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Letter From Ashley Korenblat, IMBA's Public Lands Initiative Director

Dear Colorado Bike Supporter,

I need your help with the Colorado Hidden Gems Wilderness Proposal and IMBA's work with Congressman Jared Polis. I once served as IMBA’s president and have recently taken a staff position to help with Wilderness proposals all over the country. There has never been a more important moment to support bike-friendly land protection in Colorado — I hope you will support the Colorado campaign that I am organizing.

As you know Wilderness designations close trails to bikes. And, as you also know, they also can protect the places we cherish — threats like ill-considered clear cutting, oil/gas development and mining. The good news is that IMBA has worked closely with Congressman Polis and the Hidden Gems advocates for many months. We have made HUGE progress creating a balanced land protection bill that will protect bicycling access to trails while keeping the lands around them healthy.

But we cannot rest yet. There are still two places in the Hidden Gems proposal where additional adjustments should be implemented to preserve riding access. One is just north of Vail at Spraddle Creek, and the other is the Reudi Overlook Trail near Basalt.

I am counting on you to do two things:

  1. Send a message to Congressman Polis and to tell him that you are a mountain biker who cares about the backcountry and understands the crucial role that cycling plays in the economy of Colorado. Use our sample letter to create a message on Congressman Polis' e-mail web form. This will take about 3 minutes and it will make a difference.
  2. Go to one of the following meetings and let Congressman Polis know that mountain bikers' voices will be heard. The government is run by the people who show up — now is the time for you to show up. Which meeting can you attend?

Tuesday, June 1 5:30-7:00 pm

Boulder Public Library, Canyon Theater
1000 Canyon Boulevard
Boulder, CO 80302

Thursday, June 3 5:30-7:00 pm
Battle Mountain High School, Auditorium
151 Miller Ranch Road
Edwards, CO 81632

Friday, June 4 12:00-1:30 pm
Colorado Mountain College, Breckenridge Campus, Community Auditorium
107 Denison Placer Road
Breckenridge, CO 80424

Finally, please forward this message to your pals. If you ride anywhere in Colorado and don’t want to ride through mine tailings or out-of-control development you need to act today. IMBA does incredible work with the resources we have, but right now we need your help to make sure the proposal Congressman Polis sends to Congress will be a model for bicycle-friendly legislation across the country.

I am counting on you,

Ashley Korenblat
IMBA Public Lands Initiative Director

Sample Letter to Congressman Polis

Dear Congressman Polis,

Thank you for your work on the Hidden Gems Wilderness proposal. As a cyclist in Colorado I appreciate your efforts to protect our public lands. Mountain biking has become an integral part of life in Colorado both for visitors and those of us who live here. Land protection legislation which protects our critical ecosystems and maintains sustainable bicycle access is important to me personally and important to the bicycle industry in Colorado.

As you work to create legislation based on the Hidden Gems proposal, I urge you to address the concerns of the cycling community in the Spraddle Creek and Basalt Mountain areas.

Cycling is extremely important to the Rocky Mountain economy, providing 60,000 jobs in our region (according to the Outdoor Industry Foundation). Mountain biking also inspires young people to visit our public lands. As you know many of our children, even in Colorado, suffer from inactivity and limited exposure to the natural world. For all of these reasons I urge you to consider bicycle issues as you introduce this important bill.

Most sincerely,