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!!!WILDERNESS ALERT!!!

Posted December 11th 2001

!!ATTENTION CALIFORNIA MOUNTAIN BIKERS!!

We have been hearing some disappointing reports concerning the tactics of the Wild Heritage Campaign and their push for additional wilderness areas:

From Monte Smetherman:

Hello to all! Here's a sample of how I see things in this mixed up political world. Martin Gomez forwarded me some very disturbing info on proposed wilderness in our area. He had maps that the Wild Heritage Campaign would not want us to see. Matter of fact, they refused to give them up on several different occasions.

This is what we are up against. A group funded by the Sierra Club, with a different name. I may suggest sending this person (Maribel) a note on how YOU feel. Anyway, Happy Holidays! By the way, similar proposals are out there throughout the state. There is something in EVERY single forest that surrounds us-Angeles, Cleveland, San Bernardino, and Los Padres. Don't let what happened to the Padres in 1992, happen again. Speak UP! Pass this on to more riding buddies so they may respond.

Areas Monte is concerned about:

1. The Sheep Mountain Extension would include the Stockton Flats area (already roaded), and the back fire road to Baldy Notch. There is a fire road up the backside few know of. It also would restrict access to Sheep Creek Road.

2. Pleasant View Wilderness-this would take away the Burkhart Trail, and the South Fork Trail. Additionally it would also include the Devil's Punchbowl Trail, which makes a nice loop out of the 3 mentioned. It also appears there would be some added area near Crystal Lake in the Windy Gap area.

3. Strawberry Peak-This would take away some of the finest trails: Strawberry Peak Trail, Condor Peak Trail, and Trail Canyon. All of these are surrounded by roads.

4. West Fork/Silver Mountain- I'm opposed as this area is surrounded by roads. As a matter of fact the roads are Hwy.39 to the East, Sawpit Truck Trail to the East, and the Rincon Red Box to the North. The area described contains an old road, which is now primitive. All of these areas have been cycled for years.

Please send Maribel an email and let her know you oppose wilderness designations in this area. Title your email "Opposed to proposed wilderness areas." Please list these areas Monte has mentioned above. Be courteous and state that you oppose any other designation that would ban mountain bikers from the forest.

Her email address is: maribel_juarez@boxer.senate.gov

Sample letter (Please personalize it!):

Senator Barbara Boxer
112 Senate Hart Office Building
Washington, DC 20510
(202) 224-3553

Senator@Boxer.Senate.Gov (more important to send snail-mail please!)

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Sample Letter (please personalize it)

Dear Madam/Sir:

As an avid bicyclist, I am concerned about proposals to designate the following areas in the San Gabriel Mountains in Southern California near Los Angeles as wilderness.

These areas offers cyclists and other outdoor enthusiasts unparalleled recreational opportunities. Bicyclists throughout Southern California use trails in these areas as a means to experience the Forest in a manner that is respectful of the environment and healthful.

Designation of these areas as wilderness would eliminate any and all such recreation:

1. The Sheep Mountain Extension would include the Stockton Flats area (already roaded), and the back fire road to Baldy Notch. There is a fire road up the backside few know of. It also would restrict access to Sheep Creek Road.

2. Pleasant View Wilderness-this would take away the Burkhart Trail, and the South Fork Trail. Additionally it would also include the Devil's Punchbowl Trail, which makes a nice loop out of the 3 mentioned. It also appears there would be some added area near Crystal Lake in the Windy Gap area.

3. Strawberry Peak-This would take away some of the finest trails: Strawberry Peak Trail, Condor Peak Trail, and Trail Canyon. All of these are surrounded by roads.

4. West Fork/Silver Mountain- I'm opposed as this area is surrounded by roads. As a matter of fact the roads are Hwy.39 to the East, Sawpit Truck Trail to the East, and the Rincon Red Box to the North. The area described contains an old road, which is now primitive. All of these areas have been cycled for years.

In addition to the loss of opportunities for cyclists, other users would suffer as well. Under the stewardship of the National Forest Service, local bicycle clubs have for years built and maintained trails at these locations for all to enjoy. This has helped prevent trail erosion and other hazards.

There are other designations and plans the federal government can enforce to protect these areas. These other strategies involve the benefit of environmental protection, without needlessly eliminating access to those who seek to enjoy the area.

Please do not limit access to these areas. It means a tremendous amount to visitors, including bicyclists.

Sincerely,

Also send a copy to:

Tim Blumenthal
IMBA
1121 Broadway Ste 203
P.O. Box 7578
Boulder, CO 80306

Click here for a list of all the wilderness alerts


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