Mountain Biking: User conflicts on the rise

by Catherine Haug, Aug 25, 2011

Have you been hiking in our gorgeous wild areas, only to be rudely interrupted by mountain bikers crossing your path as they careen madly downhill? If so, you’re not alone. Such incidents are on the rise. Headwaters Montana wants your help to do something about this problem.

from Headwaters Montana Newsletter, August 16, 2011

“Most of us live in Northwest Montana because of the unparalleled outdoor life available at our doorstep. Access to National Forest public lands is a big part of our quality of life. But what happens when we find our favorite Forest SErvice trails aren’t quite as quiet or safe any longer?

A recent article in the Flathead Beacon: No Such Thing as a ‘Freeride’? includes first-hand reports of problems between mountain bikers and hikers or horseback riders on Crane Mountain and Beardance Trails. …  Some mountain biking proponents – feeling entitled to do ‘whatever they want’ on ‘public lands’ – are deliberately expanding trails on the national forest without proper authorization from the Forest Service. In one word: ‘illegally’.

Headwaters Montana thinks it’s time for the Flathead and Kootenai National Forests to take a step back and address the mountain biking at a programatic scale before user conflicts get any further out of hand.”

Read their full article at Mountain Biking: It’s Fun But User Conflicts on the Rise. If you agree with Headwaters Montana, you can take action by writing the supervisors of the Flathead and Kootenai National Forests.

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