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Wilderness Alert 08/24/02
(updated 01/12/04)

Our goal is to defeat this bill!
Senator Boxer resorts to fraud!


Since we first broke this story in August of 2002 about the "Mountain Bikers For Wilderness" organization being a fraud Senator Boxer continued to imply on her web site (up until the fall of 2003) that IMBA "Chapters" and the majority of California mountain bikers had endorsed her wilderness bill.

Senator Boxer's web site also carried the endorsement: "Mountain Bikers Announce Support For California Wild Heritage Act."

Sometime after we exposed this organization as a front for wilderness proponents they posted a message on their web site that it was being "updated."

Senator Boxer's web site dropped the endorsement from the "Mountain Biker's for Wilderness" organization in fall of 2003.

The web site for the "Mountain Biker's For Wilderness" organization was www.mb4w.org - but the link is no longer active.

Sound suspicious?

We have a part of a column from the San Francisco Chronicle on our web site, written by Tom Stienstra, who used information from this so-called organization in his article "MOUNTAIN BIKING GROUP WINS COUP". Click here to view the article and the update that exposed this fraud. Here is the information from this group that Tom Stienstra used in his story.

"In turn, several chapters of the International Mountain Biking Association have also announced support for the bill, including chapters in Placer and Nevada counties in Northern California, and Santa Barbara and San Diego counties in southern California."

Senator Boxer is continuing to perpetuate this deception by posting this endorsement on her web site with the statement "Mountain Bikers Announce Support For California Wild Heritage Act."

As anyone who is familiar with IMBA knows, IMBA does not have "chapters" they have affiliated clubs. There's no such thing as an IMBA "chapter." The clubs don't support the wilderness bill. How do I know? The presidents of these "IMBA chapters," I mean clubs, are members of the Warrior's Society.

This is a deliberate attempt by Boxer and her wilderness supporters to fool the public into thinking IMBA and the majority of California mountain biker's support the wilderness bill.

When our Santa Monica representative, Jennifer Klausner, first received the press release from an aide to Senator Boxer in late July, we emailed them at the address provided (mb4wletter@hotmail.com), and asked them to prove that the San Diego and Santa Barbara "chapters" of IMBA support the wilderness bill by sending out a statement from the presidents of these clubs, Andy Darragh (San Diego Mountain Bike Association) and Chuck Anderson (Santa Barbara Mountain Bike Trail Volunteers).

If you notice, their names aren't on the pro-wilderness petition on their web site.

But it doesn't stop there. In an attempt to add legitimacy to the press release they quoted a representative from one of IMBA's corporate sponsors, Patagonia, who were only too willing to take part in this fraud.

Want proof? Read this statement from the "Mountain Bikers For Wilderness" press release:

"Senator Boxer's Wilderness bill (S 2535) gives mountain bikers access to their favorite trails, and protects important threatened wild places," said John Sterling, Director of Environmental Programs at Patagonia, Inc. "As a company that both makes mountain biking products and employs avid mountain bikers, we fully support S 2535 - it's a balanced and fair proposal."

Our researcher did speak at length with John Sterling at Patagonia to confirm this statement. Those quotes on the MB4W press release are his. He is also on the board of the California Wilderness Commission. Patagonia's mission is to "protect the wilderness" Their methods can be seen as zealous or terrorist depending on which side of the fence you are on. He admitted that the MB4W is a recent thing, a response to IMBA opposition to S 2535.

It is Patagonia's policy to support wilderness bills. Remember, wilderness advocates got only about a quarter of the land they originally wanted in this bill, and I guarantee that in future bills they will continue to seek these areas and others. They will not be satisfied. Many of these areas do not qualify for wilderness but they have continued to change the definition of wilderness to the point where any area is wilderness if they think it is, not if it meets the original requirements of the wilderness bill.

Since it is Patagonia's policy to support wilderness bills, it would have endorsed the bill even if all the original proposed wilderness areas were in it, which would have been devastating to mountain biking in the National Forests. It would have resulted in the loss of 99 percent of our riding areas here in Orange County. The San Juan Trail would have been but a memory to the mountain bike community, along with many other well known trails in the National Forest.

