Appalachian National Scenic Trail

GOP lures some mountain bike groups in its push to roll back protections for public land

GOP lures some mountain bike groups in its push to roll back protections for public land

When their vision of creating a scenic cycling trail through a protected alpine backcountry hit a snag, San Diego area mountain bikers turned to an unlikely ally: congressional Republicans aiming to dilute conservation laws.

The frustrations of the San Diego cycling group and a handful of similar organizations are providing tailwind to the GOP movement to lift restrictions on the country’s most ecologically fragile and pristine landscapes, officially designated “wilderness.”

Resentment of these cyclists over the longstanding ban on “mechanized” transportation in that fraction of the nation’s public lands presents a political opportunity for Republicans eager to drill...

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