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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I really don't want to see any trails lost in this state, and the impending wilderness bill is the same BS dealt with in SoCal.

I am iterating what the state rep wrote about 2 weeks ago. Just take a sec and write a letter then paste it into his web form here: http://www.house.gov/simpson/emailme.shtml
Make sure you fill out the contact info for them.

If you got the ad in ID outdoors 7/15 then you have all this.

Thanks a lot, really!

(My letter)

Congressman Simpson,

I am a mountain biker interested in the legislation you are preparing to introduce to designate 250,000 acres of wilderness in the Boulder-White Clouds region of central Idaho.

Thank you for protecting this land from development and resource extraction.

To achieve your goals, I am hoping you would consider working with cyclists and their organizations to address trail concerns, access and use, prior to introduction of the legislation.

I would say most cyclist do want to support and help pass your bill; however, only if there is no net loss of trails. I understand that congress has successfully used other designations, such as protection areas, improved national conservation areas, and non-wilderness trail corridors within a wilderness designation.

I moved to Boise from Southern California where I began this incredible sport of mountain biking around 1998. Although I have not yet ridden in central Idaho, (yet) I am aware of what a unique area it is. I am hoping innovative solutions can be used to both protect these lands, while allowing full use of existing trails for biking and hiking (no net loss of trails). Then, cyclists could support your bill 100%.

I read a respected study shown to me by the state rep in Idaho for IMBA, that concluded that the impacts of mountain biking on designated trails is low impact (similar to hiking), when we ride existing trails and respect the trails (such as not riding on them when they are wet). In addition we support local economies of the places we travel to ride. For example, we spend money for gas, food, hotels, motels, and cabins, bike shops, clothing, touring companies. And, of course, these people go and spend their money into the local economy regularly.

Please do what you can to help us achieve the goals you have set out while also protecting end ensuring our access to all the trails. After all, what good is a wilderness designation if we cannot hike and bike there?

Respectfully,

Daryl King
 

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White Cloud good idea

"I really don't want to see any trails lost in this state, and the impending wilderness bill is the same BS dealt with in SoCal."

I am going to have to disagree with you on this issue. There has been compromise after compromise when it comes to the White Cloud Boulder Wilderness Area. I agree that keeping trails open is an important issue but this is not the time or place to stop this Wilderness Bill.

If you get a map with all the trails that will remain open you will see that most of the rideable trails that have traditionally been done by mtn bikers are still open. Warmsprings and others will remain open for your use. They are open because of compromises that were made dating back decades.

Chris Cook as developed a list of trails that he contends will be lost. First his mileage is over-estimated. Having worked for 13 years as a river guide out of Stanley and hiked a most of the White Clouds, I can tell you that most of the trails Chris has listed are as much hike-a-bike as riding. They are something to do once but you probably won't want to ride them again. The question is whether it is worth kill the Wilderness Bill over trails that a couple of dozen people may ride in a year.

It seems short sided and selfish for mtn bikes not to protect an area that is one of Idaho's true gems. We then turn around and want to exclude motorcycles for some of the public lands in Owyhee County for our personal use. We can't have it both ways. We are truly for protection of resources or we are nothing but self-serving.

I appreciate the hard work IMBA does on trail maintenance and development, but they are misguided on this issue. Their time would be better spent on trail maintenance and development in the Smokies and Sea Foam area. There already more miles of trail in those two areas that are excellent riding than will be lost by this Wilderness Bill.

Don't believe everything you get out of IMBA.

Happy trails
 

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Wandervans
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The Boulder-Whiteclouds are very rideable! Keep them open!

Irishbuddha said:
If you get a map with all the trails that will remain open you will see that most of the rideable trails that have traditionally been done by mtn bikers are still open. Warmsprings and others will remain open for your use. They are open because of compromises that were made dating back decades.
I have a copy of the wilderness proposal and there is also one on the Congressmen's website. You will find that the Warmsprings trail is almost in it's entirely closed. This trail is very rideable. Check out these pictures from last year, and based on the wilderness proposal you would not be able to do either of these rides. The trails closed that would make this ride closed to bikes would be 4th of July and Warm Springs.

https://www.trailwize.com/imbavisitbwc/imba_visit.htm

Then last labor day I rode to the saddle right below Castle Peak, I even brought someone along who had been riding for just one year so I imagine everyone on this list could easily ride this trail. The trail closed would be little boulder to chamberlin basin. You can look at pictures from this trip here:

https://www.trailwize.com/frogcastlecamp/frogcastlecamp.htm

I would not be allowed to be here with my dog if it is designated wilderness.


