Forum Index > Stewardship > Wheels in wilderness bill gets hearing.
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RandyHiker
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RandyHiker
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PostSun Dec 24, 2017 7:18 pm 
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treeswarper wrote:
So, chainsaws should be legal?  They are not for transport.  Just wondering what the cutoff is--no pun intended. lol.gif

Again learn to read

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PROHIBITION OF CERTAIN USES
(c) Except as specifically provided for in this Act, and subject to existing private rights, there shall be no commercial enterprise and no permanent road within any wilderness area designated by this Act and except as necessary to meet minimum requirements for the administration of the area for the purpose of this Act (including measures required in emergencies involving the health and safety of persons within the area), there shall be no temporary road, no use of motor vehicles, motorized equipment or motorboats, no landing of aircraft, no other form of mechanical transport, and no structure or installation within any such area.
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treeswarper
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PostMon Dec 25, 2017 6:27 am 
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Just like to make you do the work.  Now have a good holiday and chill.

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mb
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 10:06 am 
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Yeah that's a bit excessive.

Speaking of which, is a cell phone with 'vibrate' mode motorized equipment? If it goes off, does that ruin the experience? How about a 35mm film camera with an auto-winder (not that anyone uses such a thing today, but they were common for about 10 years).
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Pyrites
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 12:59 pm 
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Once you get to vibrating phone why not go all the way.

I wore my watch into designated wilderness area this year. It is motorized.

But like a cell phone with vibrate feature, I am not worried that I am either breaking the spirit of the law or the CFR.

Neither the law or those applying it go that far down the rabbit hole.
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mb
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 1:20 pm 
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True, the CFR excludes handheld small devices, but I still claim that a GPS + Map changes the character of the wilderness far more than a bicycle does.

Still interesting that this is covered under both title 36 (all public open land?)
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/36/293.6

and title 43 (dept. of interior only?)
https://www.law.cornell.edu/cfr/text/43/6301.5
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 2:45 pm 
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mb wrote:
but I still claim that a GPS + Map changes the character of the wilderness far more than a bicycle does.

Of course you claim that -- because your goal is to ride your bike in wilderness areas.

You are entitled to your opinion -- feel free to file a lawsuit against the USFS that their interpretation of the wilderness act into the CFRs that allows GPS, electric shavers and flashlights but exclude bicycles is a misapplication of the law.
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mb
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 3:32 pm 
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RandyHiker wrote:
Of course you claim that -- because your goal is to ride your bike in wilderness areas.

The other way around. My claim is that bikes don't change the character of the area, and thus it's OK to ride in them.

Note that overcrowding, overerosion, over-user-conflict do change the character of how you experience an area, and thus restrictions are often totally appropriate.

I also think it's OK to have a GPS in them, but that's not an ideologically pure stance to take if you're against 'changing the character' from how things were a few decades ago.

RumiDude wrote:

In my opinion, the current Wilderness restrictions are just fine. There is no need to change them.

We're going in circles on this thread now, but In my opinion, they were fine. But so long as the areas covered by those restrictions continue to expand, the restrictions need to be relaxed. (Or create/use a different concept for resource protection. But that's a harder political sell--most people don't begin to understand the different regulatory rules and regimes, they just see Wilderness Good, Bikes Bad, and other simplistic ideas.)

And I'm still curious what you (and others) think of things like fire suppression (has changed over time), bridge building (e.g. Denny Creek, which had a bridge installed from what 2003-2009?), etc.
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MyFootHurts
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 3:50 pm 
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Any modern substance also changes the character of the wilderness.
Rubber boot soles, plastic water bottles and nylon tents all need to be banned just like GPS and bicycles.
Off leash dogs are ok.
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Token Civilian
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 3:55 pm 
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Stop feeding the MTB trolls.
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mb
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 5:31 pm 
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Yes, I agree the line is arbitrary to an extent and always will be. I think there actually exist appropriate regulatory schemes for variety, but people rarely use them for 'new' designations because they aren't as cool as Wilderness, Park, and Monument.

And again, it's exactly the changing of the lines which is the problem here: the additional exclusion of mountain bikes in places like Idaho a few years ago and Montana today and other places both in the recent past and imminent future.  In vast quantities.

