Action Alert: |
Wednesday, July 11, 2001
BOA and IMBA encourage you to write to Representative Udall about Rogers Pass
A stunning, above timberline singletrack trail only 35 miles from Boulder is in danger of being closed. You can help save it. Here's how:
Representative Mark Udall introduced a bill in the U.S. Congress that would close the Rogers Pass Trail in Winter Park. He doesn't yet know how important
that trail is to mountain bikers. It's time to write him a letter saying you oppose his bill, and demonstrate to Rep. Udall that mountain bikers in his
district are paying attention. If we can convince Rep. Udall to make a boundary adjustment, it could set the stage for the creation of an epic loop ride.
Representative Udall has been working for several years to create a new Wilderness area around James Peak, along the Continental Divide south of Rollins
Pass. Because bicycling is prohibited in designated Wilderness, the International Mountain Bicycling Association and Boulder Offroad Alliance have carefully
analyzed the proposals and we have spoken with bicycling leaders in Boulder, Clear Creek and Grand counties. It appears that on the east side of the
Continental Divide there are no significant conflicts between the Wilderness proposal and bicycling -- that is, no trails popular for bicycling are located
in this area. We are ready to endorse that portion of this Wilderness proposal. Similarly, on the west side of the Divide, south of Jim Creek and Rogers Pass,
there appear to be no conflicts and bicycling leaders in Winter Park can endorse Wilderness there.
But Winter Park cyclists care very deeply about the Rogers Pass Trail, which would be closed in this proposal. The trail leads from the Rollins Pass Road up
to the Continental Divide at Rogers Pass. It's the last route above timberline open to bicycling in Grand County.
Rep. Udall's bill, HR1576, would declare the land around Rogers Pass a Wilderness Study Area. That means that the Forest Service must manage the land as
if it was a Wilderness, until Congress makes a final decision.
Rep. Udall could have avoided this conflict by proposing a boundary a few miles further south to not include Rogers Pass. Please write to him as soon as
possible and make the following points:
- Bicyclists are willing to endorse Wilderness on the east side and southwest side of his proposal.
- We must oppose HR1576 until he moves the boundary of the Wilderness or Wilderness Study Area further south, to not include Rogers Pass.
- If the Rogers Pass boundary is properly adjusted, the southwest side should be proposed for immediate Wilderness protection. It doesn't need study.
- Bicyclists who ride Rogers Pass Trail will respect Wilderness boundaries and signs.
Finally, here's an extra reason to write: If we get this worked out, we might eventually be able to create a trail open to bicycling along the Continental
Divide ridgeline from Rollins Pass to Rogers Pass. That, with the Rogers Pass Trail and Rollins Pass Road, would make an awesome loop ride. The trail would
need Forest Service approval. Wilderness status for Rogers Pass would preclude any possibility of the new mountain biking loop.
Please write Rep. Udall and ask him to change his bill to benefit bicycling. Unfortunately, emails don't work well for this type of lobbying.
Rep. Mark Udall
1723 Longworth Building
Washington, DC 20515
As always, if you have your own thoughts about the issue, please communicate those to Rep. Udall. And we'd like to know how you think too.