going to disagree with you there so good luck with that endeavor...
  • 5 0
 @hamncheez: Federalists favored a larger centralized government, what we have today. Anti Federalists wanted many smaller local governments....what you apparently think "Federalist" means.
  • 6 1
 @hamncheez: the citizens of Nevada we in favor of developing a bomb to end WWII.
  • 6 4
 @Lemmyschild: James Madison coined the term "Federalism" where he meant a balance between State and Central government, as seen in the 10th Amendment. Yes, its more centralized than what it replaced, but Federalism was the alternative to a Province/Prefecture system.
  • 4 6
 @Lemmyschild: They had no idea what was goin on in the desert. The Germans were already beaten. Its debatable whether the bomb was needed to get the Japanese to surrender. And the tests kept going for decades after the War ended.
  • 6 2
 @hamncheez: none of that matters. if you had asked the citizens of Nevada in 1945 if they agreed to hold those tests on federal land in an effort aimed at national security, they would have agreed.
  • 5 2
 @hamncheez: you are basically making my argument for me.
  • 7 0
 It's not a matter of local control vs the feds, rather, the type of economic conditions at play. I assure you the real estate industry, oil/gas, etc are highly supportive of "local" control efforts and local governments will scramble to increase their tax bases if these lands are not protected by the feds.
  • 6 1
 I'm not sure about Nevada, but Utah has an absolutely terrible track record of managing/owning State land. They got lots of land when they became a state, and I believe the figure is that 99% of the land granted to the Utah State Government has been sold/given away since then.

On my list of things I don't trust, Utah State Government managing public lands, or Mike Lee, are in a neck and neck battle.
  • 3 0
 @Lemmyschild: They'd be annexing the land from all American citizens to just the local State citizens. Sort of sounds like Crimea with the Russians vs Ukrainians.

Right now, my kids (as I'm not a US citizen) own a 1/335,000,000 of all the federal land. I will always object to any state taking my kids share away from them.
  • 4 1
 @kiwifyx: Utah would not be managing any Wilderness areas. The bill calls for the on-scene *federal* land managers to determine mountain biking access. Someone in, for example, the Wasatch or the Fishlake National Forest would be deciding what trails we could ride in the respective national forests.
  • 11 0
 I have an opinion.
  • 9 0
 It was only valid 2 hours ago
  • 8 2
 Cautiously optimistic this proposal is on the up and up.

Lee is generally a snake in the grass, pulling shenanigans like removing protections for Bears Ears.



"Lee is an avowed member of the anti-conservation fringe, probably best known for joining other Utah officials in helping convince President Trump to eliminate protections for over 2 million acres of land in Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante national monuments in 2017."

