Epic mountain bicycling trail experiences stand to benefit from new legislation introduced by Senators Ken Salazar (D-CO) and Jeff Bingaman (R-NM). The two Senators are co-sponsoring the National Landscape Conservation System Act (S.1163), legislation that would make permanent the National Landscape Conservation System (NLCS). The NLCS comprises 26 million acres of the most culturally and historically significant Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands and includes many trails important to mountain bikers.
IMBA supports this new bill because it will provide greater recognition of the need to preserve these special areas and their trail experiences. "Although mountain biking is not permitted in every NLCS area, we believe it is imperative to help protect the many places where bicycles are allowed in the NLCS," said IMBA Government Affairs Director Jenn Dice.
The new Act will bring heightened recognition to many great mountain biking areas, including portions of the Continental Divide Trail, Kokopelli's Trail, California's King Range, Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area in Nevada, McInnis Canyon National Conservation Area near Fruita, Colorado, and many others.
"Many of these areas rival national parks for their beauty and importance and we look forward to working closely with NLCS partners and the BLM to preserve these important public lands and the trail experiences they provide," added Dice.
The NLCS was created administratively by the Secretary of Interior in 2000. Included in the NLCS are National Conservation Areas, National Monuments, Wild and Scenic Rivers, Wilderness Study Areas and other outstanding natural areas; many of which allow mountain biking. Also covered are all Wilderness Areas on BLM land.