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When the President


When the President of the United States signed the Wilderness Act of 1964 he wasn't banning bicycles, wheelbarrows, and strollers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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When the President


When the President of the United States signed the Wilderness Act of 1964 he wasn't banning bicycles, wheelbarrows, and strollers.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Wilderness Act of 1964 was a beautiful thing. It protected our most precious lands and celebrated the recreational opportunities they would provide for generations to come. The Act made it clear that things with engines were bad, and living power sources like humans and horses were good. The Act didn’t ban bikes; that happened twenty years later.

The Sustainable Trails Coalition is a nonprofit working to reverse the ban on bicycles in Wilderness areas. However, just as we’re opposed to the blanket ban, we’re also opposed to a blanket permit. We ultimately believe the trails in our Wilderness areas need a big dose of cooperation, common sense, and repair; living power sources like hikers, cyclists, equestrians, cross country skiers, snowshoers, etc., need to get along, work together, and partner with land managers to decide what is in the best interest of each trail.

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The Bills


House and Senate Bills

The Bills


House and Senate Bills

House Bill

115TH CONGRESS
 

On March 3 2017,  Congressman McClintock from California introduced H.R. 1349.  

The bill, H.R. 1349, puts mountain bikers on the same footing as campers, hikers, hunters, and equestrians by restoring federal agency authority to set conditions on cyclists’ use of trails in Wilderness.

Senate Bill

114TH CONGRESS

Senator Mike Lee of Utah introduced the Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act, S.3205, on July 13, 2016 in the 114th Congress.

This modest reform will effectively revert the rules regarding bikes and Wilderness back to what they were from 1981 to 1984, when access was conditionally allowed.  This bill will reaffirm the original goal of Congress with the Wilderness Act which intended that non-motorized, unconfined recreation be allowed.

The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act also includes a section on maintenance that will allow the use of wheelbarrows and small scale motorized equipment (chainsaw), to insure that the trails in our Wilderness Areas are traversable.

We hope to have this bill reintroduced in the 115th Congress soon.

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Not an Open Permit


Reversing the ban ≠ an open permit.

Not an Open Permit


Reversing the ban ≠ an open permit.

Just as we're opposed to a blanket ban on bikes in wilderness areas, we're also opposed to a blanket permit.

Under existing rules, land managers have wide discretion and authority to restrict certain activities from certain areas at certain times.  So just as there are rules one where one can camp, when and where campfires are allowed, and where you can ride your horse, local land managers can allow, or restrict, cyclists as appropriate.

The bills we hope to see passed simply eliminate the blanket ban and return authority to the local land managers.

As a reminder to those who may not know the legislative history of the Wilderness Act, here is the original regulation that was enacted in 1966 to support the Wilderness Act, and how it addressed bicycles:

"Mechanical transport, as herein used, shall include any contrivance which travels over ground, snow, or water, on wheels, tracks, skids, or by floatation and is propelled by a nonliving power source contained or carried on or within the device."  

36 CFR § 293.6(a) (1973), formerly 36 CFR § 251.75 (1966)

Clearly bikes were originally allowed, and should never have been banned.  Please help us reverse this ban.