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'Click' for More Info: Butterfly Creek Winery Located in Mariposa, California
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'Click' for More Info: 'Chocolate Soup', Fine Home Accessories and Gifts, Located in Mariposa, California
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'Click' for More Info: Laura Lee’s Auto Sales in Mariposa… “I can find any car you want!”
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'Click' for More Info: ‘Mariposa Museum & History Center’ Located in Historic Mariposa, California
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‘Click’ for Mariposa Auto Trim: Get Your Glass Repaired or Replaced at ‘Mariposa Auto Trim’ in Mariposa, California
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'Click' for More Info: ‘California State Mining & Mineral Museum’ Located in Mariposa, California
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'Click' for More Info: Sugar Pine Café Located in Historic Mariposa, California

December 9, 2017 - Congressman McClintock has introduced H.R. 1349 to restore the original intent of the Wilderness Act to allow bicycles in wilderness areas.  The Congressman delivered the following remarks about the legislation at a December 7, 2017 legislative hearing of the House Federal Lands Subcommittee:

House Committee on Natural Resources
Subcommittee on Federal Lands
December 7, 2017

Remarks on H.R. 1349 by Congressman Tom McClintock:

tom mcclintock congressmanH.R. 1349 would restore the original intent of the Wilderness Act to allow bicycles in wilderness areas.  People who enjoy mountain biking have just as much right to use the public trails as those who enjoy hiking or riding, and our wilderness areas were never intended by Congress to prohibit mountain bikes.  A year after he signed the Wilderness Act of 1964, Lyndon Johnson said, “The forgotten outdoorsmen of today are those who like to walk, hike, ride horseback or bicycle.  For them we must have trails as well as highways.”  

Bicycles were allowed in wilderness areas from the inception of the Act in 1964 until 1977, when the forest service reinterpreted the act to ban them.  This met with a stern rebuke from Senator Frank Church, one of the key sponsors of the wilderness act, who protested that “the agencies are applying provisions of the Wilderness Act too strictly and misconstruing the intent of Congress as to how these areas should be managed.”

In 1980, Congress explicitly listed bicycling as a permissible use when it established the Rattlesnake Wilderness in Montana, and the Forest Service then rewrote its regulation to allow bicycles unless the local forest manager banned them. 
 
Many scientific studies have concluded that mountain bikes cause no more environmental wear and tear than hiking or horseback riding.  A 1994 study by Wilson and Seney at Montana State University found that tires caused less erosion than hiking and horseback riding.  A study at the University of Tasmania, Australia made similar findings.

Trails maintenance is significantly hampered by the current ban on wheelbarrows – H.R. 1349 specifically allows them. 
Source: Congressman Tom McClintock