www.wilderness.org/articles/blog/senator-introduces-bill-preventing-protection-places-bears-ears-national-monument
  • 8 2
 I’m pretty neutral on whether bike should be allowed, but Mike Lee is not introducing it for the benefit of mountain bikers. He is only trying to loosen regulations on federal land to further reduce and sell off our public land. Deregulation of wilderness is a dangerous idea with potential to spiral.
  • 2 4
 What if he truly just believes in limiting the federal governments power? Do you believe that politicians in DC know what's best for places they've never even visited? Like him or not, Mike Lee has always fought to get big government out of people lives.
  • 6 0
 God I love pinkbike. The last vestige of the internet where I can enjoy not be surrounded by beginners and bike shop owners who are drooling at the mouth with the thought of putting less effort into this sport via motorized bikes.
  • 7 1
 Here in Oregon pretty much everything is legal other than riding a bike in wilderness. Crack? your all good. Meth? just a wee bit, no probs. Weed? OF COURSE!!! oh you burned down some federal buildings? No worries, or DA's don't mind. Rioting and property destruction? SJW FTW!!! your all good. What! you rode your bike into wilderness? Jail time!!!!
  • 3 1
 Best and most accurate comment here. Thank you. Every day I work in Portland I'm one step closer to moving to Utah.
  • 5 0
 In Oregon there are a lot of fun looking trails that are in the Wilderness. Portions of the Three Sisters Wilderness will have maybe 1 car at the trailhead on a holiday weekend. Gives these bike packing trails options too for avoiding long paved and gravel sections. I fully support keeping the PCT non bike, popular trailheads non bike, steep trails prime to erosion bike free. In fact I only really envision like 10-20 percent of Wilderness Trails getting opened. I know one trail the Elkhorn Creat has like a 1 mile section in the middle that is Wilderness, things like that legally can’t be cleaned up under the current rules.
  • 1 0
 According to the U.S. Forest Service, over-visitation. The agency reports that from 2011 to 2016, the number of groups entering the Three Sisters increased by 331 percent; Mt. Washington, 314 percent; Diamond Peak, 165 percent; and Mt. Jefferson, 68 percent. All those nature lovers, the agency says, have contributed to increased vandalism, overcrowding, unsafe parking conditions, wildlife displacement, de-vegetation, and eroded trails.
  • 2 0
 @kidtrailboss: That is the east side of the 3 sisters. Think a lot of the problem is people herding up. The off the beaten path places based on my anecdotal experience are seeing even less use. I don’t think many folks are capable of looking at a topo map, discovering a new trail, planning a route, etc. what people are good at is following exactly in someone’s footsteps that post a trip report with the money shot pictures.
  • 8 3
 We need places that aren’t open to mechanized OR motorized use. Part of the magic of backpacking in wilderness areas is getting away from the pace of the mechanized/motorized world. I love mountain biking more than almost anything, but there are places bikes don’t belong.
  • 4 0
 Agree 100%. And this bill agrees with this as well. Local managers will decide what is appropriate for mtbs. Certainly there are plenty of areas that need to stay the way they are. But there are plenty of areas that used to be bike legal and should be again. Not a black/white decision obviously, hence the need for LOCAL control.
  • 12 7
 Wow I was pretty excited to read this, was thinking "better contact my senators and tell them to support this bill". Some of the comments on here, just wtf. I swear if Trump made some public statement about mtb being the best sport there is, 25% of the people on here would go out and burn their bikes in a fire. How has this country gotten so partisan? You don't have to oppose every single thing a politician does just because they don't agree with you 100%..
  • 9 3
 You act like we dont have precedent to not trust Mike Lee. Those of us who live in the state he represents know very well his voting record. Trump has nothing to do with this, but since you brought him up... one thing Mike couldve done to garner a bit more trust from his constituents would have been to vote to confirm the results of the last election, like a rational person a la Romney or Liz Cheney. He didn't, thus reinforcing our skepticism. Just an example.
  • 6 5
 @ryd-or-die: "A la Romney" hahaha That's freaking hilarious. That squish is the very swamp we need rid of.

The funny thing is you can't see what's right in front of you. Like how quickly Utah is growing because it's ran by conservatives. You don't know how good you have it. Come to Oregon, it's a disaster and it's been under the lefts control for nearly 40 years. Buckle up because there's a whole lot more of us abandoning the west coast for red states in the very near future and for me Utah is top of the list. If legalized meth is your thing maybe we can trade places.
  • 2 3
 @ryd-or-die: lol I'm from a state represented by Feinstein (and kamala Harris before this year of course), plus Nancy Pelosi. You don't know how bad it can get haha. But it is true that almost all the politicians in this country are downright horrible.
  • 4 0
 @sburback: I too like to engage in bad-faith ad hominem attacks on those who dont 100% agree with me politically by referring to them as "swamp". Wow, look how much we have in common.
  • 3 1
 @DylanH93: I'm from California. I moved to utah for cheaper college and cost of living, otherwise I'd still be in California. I honestly dont get the Feinstein and Pelosi hate. But you do you, boo. I think I know exactly how bad it can get having that slippery mike Lee represent me.
  • 2 2
 @ryd-or-die: You literally just attacked Mike Lee personally rather than the substance of this particular bill. But yes, I'm engaging in "bad-faith ad hominem." Pot, meet Kettle.
  • 3 1
 @sburback: would you like to provide evidence to support your claim? Or should we just continue calling each other names ad infinitum?
  • 31 23
 This is what I like to see. A politician working for his people.
  • 11 14
 ..as of now 4 people downvoting this.

Some people don't like "A politician working for his people."?

I don't get it.
  • 8 2
 @hellanorcal: That's the other Senators that obviously hit up PB all the time.
  • 15 2
 ARE YOU KIDDING??? politicsthatwork.com/voting-record/Mike-Lee-412495
Is this an invalid source? Please let me know if it is.
  • 9 2
 @hellanorcal: some of us aren't his people
  • 9 1
 @neilpritchett: Most telling: Record of voting for environmental protection 0% of the time.
  • 2 9
flag DylanH93 (May 24, 2021 at 14:15) (Below Threshold)
 But this is a republican politician. Therefore I'd rather we not have increased mtb access. We need to shoot ourselves in the foot to own that dirty republican!
  • 9 3
 @DylanH93: Nah, that's the basic strategy of the other political party: Vote directly against your own interests in the name of sticking it to a liberal.

