Needless Access Restrictions
Outdated rules are keeping human-powered travelers from visiting some of America's best public lands, notably its Wilderness areas and National Scenic Trails. These restrictions reduce public support for conservation and put our public lands at needless risk of irrelevance, development, and motorized mass tourism. All of the images below are illegal in 108 million acres of the United States of America - a total area larger than the entire state of California.
The Huge Maintenance Deficit
The Pacific Crest Trail, the Continental Divide Trail, and similarly majestic trails in our nation's Wilderness areas are our country's pride and joy, but they are in serious disrepair. According to the U.S. Government Accountability Office, the U.S. Forest Service can maintain only about 25 percent of its trail mileage! According to that same GAO study, they recommend improving the sustainability of our trails as well as improving the collaboration with volunteers to maintain our trails.
Under current rules, federal land managers cannot use tools as basic as a wheelbarrow or a chainsaw to maintain Wilderness trails. As a result, it's too costly to maintain them and they have deteriorated like our national highway system. Compound these facts with the heavy use certain areas receive, the legislation that was intended to protect our lands is preventing them from being repaired and as a result is becoming an environmental problem and safety issue for all visitors.