A formal update to our loyal audience is long overdue, and for that we apologize.
It was recently asked of us if PCTRI is dead, and we can certainly understand why it might have seemed the case.
The truth of the matter? PCTRI is not at all dead. Not even close. However . . . we’ve currently found ourselves at a stalemate.
On April 17th, 2013, members of the PCTRI had a formal meeting with the U.S. Forest Service (USFS) that was attended by high-ranking USFS officials and IMBA’s Tom Ward (IMBA’s Northern California Regional Director). This was a very informative meeting, and despite the fact that it has been over 7 months since that meeting, we are still waiting for a formal response from the USFS. We anticipate that the reply will come in some form of letter and although we obviously haven’t seen it, we’re anticipating another carefully crafted and eloquently worded “no.”
So . . . it’s a stalemate. So far, we have discredited the moral basis for the no-bikes closure order and have raised serious questions about its legality. It appears to be no longer much respected among mountain bikers, however, the USFS thus far has shown no inclination to rescind the order.
At this point, we have no idea whether the USFS will continue to enforce the closure order in non-Wilderness areas of the PCT. Maybe it will, if only to prompt a mountain biker to challenge the order in court and try to get the closure order overturned, which would allow the USFS to put this issue behind it and move on. There’s simply no way to tell. Let us be clear, this should not be construed as an invitation to bike the PCT against the current USFS policy or as a statement that fighting a ticket in court would be likely to succeed, however, it is a plausible scenario and if you know of someone who has been cited, please let us know.
What we do know without question, is that the PCTA and its constituents remain unequivocally hostile toward the mountain biking community, which is quite unfortunate as we share highly similar interests and truthfully believe that a collaborative alliance would be mutually beneficial for all users of the PCT as well as the trail itself.
So there you have it . . . a brief synopsis of the current state of affairs, which can effectively be summarized as a stalemate. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again, this isn’t over yet. We’ve maintained communication with major stakeholders and are forming new alliances on a regular basis that grows our support base with each passing day.
Stay tuned . . . . (and spread the word!!)