For Immediate Release 4-4-2013
Contact Mark Eller
IMBA Communications Director
IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel gave Colorado Senator Mark Udall an award on Saturday, March 30, at Denver’s Salvagetti Bicycle Workshop in recognition for his work on the National Park Service (NPS) regulation change and the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act. Representatives from Colorado’s bicycling community, including the Colorado Mountain Bike Association, were on hand for the presentation.
Senator Udall spoke to the importance of recreation and the outdoor industry to the economy and health of Coloradans. "Outdoor recreation keeps Coloradans active and healthy, while contributing over $10 billion annually to our state's economy, and $730 billion nationwide,” said Udall. “As the chair of the Senate National Parks Subcommittee, I was proud to help streamline the process to expand the great sport of mountain biking in appropriate places in national parks. IMBA and other mountain biking groups have been amazing partners on so many important efforts, and I appreciate their commitment to stewardship — especially on our public lands. I am honored to receive this award."
IMBA and the NPS have a long-standing partnership agreement to advance mountain biking opportunities in America’s most cherished parks. Last year, the park service announced new rules intended to give local superintendents more flexibility to add mountain biking in the parks they supervise. Sen. Udall lent his support for this change in regulations.
Sen. Udall sponsored the Ski Area Recreational Opportunity Enhancement Act and worked for five years to get it passed. It was signed into law in 2011, but its effects are only now being realized. The Act makes it easier for ski resorts that are wholly or partially located on federal land to get special permits to allow summer recreation activities, including mountain biking, as a way to stimulate the power of local economies throughout the year.
IMBA offers sincere thanks to Senator Udall's staff, including Natural Resources Policy Advisor Jill Ozarski, for including mountain bikers in a range of discussions on land protection and recreation initiatives in Colorado.