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This is not just a fantasy question anymore. The Forest Service has agreed to revisit the issue in 2013

MTBers can educate themselves and organize around opening the PCT to mountain bikes here: http://www.sharingthepct.org/

The Pacific Crest Trail Association's mission is to protect the trail for hikers and equestrians only.  

The PCTA needs to join forces with the MTB community and lobby for trail funding together. 

It has been said that the closure to mountain 
bikes was done without required public input. In 2013 MTBers will have a chance for their collective voice to be heard. 


We, in Big Bear, think that there is no reason that a such fantastic trail should go to waste. The fact of the matter is that 10 months out of the year the PCT, in Big Bear area, goes mostly untraveled. We can't speak for other areas, but in Big Bear there are few issues between mountain bikes and hikers since our trails are just not very heavily used. 

Every year 500-1000 "thru hikers" attempt to backpack from Mexico to Canada on the Pacific Crest Trail. These adventurers should be able to enjoy the trail undisturbed as they have for decades. Already riding the PCT during that time is a local taboo among local MTBers. 


At the same time, the trail could maximize its value as a public enjoyment by serving mountain bikers and day hikers the rest of the year just like any other shared trail. 

How about giving each Forest Service jurisdiction the ability to set the rules for their specific section of the Pacific Crest Trail? 
There is a ideal window of time for PCT  thru-hikers to beat the So. Cal. Desert heat and yet not arrive in the Sierras before the snow has melted. This means that a "herd" of hundreds of thru-hikers passes through Big Bear in May. If no bikes where allowed on the trail between April 15 and June 15 in the Big Bear area this would allow hundreds of thru-hikers peaceful passage through Big Bear Valley. It would also allow hundreds of responsible nature loving mountain bikers to enjoy the otherwise empty trail the rest of the year. 

Trail enthusiasts, including hikers, equestrians, and bike riders, will all benefit from working together as a unified lobby for trail preservation, funding, and access. As the PCTA looks toward lobbying in Washington for money for trail corridor preservation, it would be nice to be able to point toward increased trail usage and cooperation among all types of trail users. The PCTA could benefit by the added lobby of mountain bike associations. 











 From the PCTA

"Trails for America" formed the basis for the original language of what was to become the National Trails System Act. Passed by Congress on October 2, 1968, the Act called for the creation of"national scenic trails which will be extended trails so located as to provide for maximum outdoor recreation potential and for the conservation and enjoyment of the nationally significant scenic, historic, natural, or cultural qualities of the areas though which such trails may pass."

However, in acknowledging the concerns of resource extractors and land developers, Congress significantly altered the suggested language in relation to the way the trail would influence the management of adjacent lands, ". . in selecting the rights-of-way, full consideration shall be given to minimizing the adverse effects upon the adjacent landowner or user and his operation. Development and management of each segment of the National Trails System shall be designed to harmonize with and complement any established multiple-use plans for the specific area in order to ensure continued maximum benefits from the land."

 The Pacific Crest and Appalachian were the nation's first National Scenic Trails.

The Act gave the USDA Forest Service management responsibility for the Pacific Crest Trail. A Pacific Crest National Scenic Trail Advisory Council, representing a diverse group of trail users, but dominated by land managers and private land owners, developed and recommended for approval the "Pacific Crest Trail Guide for Location, Design and Management" based on the language of the Act.

Read more at PCTA.org

All mountain bike riders need to stay informed and make their voice heard when the time for public input. 
Facebook seems to be the center of action. 
https://www.facebook.com/SharingThePct (Make sure to like the page and stay informed)

- MountainBikeBigBear.com

RELATED ISSUES: 

Whether designated Wilderness areas should be restricted for bicycles is another issue for another time. You can read more about that here: 

See this law review article:Legal Analysis of the Wilderness Act | International Mountain Bicycling Association

BTW....If you ride, don't you think you should join IMBA.. 
 


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