We’ve talked about whether mountain bikes should be allowed in areas recommended for wilderness designation by the Forest Service in a forest plan, for example, here. Most of the angst has been related to a policy adopted by Region 1 that many interpret as excluding this use because allowing it would reduce the likelihood that an area would actually be designated. Here’s an example from another region of how a forest plan would address this question. This language is from the draft EIS for the Nantahala-Pisgah National Forest revised plan (North Carolina). While this is written about the effects of wilderness designation, the DEIS also makes it clear what activities the Forest thinks would create a risk to future wilderness designation options.
Wilderness recommendation and designation would remove the potential to generate revenue from timber production, forest product sales, and other land uses which support surrounding development such as utility or transportation corridors. No new mineral claims would be filed, but valid existing claims would be allowed to operate.
Existing roads within recommended areas would either continue to be maintained as linear wildlife fields or decommissioned and allowed to return to a natural state. No new wildlife fields would be created nor any timber harvest activities allowed. Restoration activities where the outcomes protect wilderness characteristics would be allowed to continue, including monitoring, relocation of animals, habitat improvements such as removal of nonnative fish species and nonnative invasive plant species, stream improvements, and rehabilitation of recreation impacts.
Existing trails would continue to be maintained to allow for hiking and equestrian use per current trail-use designations, but mechanized transport such as bicycles or carts would be prohibited in all recommended areas (with exception of approved mobility devices for the impaired). Commercial collection of non-timber forest products such as galax or ginseng, would not be permitted; however, collection for non-commercial or tribal purposes would be allowed. Other commercial activities such as recreation special-use events would also be prohibited in areas recommended for wilderness designation.