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[ft-l] [AHS] Capitol Trails Broadcast - BLM Mt. Bike Strategy, Willing Seller, ORVEmissions Rules


FYI is an alert from the American Hiking Society.  Please pay close
attention to their request to write to our senators to support willing
seller authorization for three other national scenic trails.  The USDA
Forest Service has authorization to purchase land for the Florida National
Scenic Trail from willing sellers which the NPS does not have for these
other trails..  Please go to the AHS web site and ask Senators Nelson and
Graham to give the National Park Service (the federal administrator of
these three national scenic trails) the same ability to complete the Ice
Age, North Country and Potomac Heritage national scenic trails which the
USDA Forest Service has for the Florida National Scenic Trail.

Thanks.  Please let me know if you have any questions.



Kent L. Wimmer, AICP
Florida National Scenic Trail Liaison
Florida Trail Association, Inc.
(850) 523-8576 (w)
(850) 523-8578 (fax)
(850) 386-8442 (h)
Mailing address:
USDA Forest Service
National Forests in Florida
325 John Knox Rd, F-100
Tallahassee, FL 32303-4160

----- Forwarded by Kent Wimmer/NONFS/USDAFS on 09/30/2002 05:32 PM -----

                    hiking.org                     To:     Capitol_Trails@americanhiking.org
                    Sent by:                       cc:
                    <Capitol_Trails@lists.c        Subject:     [AHS] Capitol Trails Broadcast - BLM Mt. Bike Strategy,
                    -t-g.com>                      Willing Seller, ORV Emissions Rules

                    09/24/2002 01:15 PM

Capitol Trails Broadcast for AHS Alliance Members & Partners, September


1) Comment on Bureau of Land Management Mountain Bicycling Strategy

2) Urge your Senators to Pass Trails Willing Seller Legislation.

3) Update on Off-Road Vehicle Emissions Rules


Comment TODAY on the Bureau of Land Management's (BLM) Mountain Bicycling
Strategy to protect the hiking experience on BLM lands. This summer, the
BLM released a draft National Mountain Bicycling Strategic Action Plan and
is soliciting public input until September 25, 2002. The strategy will not
be a decision document or a new regulation. Mountain bicycling was an
emerging use on public lands when most of the BLM's existing land use plans
were developed, so their use has not been thoroughly addressed until now.
With the increase in mountain bicycle use, new technology, and the land use
planning schedule, mountain bicycling management guidance is needed.
Site-specific activity plans will continue to address local issues. The BLM
administers 262 million acres (more than any other agency) located
primarily in twelve western states.

Over the years, the number of mountain bicyclists using BLM-managed public
lands has increased dramatically. BLM managers are now challenged with
millions of mountain bicyclists and advanced technologies that enable them
to more easily reach remote areas. At the same time, land managers must
deal with environmental impacts and user conflicts, as well as providing
education and quality experiences for all BLM users.

The draft plan may be viewed at any BLM office or online at www.blm.gov <
http://www.blm.gov>. Comments can be submitted electronically through BLM's
website at www.blm.gov <http://www.blm.gov>, or mailed to:

Tim Smith, Team Lead,
National Mountain Bicycling Strategic Action Plan,
BLM-California State Office,
2800 Cottage Way, Room W-1834,
Sacramento, CA 95825-1886

Urge the BLM to incorporate the following provisions as it develops its
national mountain bicycling strategy:

- prohibit mountain bicycle use in legislatively or administratively
proposed wilderness areas, and other areas determined by the BLM to be
suitable for Wilderness Study Areas designation.

- prohibit cross-country travel, and restrict mountain bicycle use to
system roads and trails specifically designated, mapped, and posted as open
for mountain bicycle use only (i.e. "closed unless posted open" policy).

- mountain bicycling should be prohibited in the Primitive class of the
Recreation Opportunity Spectrum and, in
    the absence of the ROS, lands where wilderness characteristics

- provide stronger guidance on monitoring and preventing impacts.