Plus I would not be able to ride from the Bowery Guard Station up the West Fork of the East Fork of the Salmon to Grand Prize. Sorry no pictures from this ride!

This is my favorite area to ride in Idaho because it is scenic and unique, you can not compare the pioneers and the Smokeys to the oportunities that could be lost in the Boulder-Whiteclouds.

Maybe Mr. Budda should ride some of these trails before he passes judgement, and when was the last time Mr. Budda was in the Whiteclouds. I was just there at the beginning of July.

Chris
 

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Politically Incorrect
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I sent a letter to Rep. Simpson. Although I am also not sure this is THE time and place to object to a Wilderness designation, I am concerned that if we don't speak up now, when it really does matter it may be too late. I have a feeling that the Boulder-White Clouds proposal is largely a done deal, and the public meetings are a nice dog and pony show.

That being said, I also feel that the letters and emails we send now expressing the mountain bikers view on Wilderness may be taken into consideration on the next proposal down the pipe, if not this one. Once an area has been declared as Wilderness, there will be no going back. We need to make sure that all sides of the issue can heard, lest the proponents of more Wilderness see the lack of opposition as the general publics approval of the continual creation of more and more Wilderness.
 

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I kind of agree with mtnbkrdr98.

From the letter, it sound like he wants the area protected from development, logging, mining, etc., but not to be as restricted as a wilderness would be. I can completely agree with that opinion. Since the impact of bike is minimal (less than horses in my experience, but that is a whole different story), there would be no need to place that level of designation and protection on it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I think we can have it both ways, actually

[QUOTE=Irishbuddha"We can't have it both ways. We are truly for protection of resources or we are nothing but self-serving."

This is what Chris Vargas of the Warriors Society says:

The NEPA (National Environmental Policy Act of 1969) process offers protection. The purposes of this Act are: To declare a national policy which will encourage productive and enjoyable harmony between man and his environment; to promote efforts which will prevent or eliminate damage to the environment and biosphere and stimulate the health and welfare of man; to enrich the understanding of the ecological systems and natural resources important to the Nation; and to establish a Council on Environmental Quality. and the ESA.

4. The ESA (Endangered Species Act of 1973) offers protection. Section 2 of the act states in part "The Congress finds and declares that-

(1) various species of fish, wildlife, and plants in the United States have been rendered extinct as a consequence of economic growth and development untempered by adequate concern and conservation;

(2) other species of fish, wildlife, and plants have been so depleted in numbers that they are in danger of or threatened with extinction;

(3) these species of fish, wildlife, and plants are of aesthetic, ecological, educational, historical, recreational, and scientific value to the Nation and its people;

(4) the United States has pledged itself as a sovereign state in the international community to conserve to the extent practicable the various species of fish or wildlife and plants facing extinction..."

5. The Clean Water Act also offers protection. Growing public awareness and concern for controlling water pollution led to enactment of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act Amendments of 1972. As amended in 1977, this law became commonly known as the Clean Water Act. The Act established the basic structure for regulating discharges of pollutants into the waters of the United States. It gave EPA the authority to implement pollution control programs such as setting wastewater standards for industry. The Clean Water Act also continued requirements to set water quality standards for all contaminants in surface waters. The Act made it unlawful for any person to discharge any pollutant from a point source into navigable waters, unless a permit was obtained under its provisions. It also funded the construction of sewage treatment plants under the construction grants program and recognized the need for planning to address the critical problems posed by nonpoint source pollution.
 

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Wandervans
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To add on to earlier

Irishbuddha said:
The question is whether it is worth kill the Wilderness Bill over trails that a couple of dozen people may ride in a year.
Here is the recreation statistics for the BWC it is a couple more than a dozen. Unfortunatly it does not differentiate which trails people rode on, just the trailheads.

