Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Democratic Underground

See also The Mexicans love me!

And Donald Trump Fleeing to Mexico, But Will Probably Return: "Like many desperate Americans who have run out of options, Donald Trump is fleeing to Mexico..."


Bikes in the wilderness: "A terrible idea"

This New York Times article notes that a bill (S. 3205) is pending in Congress to allow mountain bikes in federally-designated wilderness areas. In short, the bill is a terrible idea.

First, on the merits, allowing mountain bikes into wilderness areas has the potential for significant impacts both on other humans using wilderness, and on the species and ecosystems in wilderness areas. Many users of wilderness areas enjoy those areas precisely because they are refuges from the speed and noise of modern transportation technologies---including mountain bikes. (I say this as someone who enjoys both hiking and mountain biking.) And while it is true that all human users of wilderness have impacts on the species and ecosystems in wilderness areas---even hikers cause erosion and disturb animals---mountain bikes allow people to move faster and farther into wilderness areas, and mountain bikes produce significant erosion problems (especially if trail maintenance is not increased to keep up with the increased use).

Second, the changes proposed would apply by default to all trails in all wilderness areas, unless land managers explicitly decide to exclude bicycles. The bill would make it a presumption that the use of mountain bikes in wilderness areas is consistent with wilderness character, and requires the accommodation of mountain bikes on all trails “to the maximum extent practicable.” This is a thumb on the scale in favor of human use in wilderness areas that is inconsistent with the Wilderness Act as a whole---an Act that tends to weigh against human development and the use of technology in wilderness areas...

Rob's comment:
Considering how mountain bikers have trashed open space in Marin County, allowing these vandals in wilderness areas is a shockingly dumb idea.

See No Bikes in Wilderness. Period.

See also this.

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