Is Mountain Biking the Biggest Threat to New Wilderness Designations?

Dalko43

Explorer
Haha. Struck a nerve I see. Yeah, I have no idea of the issue from “their” perspective. Lol.

No one is advocating for eliminating ranching on public lands. Only pointing out that the concept of wilderness is in direct conflict with livestock.

And that our public lands shouldn’t have their value pegged to the fees paid by one user group -without offering those same lands at the same price to other users. If ranchers had to pay a true market price, then our lands wouldn’t get raped for pennies on the dollar- unless that was what they were actually worth.
I just find it interesting that you're so willing to condemn and broadstroke one group of public land users (ranchers) but then vigorously defend another group (mountain bikers).

By your own admission, you have no idea what ranchers have to go through in order to stay financially viable in their line of work, so I'm not sure how you're qualified to comment on their land usage fees and "fair" market prices.

And as for "rape" of the land (a term that you throw around far too casually), I promise you that the purchase of your mobile phone or vehicle did far more to damage to the landscape (albeit on another continent) than did some public land grazing operation on this continent. People need to gain a little bit of perspective before they decide to get self-righteous.
 
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waveslider

Outdoorsman
I just find it interesting that you're so willing to condemn and broadstroke one group of public land users (ranchers) but then vigorously defend another group (mountain bikers).
Our definitions of what constitutes condemnation and defense are clearly quite different.

By your own admission, you have no idea what ranchers have to go through in order to stay financially viable in their line of work, so I'm not sure how you're qualified to comment on their land usage fees and "fair" market prices.
Your sarcasm font perception is equally lacking.

And as for "rape" of the land (a term that you throw around far too casually), I promise you that the purchase of your mobile phone or vehicle did far more to damage to the landscape (albeit on another continent) than did some public land grazing operation on this continent. People need to gain a little bit of perspective before they decide to get self-righteous.
Think Globally, Act Locally. I am in public land grazing virtually every day - and by "in", I mean walking it, looking at it, driving through it, hunting in it, fishing in it, glassing it, looking at the comparison between public and private land, building habitat in it, looking at it on google earth, aaaaannnnd checking cattle in it. Exactly how much more perspective do I need to comment?
 

Mickey Bitsko

Adventurer
After reading this mostly nonsense , the same thing can be said when the first automobiles and motorcycles were crossing this country and the world.
A lot of cry babies,in the end" it doesn't matter".
To comment on the topic, "government" is the biggest threat.
Divide and conquer, look at the big picture instead of picking one very small group of people.
So insignificant and non issue.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
Divide and conquer, look at the big picture instead of picking one very small group of people.
True.

For example in the CORE Act getting pushed that proposes to add another 400,000 acres of de facto Wilderness in Colorado has some groups favored highly. In the Sheep Mountain SMA ("Special" Management Area indeed, Wilderness without the bother of political titles) they will gate out snowmobiles. Those guys have worked hard up there, forged an agreement in 1983 and worked out a new Hermosa watershed compromise that was passed into law in 2014.

It will, though, allow heli-ski operators to continue, giving them practically exclusive access to a lot of beautiful areas that will otherwise take days to skin back into. This has been an ongoing feud for some years over first tracks and the ones with pull and money got what they wanted - snowmobiles out.

I mean, is using a helicopter compatible with the "Wilderness" experience? I say this as a backcountry skier, too. How much mechanization is appropriate? Wouldn't wool clothes, leather boots and 3-pin bindings, which is what would have been contemporary in 1964, be more what Congress had in mind for minimal mechanization?

We're using big plastic boots, bindings that are just as complex as any MTB drivetrain, avalanche beacons, GPS receivers, Gore-Tex, synthetic skins, ultralight bivies, etc. It's highly mechanized and takes major advantage of manmade technology. The question of mechanical advantage isn't limited to just having drivetrain gears. Then since I run single speed does shunning shifters mean I'm perhaps more appropriate?
 

Wallygator

Adventurer
Close it if it doesn't fit your narrative. That's what is happening everywhere else in this country today, may as well happen here.
 

Christian P.

Expedition Leader
Staff member
Close it if it doesn't fit your narrative. That's what is happening everywhere else in this country today, may as well happen here.
'
It has nothing to do with me not liking the narrative.

