The Monongahela National Forest, in West Virginia, is now accepting public comments on the proposed Forest Plan and draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) until November 14, 2005 for areas including Spruce Knob.
Mountain bicyclists are urging input because of restrictions on proposals for backcountry availability.
The proposed Forest Plan includes four areas of recommended Wilderness, but the final draft could encompass as many as 11 areas, with 118 miles of trails and 25 miles of gated forest roads, including the Spruce Knob/ Seneca Creek backcountry. IMBA and WVMBA propose a diversity of designations to protect these undeveloped lands, rather than just the federal Wilderness designation, which bans bikes.
Forest Service Plan