Indeed, other user groups share the same issues. In some places they have been 'moving the line' to exclude even hikers for what are mostly philosophical reasons. I wouldn't be surprised if lack of planning for failing roads along the Elwha was not entirely a 'mistake'. Motorcycles have been feeling an even worse pinch for decades, in that they pay often extra taxes for access which get siphoned away.

E-mtb is going to be interesting. It's where the growth $$$ is for manufacturers right now, and most of them care little about long term access.  My claim is that they should be regulated based on impact (environmental, social) but all current regulations are poor. There's no true 'low power' e-bike standard which is approximately the power of a real human--they're all way faster, basically small motos.


I do wonder what the practical impact of HR1349 would be if passed, since the agencies still need to do interpretation work. I sure hope the STC is thinking about that and has talked to people who understand it. Otherwise it'll pass and they can say "yes, bikes could be allowed but the regulations exclude them so we're just gonna stick with that."
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 5:43 pm 
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mb wrote:
E-mtb is going to be interesting

Not really,  they are clearly motorized transport.  They should be treated the same as gasoline powered motorbikes.   In terms of interactions with other trail users , the do pose a slight additional complication in that with gasoline powered motorbikes hikers are aware of a motorbikes approach well in advance.  With electric bikes , other trail users can be surprised,  this is sometimes a source of conflict between pedal powered bike riders and other trail users, bitterly in Marin County for example.
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Pyrites
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 5:46 pm 
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mb wrote:
Yes, I agree the line is arbitrary to an extent and always will be. I think there actually exist appropriate regulatory schemes for variety, but people rarely use them for 'new' designations because they aren't as cool as Wilderness, Park, and Monument.

And again, it's exactly the changing of the lines which is the problem here: the additional exclusion of mountain bikes in places like Idaho a few years ago and Montana today and other places both in the recent past and imminent future.  In vast quantities.

Indeed, other user groups share the same issues. In some places they have been 'moving the line' to exclude even hikers for what are mostly philosophical reasons. I wouldn't be surprised if lack of planning for failing roads along the Elwha was not entirely a 'mistake'. Motorcycles have been feeling an even worse pinch for decades, in that they pay often extra taxes for access which get siphoned away.

E-mtb is going to be interesting. It's where the growth $$$ is for manufacturers right now, and most of them care little about long term access.  My claim is that they should be regulated based on impact (environmental, social) but all current regulations are poor. There's no true 'low power' e-bike standard which is approximately the power of a real human--they're all way faster, basically small motos.

You mean like this?

http://www.ubcobikes.com/us/

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MyFootHurts
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 6:00 pm 
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Ive got an electric mountain bike and if I pedal by another person they wouldnt even know it had a motor unless they knew what to look for.
Its completley quiet and has a 20 mph governor. A regular bike can go just as fast or faster.
Its no more dangerous to hikers than a trail runner barrelling along knocking people over.
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mb
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 6:02 pm 
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Pyrites wrote:
You mean like this?

http://www.ubcobikes.com/us/

That's a straight up motorcycle. 2WD + electric motors = probably great at riding up things!

My observation is that pedelecs (that is, bikes where you pedal, but the battery+motor add power) are operated by the operator like a bicycle--that is, when pedaling, they are highly aware of their surroundings and when coasting, less aware. A throttle bike (with or without 'pedals') is often always the latter (insolently unaware).

E-bikes are motorized. No question about it. But in California they passed a law about two years ago which muddles the waters considerably by regulating them as a bicycle in most scenarios. It was heavily pushed for by the manufacturers. For some reason, IMBA is pro-e-bike. (Follow the money!)

That's what I mean about 'interesting' and poor long term thinking on their part--it may well lead to loss of access because an e-bike looks like a push-bike but acts like a motor-bike.

Edit: Well, a rider *can* use it like a bicycle with a touch of assist (great for a mismatched rider in a group due to age, infirmity, or simply strength). But don't kid yourself, there already are people causing conflict issues by using them inappropriately in places where physics prevented push-bikes from being used that way.
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RandyHiker
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RandyHiker
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PostTue Dec 26, 2017 7:30 pm 
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mb wrote:
E-bikes are motorized. No question about it. But in California they passed a law about two years ago which muddles the waters considerably by regulating them as a bicycle in most scenarios.

I don't know that law, but state of California laws are irrelevant in the context of USFS and NPS administered wilderness areas.

E-bikes are regularly seen whizzing on rail-trails in the Seattle area.  Technically this is illegal, but there is no meaningful enforcement unless there is a collision.
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