Help Improve Blue Ridge Parkway Plan

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Deadline for Comments Friday, Dec. 16.

The National Park Service has asked for their Draft Management Plan for the Blue Ridge Parkway — planning that will set management policy for the Parkway for the next 20 years, and beyond. Unfortunately, the 684-page document says next to nothing about mountain biking.

Take Action! File your comments today.

This is despite years of local advocates working with the park service to gain access to trails, including most recently in the Roanoke Valley. The proposal favored by park management (Alternative B) would restrict future trail development for mountain bikes and hinder the connections to the local communities.

Cyclists should urge the Blue Ridge Parkway Superintendent to work with the local community to plan for and promote mountain bicycling and other non-motorized forms of recreation in the park.

Please let the NPS staff know that mountain biking is an appropriate recreation in our national parks, including the Blue Ridge Parkway.

Sample Comments:

Thank you for reviewing my comments on the Blue Ridge Parkway Draft General Management Plan. Please consider my comments below as part of the official record.

As a mountain biker, it is very important to me that the Blue Ridge Parkway Management Plan provide Park Service with sufficient flexibility to meet the needs of all trail users. The plan should focus on community connectivity to meet the National Park Service’s Call to Action and President Obama’s vision for Connecting Americans to the Great Outdoors.

To achieve this, the Parkway management should:

1) Halt the National Historic Landmark application process. The designation would make it harder to make future improvements for bicycling access, such as wider shoulders and natural-surface trails.

2) Recognize and promote mountain biking in the Draft Management Plan as a viable and important aspect of Parkway visitation.

3) Work with cyclists, the surrounding communities, and the general public to meet the needs of today’s changing world.

Thank you for providing this opportunity to comment.

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