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Support a Future for the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests, N.C., that Benefits Mountain Bikes

The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) currently has an open comment period for proposed timber production, Wilderness designations and management prescriptions in North Carolina’s Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests. Management prescriptions describe the areas of National Forest land available for various uses, including forest habitat, backcountry, wilderness areas, rivers and recreation areas. Any lands put under a Wilderness designation would become off-limits to bicycle use.

IMBA and its southeast region, the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association (SORBA), are working with various other recreation user groups in the area to develop a management plan for the forests that makes sense for all users. Anyone who recreates in the Nantahala and Pisgah National Forests is encouraged to submit comments to the USFS in favor of the IMBA-SORBA position no later than January 5, 2014.

The IMBA-SORBA position is as follows:

1. IMBA-SORBA does not support USFS timber production in areas of the forest with heavy recreational use, including the Pisgah District—particularly in the Davidson River and South Mills River areas. Timber production in these areas could negatively impact the backcountry mountain biking experience.

2. IMBA-SORBA does not support the proposed Wilderness designation in the Pisgah and Grandfather Districts for Daniel Ridge, Laurel Mountain, Cedar Rock Mountain, South Mills River, Woods Mountain and Jarrett areas. These areas have a high concentration of trails and are heavily used for recreation, including mountain biking.

3. IMBA-SORBA requests that the USFS include the above-mentioned areas in a new National Recreation Area, which would provide the land maximum protection while still allowing mountain biking.

4. IMBA-SORBA also supports a National Recreation Area designation in the Grandfather District that would include Harper’s Creek, Lost Cove, Woods Mountain and Jarret Creek.

5. IMBA-SORBA supports some of the Wilderness proposals in areas where there is no mountain biking, and is working with conservation groups and other forest stakeholders to identify such areas.

Please send your comments in support of the IMBA-SORBA position to NCplanrevision @ fs.fed.us 
Comments should be sent no later than January 5, 2015.

Photo: Pisgah Long Tour ride on MTB Project, Logan Watts

 

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