Our rules have always been clear about political debate on this forum. And I have seen too many threads like this degenerating. Then I get heat because I let "this one slip" and favor "this user over this user", etc. Moderator job is so much fun.

Just trying to be proactive here.
 

DaveInDenver

Expedition Leader
This isn't Wilderness, rather it's a popular trail around Denver. I only post it because I think MTBs get an unfair distinction as being the only irresponsible users and causing damage. There are legitimate arguments about hikers being relatively low impact compared to horses and bikes. But I've seen similar damage within Wilderness simply due to the volume and actions of hikers (who in my personal observation are the most likely to detour around mud) and horse and the inability for efficient management using machinery that might allow better trail routing or moving material.

 

Howard70

Adventurer
'
It has nothing to do with me not liking the narrative.

Our rules have always been clear about political debate on this forum. And I have seen too many threads like this degenerating. Then I get heat because I let "this one slip" and favor "this user over this user", etc. Moderator job is so much fun.

Just trying to be proactive here.
Hello Christian:

I don't think the thread should be closed. However, I do think we all could do a better job of discussing the issues, ideas, and potential solutions relevant to the original question "Is Mountain Biking the Biggest Threat to New Wilderness Designations?" Getting someone who thinks differently to consider an alternative they initially rejected is rarely accomplished by calling others names, invoking stereotypes, disparaging their intelligence, or mocking their assumed political tendencies. I've changed my mind when someone convinced me they understood my concerns and accepted my points of view but then continued to provide information or data I had not previously understood.

Perhaps we could try explaining our ideas and positions by speaking of the positives we envision rather than the negatives of someone else's ideas? An example:

Full disclosure - I drive two modified 4x4 vehicles; ride off-highway motorcycles; ride road, gravel, and mountain bikes; hike, backpack, packraft and kayak in Wilderness Areas and on Wild and Scenic Rivers.

1. I'm in favor of the strict, original definition of Wilderness Areas that excludes mechanized travel (including bicycles) because there are times and places I seek solitude, silence, and wish to maximize my appreciation of nature. Thus I see Wilderness Areas positively because they provide that escape from my normal, highly mechanized, surroundings.

2. I'm in favor of travel management plans of the BLM and Forest Service because they provide opportunities to explore broad swathes of remote country using mechanized vehicles providing more reach than I get by foot. I could have explored the North Rim / Arizona Strip / Grand Parashant region last summer by foot, but the 800 miles we traversed would have taken a lot more time than I had and possibly exceeded my abilities. So I'm happy those agencies have policies in place that maintain some of the roads (allowing us to rapidly cover ground we found less interesting), let other tracks decay (providing challenging 4x4 and route-finding opportunities) and restrict cross-country vehicular traffic.

Howard L. Snell
 

waveslider

Outdoorsman
Howard, I'm confused about your comment on TMPs when you say "let other tracks decay (providing challenging 4x4 and route-finding opportunities) and restrict cross-country vehicular traffic."

The TMPs that I've been involved in and aware of close all routes that aren't designated as "open" so while the old trails do decay, and would create some decent tracks, it would be illegal to take them. Is that not the same everywhere?

The reason I point it out is because I've advocated for a long time to simply stop putting in any new roads and stop maintaining non-thoroughfare routes and the TMP will take care of itself.

But one challenge around here is that BLM would need to start maintaining roads in order to be able to stop....so there's that.
 

Howard70

Adventurer
Howard, I'm confused about your comment on TMPs when you say "let other tracks decay (providing challenging 4x4 and route-finding opportunities) and restrict cross-country vehicular traffic."

The TMPs that I've been involved in and aware of close all routes that aren't designated as "open" so while the old trails do decay, and would create some decent tracks, it would be illegal to take them. Is that not the same everywhere?

The reason I point it out is because I've advocated for a long time to simply stop putting in any new roads and stop maintaining non-thoroughfare routes and the TMP will take care of itself.

But one challenge around here is that BLM would need to start maintaining roads in order to be able to stop....so there's that.
Hello Waveslider:

Thanks for the reply & questions. I'm scrambling with getting a house on the market so I haven't taken the time for a thoughtful reply (I'd like to provide some positive examples of TMPs that allow open tracks to decay, etc.). I'll get there soon, but I don't want to appear as though I'm ignoring your points!

Howard
 
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