Mountain Bikers attack motorized recreation

TrailDale

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#1
Short story - The Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is looking to open 60,000+ acres to motorized recreation in the North Fruita Desert near Fruita Colorado, and the top national mountain bike organization is organizing a letter writing campaign against motorized recreation.

I just received this (see below) from IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) - It pains me because my second job involves designing an building mountain bike trail systems, and I personally know and work closely with the staff at IMBA - but when they clearly attack motorized recreation - that's going too far.

What really ticks me off is that IMBA is using the same tired arguments (impacting a sensative environment) that is always used against mountain bikers, to attack motorized recreation. Bunch of hypocrits!

See the contact info at the bottom of the IMBA e-mail below, contact the BLM and fire back a response.

This is federal land - YOUR land - no mater where you live.

Tell them what you think!

TrailDale


IMBA Action Alert: Help Save Mountain Biking in Fruita, Colorado

For Immediate Release: 10-22-03
Contact: Dan Vardamis, dan@imba.com, 303-545-9011

The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) recently released a draft plan that will
govern recreational trail use in the north Fruita desert. The International
Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) is asking mountain bikers to comment on
the plan by November 7, 2003. Because Fruita is such a popular destination
for mountain bikers throughout the United States and around the world, we
encourage cyclists everywhere to comment.

The BLM proposes to create an area of approximately 4,000 acres as a
protected non-motorized zone. Within this zone lies the popular 18 Road trail
system. Mountain bicycling would be encouraged in this area. The BLM proposes
to improve camping, maps, signage, sanitation and staff monitoring of the
area. The BLM also proposes re-routing and improving trails that are not
sustainable. IMBA commends the BLM for these important management action
steps.

IMBA has a number of concerns with the plan, specifically its support for
expanded motorized use in the north Fruita desert. IMBA is very concerned
about the impacts motorized use will have on other visitors and the local
ecosystem.

"Fruita, Colorado, is one of the top destination mountain bicycling areas in
the world," said IMBA executive director Tim Blumenthal. "While IMBA supports
motorized use in appropriate areas, the current draft plan fails to provide a
balance among recreational needs. Without modification, this plan could make
Fruita a less appealing place for mountain bikers and other non-motorized
trail visitors."

What You Can Do

IMBA is encouraging all mountain bikers to write letters or email the BLM
before the Nov. 7 deadline. You can also attend a BLM public meeting in Grand
Junction, Colorado, on Oct. 23 to voice your concerns. Because this
management plan deals with federal land, everyone can submit comments, NOT
just Colorado residents.

Please include the following points in your comments to the BLM:

- Tell the BLM, in your own words, how increased motorized vehicle use would
affect the north Fruita desert visitor experience.

- Of the 76,000 total acres under consideration, the North Fruita Desert Plan
opens more than 90 percent to motorized use, leaving only 10 percent as a
designated non-motorized zone.

- The BLM estimates approximately 36,000 people recreate in the area per
year. Of these visitors, 25,000 are mountain bikers. The number of motorized
users is negligible. IMBA believes a new management plan should reflect
current and future desired use patterns, and designate more of the total area
as a non-motorized zone.

- The North Fruita Desert is a sensitive ecosystem with a variety of flora
and fauna, and is home to threatened species. It's also an area with a dense
network of trails. IMBA believes the environmental impacts of motorized
vehicles on this ecosystem will be significant. To limit this impact, more of
the total area should be designated as a non-motorized zone.

- Fruita, Colorado, is one of the most popular mountain bicycling destination
areas in the world. Mountain bike tourism has given a significant boost to
the economy of Fruita in the past decade. According to the Grand Junction
Visitor and Convention Bureau, the Fruita Fat Tire Festival alone pumps $1.5
million into the local economy annually. The continuing availability of
high-quality mountain biking will assure that those economic benefits
continue.

- The plan contains inconsistent language. Specifically, the plan contradicts
itself in regards to access to washes and drainages within the non-motorized
zone. IMBA believes all washes and drainages in the non-motorized zone should
be closed to motorized vehicles. Furthermore, the environmental impact of
motorized vehicles in washes and drainages, even in designated motorized
areas, needs further examination.

- The plan proposes construction of a designated motorized "sacrifice zone"
that allows cross-country travel. The Grand Junction area already has
motorized "sacrifice zones" and these have proven difficult to manage. IMBA
is concerned a new motorized "sacrifice zone" would prove detrimental to the
area's ecosystem and other recreational visitors. IMBA questions the need for
a new motorized "sacrifice zone," considering this resource already exists in
the Grand Valley.

