It appears a fight is brewing over efforts to open designated wilderness areas to mountain bikes. A group of over 100 conservation organizations, including the Great Old Broads for Wilderness
have co-signed a letter urging Congress to keep wilderness areas free of bicycles and other types of mechanized travel.
A group called the Sustainable Trails Coalition,
a mountain biking group, is seeking to amend the Wilderness Act of 1964 to allow for such travel. Its website states: "Our simple objective is to modify existing legislation and give land managers more flexibility in how they manage the trails that humans are invariably using to visit our 762 wilderness areas."
The Executive Director of Wilderness Watch
, George Nicklas, counters with this statement: "At a time when wilderness and wildlife are under increasing pressures from increasing populations, growing mechanization, and a rapidly changing climate, the last thing Wilderness needs is to be invaded by mountain bikes and other machines."