CBS KMVT 7-9-15 Simpson's Wilderness Bill

Jul 9, 2015

As Simpson's Wilderness Bill Surges Ahead, Mountain Bikers Hope To Keep Iconic Biking Trails

By DeSiree Fawn
Updated: Thu 10:32 PM, Jul 09, 2015

HAILEY, Idaho ( KMVT / KSVT ) - In Washington DC, Idaho Congressman Mike Simpson’s Boulder White Clouds Wilderness Bill passed the US House Resources Committee.

At the same time in Blaine County, the International Mountain Bicycling Association kicked off a weekend of events.

They are hosting bike industry executives and partners to raise awareness about popular mountain biking trails in the area.

Under the proposed bill, these trails could be closed to biking.

“In the monument, national monument scenario, we consider it a bike friendly designation. It can protect that land while also keeping those trails open to all the different uses that currently enjoy it so that the public, because these are public lands, can continue to enjoy them the way they are today. In the wilderness scenario, where it would be designated wilderness. Those trails would be closed to mountain bikes,” said Aaron Clark, Conservation Manager for the International Mountain Bicycling Association.

Now that Representative Mike Simpson’s Wilderness Bill has made it out of Committee, it will head to the House floor. Senator Jim Risch has sponsored the bill in the US Senate.

“Sierra Club supports the current wilderness bill as well as the national monument. I did hear today that the wilderness bill did move forward, so that’s obviously a positive step for wilderness and we stills support a national monument and we hope one of these things comes to fruition to give the Boulder White Clouds the much needed protection that we’ve been fighting for, for decades, to get to the area,” said Zach Waterman, Idaho Sierra Club, Director.

“We just want to protect the land and continue to have bike access. So we would support either, the legislation or the monument, just as long as mountain bikes can continue to ride these iconic, critical trails,” said Jenn Dice, People for Bikes.

Part of the weekend mountain bike itinerary includes a flight over the Boulder White Clouds with Eco–Flight and plenty of biking on the trails they hope to continue to use.