What this is here is well earned caution.
  • 2 4
 @DirkMcClerkin: haha that's really what it's come down to these days. Between the two parties "no you!" We really need better options. Democrats are shit, Republicans are shit.
  • 4 2
 @DylanH93: Tough to argue equivalency after the BS of the previous administration.
  • 2 2
 @DylanH93: Republicans are shit these days, I'll give you that. It's a shame what they've they've done to the GOP. Traditional conservatives have had no choice but to jump ship to become moderate Democrats where there is at least still some semblance of self reliance, fiscal responsibility and resistance to government over reach.
  • 8 3
 Not sure about other states but here in NC you're more likely to run into a horse and rider on a trail and between the crap and hoof ruts I'm not sure how they are better than mtbs on a trail?
  • 8 4
 See it sounds reasonable until you realize it's being pushed by a climate change denier. I don't know what he actually wants to achieve with this, but that alone tells me it's probably nothing good.

And just starting to think about it, who is going to maintain these trails with all of the new traffic they'd be seeing once they're open to bikes? I like new trails too but this doesn't seem the most well thought out
  • 11 4
 Mike lee is generally a piece of shit. This seems very out of character and that makes me wonder what else is in this bill?
  • 7 2
 It's a pretty straightforward bill. You could always just read it lol..
  • 5 1
 To much talk about e-bikes when at the same time Mike Lee wants to open up Wilderness for bikers. I’m not sure if this is good or bad idea just because it comes from Mike Lee. Since when he is so caring about MTB? Mike Lee is a snake oil salesman type of a guy and anything he says I can’t trust it, he has some hidden agenda I think.
  • 35 31
 A republican from Utah..I'm shocked this is his stance. Unpopular, but humans don't need to be everywhere..we've already fucked up so much of the land we do have access too..let's leave some of it in decent shape.
  • 32 1
 So you’re in support of banning hikers as well?
  • 16 0
 Playing a bit of devils advocate....all these areas already have humans. Just foot and hoof powered. Trails are already there, would just gain the access to use them.
  • 25 3
 Humans are already there... on shovel hoofed 1500lb animals... Allowing bikes to ride wilderness will not create some mass environmental impact. In many areas of California wilderness trails are falling to disrepair and becoming harder and harder to follow due to lack of use by hikers and equestrians. Allowing bike travel could increase traffic on trails that are not popular with hikers and equestrians and keep those trails alive. Either way I'll still enjoy riding in the wilderness, just have to smile and wave at the occasional grumpy hiker that wants to ruin your day.
  • 2 1
 Largely because so many are crammed into small areas leaving deep scars. Go hike one of these areas and then tell me there's a reason you don't want to ride your bike there.
  • 10 7
 @MikeyMT couldn't agree with you more. Glad there are some people on here with a similar perspective.
  • 12 7
 @BrianColes: Yes. Horses as well. No need for humans to be everywhere. I see trash on my local trails ever time I ride...Each year I see it farther and farther out...its only a matter of time before e-Bike Jimmy drops his hammer gel wrapper 50, 60, 100 miles out in the wilderness.
  • 6 6
 @eldofreeride: I think thats the fundamental disagreement here between you and I. I don't think anyone should be out there. Let those trails die already...give the animals some refuge. Here is a great example of the damage already being done in our National Parks... www.instagram.com/touronsofyellowstone/?hl=en
  • 3 5
 @MikeMT - I kind of have to wonder how many folks giving you neg props even live remotely close to wilderness areas? Or whether they are just passionate cyclist who think they should have access to trails they will never ride or places they will never visit...
  • 11 6
 @MikeyMT: Stop having babies people; there are too many people on this planet. Maybe Mike Lee can add a child tax to this bill? No welfare for additional kids, just fines and taxes.
  • 4 6
 @TerrapinBen: Entitlement is the most dangerous thing our society and species is facing when it comes to conservation and climate change...I am surrounded by wilderness where I live...there are some amazing trails in those parts of the forest...but there are tons of poorly managed trails full of trash that we already have access to yet nobody is up in arms about that or looking to create more sustainable access. I deserve it...no you dont...you're a monkey with an overdeveloped brain, and literally lucky to have had your genes make it this long.
  • 12 1
 You're surprised that a republican is in favor of less federal government control?
  • 1 1
 @JeffDJ:
sar·casm - Noun - the use of irony to mock or convey contempt.
  • 2 1
 @JeffDJ: Republicans are in favor of less government when it helps them. But for voting, women's wombs, or for investigating Hunter Biden and Hillary Clinton, they are in favor of more goverment.
  • 5 1
