|Questions and Answers
The Heritage Act retains over 300 miles of trails and roads on the Rocky Mountain Front and gives flexibility to create new bike trails in the future. There would be no changes to mountain bikes from the way they are currently managed for the vast majority of public lands of the Front. The only exception is within Deep Creek because the Heritage Act would designate this as wilderness. Therefore, approximately 20 miles of trails would be closed to mountain bike use.
Yes, during the development of the Heritage Act folks from the Coalition met with members of the mountain bike community in Helena and Great Falls. We visited local bike shops and talked about the Heritage Act. The Coalition also sponsored public discussions with community members in Great Falls, Helena, Choteau and Augusta and had follow-up discussions with mountain bike users to discuss the Heritage Act.
One local (Fairfield) member of the Coalition’s steering committee is an avid mountain biker who helped talk about the recreational opportunities for mountain biking on the Front and looked at how the Heritage Act might affect mountain bike trails.
Basically, we followed the requirements of the Lewis and Clark National Forest Birch Creek South Travel Plan which had broad-based public support and was not challenged by mountain bikers, conservationists or other non-motorized users. The Heritage Act does not affect mountain bike travel within the Badger-Two Medicine area of the public lands.
The Forest Service will retain the ability to manage trails through administrative procedures such as recontouring old trails, decommissioning and rehabilitating trails to ensure future cycling use on trails where they currently allow cycling.