US Forest Service Partners with MTB Filmmakers

Dec 14, 2011 at 9:04
by Howell at the Moon Productions  


The U.S. Forest Service is tapping into its creative side to address illegal trail building on public lands by announcing an official partnership with the recently released mountain bike documentary “PEDAL-DRIVEN: a bike-umentary.” The hour-long documentary delves into the escalating conflict between mountain bikers hungry to ride and the federal land managers charged with protecting public lands.

The fact that the USFS has stepped in and agreed to participate in a constructive dialogue about how to manage the needs of mountain bikers is huge news for the mountain biking community. "This production documents the great things we can accomplish when we work together to solve problems," said Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest Supervisor Becki Heath, whose forest is featured prominently in the documentary. "It also illustrates the challenges user-built trails can bring, including resource damage and public safety issues."

“This really is an international issue, and this partnership is a milestone," said Producer Jeff Ostenson. "Becoming an official partner of the U.S. Forest Service combined with the active support of such major players in the bike industry, lends a great deal of credibility to the film as an advocacy tool for riding organizations here in the U.S. and public land agencies around the world.”

“Our primary theme here revolves around sustainability,” said writer/director Jamie Howell. “Mountain biking is exploding around the world and is forcing the development of new, cooperative approaches that both allow for it as a legitimate land use and manage it in a way that prevents the destruction of our precious and limited natural spaces.”

The non-profit documentary film was created by Washington State production company Howell at the Moon Productions in affiliation with the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA). PEDAL-DRIVEN sponsors include Shimano, Specialized, Clif Bar, Diamondback, Pyramid Breweries, the City of Leavenworth, Yakima, Timberland, Stevens Pass Bike Park, with promotional support from Pinkbike and Bike Magazine.

Still photo from the filming of Pedal-Driven In the Leavenworth area on the east side of the Cascade Mountains

The screening tour has already visited nearly 100 cities on three continents, and the film tour is currently booking dates for 2012. Hosting a screening of PEDAL-DRIVEN is a great way to build awareness and support for mountain biking in your community and to raise money for your organization. If you are interested in bringing PEDAL-DRIVEN to a screen in your town, go to Pedal Driven to request a screening.

The DVD was recently released and can be purchased online at www.pedaldriven.org. All net profits from the film will be donated to sustainable trail building and land stewardship efforts.

Views: 26,063    Faves: 134    Comments: 11
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35 Comments

  • + 7
 The movie makes a great point without being too preachy. Legit trail is the only way to go. When builders are able to work together with the land manager following a single plan, the quality of trail as well as rider experience ends up being significantly better because of that collaboration. Not to mention there's no chance of it being ripped out later. Kudos to Howell, USFS and IMBA for a great production and partnership!
  • + 1
 Thanks! It's great to be part of the movement and to see that the US Forest Service sees value in participating in the conversation and cooperating to improve riding opportunities. We're beginning to work with Parks Canada and other land management agencies as well (in NZ and AU as well), so this is definitely an international issue.
  • + 2
 Please!!! Come to toronto!!!!
  • + 1
 Couldn't agree more. We may be a big city, but the MTB population is wicked!
  • + 1
 Hey guys, I was working with IMBA Canada on doing a screening during the Toronto International Bike Show but couldn't find a suitable and affordable venue. If you or any other Torontans are interested in helping put it together, shoot me an email at brianAThowellatthemoonDOTcom
  • + 5
 I already hosted a movie screening (through winning the Pedal Driven contest on Pinkbike , Thanks again guys). It was a great movie with tons of stories and info on how they got on the gov't's and park rangers good sides to be able to develop legit/legal trail systems without the worry of them getting torn down every few seasons.
Kepp up the good work and maybe there will be a sequel? With some follow ups from the first film and maybe a canadian segment?
Now go build and huck!!
  • + 1
 Great idea for a sequel, although there was a Canadian segment (Whistler)!
  • - 1
 They should make this movie free... profitless organization? Making it free would actually raise awareness because more people would be willing to watch it. All of Pinkbike would watch it if it were just uploaded onto here. I know that the money they make off these dvds will likely go towards the cause, but still.. maybe im wrong, just my 2cents
  • + 4
 I agree with you completely, it would be AWESOME if it were free, but we all have to eat and have families to support, and our company has already donated a very large sum to the project. At some point it may be free or greatly reduced in price, but for now we're working to keep the doors open and the lights on.
  • + 3
 Holy Crap! I am super excited for this film as I am heavily involved in working with land managers back east in New England. The the ranger that says "building trails are a crime" in this trailer was my college roommate! So funny to see him pop up here, we used to ride together all the time!
  • + 3
 Ltmb- ladders can be built out of fallen timber and they do a great job of preventing damage to creeks and other geo features, the key is to create the least amount of impact on the environment as possible. Thats what im into and i think my trail speaks for itself.
  • + 3
 Personaly I think this is a good step forwards in the Mtb communities. It will allow for more trails and features to be built all over. But I also feel that it will limit the creations and potential that some riding places have. Most private handbiluilt trails are like the underground world of biking, allowing endless creations and unleashing the full potential of a builders skills. Most bikers that I know have respect for the environment around them and safety of others. Hopefully the relationship between imba and the forestry service will continue to grow and benefit both of them.
  • + 1
 Interesting you bring that up, Matt Patterson of Dirt Corps brought it up in Pedal-Driven too, and it's a fine balance between managing risk and allowing creativity to push the limits of what is possible. He suggests that for him at least it's better to build something that will be there tomorrow than to invest energy in a trail that could be removed without notice.
  • + 2
 AWWWWHHH SICK BRADDA!!!!! blabalhdlbla. (didnt actually watch movie, yet, but idea of nat'l/state park symbiotic with us riders is a beauty.

