BLM Considers Limits on Mountain Biking, While Forest Service May Expand Access

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By Charles Pekow — Mountain biking could become restricted to “designated travel routes” within the Sand Canyon-Rock Creek Special Recreation Management Area under a proposed rule. The Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued a Proposed Supplementary Rule for Canyons of the Ancients National Monument in Dolores and Montezuma Counties in southwestern Colorado “to regulate conduct on public lands within Canyons of the Ancients National Monument.”

The proposal is designed to protect natural and cultural resources. Currently, BLM requests users to stay on trails designated for biking, hiking, or horseback riding.

BLM is taking public comments till June 5.

See https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2023-04-06/html/2023-06806.htm

The range of allowable mountain biking in Ashley National Forest may get some adjustments. The U.S. Forest Service (USFS) released a revised land management plan for the forest in northeastern Utah and southwestern Wyoming. The plan would add some mountain bike routes but forbid riding in other areas where it currently is allowed.

A trail in Ashley National Forest. CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0). Public Domain

The plan allows building 10 miles of new mountain biking trails and improving 10 miles of existing ones “if local user groups or partnerships are identified to conduct annual trail maintenance.” But bikes may be forbidden in areas designated as wilderness.

USFS foresees increased mountain biking demand in the forest, especially in the north near Vernal, as popular areas like Moab become overcrowded. It also acknowledges people may want to ride ebikes there in the future.

Anyone opposing the plan can file an objection until mid-June. See https://www.fs.usda.gov/main/ashley/landmanagement/planning.

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