The Ten Lakes Wilderness Study Area area near Eureka represents some of the best backcountry mountain biking opportunities in the region. Access to high alpine trails and lakes with fantastic mountains and scenery make the area unique, but the Kootenay National Forest has released a draft environmental impact statement that proposes drastic restrictions on mountain bike access.
Flathead Area Mountain Bikers will be submitting comprehensive comments opposing the restrictions on mountain bike access, but we need your comments to support mountain biking!
Talking points in your comments could include:
-We support mountain bike access to the Ten Lakes area. The trails in Ten Lakes are well suited to mountain bikes, and there is no adequate replacement for the access that would be lost if bikes are banned from this area.
-There is no evidence that mountain bikes degrade the wilderness character in the Ten Lakes area. The environmental review conducted by the forest service is lacking facts and evidence to support its conclusions. Bike access shouldn’t be restricted absent a finding of negative impacts that is based on actual data and science.
-Even if some negative impacts associated the mountain bike use are found, the “minimum tool rule” should be applied. In other words, banning bikes should be the last resort. Any impacts from bikes should be mitigated via lesser restrictions whenever possible.
-We support the “no action alternative” in the environmental study. In other words, mountain bike access should remain unrestricted, as it has been since the designation of the Ten Lakes Wilderness Study Area in 1977.
Comments must be submitted by February 14, 2017, and can be emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org
All emailed comments must be submitted in rich text format (.rtf), Word (.doc), Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) or Word Perfect format. The subject line should be “Ten Lakes Travel Management Project.” After emailing your comments, you should receive a confirmation that your comments have been received (if you don’t get a confirmation, your comments may not have gone through).
Want to learn more about these issues?
The Draft Environmental Impact Statement, which these comments are responding to, can be read here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/Internet/FSE_DOCUMENTS/fseprd526871.pdf
Additional information about the Ten Lakes travel planning efforts can be found here: https://www.fs.usda.gov/detail/kootenai/landmanagement/projects/?cid=stelprd3841289
The full text of the comments that Flathead Area Mountain Bikers will be submitting CAN BE FOUND HERE.