View Full Version : Mountain Biking agreement with Nat'l Park Service

Rain Man
05-30-2005, 23:07
I just quoting this directly from this mountain biking association site FYI.
From the Southern Off-Road Bicycle Association web site.


IMBA Signs Breakthrough Agreement with National Park Service
Posted on 2005-05-02 @ 06:43 PM by think1

IMBA News IMBA Signs Breakthrough Agreement with National Park Service


For Immediate Release
Contact: Pete Webber, IMBA communications director
[email protected]

If you've ever tried to enjoy a National Park by mountain bike, chances are you've been disappointed. With some notable exceptions, America's premier park system is closed to off-road riding.

That's going to change with a new five-year agreement just signed by the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) and the National Park Service. For the first time, National Park Service leaders in Washington, D.C., have formally recognized mountain biking as a positive activity, compatible with the values of our National Park system.

A benefit to millions of bicyclists is the potential opportunity for new access to hundreds of dirt roads in National Park units that have been closed to bicycling. While National Park Service rules require a lengthy process to open singletrack to bicycle use, appropriate dirt roads may be opened with a more straightforward administrative process.

"This agreement represents a true breakthrough for mountain biking," said IMBA Executive Director Mike Van Abel. "It opens the door for individual park units to partner with mountain bikers and investigate new riding opportunities on a case-by-case basis."

"The National Park Service is committed to increasing public awareness of outdoor recreational opportunities in the national park system that promote health and fitness," said Karen Taylor-Goodrich, the Associate Director for Visitor and Resource Protection."And mountain bicycling in authorized areas can be an excellent way to enjoy America's outdoor heritage in a manner that is compatible with resource protection."

As part of the agreement, IMBA and the Park Service will initially partner on two pilot projects to be selected later this year. The projects will bring mountain bikers and park officials together for on-the-ground teamwork and serve as models for future collaboration.

Additionally, IMBA will provide technical and volunteer assistance to National Park units that are interested in improving their off-road cycling opportunities. IMBA programs such as the National Mountain Bike Patrol, Subaru/IMBA Trail Care Crew and the IMBA club network can now apply their stewardship skills to our National Parks.

Mountain biking can be a solution to many challenges facing National Parks today. Bicycling gets people out of their cars; away from congested roads, parking lots and trailheads; and out into the fresh air. Mountain biking can also encourage more active exploration of parks and counter the societal trend toward obesity.

So what does the future hold? While mountain bikers shouldn't expect a revolution of new singletrack in National Parks, the partnership signals an encouraging direction for the future. With enhanced communication and cooperation between IMBA and the National Park Service, mountain bikers can anticipate that cycling opportunities in National Park units will continue to improve.

The National Park Service manages 384 parks, monuments, battlefields, buildings and recreation areas and more than 80 million acres of U.S. public land. In 2004, National Parks hosted more than 276 million visitors.

In 2002, IMBA formed a partnership with the Rivers, Trails & Conservation Assistance program of the National Park Service. Rivers & Trails helps communities build trail and greenway systems, restore rivers and wildlife habitat, and preserve open space. Their work largely focuses on urban and suburban locations, where demand for trail networks is the greatest.

Visit IMBA's National Park Service Resource Page for the text of the agreement, speaking points, NPS parks with great riding, and other resources.

IMBA and the National Park Service Resource Page:

05-30-2005, 23:23
there goes the neighborhood.

Pencil Pusher
05-30-2005, 23:57
Bicycling the AT? :D Which brings to mind if bicycles are allowed, maybe unicycles too? http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/3873/size/big/sort/1/cat/all

Tha Wookie
05-31-2005, 07:37
Here come the machines....

They'll stay on the roads... right?

05-31-2005, 08:36
Here come the machines....

They'll stay on the roads... right?That's how I read it. A decent compromise. Ride on the roads, stay off the trails.

05-31-2005, 08:50
I think there are places for mountain bikes in the National Parks, mainly on the fire roads. But let's keep them off hiking trails.

One of the big issues with US Forest Service Use Plans now is ATV's. I think they are not allowed under the new White Mountains plan. However, the Green Mountain plan includes provisions for ATV's, and it is currently open for public comment.

Dances with Mice
05-31-2005, 09:14
Bicycling the AT? :D Which brings to mind if bicycles are allowed, maybe unicycles too? http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/3873/size/big/sort/1/cat/all
:D Great! There's nothing more relaxing than riding a unicycle down a forest path while juggling three flaming torches.http://www.whiteblaze.net/gallery/showphoto.php/photo/7511/sort/1/cat/500/page/1

05-31-2005, 21:11
Letting the bikes ride anywhere near the trails is asking for trouble. Its like hikers with their dogs, some are decent and considerate, but most are not. Give'em an inch and you know the rest!

06-01-2005, 08:34
Public Land - Public Use. Sorry if you don't like mountain bikes, but we pay taxes too. And if you haven't noticed, organizations such as NEMBA, IMBA and others have given the sport legitimacy. Most mountain bikers now rally against the bad elements that build stunts and tear up trails. I think this is a good thing, and a great comprimise.

Most narrow (singletrack) hiking trails are not designed for mtn bike use, so allowing that kind of use automatically would be irresponsible. However, letting people ride on what are essentially dirt roads seems to be very reasonable to me.

06-01-2005, 12:27
Mountain Bikers are not going anywhere. So, rather than fight them, we should embrace them.

The outdoor user lobby is pretty small. Infighting will only help people whose interest are opposed to ours.

Hunter, hikers, mountain bikers, trail runners, fisherman, etc. etc. We all have a vested interest in protecting the outdoors. Best to form alliances rather than make enemies.

Would I want to see a mountain biker on the already eroded single track of the AT? No.

Would I mind mountain bikers on the wide fireroads in national parks? Not at all.

FWIW: When I did the Colorado Trail (which is open to mtn bikers in all but Wilderness areas), found the mtn bikers to polite and courteous.

06-01-2005, 14:11
I find it very exciting that more NPS land may be opened up to other uses. I would enjoy biking some of the trails in the smokies. Certainly the trails around the ranger stations tend to be very wide and mild in elevation gain. However, they will probably get stronger anti reaction from dayhikers who frequent these areas, than from me.