but, in actuality - that is a beautiful thing: pedal-driven power to the people!.... or those making films...

what about the 99% of who want to ride that same park closed terrain!!!

no matter, US forest servies and nat'l park management *sadly* in jepordy of foul / regressive play by the fat (f*ckin') cats in washington... or was

--sadly being; would be an amazing life to hang as a park services ranger.
f*ckin' give'er.
  • + 2
 A little advice to those of you apraoching land managers for legal trails...

Those images of guys on DH bikes ripping down trails and blasting the shit out of the berms, big jumps and high skinnies, people riding in the back of pickups - best leave that behind. That may be what you want, but most land managers are going to say "No way." (trust me, I know). You gotta walk before you can run.

Talk about non-threatening XC trails first, show the value of those (races, tourism, riders spending up in the community) and work your way up from there. That's what my MTB club has done, and have been doing for over a decade.

The owners of the forests in my area once considered the worth of the forest to be 80% timber, 20% recreation. These days, that figure is 50/50. When there is a big race here a quarter of the cars coming into the city have bikes on the roof.

After showing how much money we can generate and after fifteen years of working together, only just now are we getting legal 'stunts'.

I spent many years building secret illegal trails, and I have NOTHING to show for it because they are all gone (and trust me, I tried to get approval for some of them - I stood shoulder to shoulder with a guy from the state insurance agency as he thought to himself "This is a lawsuit waiting to happen." and later that afternoon he told forestry to doze it, and they did). Instead, now I work with the club (who work with the land owners) and we have over a hundred kilometres of legal singletrack.
  • + 1
 Not sure if this film has had any effect on it, but here in Brevard, NC we're having some meetings with the forest service to develop sustainable trail systems in the nationals forests (Pisgah, etc). At least they are recognizing the fact that trails can be a huge draw for tourism and are a staple for local economies. In NC alone there are more than five million visitors a year to the forests.. with dwindling funds for maintenance it seems only logical they would reach out to the communities and user groups to develop a functional system.
  • + 2
 Pedal-Driven has screened a few times in NC, and we recently sold a DVD to the Pisgah Ranger District, so it's great to hear that things are moving in the right direction.
  • + 0
 great to see progress with USDA. Here in California all the park rangers i have come in contact with love the mountain bikers. then again we do have a lot of official trails... anyone else think the music is a bit corny? haha
  • + 2
 Thanks for the feedback, we actually have a new trailer on the way with some better music. Pretty good music in the film though - Opiuo, Jimmy Eat World, The Let Go.
  • + 0
 Now us forest service can chop down trees they otherwise wouldnt be able too. Just like how they build thousands of miles of roads through forests so they can keep on choppin. Although i like to ride the lack of consideration to the impact on the environment concerns me. Especially round here where builders completely rape the land in the name of mtn biking.
  • + 5
 You say "ladder bridges don't build themselves" in your "about me" and you're ranting about how terrible logging is?
  • + 2
 I don't think "rape the land" is the correct phrase to use for building a single track trail
  • + 1
 I dont think so either, as long as the builders are environmentally concious throughtout the entire build. I see alot of pictures of good builds out west and what not. Here in Ohio, wackos think building strictly involves bringing in heavy equipment, making trails wide enough that a jeep can drive through them, they have to turn their trails into whistler even though they dont have more than 1550 feet of elevation to work with. Fragile habitat is destroyed, storm water is redirected, soil compaction becomes an issue.
  • + 3
 Huge step! In the world of nothing but doom and gloom, this is a ray of light in sometimes bleak seeming progression!
  • + 1
 We hope so! It's a pretty polarizing topic, so it's great to get people from both sides together in one place to talk about the issues.
  • + 2
 coincidence how i am having meeting with my local council adn the man who owns the mountian to build a bike park on it really want to do it now Smile
  • + 1
 Let us know how we can help!
  • + 2
 Love the idea and hope this spreads to other states.Nothing better than new trails.
  • + 2
 We had over 200 people at our premier.
  • + 1
 Ladder bridges can be built with fallen timbers. Work with mother nature not against her!
  • + 1
 that has to come up in Germany, tooSmile
  • + 1
 I think they are pretty universal issues - from both sides. Riders who need more trails, land managers who have multiple user groups to manage. What is the status in Germany as far as trail building and access issues?
  • - 2
 The music at the start made me wan't to play Skyrim
  • + 3
 No idea what that is, but hopefully a good thing.
  • + 6
 your social life is happy you don't know what skyrim is.

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