Mountain bikes don’t belong in wilderness areas; Wilderness Society opposes attempts to undermine the 1964 Wilderness Act

Feb 19, 2016
Credit: The Wilderness Society.
Statement from Michael Carroll, Senior Director of Constituency Building for The Wilderness Society:

“The authors of the 1964 Wilderness Act knew that the primitive nature of America’s wildlands would be undermined by an onslaught of roads, buildings, motorized transportation and mechanical devices, which is why they are not allowed in wilderness areas. Recent efforts to dilute this bedrock conservation law should alarm all outdoor enthusiasts who seek to experience America’s remaining wilderness on its own terms.

The proposed Human-Powered Wildlands Travel Management Act of 2015 currently circulating on Capitol Hill would undermine wilderness areas as we know them and pit recreation interests against conservationists, creating more conflict and fewer collaborative solutions.

The Wilderness Society appreciates the recent statement from the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) that highlights the value of America’s wilderness and we stand with them in working to develop proposals that both ensure access and protect wilderness.”

More: Letter from Wilderness Society President Jamie Williams opposing Human-Powered Wildlands Travel Management Act of 2015 [PDF]


On February 18, in response to the Human-Powered Wildlands Travel Management Act of 2015, the International Mountain Biking Association stated, “IMBA will continue to respect both the Wilderness Act and the federal land agencies' regulations that bicycles are not allowed in existing wilderness areas.”  This proposed legislation would fundamentally alter our nation’s wilderness areas to allow for motorized tools and mechanized vehicles like mountain bikes, despite the fact that less than 3 percent of America’s public lands in the lower 48 states is protected as wilderness; the rest is open to motorized and mechanized recreation. 


Michael Carroll, 970-946-9043,, Senior Director of Constituency Building

Michael Reinemer, 202-429-3949,, Deputy Director, Wildlands Communications