California Representative Tom McClintock Introduces Legislation to Remove the Blanket Ban on Bikes in Wilderness

If new legislation finds its way to law, Mountain Bikers may once again be able to enjoy amazing vistas like this one in the Idaho's Boulder White Clouds (photo: boulderwhiteclouds.org)
If new legislation finds its way to law, Mountain Bikers may once again be able to enjoy amazing vistas like this one in the Idaho’s Boulder White Clouds (photo: boulderwhiteclouds.org)

According to a March 3, 2017 Press Release from the Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC), Congressman Tom McClintock (R-California) has introduced legislation which would allow federal land managers to regulate bicycle use on wilderness trails, effectively removing the blanket ban on bicycles which was put into place in 1984, some 20 years after the original Wilderness Act was signed into law.  Details of the bill can be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/115th-congress/house-bill/1349

The bill, H.R. 1349, puts mountain bikers on the same footing as other low-impact, human-powered user groups with regard to access to federally-protected Wilderness areas in accordance with the original intent of the Act, which was concerned with preventing motorized use and the development that accompanies it.  Representative McClintock’s legislation directs federal agencies to manage Wilderness as Congress originally intended and end blanket bans on “bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers, and game carts within any Wilderness area.”

“Congressman McClintock’s bill will give mountain bikers long-overdue relief from agency misunderstandings,” said STC board member Ted Stroll.

“It’s important to understand that reversing the ban is not an open permit,” explained STC board member Jackson Ratcliffe. “Land management agencies already have the authority to regulate campsite locations, hunting, and where horses are allowed, or not.  This legislation will simply return decision-making back to local authorities.”

For comment from Congressman McClintock’s office, please contact the Congressman’s Officehttp://mcclintock.house.gov/contact.

Now is the time to get energized about contacting your representative(s) to urge support for this bill!

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