By Charles Pekow — Picture some long-distance bike trails on federal land. The Biking on Long-Distance Trails Act (S. 3264) pending before the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee would require the Agriculture and Interior departments to try to develop at least 10 bike trails of 80 miles or more.
Four senators – two from each party – sponsored the bill, including John Barrasso (R-WY). What bodes in its favor is that chief congressional obstructionist Joe Manchin, who chairs the committee, immediately signed on.
The U.S. Forest Service, however, declined to endorse the bill. At a hearing, Deputy Chief Chris French stated “we do not believe legislation is necessary. Consistent with its multiple-use mission, the Forest Service considers mountain biking in the context of all possible types of trail uses on National Forest System trails, including hiking and horseback riding.”
The Bureau of Land Management suggested that the language clarify which agency is responsible for which trails and that it might help if part of the trails included non-federal land.