 Human powered bikes are low impact... Ebikes on the other hand with dumb riders,like side by side drivers and those who don't use Tread Lightly practices are the ones who get trails taken away
  • 2 1
 Although ebikes allow one to ride more, is there a study that shows 1 ebike vs 1 reg bike on a given trail showing +/- difference?
  • 1 0
 How much more damage does an e bike compared to a kid blowing up every fking corner, because it looks cool?
(No i dont have an e bike) Just curious
  • 1 0
 Guess not...
  • 7 2
 Unless this legislation also includes significant increase in spending to help with trail maintenance, rerouting, and enforcement I think this is a bad idea.
  • 6 0
 Exposure from social media and advertising kills natural areas, not bikes.
  • 3 0
 Created Government agencies holding a few people on bikes to ransom, needs to end.
Look at the great trails around the globe , all built maintained and cared for by bikers/ ebikers .
Bike brands finically support trail maintenance, do car companies upgrading roads ?
Many eco responsible people ride and enjoy MTB & EMTB
  • 5 2
 Utah has plenty of trails already and the cities are building trails as fast as they can all around me. I'm not sure I've got time to ride what I've already got. Utah is fixing a problem the state doesn't have.
  • 5 0
 this law wasn't introduced because of utah. look into the history of the STC and it has a lot to do with Idaho and Montana.
  • 3 1
 I don't think you completely understand what Senators do.. For us in Oregon and I would definitely think for Californians this would be incredible.
  • 1 2
 @adrennan: It doesn't matter what state you are thinking of, it isn't going to pass, period.
  • 9 4
 F$%K mike lee. Total douche bag! Wouldn’t know a bike trail from a Starbucks.
  • 5 3
 You should definitely destroy your bike because a republican thinks you should be able to ride it. Mountain biking is forever tarnished.
  • 3 4
 Actually, he's one of the brightest minds in politics. Night and day vs Romney and many of the supremes for that matter.
  • 5 2
 @jrocksdh: yep. I can’t see how a guy who wants less government involvement in your life is the villain. Shouldn’t we all want this left, right and center? Less government means a more powerful and free people.
  • 3 2
 @sburback:
Fascism is not less government. Open your eyes
  • 4 3
 @Bendgravity: Typical response. Everyone you disagree with is a fascist and a racist. Forget about the 2 billion dollars in damage done by actual political fascist this past year in America. Keep hammering those buzzwords though.
  • 3 3
 I just hope that many may open their eyes to whats going on in USA now under the radical wing of the 'democratic' party.
Book: American Marxism should be quite informative.
  • 1 0
 @jrocksdh: Lay off the meth bud.
  • 1 0
 @m1dg3t: good one.
  • 3 1
 At this point I think it would be more beneficial to improve the management practices and policies for expanding trail systems on federal lands already approved for recreation. The biggest reason to be excited about the proposed measure is the theoretical opportunity to have more trails. This alone is a farce. Sure there are a handful of wilderness areas that might be ridable if bikes were allowed. However, to imagine the process of getting approval for any sort of mechanized recreation is going to be fraught with more red tape, more environmental studies, more litigation and more hatred between user groups. Seriously, lets just improve the process for creating new trails on existing federally managed lands.
  • 12 11
 Mike Lee is trying to use the MTB community try to prove a point to the wilderness and conservation community that outdoor recreators are more divided than they are united on the stance of protecting wild places. Just my opinion that the MTB community should not help him make us look like a selfish uncompromising user group.
  • 8 0
 Um, places like the Sierra Club make us look more divided than united. Oh, and all of the local equestrian and hiker groups.
  • 7 2
 Allowing more trail access is going to divide the mtb community? Well shit he really should make a bill just outlawing mtb in total.
  • 3 2
 @jamessmurthwaite, I see your from England, but there are 50 states here, so it's always good to give reference as to where a Senator is from and party affiliation (to gain useful context). I only know because I live in a bordering state, but for those who don't, Mike Lee is a Republican from Utah. Maybe consider editing the first sentence to read, "Republican Senator from Utah, Mike Lee..., " or " Senator Mike Lee (R-UT)..."
  • 7 6
 it's a slippery slope. We have all seen the polar ends of the spectrum in our current political state. I must say that a few years ago, I supported the idea of "mechanical" bikes in designated wilderness areas. I no longer support that idea. It would be to easy to accelerate the process and eventually diminish or destroy those areas, the wildlife, and ecosystems. Use your two feet, with out pedals, and walk in.
  • 6 2
 The concept of a slippery slope in this case is a fallacy.
  • 6 4
 @RBalicious:
en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Slippery_slope

Kind of an annoying answer to your question, but generally slippery slope arguments don't hold water. They are usually used for fear mongering.

