Is Mountain Biking the Biggest Threat to New Wilderness Designations?


Expedition Leader
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?
They have a catch-all that a route shown open may in fact be closed or vice versa when on the ground reality does not agree with a map. There is a lot of that I've seen lately. Perfectly intact, existing Carsonite with route numbers that have not been recently mapped and inventoried.

An example of this verbiage from an Emery County OHV Travel Map, "Unless designated as being open for public travel for OHVs, either by the "Off-Highway Vehicle Travel Map", or by signage on the ground, all Emery County Roads remain closed to travel for OHVs."

Some do show up on historical maps or in disorganized attempts by BLM or USFS to fulfill Congressional requests when legislation is introduced, but resources are limited so much of it remains incomplete and political polarity makes rational discussion seemingly impossible. These are routes that one side says are already closed (since they do not exist on stalled 10-year old BLM map updates but have been signed for decades), which by the language seems to me to be disputable and a potential compromise position.

Highlighting this to keep a route open means I'm a monster who want to encourage side-by-sides without mufflers traveling at full speed off route through riparian ecosystems killing endangered species. When the fact is I do not want that and think some routes should be kept non motorized or non mechanized. It's not appropriate to drive or ride a bike or perhaps enjoy even the advantage of machines at all (like the sound of a clanking alpine touring binding) everywhere. But there are many areas where an occasional truck or bicycle aren't going to upset the Wilderness-ness much and it could be a conservation area or monument or something where open travel is restricted but not by default eliminated.
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Expedition Leader
How much big W wilderness is truly open to livestock grazing? I'm genuinely curious. I had always thought that the majority of grazing rights took place on federal or state land that had a lesser designation (National Forests, BLM, ect.).

As for letting animal compete naturally....for better or for worse, we as a society are well beyond the point where we can simply let nature take its course. Management is needed, whether it be for getting rid of a harmful invasive species, propping up a fragile/vulnerable species or managing a population that is growing too fast and adversely affect other populations.

I like wilderness. But I'm also realistic about the fact that our modern society needs raw resources to survive (food, minerals, wood, fuel). Every time I hear someone champion a cause about shutting down this or that resource extraction or livestock industry, I understand that to be a euphemism for 'let's outsource our resource extraction to some other country who's environment we don't care about.'
Dixie National Forest is massive! The number of free range cattle is impressive! Hikers and bikers got nothing on cows. I haven’t had so much cow sh-t on my truck since I worked on a cattle ranch. And I was just driving a major scenic route between Bryce and Capitol Reef. That was two weeks ago. I’m still washing cow crap off my rig.