The Santa Rosa and San Jacinto Mountains National Monument Public Lands are an invaluable part of the landscape in Palm Springs, Calif. Right now, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) is proposing a land exchange for properties owned by the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians (ACBCI). The land exchange is intended to promote effective and efficient management of public and tribal lands by providing the BLM with a more logical and consistent land management strategy.
The Palm Canyon Epic Trail risks closure under this exchange. The Palm Canyon Epic is considered a rare, long-distance backcountry ride—the kind of experience that is lacking in Southern California. The ACBCI currently do not permit bicycle use on their lands and, if this exchange is considered, it is likely the management of bicycle use would fall to the authority of the tribe.
IMBA and its local chapter, the San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA), are asking the BLM to consider an exception with the ACBCI to keep the existing route open at least until a new route can be developed should the exchange proceed.
Sign on to the IMBA letter now! It’s important for mountain bikers to ensure the BLM understands that lands with high-quality recreation opportunities, such as the Palm Canyon Epic, draw riders who contribute financially to the local economy. These trails must be considered when evaluating the monetary value of these parcels of land that are up for exchange.