- IMBA designated the Edge Loop an Epic Ride in 1999, a designation given to
select trails that offer a world class mountain biking experience. The North
Fruita Plan threatens the integrity of a section of this trail, known as
Lippan Wash. IMBA recommends that the non-motorized zone be expanded to
include all of Lippan Wash and the singletrack extending to Coal Gulch Road.
Of the three alternatives presented, IMBA recommends option one, which
separates motorized and non-motorized use to the greatest extent possible.

Letters: Letters must be submitted by November 7. Letters are the preferred
method of commenting as agencies often give more weight to letters than
emails. Send letters to:

Bureau of Land Management
Attn: James Cooper
Grand Junction Field Office
2815 H Rd
Grand Junction, CO 81506

Emails: Emails must be submitted by November 7. While not as effective as
letters, emails can also help make a difference. Send emails to:

james_cooper@co.blm.gov

Meeting location:

Thursday, Oct. 23 at 6 p.m.
Grand Junction BLM office
2815 H Road
Grand Junction, Colorado

To read the North Fruita Desert Management Plan visit
http://www.co.blm.gov/gjra/NFD-PDFlinks.htm. For more information, email
IMBA's advocacy coordinator Dan Vardamis at dan@imba.com or IMBA's western
Colorado Rep Bill Harris at bharris@gwe.net.

--
To be removed from IMBA's email list, send a message to membership@imba.com
with the subject REMOVE. Please allow two to three weeks for the change to
take effect.
 

jboomer

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#3
Can you beleive this!? We're all (MTBers and offroaders) are fighting the SAME battle, yet they're trying to alienate us too! They're saying that not enough offroaders use the area anyway, so it should be closed to us. Sounds like someone's playing the "if you can't beat 'em, join 'em" game.
 

BCR-Bob

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#4
Yep, us evil motorcycle riders are trying to destroy the earth here in beautiful CO. These people are the most self centered idiots I've ever dealt with, and yes, I live here and deal with them. The government designates an area just for them and they whine for more. They can ride anywhere they want to in the desert in this area as it is, but they want more.

The trials they are talking about in the 18 road area were created first by cattle and wildlife, then by motorcycles. None of these people went up into the hills with shovels and picks and carved out these trails. I was riding these trails in the 70's before mountain bikes even existed.

I personally have no problem with mountain bikers. I am always polite to them when ever I meet them on a trail and for the most part am treated the same. The biggest problem I have with the whole situation is that even though we try to get along, they look on us as sub-humans.

One more thing, in regards to the eco-system BS they are trying to lay down. Since when does a mountain bike tire not harm any plants or ground cover it runs over?

I've written to the BLM and also plan to attend a meeting on 10-23 with the BLM on the subject. Hope I can hold my temper.
 

altagirl

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#5
I just got the same message today. I've already written the BLM and IMBA. (As a long-time IMBA member, I'm REALLY pissed.) I can't believe IMBA is trying to divide trail users like this - it's not in their best interest either. Responsible trail users need to stick together. I also can't believe their logic that adding more trail users will decrease tourism in Fruita... I've been on plenty of trails lately with every type of user you can think of, and we all manage to get along. I think the vast majority of trail users are just happy to see others enjoying the trail (as long as they're using it responsibly). It's a shame the radical few that want everything to themselves speak so loudly.

I'd actually drive down there for the meeting if I didn't have work stuff I can't get out of...

BCR-Bob - If you make the meeting, feel free to mention that you know a bunch of IMBA members who are pretty angry that the organization is opposing this proposed improvement. There are plenty of mountain bikers out there that aren't opposed to sharing trails with OHVs. (Especially the one I shuttled parts out to on my dirt bike when he was stranded in the middle of the desert a few weeks ago when his MTB broke.) I'm off to write a few more complaint letters to the IMBA staff.
 
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#6
what a bunch of self rightous pin heads.then again what can you expect from people who wear spandex outfits with styro foam coolers on their heads.but really they do have a purpose, when several of them are lined up on the trail it makes a great WHOOP SECTION.Best advice for these people march your birkenstocks back to where you came from if you do'nt like it!!!!!!!!!!!
 

mx547

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#7
remember kdx, they can say the same negative, stereotypical things about us. what matters is not our differences but that we need to be working together.
 

altagirl

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#8
Originally posted by BCR-Bob
Yep, us evil motorcycle riders are trying to destroy the earth here in beautiful CO. These people are the most self centered idiots I've ever dealt with, and yes, I live here and deal with them. The government designates an area just for them and they whine for more. They can ride anywhere they want to in the desert in this area as it is, but they want more.
Sounds familiar. We went to Durango for the DH race this year (major national event). Went to a restaurant for dinner and asked our waitress if she knew where we could find any info on registration and practice times and she went on this tirade about how DH mountain bikers tear up "OUR" trails and she didn't approve of us being there. After getting over our initial shock at being bitched at, we smiled and said "Know of any good dirt bike trails?". I just don't get it. You live and work in a tourist town and hate the people who are the reason you can earn a living there? (Not to mention - you're going to yell at me for no reason when you're working for tips???) People in Colorado are freaking weird...


