Parks May Allow Bikes on Trails

The Interior Department is proposing a rule change for National Parks that would open thousands of miles of park trails to mountain bikes. Conflicts between bikers and hikers are expected.
December 26, 2008, 9am PST | Nate Berg
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"The proposal raised tensions between hikers and bikers, who face off against one another on dirt byways all over the country. Each group is burdened with a stereotype that is part true and part myth: thrill-seeking gear heads on one side, plodding leaf peepers on the other, each group accusing the other of not fully appreciating the great out-of-doors."

"The proposal would not take effect until the middle of next year at the earliest, National Park Service officials said, meaning that the Obama administration will decide on the issue. Under the plan, many trail usage decisions would be made at the level of individual parks, rather than at the central National Park Service office."

"Both sides say that would accelerate trail decisions and probably result in a new arena of discussion - or conflict - at each park headquarters, with administrators being lobbied by the two groups. Existing trails would be the main focus of the change; most proposals for new trails would still have to go through a more lengthy process of review at the Park Service headquarters."

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Published on Thursday, December 18, 2008 in The New York Times
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