The Voices of 10,000 Mountain Biker's Heard in D.C.!|
Pete Webber, IMBA
Monday, February 19, 2001
After receiving more than 10,000 comment letters from mountain bikers in 30 days, the Bureau of Land Management has decided not to group mountain bikes with motorized vehicles in a controversial new management plan. The BLM's OHV Strategy, made official January 19th (the final day of the Clinton Administration), calls for a separate plan to manage mountain bikes.
"This change is exactly what we want," said International Mountain Bicycling Association executive director Tim Blumenthal. "Mountain bikers spoke and the BLM listened."
A draft of the National Off-Highway Vehicle Management Strategy was released Dec. 4 for public comment. The plan surprisingly included mountain biking.
IMBA mobilized an effective mountain biker response by alerting its membership through broadcast emails and website updates, hand-delivering an official comment letter to senior BLM officials in Washington D.C., and focusing media attention on this important issue.
"The success of our effort proves that mountain bikers are a powerful group whose opinions can shape national policy," said Blumenthal. "This is a milestone for mountain biking."
IMBA was concerned that the BLM's plan to link mountain biking and motorized policies would have led to unwarranted access restrictions and served as a negative precedent.
The BLM and IMBA will continue to work together to promote responsible mountain biking through education, volunteer trailwork and other joint projects.
The BLM, which manages 264-million acres of U.S. public land, is the world's largest land management agency.
IMBA is an international non-profit mountain biking group with 32,000 individual members and more than 400 affiliated clubs dedicated to bringing out the best in mountain biking.
The final version of the BLM's strategy is available at www.blm.gov
For more information on issues related to trail access, start by becoming a member of the International Mountain Bike Association! Click here for details JOIN IMBA .