Trailhead / No. Visitors / Hiking/ Riding Stock/ Pack Stock/ Mtn. Bikes

Grand Prize 195 34 12 1 14
Champion Cr. Cutoff 127 127
Three Cabins 256 114 2 0 29
Washington Basin 134 118 6

Champion Creek 248 173 75 60
Fourth of July Creek 2553 2377 75 48 96
Fischer Creek 1817 44 1 4 1746
Fischer Creek Lower 351 10 3 1 300
Williams Cr 154 25 0 0 93
Boundry Cr 409 250 54 8 46
Rough Creek 232 210 11 11 5
Livingston Mill 925 671 55 38 61
Little Boulder Cr. 315 213 17 10 37
Bowery 101 83 0 0 10
West Pass Cr. 87 62 2 2 6

total 7904 4511 307 183 2449

Irishbuddha said:
It seems short sided and selfish for mtn bikes not to protect an area that is one of Idaho's true gems. We then turn around and want to exclude motorcycles for some of the public lands in Owyhee County for our personal use. We can't have it both ways. We are truly for protection of resources or we are nothing but self-serving.
Exluding motorcycles from one specific area is nothing new. The non-motorized area in the Owyhees is only 30,000 acres while the motorized area is 300,000 acres on the owyhee front. This seems like a very fair deal for the motorized community, and the local motorcycle clubs have not shown any large objections to the plan.

In the BWC widerness proposal there is only one motorcyle trail that will be closed. While non of the trails currently open to Mountain Bikes and closed to motorcyles would be kept open upsetting the balance of non-motorized and motorized trails. Addionally the motorcyclist are getting $1 million dollars for 12 miles of trails, while the loss of 73 miles of trail seems to mean nothing since mountain bikers are not getting a dime in the current proposal.

We can protect the resources and still allow mountain biking, we could simply expand the SNRA to include the remaining portions of the Boulder Mountains. Wilderness is not the only tool to protect the BWC.

Chris
 

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"Exluding motorcycles from one specific area is nothing new. The non-motorized area in the Owyhees is only 30,000 acres while the motorized area is 300,000 acres on the owyhee front. This seems like a very fair deal for the motorized community, and the local motorcycle clubs have not shown any large objections to the plan."

Chris[/QUOTE]

Chris,

Thanks for making my point. This Wilderness Proposal is about compromise and "nothing new." There are still cooridors for mountian bike and motorcycles. There is also the added bonus of not having to step in cow pies while enjoying watching the goats near Castle Peak. I am with you on what a bummer it is that we are going to miss out on some great rides. I will always fondly remember the Boundry Creek trail to Warm Springs and out Fisher Creek. I will also fondly remember riding my moutain bike with my mom and dad along fisher creek and spraying each other with cow pies.

This proposal will along way to protect one of Idaho's great gems from mining, logging, ect. It has been decades in the development by several individuals that are avid mtn bikers! We all have to give a little to get a little. The real issue is the exclusion of "mechanic" from Wilderness areas. I would whole heartly support you in changing the Wilderness Act. It is a tall order but the words can be changed to "motorized" if enough people will go after it.

Your approach of just say "no" didn't work for Nancy Reagan and it isn't going to work in Idaho. If we say "no" to the Wilderness Protection because the mtn bikers weren't willing to compromise, why should the horse back riders let us ride in the non-motorized area of the Owyhee. Why should the motorcycle riders in the Stanley Basin that keep some great trails open be friendly to mtn bikers. While we are at it, why don't we take a step back in time and have shoot outs - that sure made sense.

This proposal has been decades in the development and it makes no sense to kill something at the last minute because you are unwilling to share. I wish you had been here decades ago to be fully involved in the development but you weren't.

This is the concept that I have been trying to rely to you. Being in Idaho is about share, enjoying in the adventure and getting out to find new stuff. Yes, we lost a couple of great rides but if you buy some hiking boots you can enjoy them at a different pace and one they deserve.

You can also spend your time finding new areas. Poke around the Stanley Basin and you might be surpised at some of the hidden areas, look around Hope, Idaho and Priest Lake. You haven't been here long enough to say there aren't trails equal to those in the White Clouds.

Again we agree but in different degrees! ;)

Mike e.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
What is your involvement in this plan

Irishbuddha said:
"This proposal has been decades in the development and it makes no sense to kill something at the last minute because you are unwilling to share. I wish you had been here decades ago to be fully involved in the development but you weren't.
."
Mike

no disrespect meant but you seem to have a tone of "Well this is how it's done in Idaho".
This Gem state should show everyone how it's truly done.

