Mountain Biking: Direct, Indirect, and Bridge Building Management Styles


  • Deborah J. Chavez


Conflict, management, mountain biking, planning, safety


Mountain biking is a relatively new and growing activity in National Forests. To examine the management issues associated with this activity, a national survey of USDA Forest Service resource managers was conducted. Responses were received from 90 National Forests. Forest managers were asked about specific issues related to mountain bike use as well as management actions they had used to address these issues. The management actions were grouped into four categories: direct (limit use, law enforcement) and indirect (education, information) visitor management, resource hardening (trail maintenance), and bridge building (cooperation, volunteerism). The actions used for each issue area, representing the skills and knowledge of current forest managers appear to focus on indirect measures. Bridge building, a more recent technique, is most often used for resolution of user conflicts and encouraging safety on mountain bike trails. Additional research is needed to measure the effectiveness of the management actions for each issue area.





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