Back Country Horsemen of Colorado Take Action!
Voice Your Opposition to:
H.R. 1349 - To amend the Wilderness Act to ensure that the use of bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers, and game carts is not prohibited in Wilderness Areas, and for other purposes.
For over 50 years it’s been prohibited by the landmark Wilderness Act. But a new group, the Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC), intends to change that. The STC’s president proclaimed that legalizing mountain bikes in wilderness is inevitable. They claim the Wilderness Act has become the victim of outdated thinking and bureaucratic “lethargy and inertia.”
The Wilderness Act of 1964 is not outdated.
In the continental U.S., less than 3% of the land is designated wilderness. That’s just 3% of the landscape to which horseman can escape and be assured of a relatively primitive recreational experience. Further, according to the U.S. Forest Service, 98 percent of all the trails on land it manages outside of designated wilderness are open to bicycles. It and other agencies continue to create and open new mountain biking trails across the country. So it’s hard for folks to argue that not allowing bikes in wilderness is restricting or harming public access.
Other reasons bike use would be problematic include:
- The rapid speeds at which mountain bikes are capable of traveling, combined with their often silent approach, would create significant safety hazards for horsemen on steep, narrow or winding trails.
- Worse still would be safety hazards for persons leading a pack string, where a bike startling the least-trained horse or mule among the pack string could bolt and/or endanger the entire party.
- Solitude or a primitive and unconfined recreational experience would be lost if horsemen were forced to constantly scan the trail ahead and over their shoulder for rapidly approaching bikes.
Please join BCHA in voicing opposition to H.R. 1349, which would authorize bikes in Wilderness. Inform your member of Congress today.
View the BCHCO Testimony in opposition to HR1349 here