By Ted Stroll
Editor’s note: In its August 15 issue, Bicycle Retailer & Industry News published a column by Ashley Korenblat on the topic of mountain biking in federal wilderness areas. In the September 1 issue, BRAIN will publish an opposing viewpoint, written by Ted Stroll, the board president of the Sustainable Trails Coalition. We are publishing both columns on the BRAIN website today. (Korenblat’s column)
In these days of challenging market conditions, there’s a bright spot: the recently introduced congressional Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act. From the biggest manufacturer to the smallest shop, the bicycle industry will benefit if it passes.
The 1,200-word bill, which the Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC) has worked on for a year, will reconnect Americans with their federal lands in two ways:
1. Its travel aspect will let visitors explore local areas, under federal supervision and if federally authorized, if they’re willing to get about on their own. This aspect applies to all federal trails, not just Wilderness ones.
2. Its maintenance aspect will restore overgrown and lost trails for hikers, horse-riders, hunters, and cyclists.
The bill will let local Forest Service, National Park Service, and Bureau of Land Management staff use modern hand-manipulated …read more