Friday, August 27, 2010
Protect an IMBA Epic in West Virginia
Join IMBA and the West Virginia Mountain Bike Association in urging members of the House of Representatives Natural Resources Committee to protect bike access to West Virginia's North Fork Trail.
This trail provides some of the most desirable riding in the state, and it's part of the Spruce Knob trail system that IMBA designated as an Epic last year (photo at right).
Now, a pending Wilderness bill, proposed by Rep. Alan Mollohan [D-WV1], threatens to permanently end bike access to the most iconic section of the North Fork Trail. Additionally, the ridge itself would be effectively reduced to an out and back ride, as the southern access point crosses private land.
Take Action! Urge House committee members to help adjust H.R. 5965 to protect mountain bike access on the North Fork trail.
Find your representative online. Your comments are particulalrly valuable if you live in the district of a Represntative who serves on the Natural Resources committee.
IMBA's recommendation is to modify the Wilderness Area boundaries by extending the southern boundary of the proposed Wilderness Area to Powdermill Run and changing the eastern boundary to 100 feet west of the North Fork Trail. These adjustments will still protect more than 5,300 acres as Wilderness, while preserving mountain biking access to this treasured trail (see map below).
Another possibility is to avoid a Wilderness designation and, instead, strengthen the resource protection language of the existing legislative designation of the area. Currently, the North Fork Mountain area is protected as National Recreation Area. One way or another, we believe bike access to the North Fork Trail can and should be preserved.