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Access in the Bitterroot

Access in the Bitterroot

Today’s postponed decision is an encouraging sign

By: David Wiens
Posted: March 11, 2019

The Forest Service decision on bike access in the Blue Joint and Sapphire wilderness study areas we were expecting today has been delayed, "to review potential resolutions and information offered at the objection resolution meeting that occurred on March 4th."

We worked to secure last week's meeting and Aaron Clark from our Government Affairs team joined Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists and other local mountain bikers at the meeting to advocate for restoring bike access to these areas. This ongoing advocacy and education work happening for the Bitterroot resulted in Senator Daines urging the Forest Service to reconsider these trail closures in a letter last week, and we commend the Senator for raising concerns. We continue to seek reform to management of recommended wilderness and wilderness study areas so mountain bikes are not excluded from these areas.

Mountain bikers locally and nationally have been working hard for the Bitterroot, by staying engaged, sending more than 3100 letters, collaborating with partners, seeking balanced solutions and putting in serious volunteer hours on the trails. We hope a delayed decision will influence the right decision—restoring access for mountain bikers.

We will continue to work closely with Bitterroot Backcountry Cyclists on this issue and look forward to more detail on the Forest Service’s decision so we can share that with you.

Thank you for staying engaged, and enjoy the ride!

 

About the author
Image David Wiens

Dave has been mountain biking since the mid-1980s and has ridden and raced his bike on trails all over the world. He has been involved in trail advocacy from the beginning and was the founder and executive director of Gunnison Trails, and race director for the Gunnison Growler. A member of the…

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