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Take Action to Support Mountain Biking in California's Southern Sierra

August 12, 2016

IMBA needs you to lend your voice to the U.S. Forest Service forest plan revision process for the
Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests in California. The Forest Service recently published draft management plans for each of these Southern Sierra forests and they're looking for input from you. Now is the time to speak up in support of great mountain biking experiences in these important Southern Sierra forests. 

The Forest Service needs to hear from YOU by August 25th. (EDIT: Comment period extended to August 29th!)
Forest plans outline the guiding vision for how each forest will be managed for the next 20-30 years. Your voice is incredibly important at this stage in the process. The draft plans have strong language regarding sustainable recreation, stewardship, and partnerships. IMBA feels that overall the draft plans are very favorable for creating, enhancing, and preserving mountain biking opportunities on each of these forests.

USFS documents: http://tinyurl.com/r5earlyadopters

Use the following talking points to guide your comments:

1.  Overall support of USFS DEIS and draft plans: Overall, I am in strong support of DEIS Alternative B and the Draft Plans for the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests. I particularly like that the new plans emphasize sustainable recreation and adaptive management. Given the growth and evolution of outdoor recreation over the last 20 years I'm glad to see recreation highlighted in these plans as a primary revision topic. Also, stated in the USFS Framework for Sustainable Recreation: “We can no longer manage as we have in the past. Any course we choose cannot depend solely on appropriated funding to meet our constituents’ needs.” Given this acknowledgement from the USFS, I am particularly pleased to see strong commitment from the USFS in creating a "Partnership Culture". The mountain biking community is large, growing, and is well positioned to directly partner with the USFS.

2.  Recommended wilderness: As a mountain biker, I strongly oppose the designation of any additional recommended wilderness, as mountain bikers would be restricted from recreating in these areas. In addition, I support the USFS in retaining every available management option (i.e. prescribed fire, mechanical treatments) for fire and to also address catastrophic tree mortality in California.  Recommended wilderness designation would restrict USFS management options.

3.  Recommended specific additions to plans:

  • Include a USFS goal to work with skilled stewardship organizations in managing trails and ensuring that recreation objectives are met and quality recreation experience is provided.
  • Include a USFS desired condition, that unmanaged recreation will be resolved through a planned and properly designed network of roads, trails, and facilities, combined with educated citizen stewardship and partnerships, as well as field presence to provide quality recreation experiences while reducing the impacts of visitor use on the landscape.
  • Include language in the plan that specifically allows for mechanized use in ROS “Primitive” areas as well as ROS “Semi-primitive non-motorized.”

4.  Points on importance of recreation economy: According to the Outdoor Industry Association, outdoor recreation in California generates over $85 billion in consumer spending and approximately 732,000 direct jobs.  I appreciate that the draft EIS discusses the value of this recreation economy in the context of the Inyo, Sierra, and Sequoia National Forests.  These forests provide important mountain biking and other recreation opportunities which in turn help to drive local economies.  This positive feedback loop can only be maintained if the Forest Service manages and provides for sustainable recreation opportunities. 

5.  Be sure to add comments on personal experience, special trails, special places of the Sierra, Inyo, Sequoia NF.

Don’t delay. Please send your comments today. The deadline is August 25th.

USFS web-site comment form: http//tinyurl.com/r5comment

Email Comments: r5planrevision [at] fs [dot] fed [dot] us

Mail written comments to:
Planning Team Leader
Forest Plan Revision
1323 Club Drive
Vallejo, CA 94592

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