Bikes in Wilderness > Motos > Jeeps > Mining and oil > global nuclear meltdown.

Slippery Slope is basically what everyone that is anti-Senator Lee is arguing as well imo. His history in politics isn't an issue with this, it's strictly the wording of the bill.
  • 5 1
 @IamZOSO: Exactly!! The only thing that matters is the language of the bill. It could have been written by (insert your favorite villain here), it would still be a good bill.
  • 3 0
 This is a great read - from 1995 - it is a great time to consider it. www.williamcronon.net/writing/Trouble_with_Wilderness_Main.html
  • 1 0
 Some here are misunderstanding the bill.

The bill lets the local *federal* land managers regulate mountain biking in Wilderness. It wouldn't be the Juab County, Utah, recreation department managing federal Wilderness. It would be the local Forest Service or BLM staff that manage any Wilderness that happens to be in Juab County. Local means either the national forest or BLM office for the area or some subunit of them, down to the local forest rangers or BLM line staff.
  • 2 1
 This won't last long as the Hip ebikers will be sure to flood the trails as soon as there is access. You should need a permit, license, and insurance to ride an ebike (electric motorcycle) anywhere. And only on designated trails. As a handicapped person I say: If you can pedal it, F*CKING PEDAL IT!

Just in the last 2 seasons I have witnessed massive trail degradation in my area due to ebikes and garbage people like to just throw on the floor. You have no respect for nature, why the f*ck should I have any respect for you. Stay in the city, a*sholes.
  • 2 4
 How about you worry about Canada and stay out of US politics bud? Ebikes are all over the place in my state (Arkansas) and have been for years and there is no "massive trail degradation in my area due to ebikes and garbage people like to just throw on the floor." as you so un-eloquently put it.

In fact, I see people using e-bikes around here all of the time to do trail maintenance and cleanup and routinely picking up cliff bar and energy chew wrappers left by strava-holes focused on getting their PR's. You wanna paint with a broad brush, two can play that game.
  • 1 0
 Same here in Colorado
  • 1 1
 @carters75: LoL That's funny coming from an American. Your people are travelling all over the world with their freedom fries telling others what democracy is and Christian God is king. I don't need to be eloquent. This is a bike forum, and you're from Arkansas. LoL
  • 4 2
 Why is no one questioning “and for other purposes” it feels intentional vague. If it truly is too allow mountain bikers on more trails, great.
  • 6 0
 It is a way of simplifying the title of a bill that often cannot include all of the details and purposes included in the language of the bill. Just about any bill you look up has that text in the title. Even the Wilderness Act had that statement included in its text:

parkplanning.nps.gov/showFile.cfm?projectID=29224&MIMEType=application%252Fpdf&filename=WildernessActText%2Epdf&sfid=152506
  • 7 5
 Improve the desert - plant a Sierra Club member.
  • 3 4
 We can end this rant , If We Could use the term non binary vehicle? applies in here ? So every vehicle could identifies themself as they prefers instead of the physical or mechanical disposition ... sorry in advance
  • 1 0
 Oh see, I didn't know there are also in North America these issues. I always thought that was only in overpopulated Europe.
  • 2 0
 I'll just ride blm land
  • 5 0
 And a lot of us do that. This bill concerns certain areas that were effectively taken from mountain bikers after they spent years building trails then the land got converted to wilderness. There are also trails that would be great for bikepacking (colorado trail comes to mind) that you currently have to go around wilderness even though the trail is 15 feet wide due to popularity already.
  • 1 1
 More e-mtb production - more battery production, more factoryes, more battery waste, more pollution, less woods.!
  • 1 1
 Please let wilderness remain wilderness. They are being loved to death as it is.
  • 1 3
 Senator Lee has got to do something with all the money STC is wasting on this. Never gonna happen especially with Dems in control.
  • 5 6
 Bad bill from a greedy, ignorant man!
  • 6 8
 Mike Lee is top shelf. I'd move to UT for him alone.
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