Let's say you own a business, say Black Bear Burritos; Outdoor Adventures; or a physical therapy practice,......, and I came into your shop with a clipboard and said"...hey, would you like to have more wilderness and nature in our country, and cleaner air and water, and healthier plants and animals? Cool, sign here please" Who wouldn't say yes to that? Look at all these folks who did. Look at all the health professionals supporting more Wilderness. How many of those folks signing that understood the ban on bicycles, and no ban on horses, skis, or guns?
This is what we're up against. Regardless of right or wrong, regardless of whether an act written in 1964 should control where someone can ride a bicycle 50 years later, this is the way the fight is playing out. The current congress people don't know all about this act, they don't necessarily understand the term "mechanized" and what it includes and doesn't include. But what they do understand is numbers, and big numbers of signatures get their attention. This is the movement that is underway. We can already see how others have their game face on. The West Virginia fight was nearly over before bikers even saw the card. The last ditch phone and e-mail flurry many of us took last Spring resulted in the saving of Spruce Knob/Seneca Creek, but we lost Dolly Sods.
Environmental law groups are picking apart the Forest Service's own policies and federal laws and telling the Forest Service how to do their own job. And they are usually right. Do we mountain bikers have anyone who will be doing the same in our corner?
We should not be complacent in waiting for the comment periods, and taking the public civility of the W advocates in the meetings as a sign that we are seated fairly at the table. I don't think we really are. The W's are already working behind the scenes, with Congress, while we're writing letters to the FS Superintendent.