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IMBA Lobbies Congress To Save California Singletrack
Wed Mar 19, 2003
Source: IMBA

WASHINGTON, D.C. - During the early March National Bike Summit in Washington, D.C., International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) representatives met with members of California's congressional delegation to ask them to keep singletrack trails open for bicycling by not designating new Wilderness areas that overlap popular trails.

Bicycle use is prohibited in designated Wilderness. Mountain bicyclists from across California are concerned they may lose access to trails they have ridden for decades if proposed Wilderness areas are approved by Congress.

"We want to make sure our California delegation doesn't forget about the state's two million mountain bikers," said IMBA California representative Jim Haagen-Smit. "Many of the state's singletrack trails are already overcrowded. Restrictions imposed by new Wilderness designations would only make the situation worse."

California mountain bicyclists carried IMBA's message to staff representing U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer and U.S. Reps. Mike Thompson, Hilda Solis, John Doolittle, Grace Napolitano and 20 other members of California's congressional delegation.

"We don't believe that Wilderness is the only designation to protect the land," said IMBA California representative Daniel Greenstadt. "Why does land protection have to come at the expense of mountain bicyclists? Cyclists have enjoyed, ridden and maintained these trails and wild places for years. Kicking us off would create a rift in the conservation constituency."

National Bike Summit participants converged on Washington, D.C. to draw attention to major issues that affect cyclists. Nearly 400 bike advocates from 47 states gathered to lobby bicycle transportation and recreation issues.

IMBA is conducting a focused, three-month campaign to keep trails open for cycling. IMBA is encouraging mountain bikers to join the campaign to save popular trails from being closed while championing alternative designations that protect the land but allow for continuing bicycle access.

IMBA will lead or attend 11 California events that will bring together mountain bike clubs, local community members, environmental groups, elected officials and media to raise awareness for trails that could be lost.

Join IMBA at the following events:
- March 27-30, Fairfield
- April 11-13, Sea Otter Classic, Monterey
- April 12-13, San Diego
- April 26, Southern California Bike Expo, Los Angeles
- May 3-4, Henry Coe IMBA Epic, Morgan Hill
- Oct. 16-19, Ukiah
- Oct. 23-26, Truckee
- Oct. 30-Nov. 2, Lake Tahoe
- Nov. 6-16, Sacramento
- Nov. 20-23, Los Angeles
- Dec. 5, San Francisco

Save the date and check IMBA's website for more detailed information closer to the scheduled events. To learn more about IMBA's work to save trails in California or to view a detailed list of land being considered for Wilderness designation visit www.imba.com.

IMBA is a national and international education and advocacy organization with 500 member clubs, 32,000 individual members, and more than 400 corporate partners and dealer members. IMBA creates, enhances and preserves trail opportunities for mountain bicyclists worldwide. In 1988, six California mountain biking clubs created IMBA.

Today, more than 60 bicycling clubs in California are IMBA affiliated. California bicycle manufacturing, retailing, tourism and publishing businesses generate an estimated $2 billion per year in economic activity.

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