|06-30-2002, 03:57 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2001
Member # 2787
Location: Shingle Springs, CA
Mtn. Bike trails in Orange County spared
No Wilderness Areas In Orange County
As this issue went to press we received word that Boxers Wilderness Bill will not include any areas in Orange County. Many thanks to all of you who got politically involved to protect your freedom to responsibly enjoy the forest. We have also decided to oppose the wilderness bill.
What has made us so successful and allowed us so much success in the maintenance Trabuco District is we get people out and involved in protecting and maintaining their forests. They gain a sense of ownership and realize they have a stake in its protection. Ask the forest service what organizations spend all of their efforts maintaining the Trabuco District (when their not protecting their access) and which organization spend all of their efforts trying to limit access.
Over the years the Sierra Club has lost focus on this and instead put majority of their efforts here locally on actions to limit access. I have lost all faith in them and consider them a real threat. It was very telling during our wilderness negotiations when a Sierra Club member tried his best to include a portion of the Trabuco proposed wilderness by offering up various reasons, only to have them refuted by all the members of the negotiating team, including the other two Sierra Club members. The member in exasperation finally blurted out “I just want a hiking only area here” to which two persons present responded “You already do and it’s called the San Mateo Wilderness.” What also astounded me is that only one of the local members was familiar with any of the trails that they wished to close off to us.
When the Sierra Club reps first met with us at my house in early summer of 2001 (Tim Allyn and Paul Carlton) and we went over the maps of the proposed wilderness areas in Orange County and I showed them how we would lose all our riding opportunities if we supported the bill, they asked us, “aren’t you willing to give up mountain biking to save the forest?” My retort was “Aren’t you willing to create and support an alternative designation that would offer the same protections as wilderness but allow mountain biking?” Their response was that will never happen.
The Warrior’s Society could appease them by supporting the wilderness bill and succumb to their wishes so we would not be portrayed us as unreasonable and “against the environment” but it was they who were unreasonable. It was interesting that after we raised substantial political opposition here and agreed to 3 of the 4 wilderness areas (they did not contain any trails) we found out the Wild Heritage Campaign representative for the Angeles National Forest told the mountain bike activists they were working with there that I was “unreasonable.” I agreed to 3 of the 4 wilderness areas and I was “unreasonable?”
I never believed that appeasement works against a tyrant. It only defers defeat. We will oppose this bill until all the trails we have historically accessed are dropped from the bill. If the Sierra Club has no mountain bike bias they should have no problem working with us to support an alternative designation that would protect recreational access. These two actions would speak louder than words.
Oppose the wilderness bill.