MMBA's Mission:
To preserve, protect, and promote mountain bike access and diverse
riding opportunities on Montana's public lands through education,
communication, and unified action.
"Whatever the social question, a bicycle should be part of the answer"

Tester Wilderness Bill

A Montana Wilderness bill was introduced July 17th.

Do your part to preserve backcountry riding opportunities - educate yourself on the background of this bill and look at the specifics of the
Montana Forest Jobs and Recreation Act.

The following is what MMBA recommended prior to the release of the Act.
MMBA is currently analyzing the specifics of the Act and will release our position shortly.

The bill released by Senator Jon Tester and his staff combined wild landscapes in the Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Clearwater-Blackfoot and the Yaak roadless areas. This bill, if successful, will bring into law the first new Montana Wilderness in 25 long years.

The Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest Plan revision released in February 2009 included 320,000 acres of Wilderness and closed 360 +/- miles of trails by enforcing a new Forest Service philosophy that prohibits bicycles in Recommended Wilderness Areas.  The Beaverhead-Deerlodge Partnership bill being considered will include more Wilderness acreage and affect more bicycle trails than the Forest Plan revision and permanently seal the fate of these trails.

The Montana Mountain Bike Alliance believes that elected county officials know what is best for their constituents and economies.  MMBA supports new, socially responsible Wilderness as recommended in the 2009 Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest Plan revision with exceptions, but not limited to, suggestions by the Beaverhead County Commission that asks for the release of Garfield Mountain (Lima Peaks) from Recommended Wilderness status and for a reduction of 20,000 acres from the base of the Snow Crest Recommended Wilderness Area as supported by both the Madison and Beaverhead County Commissions. Our County officials are an essential link between the citizens of Montana and our state and federal representatives.  County officials live in the affected locations, and are in touch with affected citizens.  As such, no one can make better-informed judgments about local land decisions than these county commissioners. MMBA supports the County Commissions of Madison and Beaverhead Counties.

We as cyclists still have an opportunity to advocate for some adjustments to keep some important routes open.  Your prompt letter writing could make the difference on  whether we have ridden these gems for the last time or not. Speak now or forever hold your piece.

Letter writing tips

1.  Be respectful and positive.
2. Tell a personal story.  Express how you value Montana's world class backcountry trails.  Tell how far do you travel to explore new trails in the State - Pipestone, the Pioneers, The Tobacco Roots, The Lima Peaks...  What kind of riding experiences do you seek and how do you spend money in the local economies when you do.
Do you camp?  Motels? Restaurants?  Let them know that low impact bicyclists do belong in backcountry and we want to help protect our wild lands. Even if you have never ridden the great trails in the B-D NF, let them know that it is important that these remain open for the cycling community. In short - why do you love riding Montana's finest singletrack?
3. Expess that you can support new Wilderness as recommended in the 2009 Beaverhead-Deerlodge Forest Plan revision when traditional bicycle trails are protected through companion desiginations, boundary adjustments and non-Wilderness corridors and cherry stems. Let them know that mountain bikers are muscle-powered conservationists that want to see our wild landscapes and riding opportunities permanently protected.  This bill will also provide stewardship logging opportunities for improved forest health and a lumber for the small town mills.  Please voice your support for these timber jobs in our communities and conservation in the woods.
4. Advocate for continued access to the trail priorities listed below. 
5. Let them know that the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance
has been advocating for you and your trails.

MMBA's highest priorities - all these are of equal importance:

1. The Continental Divide Trail from Yellowstone Park to the Pintlar Wilderness including Trail #91, at Italian Peak & Trail #40, Little Sheep Creek at Lima Peaks - companion designations, boundary adjustments and corridors can be combined to to keep this trail a through route for bicycles in Garfield/Lima Peaks RWA, the Italian Peaks RWA and the West Big Hole.
2. Trail #315, near Ennis Lake - a companion designation or corridor would keep this 1.5 mile section open for a 26 mile point to point ride.
3. Trail #313, along the Sapphire Divide - a boundary adjustment needed to keep open.
4. Trail #2, in the East Pioneer Range - a corridor or cherry stem needed to Tahepia Lake.
5. Trail #150, in the Tobacco Root Range - a cherry stem needed to the Lost Cabin Lake.
6. Trail #27, Monture Creek to #16 Falls Creek to Camp Pass in the Blackfoot Clearwater area - a small boundary adjustment is need to keep important loop rides open.

