Moving Mountain Biking Forward in Caliente
National Forest in New Mexico—Forest Plan Revision updates
The Cibola National Forest in northern New Mexico recently released its preliminary draft plan, accompanied by a series of public meetings and a 45-day comment period. More information can be found here. I’ll be at the public meeting in Gallup, NM, on July 25 to learn more about the plan and discuss it with U.S. Forest Service staff. We encourage all riders to review the plan and submit their comments, especially on the Wilderness evaluation section. We submitted a letter in 2015 emphasizing that alternate designations are preferred in the right places over Wilderness designation. Those alternate designations can help to get more people outdoors enjoying non-motorized trail based recreation, which can lead to community health benefits and drive sustainable economic growth in small rural communities. Please review the Cibola National Forest documents and submit your comments.
Farther north in New Mexico, the Carson National Forest recently had a comment period for the findings of the Wilderness evaluation phase of its Forest Plan Revision. We worked with our local chapter in Taos, Del Norte MTB Alliance to develop a response letter, which included access requests on many of the parcels which were seen to fit Wilderness criteria. For those parcels where there were existing trails or potential for trail development, we stated that they should not be recommended for Wilderness designation.
The Santa Fe National Forest will open up a public comment period regarding their Forest Plan Revisions in the coming months, and we will again engage in that process along with our local chapters to advocate the optimal mountain bike access. We’re also tracking the Lincoln and Gila National Forest Plan revisions, both of which are early in the process of being updated. We’ll keep you posted on all of these processes on the IMBA Southwest Facebook page.
Our chapter in the Las Vegas area, Southern Nevada Mountain Bike Association, is holding a movie night on July 30, showing the new Anthill Films release ‘Not Two Bad’ at Bonnie Springs near the Blue Diamond trails, southwest of Las Vegas. Head on over, watch a great movie and support a great organization.
A couple hours north of Las Vegas, our partners in Caliente, NV, continue to work on the bidding and procurement processes for trail construction there. As you may recall, the trails (over 40 miles) are permitted and funding is secured! We’ll certainly keep you posted as the project progresses.
I‘ll be in Kingman, AZ on July 21 at a meeting with our chapter Colorado River Area Trails Alliance, the local chamber of commerce and the Arizona Chamber of Commerce, which will include an address by Senator John McCain. Mountain bike advocacy takes place on many levels, from Sunday morning trail work sessions to public meetings, to races, festivals and movie nights to raise money, to advocating with city, county, and state elected officials who represent our communities in Washington, D.C. It will be great to hear an address from the Arizona Chamber of Commerce and Senator McCain, and we hope to get a few minutes of their time to discuss the work of our local chapter in Kingman, and others around Arizona.
We’re already thinking ahead to some early fall events. Make sure to put Outdoor Demo at Bootleg Canyon, Boulder City, NV, on your schedule for September 19 and 20, this is the trail-based component of Interbike and a great opportunity to test ride 2017 bikes and of course check out the IMBA booth and join or renew your membership. Later in the month we’ll be at Outerbike in Moab starting on September 30, when you can again test ride some great bikes on the amazing trails around Moab, check out the IMBA booth for information on our projects around the southwest, and join or renew your membership.