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IMBA call to action: Defend US National Monuments!

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images courtesy of IMBA

We are all about promoting & supporting cycling advocacy, but it usually ends up as us paying our individual IMBA dues, pitching in for some local trail building, and making sure to give the Bike League shoutouts for their latest projects in our weekly roundup. But IMBA just dropped this call to action in our inbox, and we felt the need to get out the word out to all of our mountain biking (and dare I say roadie) readers.

The US Department of the Interior has just let it be know that they are reviewing the National Monument designation of millions of acres of land protected across the US. This is especially critical for mountain bikers, as IMBA has worked hard over the last decade or so with Interior to use National Monument status as a tool to limit development of important land across the states while also allowing for responsible mountain biker trail access.  The Dept. of the Interior has specifically called out land in Arizona, California, Colorado, Idaho, Maine, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, Oregon, Utah, and Washington for review, so it is time for us to all make our voices heard in the process, no matter where you ride. Check out how and where to chime in after the break…

IMBA advocates for a strong and open public process to consider mountain biking interests within National Monument designated lands, so again it is key that we bikers voice our opinions in their review process. IMBA has worked hard to build the opportunity to ride trails into some of the most recent monument designations, and supports their continuation. Now it’s time to defend those existing monuments, so we’ll be able to continue to ride in these great places across the country.

IMBA was highlighting the San Gabriel Mountains and Berryessa Snow Mountain National Monuments in California as landscapes that mountain bikers had a big part in helping to create. Mountain bikers also have new trail plans under consideration in Katahdin Woods and Waters in Maine. All three of these are now up for review, along with many more.

Submit your comments in support of the current National Monuments today. If you have some of these monuments near and dear to you, it will also be worth reaching out to your local IMBA chapter to see how you can be more involved and engaged in the review process locally.

Comments can be submitted via IMBA’s page and webform setup for the National Monuments review here, or through the government’s own less friendly portal at Regulations.gov by searching for  the “DOI-2017-0002” Monument Review (comments button in the top right of the page). Comments must be received by the end of next week regarding Bears Ears National Monument in Utah, with all others by the first week of July 2017.

Check out the full information released on the formal review process by the Department of the Interior here.

IMBA.com

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Chase
Chase
5 years ago

I absolutely support the Trump Admins efforts in this. The previous admin politicized this process and abused states rights in naming many of these areas National Monuments.It was done to penalize political enemies and pay off extremist enviro groups.
Monument status is a very restrictive and an exclusive use with very restrictive rules. Locking out many historic users and business interests from state land.
Bottom line. If the states agree with this designation, so be it. but if they do not then it should be reversed. Many of these states vehemently disliked the Obama action of naming these area NM.

Pynchonite
Pynchonite
5 years ago
Reply to  Chase

Depends on who you’re talking about. The Republican legislature here in UT dislikes Bears Ears, but their golden child, Rob Bishop was the one who set its boundaries during the Public Lands Initiative negotiations, essentially. A lot of people here think that the monument will be good for the local communities (better than waiting for coal to magically make money again) and the half of San Juan Co. who’s Navajo definitely support it. Monuments are always touchy (GS-E was pretty bad), but Bears Ears was the product of years of compromise, including with Republican reps.

Pynchonite
Pynchonite
5 years ago

Not strictly monument-related, but in that same vein: if you’ve ever ridden the Wasatch Crest trail in Utah and you had a good time, you should consider donating to preserve Bonanza Flats across the road from it. The parcel up for sale includes part of the Crest trail, and if developers are allowed to build, mtbers, hikers, and skiers will likely lose access. They’ve raised almost $36m between individual donations and local governments, but we roughly $2m yet (price for Park City to buy the parcel from Wells Fargo = $38m). Anyway, I hope that you’ll find a few extra bucks and donate to save a special place for mtbers in UT!
https://www.savebonanzaflats.org/

ascarlarkinyar
ascarlarkinyar
5 years ago
Reply to  Pynchonite

I will give again to this fund. It’s that important

Justin
Justin
5 years ago

So, Chase, you think giving up the land (that the people own, by the way) to the states so that businesses can develop it is better than preserving it? Obama set these lands aside so that they didn’t fall victim to development. I’m not sure I understand why that’s a bad idea.

