Environmentalists are incensed at a new Interior Department plan to allow mountain bikes on trails in national parks across the country. Backers of the controversial plan, which would overturn a two-decades-old ban on trail riding in national parks—say they hope it will go into effect before President Bush, himself an avid mountain biker, leaves office this January.
But there's a downside, say environmentalists. According to the nonprofit Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), mountain biking on trails can cause erosion, damage native plants and disturb other trail users, and as such has no place in the country's national parks. The group is trying to marshal public support against the plan.
"This is a lame duck gift for our Mountain-Biker-in-Chief," stated PEER Executive Director Jeff Ruch. "With all the troubles facing the country, the White House should be concerned about more than where the president can ride his bike."