Senate Bills Could Expand Mountain Biking Options in Colorado and Montana

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By Charles Pekow — Two Senate bills, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act (S. 2149) and the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (S. 1634), could expand mountain biking options in Montana and Colorado, respectively, but under limited conditions.

The Committee on Energy and Natural Resources approved legislation that would save nearly 4,000 acres in Montana for mountain bikers and other recreational users. Specifically, the Blackfoot Clearwater Stewardship Act (S. 2149) aims to protect 3,835 acres in the Blackfoot River Watershed. Additionally, the bill proposes that the U.S. Forest Service consider developing trails through a collaborative process involving local citizens representing diverse interests.

As of mid-December, the bill had not yet been officially presented to the full Senate, and no companion bill was pending in the House. Updates on the status of the bill can be found at https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/senate-bill/2149

Bikepackers in the Grand Mesa Uncompahgre and Gunnison National Forests. If the CORE Act passes, more opportunities for riding and bikepacking will open to the cycling public. Photo courtesy U.S. Forest Service.

The Committee also gave its approval to the Colorado Outdoor Recreation and Economy Act (S. 1634), which proposes the designation of a Williams Fork Mountains Wildlife Conservation Area in Colorado. The bill outlines restrictions on mountain bikes in the area to “designated roads and trails.” However, it explicitly permits biking in the Ophir Valley Area of a Proposed Sheep Mountain Special Management Area in Grand Mesa, Uncompahgre, and Gunnison national forests.

For more details, refer to https://www.congress.gov/bill/118th-congress/senate-bill/1634

 

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