Hey Montana Mountain Bikers- Pay Attention!

Hey everyone- I know that The Fix is not a mountain bike website but many folks in Bozeman who like to ride fixed gears and play polo and take part in other sorts of bike shenanigans also like to ride with knobbies on dirt. Because of this I am re-posting an email I received this morning from Bob of the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance. This might seem to be a bit alarmist, but Montana now has a unique combination of miles and miles of trails while being poised to lose bike access to much of it.
Please take a few minutes to ponder what kind of precedent our situation presents. The science supports responsible use of bikes on dirt, a significant part of local economies benefit from moutnnain bike tourism, and bikes are a great way to get kids off of couches and families spending time together in the great outdoors. Sadly, this message is proving difficult to get out with a well-funded, closed minded and collusive Wilderness contingent closing doors in our collective faces.
If this is something that you'd like to be part of there's a few things that you can do to make a difference: join the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance, Check out the Montana Mountain Bike Network ning site, or even just follow Montana Mountain Bike Network on Twitter.


It's Game On in Montana and we need your help!

Late Summer - Early Fall 2009 Update

Montana continues to be the nation's focal point for mountain bicycle advocacy and land access challenges with a pending Wilderness bill, a recent court ruling and the enactment of the Forest Service Region 1 bicycle banning 'philosophy' that could close 1,200 miles of alpine singletrack in the next few years. The underlying issues in Montana have the potential to set bad bicycle precedent that could spread across the country. Unfortunately we are ground zero in what seems like a cruel joke but the threats to our continued access to great trails are real, advancing and irrevocable. Be sure to comment on the Bitterroot Travel Plan before the November 5th deadline!
  • On Sunday October 10th a story ran in the New York Times that highlights some of the challenges we face as cyclists here in Montana. The piece gives a disturbing insight into the Region One bicycle banning philosophy. Entitled Growth in Mountain Biking May Put Western Trails Off Limits, the piece should sound the alarm for all those who cherish their backcountry access and motivate even the most APATHETIC among us to become active advocates. Does the conventional conservation group-think offer that because bicycling has been successful in getting more people off the couch, reducing obesity, promoting good health, boosting rural economies and connecting people with the outdoors that we should have our access restricted? PAY ATTENTION!
  • WSA LAWSUIT - Sept. 28th - Ruling on a lawsuit filed by the Montana Wilderness Assoiciation, The Greater Yellowstone Coalition and the Wilderness Society, U.S. District Judge Donald Molloy states that the Gallatin National Forest travel plan did not do enough to ensure the Hyalite-Porcupine-Buffalo Horn Wilderness Study Area kept its wilderness characteristics. The ruling means that the Forest Service will have to revisit how the HPBH WSA is managed. Named as a threat to solitude in the lawsuit, mountain bicycle access to the 220 miles on 36 alpine trails south of Bozeman and east of Big Sky that fall into the 155,000 acre WSA will again be on the table for possible closure - including trails in upper Hyalite and Porcupine drainages. Read Article. View Lawsuit.
  • An article appearing on NewWest.net allowed MMBA to weigh in on Senator Tester's Forest Jobs and Recreation Act. The piece uses the 2nd Annual Backcountry Bicycle Festival in Lima as a backdrop to examine the important link between access to great trails and prospering small town economies. Take a moment to read the article, and if you have time, puruse the comments that follow. An Important Read!
  • On October 5th the U.S. Forest Service released the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail Comprehensive Plan that spells out the latest management directive for the CDNST. A must read, albeit it dry, for anyone who is concerned about future bicycle access to the spectacular and irreplaceable trail resource. Also important to note is the position statement from the Continental Divide Trail Alliance on mountain bike use of the Continental Divide Trail. Knowledge is Power.

So what can you do?

  • The most important and immediate action that EVERYONE OF YOU can do today is to comment of the Bitterroot Travel Management Plan before the November 5th deadline. Please see our Bitterroot Comment Suggestions page for more details. No matter where you live it is vital that you weigh in on this particular TMP as bad bicycle policy is spreading and your backyard could be next! May guilt and pinch flats plague you for eternity if you do not comment! Apathy Sucks. Don't depend on others to carry your load. This is APATHY FOR THE BITTERROOT! Please take 15 minutes to write your letter for future mountain biking opportunities. We need to bury the Forest Service with comments.
  • Tune into Yellowstone Public Radio out of Billings, Montana this morning, Wednesday October, 21st, to help MMBA spread our pro-bicycle, pro-conservation message. MMBA will be issuing a challenge to the cycling community during the morning fund raising broadcast from 6 – 9 a.m. (MST). Participate and listen online at www.ypradio.org online or find your local frequency. No matter where you live or whether you already donate to YPR or not, this will be a great opportunity to flex our collective bicycle muscles for a great cause!
  • DONATE! MMBA is a volunteer organization staffed by passionate, commited and masochistic cyclists funded by the change in their pockets and support from folks like you. Give what you can. We appreciate it!

Montana Mountain Bike Alliance
P.O. Box 7023
Bozeman, MT 59771


"Whatever the social question, a bicycle should be part of the answer!"


Post a Comment