- implement the following guidelines for trails accommodating foot and
bicycle travel:

Safety. Trails should be designed to allow for safe passage of one traveler
by another, and provide for adequate visibility to avoid collisions. Design
should account for varying speeds of travel.

Environmental protection. Trail surfaces should be designed to sustain all
allowed uses under all conditions, or be managed with provisions that
protect against environmental damage and erosion under certain conditions.

The experience of hiking. Trails developed for multiple uses should be
designed with strong consideration given to the needs and concerns of
people traveling on foot.

To read American Hiking's Mountain Bike Policy, applicable to all land
managing agencies, and editorial explaining this position, visit <



Please act now to help trails willing seller legislation pass in the
Senate-time is running out. Contact your Senators by phone, fax or email
and urge them to support willing seller land acquisition authority for the
National Trails System.

In late July, the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee approved S.
1069, the National Trails System Willing Seller Act, amended to provide
willing seller land acquisition authority to the North Country, Ice Age,
and Potomac Heritage National Scenic Trails. The bill gives these three
trails the ability to buy land from willing sellers to protect and enhance
those trail corridors. A vote in the full Senate is possible any day now;
then the bill will go to the House for passage or possible amendments. H.R.
834, the House-version of the bill, which included historic trails as well,
passed last year by a 409-3 vote.

Willing seller authority will help protect critical natural and cultural
resources along these premier hiking trails as well as restore basic
property rights, as landowners along the affected trails are currently
denied the right to sell land to the federal government. Without it, trail
managers' hands are tied when development threatens important links in the
wild landscapes of the national scenic trails.

To write your Senator directly via email, visit <
http://www.americanhiking.org/policy/write.html>. Or, call your Senators at
(202) 224-3121. Thank you to all trail advocates who helped willing seller
bills advance this far.



Last fall American Hiking Society and many of its members submitted
official comments urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to adopt
strong off-road vehicle (ORV) emissions and engine regulations to clean up
the air, protect natural resources and public health, and improve
visibility, especially in parks and wilderness areas. On September 13, 2002
the EPA finally announced the new rules. Instead of issuing stronger
standards as conservation groups had hoped, the EPA bowed to White House
and industry pressure, issuing weaker rules than those proposed a year ago.
The final rule will give snowmobile manufacturers two additional years,
until 2012, to achieve emissions reduction targets, plus more flexibility
in how much of each pollutant they reduce. It allows ORVs to emit 50
percent more pollution than under the original proposal. The standards
apply only to newly manufactured engines and do not affect existing

The final standards for snowmobiles are particularly troubling because they
fail to encourage greater use of four-stroke engines that are already
available today. The two-stroke engines found in most ORVs and snowmobiles
are significant sources of air pollution nationwide-pollution that poses a
serious threat to public health and has been linked to respiratory disease,
cancer and premature death. A two-stroke ORV or motorcycle can emit as much
pollution in one hour as over 30 automobiles operating for one hour.
Similarly, a snowmobile can emit as much as nearly 100 automobiles.

Despite the weaknesses of the final rules, they nonetheless represent the
first time emissions and pollutants from ORVs and snowmobiles will be
regulated. Thank you to AHS members who contacted the EPA to help clean up
the air for hikers.


To call your Member of Congress:
US Capitol Switchboard
(202) 224-3121

To write your Senator:
The Honorable ______________
United States Senate
Washington, DC  20510

To write your Representative:
The Honorable ______________
US House of Representatives
Washington, DC  20515

To locate your Member on-line:


Celina Montorfano
Conservation Policy Manager
American Hiking Society
1422 Fenwick Lane
Silver Spring, MD 20910
(301) 565-6704 x205
(301) 565-6714 (fax)

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Capitol Trails Broadcast is a read-only list of news and alerts from the
American Hiking Society.
1422 Fenwick Lane
Silver Spring MD  20910
(301) 565-6704