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Mountain Bikers Pledge to Protect Gunnison County Land and Trails

For Immediate Release
Contact: Mark Eller
IMBA Communications Director
markeller [at] imba [dot] com
303-545-9011 ext. 115
 
The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA), the Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association (CBMBA), and Gunnison Trails recently pledged their combined resources to help protect land and trails in Gunnison County. The three groups agree with the proponents of the Hidden Gems proposal that additional legislation is needed to protect critical ecosystems and the irreplaceable landscapes that make Gunnison County a great place to live and visit.
 
Funds raised through IMBA Public Lands Initiative (PLI) will be used to examine the lands and trails touched by the Hidden Gems proposals. Gunnison County has been chosen as an important PLI Focus Area. “Much of mountain biking’s rich history can be traced to Crested Butte. We are committed to protecting these lands and maintaining important bicycle trail access. Through mountain biking, people around the world have come to love Gunnison County. We want to use the resources and energy generated by that interest to help create permanent land protection legislation,” says Ashley Korenblat, Director of IMBA’s Public Lands Initiative.
 
“While mountain biking is not allowed in Wilderness Areas, and this prohibition creates tension between mountain bikers and Wilderenss advocates, we believe well-placed boundaries and the addition of Companion Designations could result in protecting even more land than that in the current Hidden Gems Proposal,” adds Korenblat.
 
David Ochs, a club officer with CBMBA, adds, “Because we do not currently know all the places where access roads and tailings ponds might be if the Red Lady mine goes forward, we must work diligently to find a way to protect all of Crested Butte’s treasured landscapes and trails.”
 
IMBA recently endorsed the Eagle and Summit County Wilderness Preservation Act, introduced by Congressman Jared Polis (D-CO).  “Our goal is to work with CBMBA and the Hidden Gems coalition to get a similar bill introduced in Gunnison County, with solid input from mountain bikers," says Korenblat.
 
More About IMBA, CBMBA and Gunnison Trails
 
IMBA: The International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit educational association whose mission is to create, enhance and preserve great trail experiences for mountain bikers worldwide. More at imba.com.
 
CRMBA: The Crested Butte Mountain Bike Association is a volunteer, non-profit organization that was created in 1983. More at cbmba.org
 
Gunnison Trails: Founded in July of 2006, Gunnison Trails is a not for profit trail advocacy organization focused on enhancing the non-motorized, singletrack trail opportunities adjacent to the community of Gunnison, Colorado. More at gunnisontrails.com.

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