Proposal Would Ease Rules on Bikes in Parks


The Interior Department issued a proposed rule yesterday that would make it easier for mountain bikers and other cyclists to traverse the backcountry of national parks.

Environmentalists decried the rule, which is now subject to a 60-day comment period, saying it would spark conflicts between cyclists, who can travel at high speeds, and other park visitors who prefer to hike or ride on narrow trails.

…The Park Service did not issue a statement on the proposal, and its press office did not return calls seeking comment yesterday.

… Kristen Brengel, a campaign director with the Wilderness Society, said she hopes the next administration will be able to reverse the decision, which would not become final until Barack Obama takes office. "It's a loosening of the rules by anyone's standard," she said.