Aiiiiighhhh! Check it – the forest service is considering banning mountain bike use on our longest shared use trail – the continental divide trail (CDT). Whoah!
The CDT includes the famous Monarch Crest, many sections of the Colorado Trail, well-known Steamboat Springs singletrack, important trails around Butte and Helena and much, much more. This is some of the premier trail in the country!
Among long-distance trails, the CDT is unique in that has generally allowed mountain biking. Unlike the Pacific Crest Trail or Appalachian Trail, mountain bikes are largely welcome on non-Wilderness sections of the CDT. IMBA isn’t asking for access to all 3,100 miles, but there are many non-Wilderness sections where non-motorized users can get along and mountain biking should continue.
The Forest Service has said it believes Congress intended the CDT to be for hiking and horse use only. Unfortunately, the agency is basing its proposed directive on a 1976 Study Report—written before modern mountain biking was established–and a similarly out-dated Comprehensive Plan of 1985. Not surprisingly, both documents focus primarily on providing experiences for the “hiker and horseman.” But neither suggests the trail should be limited to these two uses, and in many instances encourages non-motorized activities.
This is a call to action. We cannot be asleep on the bike and let this pass us by. Here is a link to IMBA’s website where you can formally file your comments to be taken to the Forest Service CDT administrator.
We can’t lose this awesome trail! Go to IMBA’s site or contact your representatives – NOW!