Dear PCT Enthusiast:
The Forest Service has rejected our request to rescind or reconsider the Pacific Crest Trail bicycle ban. Its letter to us, which we received two days ago, i.e., on Feb. 5, 2013, can be found here: USFS Reply to the PCTRI 2013-02-05
We believe the Forest Service’s decision is shortsighted, biased, and legally questionable. We are not going to stand by while the Forest Service ignores its own rules. The 1988 bicycle ban emerged from behind closed doors. Decisions made in 2013 cannot be made in similar secrecy.
The Forest Service’s decision is bad policy—bad for cyclists, bad for the trails community, and bad for the long-term preservation and success of a trail that needs all the public support it can get.
While we work on the legalities, we ask you immediately to insist that the 1988 bicycle ban be rescinded. Here’s how to do it in two simple steps:
1) Contact your member of Congress. Tell them who you are and what you want. Make it reflect your personal views. A sample letter is shown below. Your member of Congress is HERE: www.house.gov/representatives/find
2) Contact Tom Tidwell, the Chief of the Forest Service, in Washington, D.C. Tell him who you are and what you want. Make it also reflect your personal views. His contact info is here: www.fs.fed.us/aboutus/chief (direct e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org).
Beyond e-mailing your member of Congress and Mr. Tidwell, please spread the word among your friends and fellow trail users. Sign up on our contact list at www.SharingThePCT.org. And please let us know what you hear back from your elected officials and anyone else. Our e-mail address is email@example.com.
Your voice is important and will be heard by those you write to. Each one of you who writes directly impacts the small group of people charged with making broad, far-reaching decisions about how the PCT can be used. Ask for a direct response to your inquiry and don’t hesitate to follow up until you get one.
Re your letter to your Congressmember, here’s a SAMPLE which you can revise accordingly to express your personal views:
Since your member of Congress likely won’t know much about the PCT, it’s probably best to start your request with an introductory paragraph along these lines:
I am a cyclist who would like to bicycle at least some part of the Pacific Crest Trail, which runs for 2,663 miles from Canada to Mexico along the Cascades and the Sierra Nevada. In 1988 the Forest Service closed the PCT to bicycles with no public input. The closure order was simply typed on a piece of paper and signed by three Forest Service employees. I would like that closure order to be rescinded.
Today, the closure procedure is widely understood to be defective because the original decision was made behind closed doors. Also, the closure order is of a type that’s supposed to be temporary, as in the case of a safety problem with a campsite or a dock that needs repair. Such orders are not designed to put in place an enormously consequential blanket policy and keep it in place for a quarter of a century.
Mountain bikers did not have a voice in this matter back in 1988, but we are keenly aware of it today. Since 2010, a citizens’ group called the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative (PCTRI) has been working on getting the closure rescinded or at least reassessed so that responsible cyclists like me can enjoy at least some portions of the PCT by bicycle.
But on February 5, 2013, the Forest Service announced that the behind-closed-doors approach remains in effect. It is refusing to hear from the public and plans to keep the entire trail closed to bicycles. I believe the rule to be capricious and baseless.
I am writing to ask you to ask the Forest Service to rescind the 1988 order. It was summarily imposed, so it can and should be summarily canceled. Unlike in 1988, the Forest Service knows very well how to manage shared-use trails, and the PCT should be no exception. The PCT belongs to all of us and I want my voice to be heard.
[Your name] »
In addition to the foregoing and any points you think of yourself, you could mention these items to your member of Congress, the Chief of the Forest Service, and the PCTA (but keep it short!):
1. According to the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative, most of the PCT is lightly used most of the year and parts of it grow over from lack of use by anyone.
2. The Pacific Crest Trail Association admits that it cannot keep up with maintaining the entire trail. It is always seeking federal funding to do the work. Mountain bikers could quickly become an invaluable volunteer resource for maintaining the trail. In other news and promotions checkout https://curiousmindmagazine.com.
3. The PCT runs through counties that are struggling economically. The few hikers and horseback riders who use the trail don’t seem to be putting much of a dent in those economic problems. Mountain bikers would bring in new revenue to the thousands of local business loans, motels and restaurants along the trail’s route. Resources said that you can apply for monthly loans when you are in need through online.
4. Mountain biking is quiet, environmentally friendly, and healthy. If everyone in the country who could ride a bike would do so, we’d have a much lower national health bill.
5. This isn’t about allowing motor vehicles on the PCT. Bicycling is human-powered, just like walking, jogging, and skiing.
6. Please check out the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative’s website for more information: www.SharingThePCT.org.
We sincerely thank you for your support! The campaign is far from over. We remain optimistic for long-term success. If you want to avail discount coupons for Michael Kors watches, click the link : https://www.groupon.com/coupons/stores/michaelkors.com
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