Friday, December 19, 2008

No Mountain Bikes

While you can ride bikes on the roads and trails in Mt. Rainier NP, see my guide and map, you can't ride bikes on the trails. This may change with a proposed rule change by the Department of Interior, see Washington Post article. As a longtime hiker and part-time moutain biker I am against this rule change.

Yes, it restricts the trails to hikers only and mountain bikers deserve access to the trails. But I've seen the damage done by bikers and the zealousness some conduct their activity, and it's simply too miuch to tolerate on trails, many of which in Mt. Rainier NP would experience additional and worsening damage and risks to hikers, and eventually addtional resources to fix and maintain.

This rule needs to be reversed, or simply returned to the current practice. What's interesting is that this rule change came after the 60-day cutoff for new rules imposed by the White House to the Departments. A White House spokesperson said it wasn't a significant rule and therefore allowed past the cutoff date.

It seems there are no real rules in the White House and it seems all bets with the Obama transistion team - being cooperative and not implementing changes - are off. So much for trusting our President and staff, political appointments and their hacks, and everyone else associated with him.

The new rule is under a 60 day review and public comment period, so it's likely will come under the new Secretary to decide if it should go forward or be withdrawn. I hope the latter.

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