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As forest plans and other land use documents have been written, it always seems to be a case of "no, you can't do that here anymore." In the past, the typical targets have been off-highway-vehicle (read that four-wheeler) drivers and snowmobilers.

But a recent Action Alert posted on the International Mountain Bicycling Association Web site finds this group screaming now, too. The Beaverhead-Deerlodge National Forest is proposing a ban on mountain bikes on 275 miles of trail that bikers have used in the past. The forest says it's part of the new plan to keep mountain bikes out of so-called "Recommended Wilderness" areas.

With mountain bikes apparently allowed in such areas on other national forests, the IMBA is urging mountain bikers to demand the same treatment on the Beaverhead-Deerlodge. My guess is that mountain bikers have extended little sympathy and support in the past to the gas-powered four-wheeler people who have been fighting the dwindling access battle for a long time. This time, it's their mountain biking ox that's being gored. What a difference that makes in your views when it's your sport that's being hurt by these decisions. -- mark

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