Patagonia is a corporate sponsor if IMBA while at the same time it supports legislation that would be devastating to its members. As I mentioned, it is Patagonia's policy to support every wilderness bill no matter how mountain bikers are affected. With friends like this who needs enemies?

Several of our researchers provided the following info on who was behind the group, "Mountain Bikers for Wilderness."

1. "Mountain Biker's For Wilderness" is a "new" organization. The group claims to be mountain bikers, but they are actually rafters and kayakers that want the Wild and Scenic Rivers designations passed. We found this out by the meta tags in their web page html code. These are used by search engines to help locate web. References to paddling were in these codes.

The keywords on this web page are:

<META NAME="KEYWORDS" CONTENT="Mountain Bikers for Wilderness, MB4W, Mountain Bikers 4 Wilderness, California Wilderness, Friends of the River">

which shows that it has a Friends of the River connection. You can expect this text to be dropped in the future.

The domain name is registered to Don Massie of Chico who registered the site a week before the press release was made public.

A little more on Don Massie: He's listed on the adobe acrobat document listing the attendees at a public meeting. He is listed as representing the Chico Paddleheads.

Chico Paddleheads axe to grind is apparently to stop the hydro dams on the rivers N. Fork Feather River

2. "Mountain Biker's For Wilderness is not an IMBA affiliated club, although now that we have exposed them that may change in the near future. We, as true mountain bike activists, haven't stooped to the level of starting a sham club of kayakers to get press and sway those that aren't in the know. Instead, we chose to fight our battles on the merit of a bill that eliminates miles of mountain bike trails and is bad for cycling as a whole.

These types of tactics and corrupt methods used by Senator Boxer and her supporter's shows her desperation. This is something to remember when Senator Boxer comes up for re-election in 2 years.

In an email sent to the Warrior's Society on August 23rd, Jim Hasenauer of IMBA wrote:

"I agree, we need to confront Boxer and the CWHC campaign to tell them Mountain Bicyclists are not supporting bill yet.

The Mountain Bikers for Wilderness are certainly entitled to their opinion, but they are not representative of the mountain bike community.

The four IMBA clubs that are identified as chapters (minor misstatement) endorsed proposed wilderness in their areas after negotiating bicyclist priorities. They did not endorse the bill (major misstatement)."

Jim is very gracious in describing this fraudulent press release by Boxer and her supporters as "misstatements" instead of what they are, an attempt to deceive the mountain bike community as well as the general public. If nothing else, IMBA should realize by this fraud perpetrated by Boxer and her supporters that they will stoop to any level of lies to get this wilderness bill passed.

Let this be a lesson to the mountain bike community that the wilderness advocates will not rest until they get all the designations they originally wanted, if not now, in the future. Whether an area qualifies for wilderness or not, they will seek this designation to the detriment of sound forest policy and at the expense of our ability to prevent the fires devastating our forests - as well as the recreational access of the public.

Other alternative designations should be considered instead of the Wilderness Designation.

We are thankful that our other California Senator, Diane Feinstein, has taken no stance on Boxer's California Wilderness Bill. She has voiced her concerns about the effects this bill will have on fire prevention and fighting, rural counties, and recreational access. The corrupt tactics of Senator Boxer and wilderness proponents should also cause her concern.

To read Tom Stienstra's story in which he writes a clarification on this article and exposes the Mountain Biker's For Wilderness click here

What actions should you take?


In November vote for candidates that support rational management policies


Oppose the Wilderness bill


Vote Senator Boxer out of office in two years


Boycott Patagonia and let them know your feelings regarding their participation in the "Mountain Biker's For Wilderness" fraud


Senator Feinstein has not yet endorsed the bill and is concerned about not only our access but also the economic effects this bill would have. The first action you can take is to contact U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein. Senator Feinstein's support is crucial to the advancement of Senator Boxer's bill. Senator Feinstein is carefully examining the proposal and is listening to her constituency. The time to influence her is now!

