Friday, January 8, 2010

Mountain Bike History Lesson in OHV Wars

The General believes the Carnegie crisis has actually had a positive impact as you look at the overall picture of land-use fights to preserve and protect responsible OHV recreation on public and private lands.

Besides awakening Bay Area off-roaders to the fact that anti-OHV groups have the sport square in their crosshairs, it has caused a lot of those same folks who also ride mountain bikes to ask the question, “Where are the mountain bike groups in the access fight?”

The onus for today’s study of OHV Wars is based on a recent article published in IMBA’s Magazine as written by Jen Dice.

2010 IMBA Article

The tough talk is welcome but my question is if IMBA has resolved its inner turmoil between the group’s pro-Wilderness advocates (some of the old IMBA hardliners have a motto which goes like this, “We have never met a Wilderness Bill that we won’t support – even if it bans mountain bikes”) v. some others who believe that IMBA should work more closely with groups like BRC and AMA to defend trail access rights?

This internal struggle was documented in an excellent 2006 article in Mountain Bike Action Magazine (a very good and informative read)

In my position with BRC, I had extended the hand of partnership to IMBA and other mountain bikers to join us in a fight to have the BLM include mountain bike and equestrian use on a large number of existing logging roads (over 50 miles) in the Headwaters Forest Reserve. This was a case where BRC (and The General) was willing to lead the fight to protect equestrian and mountain bike access in this area. In fact, it was not an OHV issue since OHV use had never occurred there and we were not asking for it. Sadly, IMBA rejected our offer and the BLM only gave them about 3 miles instead of 50 or more.

Link to Info/Overview of Headwaters Battle where non-motorized users got screwed

The Recreation HQ hopes the new readers of the blog will find these history lessons useful as they get up to speed on land use issues.

Thanks for your service!


  1. Another great post General. Once again you have infuriated me and given me hope. My family and friends keep saying omg you've become an activist. I don't agree, I tell them I'm not an activist, I'm a Marine and a patriot. This is OUR land. They are stealing it from us for their own greedy reasons. It makes me sick as it should all red blooded Americans. I'm ashamed that I've had my head buried in the sand apparently for so long. So I agree with you, the Carnegie crisis has had a positive impact in that respect.
    Sorry I was late, but I am definitely her now.
    Semper Fi

  2. EUC,

    Don't worry about being late to the fight. You are here now and that is what matters!

    Welcome my friend.