Bureau of Land Management Director Neil Kornze attended one of the nation’s most important mountain bike events to introduce a new access tool for trail riders all across the country. Developed by the BLM, in partnership with the International Mountain Biking Association (IMBA) and the MTB Project, the mobile-friendly online tool features interactive maps for 20 of the nation’s most popular trails on public lands. The maps can be accessed at www.blm.gov/mountainbike.
The new suite of online maps will improve a visitor’s experience by providing helpful information and eye-catching visual images of mountain biking recreation sites and trails. By making this information accessible to the public, the BLM aims to encourage more Americans to get outside and explore their public lands. Through the BLM website, riders can also access more detailed trail data from IMBA and the MTB Project.
“The BLM is proud to manage some of the world’s best mountain bike trails,” said Director Kornze. “This new, mobile-friendly tool will help the public get a glimpse of these amazing places and plan their rides.”
Director Kornze also noted that outdoor recreation also makes good economic sense. Based on figures from the Outdoor Industry Foundation, outdoor recreation activities contribute approximately $730 billion to the nation’s economy and support nearly 6.5 million jobs.
“BLM’s willingness to connect with our product and share it with their communities shows the quality of our work and provides a model of what our organizations can accomplish together,” said Leslie Kehmeier, Mapping Manager at IMBA.
More than one million visitors used mountain bike trails located on BLM public lands last year. Now, for the first time, the mountain biking community will be able to pull information about specific BLM mountain biking areas through a centralized online tool while they’re on the go.
This effort builds on the June release of the BLM’s recreation maps that provide interactive navigability for some of the nation’s most beloved conservation areas. These maps can be accessed at www.blm.gov/conservationlandswo/st/en/prog/nlcs.html.
The Outerbike event annually draws 600 to 800 cyclists from more than 40 states, plus 150 staffers from bicycle manufacturers. These participants are regular visitors to public lands, and depend on these lands for their recreational activity. They gather at Outerbike to test-ride bicycles, experience Moab’s great trails, and learn more about other places to ride while finding out what they can do to support public mountain bike trails.
The BLM is working hand-in-hand with local partners and volunteers in hundreds of communities around the country to build and maintain trails and to develop other recreational opportunities through its Connecting with Communities strategy. In the months and years ahead, the BLM will develop additional online tools that will help ensure that the public has informed and open access to the incredible recreational opportunities that can be found on our nation’s public lands.
The new mountain bike maps can be found at www.blm.gov/mountainbike.