Due to security concerns, mailed letters are not the best way to convey your concerns. It takes as much as a month between mailing and the opening of a letter by congressional staff. Please send a fax or place a telephone call, then follow with a mailed letter.

PLEASE FAX YOUR LETTERS with the subject line: Oppose Wilderness Bill

Honorable Senator Feinstein
One Post St., #2450
San Francisco, CA 94104

Phone: (415) 393-0707
Fax: (619) 231-1108
Fax: (310) 914-7318
Fax: (415) 989-3242
Fax: (202) 228-3954
Fax: (559) 485-9689

Fax a copy of your message to Senator Boxer.

Honorable Senator Boxer
1700 Montgomery St., #240
San Francisco, CA 94111

Phone: (415) 403-0100
Fax: (213) 894-5012
Fax: (909) 888-8613
Fax: (619) 239-5719
Fax: (559) 497-5111
Fax: (415) 956-6701
Fax: (916) 448-2563

If You Can Do More...

WRITE A HOUSE SPONSOR OF THE BILL -- U.S. Representative Mike Thompson (D-CA) will introduce companion bills in the House for northern California and U.S. Representative Hilda Solis (D-CA) will do the same for southern California. They, too, are examining the details of Senator Boxer's proposal. Fax your letter to:

Honorable Mike Thompson
119 Cannon House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0501

Fax: (202) 225-4335
Phone: (202) 225-3311

Honorable Hilda Solis
1641 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515-0531

Fax: (202) 225-5467
Phone: (202) 225-5464

WRITE YOUR CONGRESSPERSON -- Find the name and address of your member of Congress. Ask your member to speak to Representatives Thompson and Solis about bicycling and the Wilderness bill.

WRITE YOUR LOCAL NEWSPAPER -- Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper. Learn the address of your local paper.

Messages to television and radio stations, web news sources and discussion groups are also appropriate. Letters to media should be short -- around 200 words. Reasoned discussion is always preferable to inflamed rhetoric. The goal is to persuade others, not to yell.


* State your concern that some of California's best trails will be closed to bikes through Wilderness designations. If you have specific knowledge of areas in Senator Boxer's proposal that overlap great riding, provide that information.

* Mountain bikers support conservation and would support alternative designations such as the Backcountry Designation http://www.sharetrails.org/backcountry.htm

* California is the birthplace of mountain biking and home to 2.5 million off-road cycling enthusiasts. We are an important constituency that generates millions of tourism dollars for the state of California. Bicycling adds more than $2 billion annually to the state's economy.

* Citizens need detailed maps of all proposed Wilderness areas to carefully examine this geographically based proposal.


To pass, this bill must go through a committee process in the Senate, then a vote of the full Senate. The bill must go through a similar process in the House of Representatives. Once both bills make it through their respective chambers, they must then go to a conference committee to iron out the differences. If the bill doesn't pass by November, the entire process must start again next year.

The wilderness bill is part of a bigger plan called the Wildlands Project, which seeks to put 50 percent of the United States under the same restrictions or more severe restriction than the Wilderness Act. We will have more information on the Wildlands project in the second part of our two part commentary "Do The Mainstream Environmental Organizations Deserve Your Blind Support?" We also have other examples of the corruption used to fool the public into adopting the more extreme policies of the environmental movement.

There are many other actions attempted to be taken that will affect our access and support the Wildlands Project. AB1130 The Sierra Nevada Conservancy Bill also being pushed by Senator Shelia Kuehl (D-Los Angeles) will also have an effect if it is enacted. This is part of the California Legacy campaign, also part of the Wildlands Project, being supported by the Wilderness supporters and their allies in State Government. The Sierra Nevada Conservancy will result in more closures for mountain bikers.

While held up last week from moving out of the Senate Resource & Wildlife Committee, it has been shoved into AB997, a bill dealing with stream bed alteration also authored by Dickerson.


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