To the Editor:

Re: Mountain Bikers' Anti-Wilderness Campaign

The International Mountain Biking Association, by their own admission, opposes half of Barbara Boxer's Wilderness bill. They justify their opposition by the following seven lies:

1. "Banning bikes 'excludes' bikers" (they are incapable of walking?!). Of course, this is nonsense. You can't mountain bike without being able to walk. There's no reason that mountain bikers can't enjoy Wilderness the same way everyone else does. Somehow, humans have managed to enjoy nature for 6 million years without bikes.

2. "Mountain biking is compatible with conservation". Bikes kill small plants and animals on and under the trail, and drive wildlife away. Bikers disturb several times as much habitat as hikers, because they travel several times as far.

3. "Closing trails to bikes 'forces' bikers to over-use other areas". This is obviously nonsense.

4. "Other, non-Wilderness, designations can protect wildlife, while allowing mountain biking". Wilderness is our strongest protection. Wildlife deserve no less.

5. "Mountain biking is something worth spending public funds to preserve". Nonsense. It benefits only the bikers.

6. "There exists such a thing as 'responsible' mountain biking". Yeah -- just like "responsible" bulldozer racing....

7. "Something that contributes to the economy should be preserved". Not if it is harmful!

Mike Vandeman