A group of mountain bikers from the Roaring Fork Valley have come together to start a new group with the goal of supporting wilderness.
BIKEWILD is a collective of mountain bikers who believe in protecting our remaining pristine lands with wilderness designation. We believe in creating and maintaining great mountain biking trail systems and we support the efforts of the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign to preserve and protect our public lands from roads, drilling, logging, mining, and habitat degradation.
We got involved with this issue because we fear that mountain bikers are being wrongly seen as anti-wilderness and obstructing important conservation efforts. Many of us grew up in Colorado, and have been living and riding in the Roaring Fork Valley for decades. All of us live in Colorado because we want to live, work, play, and raise our children surrounded by wild nature.
We got involved and formed this group because we think wilderness designation represents the best chance we have to leave an environmental legacy for our kids, and their kids, and hopefully their kids’ kids!
The initial idea to form the group was planted when we heard that talks between the Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association and Hidden Gems had stopped last fall.
Once we started to educate ourselves, we realized that the Hidden Gems proposal would have very little affect on mountain biking in the Roaring Fork Valley. The Hidden Gems Campaign has worked hard to adjust its proposals to meet our needs and exclude all of our popular biking trails from its wilderness proposal. In doing so the campaign has adjusted its boundaries with the result that over 45 bike trails (a total of 227 miles) were excluded from its Wilderness Proposal. The campaign has dropped 13 percent of their original proposal, more than 59,900 acres, specifically for mountain biking!
We like the idea that the Hidden Gems Proposal will protect lands in the lower elevation areas that provide important winter and summer habitat for all kinds of animals. It’s important that we provide the best possible protection for these areas, which are under the threat of constant pressure from industrial development and recreational users.
Also, we think it’s OK to draw the line in some places, and, if we want to continue into the wilderness all we have to do is get off our bikes and proceed on foot.
Mostly, we want to engage in a respectful and educated discussion about wilderness and bring people to the table who have felt the issue has been too polarizing to get involved with.
BIKEWILD will be holding a series of public meetings to give people the opportunity to look at maps and become informed. The next one will be Tuesday, April 20th at 5:00 PM at Green Line Architects, 65 N. 4th Street, Suite 5, Carbondale. Check the website for future meeting dates.
Or shoot us an e-mail.