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Re: [CDT-L] Mechanized and motorized use

In a message dated 2/27/00 12:58:10 PM Eastern Standard Time, 
wr_ddp@hotmail.com writes:

 Does anyone know why significant portions of the CDNST are open to motorized 
 and mechanized travel? Also, is anything being done to eliminate and prevent 
 these conflicting uses of our trail?

As to motorized travel, it is authorized to some extent under the National 
Trails System Act (see a separate post on this). However, the Society has 
been vigorously protesting the opening of any new sections of trail to 
motorized vehicles.  See the current DIVIDEnds as to our success along the 
Montana-Idaho border. Another example is the closure of the new trail between 
Elk Park and Halfmoon Park north of Butte.  Moreover, the Forest Service has 
adopted a policy of trying to separate the CDT from motorized traffic.  In 
some cases, however, the use of jeep tracks (though technically open to 
vehicles) is the best option, so we have not automatically opposed a segment 
simply because it is open to motorized vehicles.

As to mechanized travel (mountain bikes), it is the Society's position that 
they should not be allowed in the backcountry sections of the CDT any more 
than they are allowed on the AT or PCT. Mountain bikes were not on the scene 
when the comprehensive plan for the CDT was written, and there has never been 
an environmental assessment that would justify their presence. (The trail was 
conceived as a simple facility for the "hiker and horseman.")  We are hopeful 
that we can get this situation corrected, or at least improved, and have 
filed comments and appeals with the Forest Service for this purpose.  

Who out there would like to write letters from time to time to the Forest 
Service on these issues when they arise?

Incidentally, the Alliance appears to have an unlimited willingness to have 
mountain bikes on the CDT everywhere outside of wilderness areas.  If anyone 
has information to the contrary, it would be very welcome.

Jim Wolf
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