Chase
Chase
5 years ago

The land belongs to the state . It was a recent development that transferred it to the feds. It is the states right to decide what happens to it. That is why so few lands become NM status . It locks them up forever. This was not wanted by these states nor is it taking anything from the “people”. States have sovereignty. Everything does not belong to you or DC.
BTW-Almost all of these areas have historically high usages in other uses, they don’t really meet the criteria for NM status. Stuff you may not like but are just as valid as anything you want to do there. If Utah or any other affected state wants to develop this land it is up to them to decide.

Pynchonite
Pynchonite
5 years ago
Reply to  Chase

The land never belonged to the states: they gave up all title to it on attaining statehood (in UT’s case, it’s even written into the state constitution). I think you might also be confusing monuments and wilderness. There is grazing and mineral rights permits within monuments, but not in wilderness. Your point about use is a good one – Karl Jacoby has a good book about what happened to the people living in what are now nationak parks.

Mike
Mike
5 years ago
Reply to  Chase

I find the “state’s right” argument doesn’t persuade me at all. It’s a purely ideological argument.

Utah’s congressional designation is so hostile to land conservation, we’d have very little new land protected if it were up to them–a pretty radical position out-of-touch. For instance, I do not want to see the GSE national monument shrink–one of their proposals. I’ve been to Coyote Gulch, Neon Canyon, Choprock Canyon, Spooky, Egypt 3, etc on several trips and am so glad that area has been preserved. I probably have spent more time there than many local residents, but I live in So CA. So I have no say? Ha!

fred
fred
5 years ago
Reply to  Mike

im sorry for commenting on this, but ‘states rights’ is a foundational principle of this country and contract between the us government, the states and the people. as in, the 10th amendment: The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people.

ridiculous to belittle someones argument when it is a founding principle of the usa.

just because no one bothers to follow the actual laws, it hardly makes THE LAW OF THE LAND a backwoods confederate, or other kind of fringe ideology you might think it is.

Mike
Mike
5 years ago
Reply to  Chase

“States have sovereignty.” You keep using that word. I don’t think it means what you think it means. See, 200 years of Supreme Court precedent and 1 civil war.

Alen
Alen
5 years ago

If it’s federal land we ALL own a piece, even if we live in Nebraska or Iowa. Just because I live next door to a vacant lot, doesn’t mean I think I should own it. If the states want to buy some of these NM’s it at full market value then we might talk but the developers are looking for freebies.

D-man
D-man
5 years ago

It is worth noting that if National Monuments lose their status they will still be managed by one of the federal agencies that manage land. Forest Service, BLM and so on.

Evan
Evan
5 years ago

I live in Arizona, and the whole “let’s turn the federal land over to the states” argument is not only ridiculous but simply unworkable. Most states are (a) not responsible enough to manage that much land, and (b) financially incapable of managing it. The state of Arizona can’t event afford to manage our state parks, much less millions of acres of public land (Coronado National Forest alone is 1.78 million acres… bigger than both Rhode Island and Delaware). As a point of reference, we just had a 46,000-acre wildfire in the Santa Ritas south of Tucson. As it was on Federal land (mostly National Forest) the feds fought it, at a cost of something like $6 million. That was just one fire. If AZ had to bear the cost of fire suppression for all public lands in the state, it would bankrupt us in one season. This would necessitate selling off the land, thereby making public lands no longer public. The only way to keep these amazing places public and protected is to keep them in the hands of federal land management agencies.

Mack
Mack
5 years ago

Chase doesn’t understand what the “United States” means….(and neither does Trump).

chadquest
5 years ago

I’d personally rather ride in Oil Fields.

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