Letters to the Editor

Dunn letter: H.R. 1349

H.R. 1349 has passed committee and is heading for the House floor. The bill aims to return limited local control to manage our wilderness and wilderness study areas, specifically to allow game carts, bicycles, jogging strollers on designated trails in wilderness areas. Riding a bicycle is something that most people learn early, I have fond memories of riding bikes with our friends during my childhood years to get outside and to get away from the busyness of life. Now in my 40s I continue to ride my bicycle for same reasons, mostly around the western U.S. Sadly, some of my favorite trails to ride have recently been designated wilderness or wilderness study and because of a administrative rule change in 1984 they are now closed to all bicycle access. No exceptions, just closed, forever. The original intent of the 1964 Wilderness Act did not exclude bicycles, only motorized vehicle use. H.R. 1349 was written very specifically and does not allow for a slippery slope to happen in wilderness areas, it only restores the Wilderness Act to its original intent. Please read about the bill and support human powered access to our backcountry, 33 years of the blanket ban is long enough.

Jon Dunn, Boise