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Advocacy

Legislation. Policy. Planning. Education.

The access that mountain bikers currently enjoy is a result of decades of advocacy work, grassroots activism and widespread volunteerism. IMBA was the first organization dedicated to gaining acceptance of and access for mountain biking at every level of government and land management, and has remained at the forefront of those efforts for 30 years. Trail access is ours to go and get, but only if mountain bikers get organized, educated and involved.  

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Legislation

IMBA works on legislation and land protection proposals that are crafted to include mountain biking. IMBA champions land protection solutions that both safeguard the land and preserve local mountain biking traditions. We have successfully found common ground in multiple states to advance both mountain biking and land conservation. 

Recreation Not Red Tape Act
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Policy

We operate at all levels of government to ensure that bike-friendly policies are taken into consideration and implemented. This includes rallying support for funding mechanisms like the Recreation Trails Program, which help fund trail construction and volunteer maintenance across the country. IMBA also works to ensure that the guiding directives followed by land management agencies are friendly toward managing bikes. 

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Planning

On public lands, existing access, opportunities for new rides and management of mountain biking all begin with a formal management plan. We work to influence these plans by informing our network and educating them on productive engagement, and crafting pro-bike comments to protect and enhance our interests. IMBA also works directly with multiple land managing agencies to implement pro-bike solutions.

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Education

We want local mountain bike organizations to be effective advocates for mountain bike trails and access. IMBA helps by hosting trainings, providing tools and resources, offering professional support for local issues, and passing along institutional knowledge gained over decades of experience. IMBA also works to activate its constituents to influence planning, legislation and policy decisions that benefit mountain biking. 

How we do it

IMBA's staff works on a diverse range of issues in every region of the U.S., from the front country to the backcountry. The advocacy team is varied in its approach, but is rock solid in its commitment to providing long-lasting, sustainable and practical access solutions for mountain bikers.

You will find us in the field working closely with regional land managers and grassroots mountain bike organizations to influence local trail plans, and in Washington, D.C. working with federal land management agencies, elected officials and our recreation partners to educate them on mountain biking issues and influence pro-bike policies. As a 501(c)3 nonprofit, we are subject to limitations on political and lobbying efforts. IMBA’s mission is to create, enhance and protect great places to ride mountain bikes. To accomplish such a broad mission, IMBA must balance the varied, competing interests of its constituents toward efforts that broadly serve all mountain bikers in all 50 states. 

Major successes

Success through partnerships

IMBA was founded in 1988 by a group of California mountain bike clubs concerned about the closure of trails to bicyclists. Those pioneers believed that the development and promotion of mountain biker education programs and innovative trail management solutions were the key to gaining and maintaining access. The threats have evolved, but IMBA remains committed to being a productive, educational and collaborative member of the outdoor recreation and conservation community. 

Outdoor Alliance
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OA

IMBA is a founding member of the Outdoor Alliance (OA), a coalition of human-powered outdoor recreation groups. OA brings together the voices of the recreation community to protect our public lands and ensure that they are managed in a way that embraces the human-powered experience. 

Meet OA
Public Lands
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Agencies

IMBA developed and maintains long-standing, positive and productive relationships with the U.S. Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management, Army Corps of Engineers, National Park Service and many state parks agencies and state forests. These relationships are the baseline required for us and our grassroots partner organizations to grow and maintain mountain biking experiences on public lands nationwide. 

Our advocacy work and resources

Rather than bring problems to a discussion, bring solutions and offer solutions that will be positive for the entire community, either through mountain biking or some other positive contribution that mountain biking may play a role in such as community health, quality of life or economic development.

Aaron Clark

IMBA

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News release Access 07.27.17
IMBA Supports Bipartisan Bill to Improve Trail Access on Public Land
Read story
Blog Access 01.09.18
IMBA 2017 Advocacy Successes
Read story
Blog Access 12.22.16
IMBA’s 2016 Access and Advocacy Work
Read story
Blog Access 12.21.16
Negotiating Wilderness Boundaries To Save Montana Trails
Read story
Blog 03.01.16
Successful Land-use Planning Workshop in Santa Fe
Read story

Meet the team

Please contact us if you have any questions.

Image Aaron Clark

Aaron is a gearhead by birth and dropper-post lovin' weight-weenie by choice. Having discovered a lifelong love for all things bikes back in Detroit in the early 90's (aboard his fully rigid, budget-minded Nishiki Crossroads, no less) he began racing his bike all over the Michigan woods. This eventually led Aaron to Colorado and eventually to IMBA in 2012 where he works on backcountry mountain bike trail access, policy and legislation as part of the Government Relations team. In his little spare time, Aaron coaches cyclocross at a local high school. His best rides are with his wife and two boys who, after careful crafting, now share his love for riding.

Meet our team
Aaron Clark

Advocacy Manager

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Our vision is that everyone has a place to ride a mountain bike. You can help make that happen!
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