Back on topic - if you would ever consider riding in Fruita, don't forget to write the BLM. You don't have to be from Colorado to make a difference since it's federal land!

Bureau of Land Management
Attn: James Cooper
Grand Junction Field Office
2815 H Rd
Grand Junction, CO 81506

Emails: Emails must be submitted by November 7. While not as effective as
letters, emails can also help make a difference. Send emails to:

james_cooper@co.blm.gov
 

TrailDale

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#9
If (and only if) you are an IMBA member or a mountain biker, here's IMBA's executive director's e-mail:
Tim Blumenthal
tim@imba.com

Let him know that as a mountain biker and a dirt bike rider, IMBA's attack on motorized recreation is not acceptable.
 
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#10
Originally posted by mx547
remember kdx, they can say the same negative, stereotypical things about us. what matters is not our differences but that we need to be working together.
yes they can however these are the "greenies" we are talking about that regardless how wrong they are will continue to fight motorized recreation no matter what.working with them will only support their primary and secondary agenda. to GET US OUT OF THEIR FOREST.dont give an inch it's a very slippery slope.
 

altagirl

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#11
Further information from USA-ALL on this topic:

Dear Connie,
Teresa Combe from the BlueRibbon Coalition forwarded me your email.

I am familiar with the North Fruita Desert Plan. I used to live in Grand Junction and have enjoyed the 18 Road area on both dirt bikes and mountainbikes. I've also followed the planning process since the beginning.

It's interesting, I think, that the IMBA alert seems to parrot an alert sent out by the Colorado Mountain Club and the Colorado Environmental Coalition. I wonder if IMBA didn't "cut and paste" their alert from the original alert sent by the CMC. That's just a guess, I don't have any way to really know.

The IMBA alert contained several factual errors. Most importantly, IMBA's assertion that the plan expands motorized use is an outrageous lie. Under the existing plan, over 90% is limited to existing roads and trails. The new plan further limits travel to designated trails and includes substantial road and trail closures. I urge you to download and examine the preferred alternative in detail. I think you will agree that it represents a fair balance. http://www.co.blm.gov/gjra/NFD-PDFlinks.htm

Rest assured that the motorized community is involved in this plan. The Draft Plan was painstakingly formulated with the input of all stakeholders, including mountainbike community, equestrians, OHV users, cattlemen, local search and rescue and adjacent communities. The Plan has been approved by the BLM's Resource Advisory Council. It provides exclusive areas for hikers and horseback riders as well as exclusive areas for mountainbikers. It also allows for proper management of the dispersed camping associated with the tens of thousands of visitors the area receives every year. Of course, you won't learn about these important provisions in IMBA's alert.

Sadly, some individuals seem to believe it is in their best interest to foment dissent among public lands visitors. These people rely on misinformation, lies and hyperbole to advance their own agenda.

I encourage you as an IMBA member to voice your concern about this issue and to express concerns about IMBA's apparent intent to promote intolerance among public lands visitors. I also encourage you to vote for IMBA leadership that best represents your interests. If you feel IMBA does not represent your interests there are alternatives available. For example, a relatively new organization called MTB Access may provide credible leadership for the mountainbike community. You can learn more about MTB Access at: http://www.mtbaccess.com

Thanks for your involvement. Feel free to contact me if you need any information or have any ideas of how mountainbikers and OHV users can work together. I'll keep you informed of any updates.

Brian Hawthorne
Utah Shared Access Alliance
 

jboomer

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#12
Very nice! We need people like this "in the know". It's good to know that there's someone out there WITHOUT an agenda.
 
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#13
Originally posted by TrailDale
I just received this (see below) from IMBA (International Mountain Bike Association) - It pains me because my second job involves designing an building mountain bike trail systems, and I personally know and work closely with the staff at IMBA - but when they clearly attack motorized recreation - that's going too far.

What really ticks me off is that IMBA is using the same tired arguments (impacting a sensative environment) that is always used against mountain bikers, to attack motorized recreation. Bunch of hypocrits!
Are the impacts, especially in a "fragile" desert area, from mountain bikes and motos the same, or different?