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IMBA FINALLY Takes Action
12/09/02

IMBA has sent out an alert asking mountain bikers to contact California Senator Feinstein regarding Senator Barbara Boxer's (D) Calif. Wilderness Bill. We have been asking our supporters over the past couple months to contact Senator Feinstein regarding Boxer's Wilderness Bill and also on other issues critical to mountain bikers.

While IMBA considers appeasement to be their greatest weapon in dealing with Senator Boxer and her wilderness supporters - we feel this course is a critical mistake and mountain bikers are paying for it. Boxer's and the Sierra Club's treatment of IMBA has proven this with the Mountain Bikers for Wilderness fraud.

Boxer's treatment of IMBA was also written about in Richard Cunningham's December 2002 column in Mountain Bike Action:

"The resilience title goes to IMBA which was slapped in the face by California Senator Barbara Boxer's people. Apparently Boxer's group feigned a good faith effort to work with IMBA representatives to preserve important mountain bike routes contained within her sweeping wilderness legislation. After IMBA called upon its members to support Boxer, the bill was released without a trace of compromise."

Mike Ferrentino of Bike Magazine (Oct. 2002 issue, page 82) had another take on the results of the IMBA compromise in Nevada County with Boxer's Wilderness advocates:

"...At the end of July, John Gardiner, California's newest IMBA state rep, announced, '[W]e have finally reached a reasonable compromise regarding the Wilderness/bicycle conflict...In the event that this Wilderness bill passes Congress, we would have access to all trails in the Grouse Ridge area with the exception of Sand Ridge trail, Beyers Lake Trail and the northernmost tip of the Grouse Ridge Trail north of the intersection with the Lindsey Lakes trail (near Sawmill Lake).'

Basically, this move restricts mountain bike access in the Grouse Ridge area to two out-and-back rides, one smallish loop route and nothing else. And the hikers would still be able to park right at the Feely Lake entrance and go off wherever they want. And they can keep on doing that if this becomes 'Wilderness. ' I never really expected 'victory' to feel this much like getting bent over and reamed, but hey, you learn something new every day..."

IMBA has finally made some changes due to pressure from supporters to become more aggressive in protecting mountain biker's access and has finally created a legal fund to fight closure lawsuits and has also created an active response system for their alerts.

We still believe IMBA is relying too much on appeasement to fight this wilderness bill and we ask you to use the technology they provide and email our suggested letter, which includes support for Senator Feinstein's efforts to pass her version of the Healthy Forests Initiative.

After sending this email you will access IMBA's web site. We suggest you email them from their site and suggest they become more aggressive in protecting mountain biker's access.

You will receive a thank you from IMBA after sending your email. We thank you in advance.

We thank IMBA and hope they continue to abandon their policy of appeasement and take more forceful actions to protect recreational access in the future. They must realize that it is in the mountain bike community's best interest to align with other recreational users and organizations such as the BRC (www.sharetrails.org), which represents a wide range of recreational interests. There is power in numbers.

Standing alone and relying on the benevolence of Boxer and the mainstream environmental organizations will only result in the loss of more areas to mountain biking.

Click here for a list of problematic areas in Senator Boxer's bill and IMBA's position. They welcome your input and comments on the areas identified.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, any copyrighted work in this message is distributed under fair use without profit or payment for non-profit research and educational purposes only. [Ref. www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml]

Click here for a list of all the wilderness alerts


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