Giant Sequoia National Monument – Public Comments Extended

Many mountain bikers from Southern California venture out to the trails of the Southern Sierras.  Places like Freeman Creek Trail, Quaking Aspen, Camp Nelson and other areas have been enjoyed by off-road cyclists for many years.

Camp Nelson Trail

Camp Nelson Trail, at the heart of the Monument

The Sequoia National Forest is currently accepting public comments on the Giant Sequoia National Monument draft Environmental Impact Statement, which includes several Management Alternatives. This Draft Environmental Impact Statement (draft EIS) describes six alternatives that would amend the 1988 Sequoia National Forest Land and Resource Management Plan to manage the Giant Sequoia National Monument. The draft EIS document will implement President Clinton’s 2000 Proclamation which established the Monument.

Of the six management alternatives presented, Alternative C  could result in a ban for mountain bikes on trails in the Monument, while Alternative D would limit mountain bikes to existing trails without any future expansion. Dispersed camping and other activities are also adversely affected. The remaining options allow for most current trails to be grandfathered in, with varying degrees of flexibility for trail use designations.

We prefer Alternative B, which allows for existing bicycle use and future expansion of recreational opportunities. Alternative F is also favorable to multi-use and bicycles, with the only difference between B and F being the way that fuels reduction and fire control are managed. The complete draft statement is available online for review.

For those who are concerned about California trails being forever closed to mountain bikers, please make your comments to the Sequoia National Forest. This National Monument is bordered by extensive Wilderness areas and a National Park, all of which is off-limits to mountain bike use. We can’t afford to lose more! If you haven’t ridden this area, it offers some spectacular high-country riding and is well worth a visit. It is also very much worth protecting for it’s unique ecological and recreational value.

IMBA is also reviewing the document drafts and will issue their official comments soon.  We encourage everyone to write in support of Alternative B, and strongly against Alternatives C and D. Note that you must login and/or register on the SNF Public Comment Portal to post your comments.

Comments are being accepted through December 3rd, 2010.

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