National Parks Going Fat?

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The National Park Service is considering eliminating a special regulation that makes it difficult for individual park superintendents to allow mountain biking on certain trails. Currently, 20 parks across the country allow biking on singletrack and dirt roads. Individual parks that want to increase mountain bike opportunities within their borders currently have to go through a lengthy regulation process that takes years. The NPS is considering eliminating that rule, which will classify mountain bikes in the same category as other non-motorized trail users (equestrians) and give superintendents greater say in how their individual park’s trails should be managed.

“Visitation numbers are a concern to the park service at all levels and something we are working with our many tourism partners such as IMBA to address. Having worked with mountain bikers on public lands at gateway communities, I know what a great economic impact they can have on a small town,” said NPS National Tourism Director Dean Reeder. “In my experience, we can sustain a balance between resource conservation and appropriate, healthy recreational opportunities such as mountain biking.”

After the NPS announces the potential regulation change, the public will be allowed to comment.

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