When people think of governmental departments and bureaucracy, they rarely think of anything good or exciting or fun. When people think of the Bureau of Land Management, probably nothing comes to mind. Those who follow the news and politics might remember that they were engaged in an armed standoff with a Nevada rancher named Cliven Bundy but that’s about it. It turns out that the Bureau of Land Management (or the BLM) is the federal agency in charge of the country’s public lands and making sure that they are cared for and unharmed, especially when commercial interests come into play.
The latest news from the BLM has nothing to do with armed militias or a stubborn farmer refusing to pay the money he owes the government. It actually has to do with mountain bikers. What about mountain bikers, you ask? That they are welcome and loved the BLM and that the BLM wants to help them find the best trails so they can ride with joy. They have partnered with the International Mountain Bicycling Association and MTB Project to create and launch a new section of the BLM website that is promising to change the way people approach mountain biking and choose which trails to ride.
The newest section of the website focuses on the top 20 locations for riding in the country and has both maps and interactive trail guides so that you can get a lay of the land before setting off on your adventure. The project is the brainchild of the current director of the BLM, Neil Kornze. He has been a biker since he was young and he realized that there was a disconnect between the BLM and mountain bikers — a large group of people that use BLM land with some frequency but rarely ever engage with the bureau. Seeing as how many mountain bikers end up working and caring for the trails they love to ride, working to reach them only makes sense. This is great news for bikers looking for prime riding locations and great news for the BLM. I know I can’t wait to get started!
If you’d like to read an interview with Neil Kornze and learn more, the link is here.
Check out the new website here too!