USFS and BLM Seek Comment on Mountain Biking in Bear’s Ears NM


By Charles Pekow — “Keep an eye out for fossils while mountain biking in Bears Ears National Monument,” urges the U.S. Forest Service and Bureau of Land Management in their recent release of the Notice of Availability of the Draft Resource Management Plan and Environmental Impact Statement for the Utah monument. While the agencies aim to promote biking and other recreational activities in the area, they are also keen on uncovering the potential paleontological treasures hidden within its terrain. Should you happen upon any such discoveries, they encourage reporting them to authorities.

Due to concerns regarding soil softness and wildlife disruption, cycling is restricted to designated areas, although federal authorities anticipate an increase in the sport’s popularity. They note that transportation sports have already caused damage to ancestral sites, vegetation, and delicate soils.

Kathleen Berglund packing in the bike ride toward Dark Canyon. Photo by Lukas Brinkerhoff

The proposed plan offers several options, including the expansion of mountain biking opportunities within the Canyon Rims Special Recreation Management Area, while also considering limitations to designated routes within the Indian Creek Area of Critical Environmental Concern. Certain zones, such as raptor nesting areas, would remain off-limits to riders.

Public feedback is being solicited, with a tentative deadline of June 11. Additionally, virtual and in-person public meetings have been scheduled by the agencies.

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