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JCA

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Issued Jointly by the Following Organizations:

Bicyclists of Nevada County (BONC)
California Wild Heritage Campaign
California Wilderness Coalition
Campaign for America's Wilderness
Colorado Environmental Coalition
Colorado Mountain Club
International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA)
Nevada Wilderness Project
Oregon Natural Resources Council
Oregon Wild
Quiet Trails
Tahoe Rim Trail Association
The Wilderness Society

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 23, 2002

CONTACTS:
Gary Sprung, IMBA: 303-545-9011
Dan Smuts, The Wilderness Society: 415-254-7271

Mountain Bicycling and Wilderness Activists Adopt New Spirit of Cooperation

Joint Statement of Commitments Released

Seeking to initiate a new era of cooperation, mountain bicycling and
Wilderness advocates have agreed on a set of working principles that they
hope will improve their sometimes tumultuous relationship.

Because current federal regulations ban bicycles from designated Wilderness,
the negotiation of new Wilderness proposals has often been difficult for
these two groups in places where both opportunities exist. The new
agreement is intended to guide future relations between Wilderness and
mountain bicycling activists.

"Since most mountain bike enthusiasts support protection of primitive
federal lands through Wilderness and other designations, there is no reason
not to work closely with Wilderness groups. This agreement signals the
start of that cooperation," said Gary Sprung, senior national policy advisor
for the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA).

The newly released Statement of Commitments emphasizes early, open, civil
and continued dialogue on the Wilderness issue. Both groups hope that
adherence to these principles will preserve both the integrity of the
National Wilderness Preservation System and important trails for mountain
bike enthusiasts.

Representatives of the organizations listed above met in Reno, Nevada on
March 19-20, 2002. An extensive series of discussions followed, culminating
in the approval of the following Statement of Commitments by their
respective groups. Patagonia and Recreational Equipment, Inc. (REI)
co-sponsored the Reno meeting. It was facilitated by the Osprey Group of
Boulder, Colorado, a well-known mediation organization.

Dan Smuts, Assistant Regional Director for The Wilderness Society in
California added, "Wilderness advocates and mountain bikers often seek the
same goals on public lands. Since mountain bikes aren't permitted in
Wilderness, we need to work together to find ways to accommodate both sides.
It's a worthy goal to protect pristine Wilderness and make sure that the
most valued mountain bike trails remain open."

The signatories invite other groups to endorse these commitments and to join
in the action steps identified.

Statement of Commitments

At the invitation of REI and Patagonia, Inc., a group of 14 mountain
bicycling and Wilderness advocates* met in Reno on March 19-20, 2002, to
address how
their two communities can work more productively together. They committed
to
the following:

Commitments Reflecting Our Shared Values

Because we value recreation and solitude in wild natural settings that
preserve clean air, clean water and wildlife habitat for this and future
generations:

We commit to early collaboration leading to joint Wilderness/protection
proposals where possible. Where not possible, we commit to good faith
negotiations and willingness to compromise where feasible.

We commit to supporting and enhancing local communication, cooperation and
boundary decision-making by showcasing success stories and providing
strategic partnership advice.

Action Steps

* We will take the results of the meeting back to our leadership, colleagues
and individual groups to be widely shared and discussed.
* Wilderness organizations and IMBA will each assign a point person to
facilitate communication and cooperation among local, regional and national
groups.
* Wilderness and mountain biking enthusiasts will use their communication
tools to share information about each other's views - e.g., we will
encourage publication of pro-Wilderness perspectives in mountain biking
media and pro-mountain biking perspectives in conservation media. Highlight
success stories whenever possible.
* Create a password protected website for sharing information (e.g.,
Wilderness Act history, political overviews, mountain biking priorities,
contacts, perspectives).
* We commit to clarify when unauthorized individuals misrepresent our
organizations.
* Identify, support and publicize model Wilderness/protection projects in
which both Wilderness proponents and mountain bicycling groups engage in a
collaborative effort with mutually acceptable results. We commit to the
early sharing of and timely response to information, especially maps showing
initial proposals, boundary definitions and trail locations, as a means to
support collaborative planning and decision-making.
* To encourage ongoing coordination, four to six representatives will be
selected from this group to participate in a series of conference calls
(May, July, September and November) with summaries of the calls shared with
the entire group.
* We commit to encouraging mountain biker participation in Wilderness events
and Wilderness leader participation in mountain biking events.

Working Agreement

* This is a working agreement. Any party may withdraw from this agreement
by
notifying the other signatories: Steve Anderson, Susan Ash, Clare Bastable,
Tim Blumenthal, Jim Hasenauer, Max Jones, Doug Scott, Dan Smuts, Paul
Spitler, Gary Sprung, Duane Strawser, Traci Van Thull, Erika Van Wie, Jeff
Widen.

end


J.C. Andrews
Andrews Racing
www.andrewsracing.com
 

martininsocal

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Doesn't this crack you up? "we encourage Mountain Bikers to participate in wilderness events and wilderness leadership participation in Mountain Biking events..."YOU CAN'T MOUNTAIN BIKE IN WILDERNESS!!!!!! Boy, talk about dancing with the devil. Folks, many of us are being sold down the river by the IMBA. You can bet that the deal is this, the eco-nazis won't propose wilderness on Mtn bike routes, they will cherry stem them. In exchange for this, Mtn Bikers will support the loss of other mechanized recreation(offroading, snow mobiling, etc...) and it will look like we are the bad guys again. The Warriors Society in Orco has been against this for some time, and it just goes to show you that decissions made about wilderness in California are being made some place else.
By the way, Patagonia, REI, etc...are all supporting the demise of our sport, lets not support them!

Martin

If your gonna go, go BIG
 
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