Gems plan needs modification | AspenTimes.com

Gems plan needs modification

Dear Editor:

The Roaring Fork Mountain Bike Association (RFMBA) has submitted comments on the Hidden Gems Wilderness Campaign to local and national government representatives. This comes after two years of data collection, GIS analysis, on-the-ground research, listening to members of the local riding community, and meeting with Wilderness Workshop, the local advocate for the campaign. You can view the official comments on our website’s Advocacy page at http://www.rfmba.org/mtb/advocacy.aspx

While we can agree with the campaign’s proponents to designate areas in excess of 94,000 acres around the Roaring Fork Valley as Wilderness, we cannot support the proposal in its entirety because of its negative impact on mountain biking in the Roaring Fork Valley. RFMBA could support a modified plan that would use both Wilderness and companion designations to protect our open spaces while retaining access to important current and potential riding areas. We have maintained an ongoing dialog with Wilderness Workshop about this option and hope to continue discussions with them.

We ask that members of the local riding community contact your government representatives and write letters to the editor requesting the use of companion designations to preserve our wild places while retaining access for mountain bikes. You can find contact information on our website’s Advocacy page.

We would also like to take this opportunity to thank the many members, local stakeholders, and government representatives that have helped with this process.

Kirk Hinderberger

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