For Immediate Release 7-11-12
Contact markeller [at] imba [dot] com (Mark Eller)
IMBA Communications Director
303-545-9011 ext. 115
IMBA and its local affiliate the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance support the Wild Olympics bill, recently introduced by Senator Patty Murray and Representative Norm Dicks. The bill will permanently protect 126,000 acres of National Forest and continued mountain bike access to some of the most important trails on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula, including the Lower Dungeness, Lower South Fork Skykomish, West Fork Humptulips and Lower Big Quilcene trails.
“Protected trail systems in communities all over the country provide a reliable source of revenue, steadily supplementing the rollercoaster effect created by the boom and bust of resource extraction,” says Ashley Korenblat, Director of IMBA’s Public Lands Initiative.
Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance Executive Director Glenn Glover adds, “The Olympic Peninsula is a world-class destination for local cyclists and visitors. This bill accommodates and protects access to important bike trails strengthening the recreation economy of the area. We are happy to add our support.”
In Washington, and across the nation, the outdoor industry depends on well-managed recreation assets on public lands. To maintain this growing and sustainable economic driver these lands must be protected. The outdoor recreation industry generates $646 billion dollars annually, making it almost twice the size of pharmaceuticals at $331 billion and motor vehicles at $340 billion.
Recreation assets on public lands produce a powerful multiplier for local economies, attracting businesses and increasing home values. Recruiters of highly skilled professionals continue to cite access to trails and recreation opportunities as increasingly important to prospective recruits. This trend is bringing high paying jobs of all types to diverse communities in unprecedented numbers.
About Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance: This 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization’s mission is to create and protect sustainable mountain biking opportunities in Washington State. Founded in 1989 as a grassroots solution to local trail closures, Evergreen has since grown to become Washington’s largest mountain bike organization with over 6,000 supporters dedicated to trail maintenance, education, advocacy and trail building. As a trusted partner with public land managers across the state Evergreen’s network of crew leaders and volunteers contributes over 7,000 hours of labor each year.