YubaNet.com
Monday, June 27 2016

            We Deliver News to the Sierra
News Fire News spacer Latest News spacer Regional News spacer California News spacer USA News spacer World News spacer Op-Ed spacer Enviro News spacer Sci Tech News spacer Life spacer Odd News spacer Cartoons spacer
Features The Calendar features features Weather features Sierra NightSky features features features Road Conditions features Home spacer
US
 

Interior Readies Mountain Bike Expansion in National Parks

Lame Duck Rule Would Clear Way for Mountain Bike Trails in Park Backcountry

    Google+    

By: Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER)

WASHINGTON, D.C. Oct. 13, 2008 - The Interior Department is preparing to jettison a two-decade old regulation that protects parks in favor of opening more backcountry trails to mountain bicycles, according to Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER). The plan would eliminate public review and comment for new bike trails, which could be opened in any park area not prohibited by law.

Assistant Interior Secretary Lyle Laverty will propose "Mountain Bike Final regulations November / December", according to an agency schedule obtained by PEER. This action would cap to a longstanding campaign by the International Mountain Bicycle Association (IMBA) to weaken current park protections.

"This is a lame duck gift for our Mountain-Biker-in-Chief," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch, noting that this proposed regulation is well past the proposed deadlines announced this summer by the White House Chief of Staff. "With all the troubles facing the country, the White House should be concerned about more than where the president can ride his bike."

While PEER applauds getting more people out of their cars to bike on the paved and dirt roads of our parks, mountain biking on narrow trails may damage resources and conflict with visitor enjoyment. For this reason, the National Park Service adopted regulations for bicycles in 1987, during the Reagan administration, which allow mountain bikes on trails only after an individual park follows a stringent decision-making process that allows for closer scrutiny. The process requires notice of a proposed regulation in the Federal Register and publication of a special federal regulation. Several parks have adopted the necessary special regulations to allow bikes. Among the parks are Saguaro National Park, Arizona and Golden Gate National Recreation Area, California.

By contrast, under the plan pushed by IMBA, each park manager could designate backcountry trails open to mountain bikes by making a simple notation in an internal document called a "compendium" which is available to the public upon request but receives no public notice or public comment prior to approval. Nor would a park manager prepare any environmental compliance under the National Environmental Policy Act or other laws prior to adoption.

"The pending proposed bicycle rule is a step backward for park conservation. IMBA is correct to anticipate that such a lax and nearly invisible process will open many more trails to bikes," commented PEER Board member Frank Buono, a long-time former NPS manager. "We think the current rule is a good one. PEER does not oppose mountain bikes on trails in backcountry areas that are outside of designated, proposed or recommended wilderness but each proposal to allow bikes on backcountry trails should be thoughtfully and publicly considered."

Similar to the pending revision of the NPS gun rules sponsored by the National Rifle Association, the IMBA mountain biking proposal will not be accompanied by any review to determine how the proposed regulation would affect the quality of the parks environment.

View the current NPS bike trails rules at 36 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) 4.30

Look at the IMBA lobbying effort in national parks

 

Help us bring you more news. Be a real reader: Support YubaNet

By submitting a comment you consent to our rules. You must use your real first and last name, not a nickname or alias. A comment here is just like a letter to the editor or a post on Facebook. Thank you.

 

Latest Headlines

US

ACLU Sues Federal Government for Granting Millions of Dollars to Religious Groups That Deny Young Women Access to Medical Care

Immigrants Demand Moratorium on Deportations as Supreme Court Fails to End Partisan Attack on DAPA

Amnesty International USA: Congressional Sit-in Highlights Need for Urgent Bipartisan Reform

U.S. Settles with Trader Joe's to Reduce Ozone-Depleting & Greenhouse Gas Emissions at Stores

Despite Orlando Massacre, U.S. Senate Votes Down Commonsense Gun Violence Prevention Legislation

3.2 Million Animals Killed by Federal Wildlife-destruction Program in 2015

Montana Rep. Zinke Casts Vote for House Bill Aimed at Privatizing Control of Public Lands

Following Tragic Anti-LGBTQ Attack in Orlando, HRC Endorses Common-Sense Gun Violence Prevention Policy Measures

After Orlando Shooting, Focus on ISIS and Terrorism Distracts From Real Issues, UB Queer History Expert Says


More

 

 

 

 

NEWS . Fire News . Latest . Regional . California . USA . World . Op-Ed . Enviro . Sci/Tech . Life . Odd News . Cartoons
FEATURES . The Calendar .Weather . Sierra NightSky. Road Conditions
YubaNet.com . Advertising. About Us . Support YubaNet . Contact Us . Terms of Use . Privacy

YubaNet.com © 1999-2016
Nevada City, California (530) 478-9600