Also, IMBA/SWIMBA made it really easy and convenient for me to respond with a letter.
And we are a lot more than just a pain in the A on the back of this bill.

Again, protection is your/our goal but what good is it done this way?

and Yes, I'm not a native Idahoan. This IS a good forum to post invitation to send a letter.

Again, this is a beautiful state, and I am against Wilderness designation in any state.

IMO this is more than just affecting one state. When I first learned of Wilderness, I was shown who is really behind it. Give them an inch and you know the rest.

What is your involvement and work on this plan and why wouldn't you be for protection of same without closure of mtn bike trails?

I don't know about you, but God willing to keep me in good health, I plan to enjoy this sport into my 70's and beyond, and ride trails like that, that are within a protected area, years from now. I got invitation to ride them with the rep but didn't make it, and hope to get out there if not this season than the next!

The fanatics, Sierra Club, Wilderness Coalition, etc. would have us go back to a wild state, where all is wilderness and can't be touched, even to control fire fuels. Oh, wait, but the Sierra Club might exclude hiking only from their wilderness designation.
They weren't willing to compromise much, apparently, with Chris Vargas regarding the mountains of So Cal, and why would they here?

Even outside of big mountains, look at apparently what's happened to the birthplace of mtn biking, Mt. Tam and the No. Cal area. All this awesome singletrack is closed to bikers, but I believe open to hikers and horseback riders.
 

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Wandervans
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I was only 15 a decade ago

Irishbuddha said:
There is also the added bonus of not having to step in cow pies while enjoying watching the goats near Castle Peak. I am with you on what a bummer it is that we are going to miss out on some great rides. I will always fondly remember the Boundry Creek trail to Warm Springs and out Fisher Creek. I will also fondly remember riding my moutain bike with my mom and dad along fisher creek and spraying each other with cow pies.
Wilderness allows continued grazing so I am not sure how you will escape the cow pies, existing mining claims are also grandfathered in (example: Gold Hand Mine in the Frank Church Wilderness), no marketable timber exist in the wilderness proposal.

Irishbuddha said:
This proposal has been decades in the development and it makes no sense to kill something at the last minute because you are unwilling to share. I wish you had been here decades ago to be fully involved in the development but you weren't.
A decade ago I was only 15, so I doubt I could have been involved. I was only born in 1978 so there was no way I could have been involved. I have only been involved in this issue for the past 3 years and believe it is my right to voice my opionon. If it should have been wilderness it should have been designated 30 years ago.

If there was no designated wilderness within 1,000 miles, then I would say there may very well be a need. However, in this case, there are already two wilderness areas in Custer County: the Sawtooth and part of the Frank Church wilderness. Together, these two areas total about 1 million acres (in Custer County) or about 27 percent of the county. If we add another 300,000 acres of wilderness, that boosts the total to 37 percent of the county.

This is not all of the wilderness in the vicinity of Custer County, of course. If you include all of the wilderness within a two-hour drive of Stanley or Challis, there are over 3.5 million areas of federally designated wilderness for enthusiasts to enjoy. The question then becomes: How much wilderness is enough? Do we keep chipping away until 60 or 70 percent of Custer County is congressionally designated wilderness? I think we have just about reached the saturation point here.

Proponents of wilderness say we should designate more wilderness to stimulate the economy. Custer County already has two of the premier wilderness areas in the country within its boundaries, but it also has the lowest per capita income of any county in the state. Obviously, tourism associated with wilderness has not been a large economic gain for Custer County. So what makes us believe that adding a third wilderness will improve the situation?
 

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well some good news this morning:

that b%^&*@d William Myers didn't get appointed to the 9th Circuit Court, that's a really good thing in my mind.
From what I understand of this guy he would have the rest of Idaho mined and logged off and grazed until there was nothing left for anyone, even mountain bikers and with a statement like this I'm pretty sure he's just one sided about making his own capitalistic gains off of and for the Bush admin:


He once wrote that environmental groups are "mountain biking to the courthouse as never before, bent on stopping human activity wherever it may promote health, safety and welfare."
 
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