The Bush administration is planing steps to make it easier for mountain bikers to gain access to national parks and other public lands before the president — an avid cyclist himself — leaves office. The National Park Service confirmed that it is preparing a rule to allow park managers to decide which trails are to be opened to mountain bikers. Once it iss finalized, the rule would take this authority away from federal regulators in Washington, who sometimes take years to decide whether to allow bicycles on individual trails. A park service spokesman said the rule would be proposed no later than Nov. 15 in order for it to be finalized before Bush leaves office.
I voted yes. Yes but. Bikes don’t necessarily mix with hikers that well. I think there needs to be careful consideration about which trails should be turned over or opened to bikers and which should remain foot traffic only.
blarg. fergot to say, “I know where that photo came from!”
I agree that only some trails should become mixed use. Right now though, most national parks only allow bikes on the same paths that cars are allowed on, i.e. roads.
I hate to sound like the cantankerous old conger that I’m afraid of becoming, but multi-use trails require more maintenance than hiking trails. Unless a new source of funding is introduced to pay for the extra maintenance, this will only diminish funds available for the National Parks trails in general. Untill we (the taxpayers)decide to borrow the money, raise taxes, increase general entrance fees or reduce the maintenance of existing trails, it’s a question of allocating limited resources, not freedom of access.
I agree that are national parks are a limited resource, but they are also a resource that should be shared. To exclude bicyclists recreational access but allow snow machinists seems contradictory on the part of the park system.
We seem to have forgotten what parks are/are not for. The best summary can be found at http://www.savespiritbear.org/project/parks/declaration.html. Many parks and preservation groups wrote a declaration of principles of parks. Parks are minimally for our enjoyment, and maximally for the preservation of a natural environment. If we bring our machines (big or small) into every park, if we make every park Disney adventureland, we risk ruining our parklands. Mountain bikes damage trails and many mountain bikers are interested in thrills, which they should enjoy in separate thrill riding areas they set up on their own private space.
I don’t believe it is safe to have mountain bikes on the same trails with hikers. Mountain bikes need to stay on roads or specially designed trails away from other users.
The problem is that within national parks there is no current accommodation between no biking and biking on the highway. Horse riders get more accommodation.