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The "Keystone" Is Cooperation (and numbers)
It is a good thing that Don Andrews and Richard "Rock" Martin have the guts to quickly pull together a statewide organization to represent the views of mountain bikers in Pennsylvania. Tapping into mountain biking clubs scattered throughout this large state, they have the potential to form a strong and vibrant organization worthy of the name, Keystone Mountain Bikers. A unified voice is definitely needed. (Click to view Andrews' guest editorial.)
Though this new group is an excellent idea in itself, the main impetus in its quick formation is the Pennsylvania Game Commission's not-so-subtle hints that they may consider closing even more state gameland trails to horseback riders and mountain bikers. This is why Mr. Andrews and Mr. Martin have asked that we post their press release and spread the word that plenty of bikers need to attend the next PGC Advisory Council meeting on January 25, 2001.
No doubt the issues in this article are not unique to the Keystone State. Mountain bikers everywhere need to present themselves as big players in conservation of wilderness and recreational trails. They must trumpet successful trails that have not harmed wildlife or plant life. Image is important and, when it occurs, so is the acknowledgment and condemnation of abuses by fellow bikers. Bikexchange.com recommends a good working partnership with the Pennsylvania Game Commission and not, if it can be helped, an adversarial one. The PGC is a very powerful organization and Pennsylvania is home to more than a million hunters. But no doubt many love to bike and no doubt most are reasonable.
Reason, facts, and a good crowd in both the audience and the membership rolls will be the best bargaining chips for the Keystone Mountain Bikers on January 25.
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