Cross posting. sorry, but this a good one! - james

Big Bend National Park, in southern Texas, was recently chosen as a
pilot project in the new partnership agreement between the National Park
Service and the International Mountain Biking Association. This groundbreaking
agreement could lead to the opening of new mountain biking
opportunities in Big Bend, as well as other park units.

Big Bend is currently conducting an evaluation of mountain biking as a
new activity. Public input is crucial to the outcome of this process.
Please write an e-mail message today that expresses your desire to see
opportunities for responsible riding at Big Bend.

E-mail comments should be filed before Jan. 30, 2006.
Bike advocates need to take action and make our voices heard. Direct
your comments to Superintendent John King:

And to Management Assistant Lou Good:

Listed below are several talking points to consider for your email.
Please emphasize that mountain bikers are vitally interested in resource
protection and are not interested in gaining access to areas currently managed as Wilderness. It is important to counter the argument that opening parks
to mountain biking will degrade the land or interfere with the experience
of other users.

Thanks for your input. Without strong public support for this project
we risk losing a great opportunity.

Big Bend Talking Points:

* Mountain bikers are not seeking access to areas in Big Bend already
managed as wilderness.

* Mountain biking has been shown to be a low-impact activity that is
compatible with traditional backcountry user groups.

* Mountain bikers are legitimate backcountry users that have a strong
resource protection ethic.

* Seeking access to sustainable trails for the purpose of enjoying the

* Big Bend already has great riding on dirt roads, but the addition of
shared-use trails would greatly enhance its appeal as a mountain biking

* Mountain bikers have an impressive history of volunteering to help
build and maintain trails open to MTB access. If you would be willing to
volunteer for trail building and maintenance of trails open to mountain biking,
please say so.

* If you live in Texas, please say so.

* If you would consider planning a mountain biking trip to Big Bend,
please say so.

Also, please consider attending these upcoming meetings, where
proponents and opponents of mountain biking in Big Bend will air their concerns:

Meeting 1:
Monday Jan. 30, 2006
7:00 pm
Sul Ross State University
Lowrance Hall Room #300
Alpine, Texas

Meeting 2:
Tuesday Jan. 31, 2006
Study Butte Community Center
(Behind the bank and post office)
Study Butte, Texas

Again, thanks for considering this appeal.