The Wood River Bicycle Coalition has had numerous meetings with Idaho Conservation League and The Wilderness Society regarding the Boulder-White Clouds and a possible national monument designation. The organizations have been very supportive of mountain biking and its inclusion in the future of BWC. See video.
Yet, when pressed about details, it is revealed that they actually do want to close areas to mountain biking. Why? Are we causing detrimental impacts to the ecological values of the area? No. Mountain biking causes no more ecological impact than hikers and horses, perhaps even less—a point widely agreed upon, including among the conservation community with whom we are working.
The reason for the desired closure, as expressed to us, is so hikers can have a “primitive experience” like that available in the neighboring Sawtooth Wilderness and Frank Church Wilderness. Elevating hikers’ backcountry experience above mountain bikers’ backcountry experience is not a compelling case for closing off to us the best riding our area—our region—has to offer.
So while ICL says they support mountain biking and want to see the many uses of BWC continue in a NM, it is important to understand their specific intentions. They want to see the backcounty of the BWC closed to mountain biking.
Attend ICL’s public meeting tonight, Wednesday, November 20 at 6pm at Atkinson’s Park Rec Room, Ketchum, ID.