Aid IMBA’s Work to Keep Trails Open in Idaho
In the summer of 2013, IMBA began working with our local Chapter–Wood River Bicycle Coalition (WRBC) to support a new land protection option for the iconic Boulder-White Clouds (BWC) landscape: The Boulder-White Clouds National Monument. [See draft map of proposed National Monument boundary in attachments below]
Long conflicted by the potential impact to mountain biking that a Wilderness designation would have on this landscape, IMBA has not been able to rectify some of our biggest concerns with U.S. Congressmen Mike Simpson (R- ID) and his Wilderness bill that is currently (2013) H.R 145: Central Idaho Economic Development and Recreation Act (CIEDRA). Reintroduced yet again in 2013, his bill would designate Wilderness in the Boulder-White Clouds Mountains in central Idaho and the Sawtooth National Recreation Area (SNRA)
As stewards of the public lands we love, it is important that mountain bicyclists work to support land protections that preserve wild places like this but these protections must include appropriate access for multiple forms of recreation such as mountain biking for the enjoyment of current and future generations. It is difficult for IMBA to support a Wilderness designation that closes important and sustainable mountain bike trails. The Boulder-White Clouds landscape is one such place. After over a decade of attempts, it is clear that CIEDRA has virtually no chance of making it through Congress.
IMBA, along with our partners, WRBC and Outdoor Alliance, does support greater protections of this treasured landscape and in 2013, land protection proponents began to look at other options. Requesting that the Obama Administration declare the area a Natl. Mon. surfaced as the most viable option.
While some argue that the SNRA adequately protects the BWC now, those protections are not guaranteed. IMBA supports a National Monument designation for this landscape so long as it maintains access to the iconic backcountry trail rides currently open to bikes. The BWC and SNRA are home to some of the most unique and beautiful singletrack in Idaho and arguably the country. Quite frankly, our support is contingent upon this maintaining access. [See East Fork Salmon - Google Earth Flyover in attachments below]
IMBA believes that a National Monument can protect the conservation values of the area while also preserving essential mountain biking trails such as Castle Divide, Ants Basin, Warm Springs Meadow, and Frog Lake Loop. These trails must be a part of the assets available to mountain bikes in any future National Monument designation.
Together with Outdoor Alliance, we sent the attached letter to the USFS and the Obama Administration. Other letters have been crafted and submitted by our chapter, WRBC, together with the Idaho Conservation League and The Wilderness Society. [Attached]
NOTE: Should the BWC be designated a National Monument by the Obama Administration, it will later be followed by a management plan (including a public process) that spells out the details of future use. This is where trail by trail designations will be made.
Call to Action!
IMBA encourages you to weigh in in a productive manner! Sign IMBA's petition to keep the iconic trails in the Boulder White Clouds open to mountain bikes.
IMBA is currently working with local mountain bikers, Chapters, clubs and other stakeholders to preserve access to priority trails. We will not support a Ntl. Mon. that closes bike access to our iconic trails.
12/20/13- IMBA and Chapter WRBC met with ICL and TWS on 12/16 in Ketchum, ID to discuss agreement on trail access details. Significant progress was made in reaching agreement to jointly advocate for a bike-friendly Natl. Monument. A agreement letter is being drafted in coming weeks. Read more in the IMBA BLOG link below.
IMBA Chapters/Clubs Active in this Campaign:
Contact aaron [dot] clark [at] imba [dot] com (Aaron Clark) to add your club to this list or for more information.
Want more background? Read what others are saying:
KTVB News Clip
Check out the Conservation Alliance short film on the issue
Check out this PBS video about CIEDRA and other Idaho Wilderness.
IMBA BLOG: 12/19-Anna-NW Regional Director
Send any articles, blogs or quotes to aimee [dot] ross [at] imba [dot] com to post here.
|FINAL OA Boulder White Clouds NM Letter_9-13.pdf||222.26 KB|
|WRBC_letter_BWC NtlMon_9-13.pdf||308.73 KB|
|TWS_WRBC_ICL letter-Final.pdf||85.53 KB|
|Proposed Monument Map 10-6-13.pdf||1.4 MB|
|East Fork Salmon - Google Earth Flyover||23.13 KB|
About IMBA's Public Lands Initiative:
The Public Lands Initiative is IMBA's effort to better organize local cycling communities and the bike industy to rally around bike friendly policies and public lands protection. Read more about the PLI.
Please consider contributing to our important campaign efforts.
Share Your Stories!
Please use the comment section below to share your personal stories of great rides, personal achievement or even that epic crash on these trails.