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2016 Election Guide: Make sure your voice is heard!
« on: October 12, 2016, 04:30:03 PM »
 While voting is very important, it is much more important for you to be involved in the election process.  The mountain bike community faces many important challenges in the coming years and it is important that our elected officials know supporting public lands and recreation is important to voters.

 Here is the link to find out which candidates you will be voting for.


It is important to contact all the candidates (even the ones you may not be voting for).  We need those running from office to hear from a lot of people about the importance of protecting our Natural Resources and providing world class recreation.  Even better, find out when they are making a campaign appearance and ask them in person. 

A quick google search is a good way to find out how to contact them. Most candidates will also have facebook pages that provide info on appearances and how to contact them. 

National Issue: MTB Access in Wilderness:

In 2015, the Boulder White Clouds Wilderness was created in Utah. Because Wilderness regulations are currently interpreted as excluding mountain bikes, this closed long standing mtb access to trail in the new Wilderness.  This was a bitter pill for mountain biker to take.  The support of mtb exclusion from Wilderness while pushing for more Wilderness by Conservation organizations is driving a wedge between mountain bikers and conservationist.  Mountain bikers should be a part of the next generation of those who fight to protect our Natural areas but are being turned away by those happy to see us excluded.

Here are 3 good articles on Wilderness:





·        Contact those running for Federal House and Senate Positions on your ballet and let them know your thoughts on mtb exclusion from Wilderness.  If you want to see mtb access in Wilderness, please ask them to Support the STC legislation which would provide Wilderness access on a case by case basis for mountain biking.  It would also allow mountain biking in future Wildernesses, which could make mountain bikers allies for more Wilderness, rather than opponents. If you don’t support mtb access in Wilderness, please encourage them to support National Monument status in areas where mountain bike trails currently exist. 

State Issue: Underfunding of our State’s Parks and Forests:

At this year’s Brown County Epic, the showers in the pool house were cold.  This wasn’t because the hot water heater wasn’t turned on.  It was on and full of hot water.  The Park Manager spent an hour working on the pump that mixes the hot and cold water, but could not get the ancient pump to work correctly.  This is just one small example of infrastructure challenges our Park’s staff face on a daily basis.  Our Park’s electrical systems, sewer systems, and buildings are suffering and our Park’s staff are forced to explain to Park users why the Parks facilities are declining while at the same time fees are added or increased. 

·       In 2007, 1.4% of the State of Indiana’s total expenditures and general fund expenditures were for Conservation and Environment. In 2015 only 1.0% of total expenditures and 0.6% of general fund expenditures will be for Conservation and Environment. (Source: Indiana State Budget Agency web site)

·       The Department of Natural Resources was required to revert over $100 million dollars from legislative approved budgets for the fiscal years 2008-2013. (Source: Indiana State Budget Agency web site)

·       As of June 15, 2015, 15% of Dept. of Natural Resources positions were being held vacant, primarily due to lack of funds. The percentage for State Parks was 16% and for Nature Preserves 18%.

·       The average Dept. of Natural Resources vehicle is 11 years old.

One particular challenge for those who enjoy trail based recreation is that neither State Parks nor State Forests currently are able to staff any positions dedicated to Trails.  As a result hiking and horse trails are deteriorating.  Mountain bike trails are well maintained because volunteers from the mtb community do the trail maintenance, but now at the expense of paying a permit to ride the trails we maintain.

Not surprisingly, Indiana was ranked 46th on the Gallop-Heathway’s 2015 State Well-Being Rankings.  This ranking shows that Indiana’s lack of funding for Parks and Recreation (on both the local and State levels) has a negative impact on the well-being of Hoosiers.  The financial impact comes from high health care costs, missed tourism income, and challenges attracting good workers.


Please contact those running for State Governor, House, and Senate Positions and ask them where they stand on funding our State Parks and State Forests. 

·        Email them

·        Post on their Facebook pages

·        Meet them in person

·        Call their campaign offices.

Make them earn you vote!
« Last Edit: October 12, 2016, 07:17:13 PM by Steve King »
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