In 1988, the United States Forest Service (USFS) and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) issued the immediate prohibition of mountain bikes along the Pacific Crest Trail (PCT), a coveted route that travels a total of 2,650 through outstanding scenic terrain in California, Oregon and Washington. Despite coexistence in previous years they stated that the trail was “designed for foot and equestrian use” leaving cyclists with a $1,000 per offence penalty or the possibility of imprisonment if caught riding.
A sibling of the PCT, the Continental Divide National Scenic Trail (CDNST) allows “bicycling” in addition of day hiking, backpacking and equestrian activities on specific sections of trails. Seeking a similar situation, the Pacific Crest Trail Reassessment Initiative (PCTRI) is seeking to have the 1988 bicycle ban rescinded and be granted legal and open access to non-wilderness portions of the Pacific Crest Trail.
Recently the Forest Service quietly issued Plan No. 3375, entrenching the 1988 bicycle ban without reconsideration. Published on their website the PCTRI believes, “it is time for the Forest Service to realize this is no longer 1988 and bicycles are widely used on dirt trails. Mountain biking is quiet, low impact, healthy, conservation-oriented and generally beneficial.” Outraged by USFS’s draconian proposal, the PCTRI is looking for public participation. The grassroots movement, initiated by motivated outdoor enthusiasts, is calling to action fellow PCT enthusiasts.
While PCTRI works on the legal aspects of their proposal reconsideration, they are asking people to insist that the 1988 bicycle ban be rescinded. If you’d like to make your voice heard, they ask first that you contact a member of congress followed by contacting Tom Tidwell, the Chief of the Forest Service. In addition to emailing and mailing these prominent actors, they encourage you to spread the word among friends and fellow trail users.
The primary goal is to protect, preserve and promote the PCT for the enjoyment of all. Hikers, equestrians and cyclists alike can share the world-class terrain.