Go here to download a complete list of endangered trails.

Because of increased email spam you must use an email form on the websites of Senator's Tester and Baucus, Congressman Rehberg and Governor
Schweitzer to submit your letter.  We suggest composing and saving your letter on a Word document and then pasting it into the web form for each of our elected officials. Yes it is a pain in the ass but this is YOUR HIGHEST PRIORITY TODAY!  So write a thoughtful, passionate letter and make sure it gets to these 4 elected officials ASAP.  The members of the Montana Mountain Bike Alliance have worked their tails off for your riding opportunities so it is now your turn to give back!  Pay it forward.

Change each letter to address our officials personally as
Senator Tester, Senator Baucus, Congressman Rehberg and Governor Schweitzer.

On the web email forms enter the following:
For message topic select Environment
For message subject enter  Montana Wilderness Bill - Mountain Bike Access.

It's GO time.  No excuses. No Delay.  Get off the couch and in front of the computer.  Put those fingers to work.

Key Elected Officials

Senator Jon Tester
Phone: 202-224-2644
Fax: 202-224-8594

Senator Max Baucus
Phone: 202-224-2651
Fax: 202-224-0515

Congressman Dennis Rehberg
Phone: 202-225-3211
Fax: 202-225-5687

Governor Brian Schweitzer
Phone: 406-444-3111
Fax: 406-444-5529

The contacts listed below do not need a letter at this time.

USDA Forest Service

Tom Tidwell
Chief, USDA Forest Service
Yates Building, 4NW
201 - 14th Street, SW
Washington, DC 20050-1144
Phone: 202-205-1661
Fax: 202-205-1765

To be announced, Regional Forester
USDA Forest Service
Northern Region (R-1)
Federal Building
PO Box 7669
Missoula, MT 59807-7669
Phone: 406-329-3316
Fax: 406-329-3411

Bruce Ramsey, Supervisor
Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest
420 Barrett Street
Dillon, MT 59725-3572
Phone: 406-683-3973
Fax: 406-683-3843

Dave T. Bull, Supervisor
Bitterroot National Forest
1801 North First Street
Hamilton, MT 59840
Phone: 406-363-7121
Fax: 406-363-7159

Steve Williams, Supervisor
Custer National Forest
PO Box 50760
Billings, MT 50760
Phone: 406-657-6205
Fax: 406-657-6222

Catherine Barbouletos, Supervisor
Flathead National Forest
1935 Third Avenue East
Kalispell, MT 59901
Phone: 406-758-5251
Fax: 406-758-5351

Mary Erickson, Supervisor
Gallatin National Forest
PO Box 130
Bozeman, MT 59771
Phone: 406-587-6949
Fax: 406-587-6758

Kevin Riordan, Supervisor
Helena National Forest
2880 Skyway Drive
Helena, MT 59601
Phone: 406-495-3746
Fax: 406-449-5436

Paul Bradford, Supervisor
Kootenai National Forest
1101 Highway Two West
Libby, MT 59923
Phone: 406-283-7763
Fax: 406-283-7709

Leslie "Spike" Thompson, Supervisor
Lewis and Clark National Forest
PO Box 869
Great Falls, MT 59403
Phone: 406-791-7756
Fax: 406-731-5302

Deborah L. Austin, Supervisor
Lolo National Forest
Building 24, Fort Missoula
Missoula, MT 59801
Phone: 406-329-3797
Fax: 406-329-3795

Bureau of Land Management

Gene Terland, State Director
5001 Southgate Drive
Billings, MT 59101
Phone: 406-896-5012
Fax: 406-896-5299

Missoula Field Office
3255 Fort Missoula Road
Missoula, MT 59804-7293
Phone: 406-329-3914
Fax: 406-329-3721

Dillon Field Office
1005 Selway Drive
Dillon, MT 59725-9431
Phone: 406-683-8000
Fax: 406-683-8066

Butte Field Office
106 North Parkmont
Butte, MT 59702
Phone: 406-533-7600
Fax: 406-533-7660

Lewistown Field Office
920 NE Main Street
PO Box 1160
Lewistown, MT 59457
Phone: 406-538-1900
Fax: 406-538-1904

Malta Field Office
501 South 2nd Street East
Malta, MT 59538
Phone: 406-654-5100
Fax: 406-654-5150

Miles City Field Office
111 Garryowen Road
Miles City, MT 59301-0940
Phone: 406-233-2800
Fax: 406-233-2921