That's what I've been trying to articulate in my head reading this thread. I'm originally from the northeast where the opposite issue exists: there is wilderness but almost no public land. The amount of that resource that is truly protected for future generations is miniscule and it means absolutely nothing without the passively wild areas around it. Generally the only thing protecting the wild is inconvenience and the fact that eastern forests are some of the most resilient on the planet. Even still, one day an area is a perfect habitat for record whitetails and rare predators as it recovers from another generation of logging but the next there could be an army of side by sides roaring and smashing up stream crossings like drunks leaving a stadium. And there is nothing truly original in the landscape. In any given area there have been at least four generations of logs sawn off, four generations of soil stirred up by horses or machines and washed into the rivers. It's important for settlement and for some species that this cycle exists but it's impossible to overstate to Westerners the value of the protections they have at varying levels. Its not being kept from us, its being kept for us.Interesting topic. My personal feeling is that the more motorized- or mechanically-assisted travel we allow in the woods, the less true wilderness we will have. And, wilderness is a fragile and vanishing resource that deserves the utmost protection. Accordingly, motorized/mechanical travel needs to be severely limited.
E-bikes, being relatively quiet and (mostly) pollution-free, have generally the same impact on the resource as horses, and thus, horse access is used as justification for e-bike access. My thought is that, while horses have similar impacts, horses are "grandfathered-in" because they were so widely used for so long before motorized/mechanical back-country travel became possible. In other words, the "horse access train" left the station 500 years ago, and it is unrealistic to say horse travel now justifies recently invented motorized/mechanical travel. Especially considering how inexpensive such modern means are in conjunction with the massive population we now have. Carrying capacity of the wilderness is the true issue, not the relative environmental impacts of the mode of transportation, themselves.
We're in similar straits here in Utah but the rates they charge for celebrity hunts on these I'm pretty sure they'll let you toodle right up to the elk on a V10 rascal wearing caterpillar tracks.Maybe I was looking at it all wrong...
Maybe it would better for all interests if there were just a few million acres land-locked so the public can’t mess it up.
Um... wait... we already have Wyoming... with 4 million public acres behind someone else’s fence where the public can’t access it to jack it up.
And for the low low price of $15000 you can pay the dude at the gate that has exclusive access to the taxpayer owned sections of public-but-not-accessible-to-the-public land... that we all assume is pristine and quiet because it costs your kid a year at college to see. But it sure sounds like paradise. None of them ultra silent, super low impact, limited power and range pedal bikes with battery assist in there I bet.
Dangumit ! Lucky for all of us that there is Wyoming.
Thank you, Sir, for summing it nicely. It boils down to personal and custodial responsibility, and of course, personal character. I believe there are still plenty of good people out there who are caring and with integrity - doing the right thing, especially when no one is looking. Do a good turn daily, rocks!I know I said I don’t like the idea of allowing e-bikes to certain areas, but I do have to applaud Feenix in saying he has volunteered building and maintaining trails and does the, so if you erode a trail a bit, you have the sweat equity in it!
I still do my good deed daily too.
If people would take to the time to pitch in here and there and not just use the resource, things all around would be much better. Just a simple thing like: leave it better than you found it. Clean up a few pieces of litter at the campsite that aren’t yours or on the trail.
Great article, and getting on in my 60's I still bike regularly. But this article convinced me to get an e-bike for hunting. The forest service and BLM will come around and implement the new directives.
Here we go again my ebike is better than your horse. Hunter vrs Hunter exactly what we need more of.For the "holier than thou" horse folks, I look forward to a day when I don't have to see piles of horse crap all around prime hunting camp sites.......OK, that was an intentional poke in the eye...for the rest of the horse folks, you don't bother me in the least.