House committee passes bill giving local managers discretion over bikes in Wilderness Areas

By Stephen Frothingham

IMBA opposed it, STC supports it

WASHINGTON (BRAIN) — The House Natural Resources Committee on Wednesday passed HR 1349, legislation that would let local land managers decide if bikes and other human-powered vehicles are allowed in Wilderness Areas. The bill, which passed the committee in a 22-18 vote, now heads to a full House vote. The Senate has not acted on similar legislation introduced in that chamber.

The International Mountain Bicycling Association does not support the legislation and submitted written testimony in opposition. The Sustainable Trails Coalition supports the bill, which was introduced by Rep. Tom McClintock (R-CA).

Last year, BRAIN published opinion pieces from STC’s Ted Stroll and former IMBA director Ashely Korenblat regarding similar legislation.

In a statement last week, IMBA indicated it will continue to work for mountain bike access on public lands with other designations, and in some cases will oppose new Wilderness designations in order to preserve existing mountain bike opportunities.

“Mountain bikers and the recreation community depend on public lands and thoughtful conservation,” IMBA’s executive director, Dave Wiens, said in a news release. “Public lands are being threatened at an unprecedented level right now, and it’s imperative that public …read more

Via:: Bicycle Retailer and Industry News