Environmental Politics, Think
Environews: Wilderness or bike trail?
Bicycles are not allowed in designated Wilderness areas, so a few segments of the Bonneville Shoreline trail are off-limits to bikes, hemmed in by private property on one side and wilderness on the other. In July, Representative Curtis (R-UT-3) and Senator Romney (R-UT) introduced the Bonneville Shoreline Trail Enhancement Act, which would slice 326.27 acres out of the Mount Olympus Wilderness Area for a multi-use trail corridor, adding back about the same area of designated wilderness in a Mill Creek Canyon property formerly owned by the Boy Scouts of America.
The group Save Our Canyons has concerns about the deal since the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) that influenced the plan seems to be doing an end-run around both regional trail planning and the Mountain Accord planning process for the Wasatch Mountains. They say the Mill Creek property does not have the same quality or value as the Mount Olympus Wilderness Area, and the trail segments that cross wilderness are steep single-track that are inappropriate for a multi-use trail.
This is an excerpt from our September Environews column.