Below is my letter to the Senator. It should come as no surprise that she completely avoided the topic at hand, and managed to send me a scripted nonpartisan reply that could be sent to either side of the political aisle.
I took the following e-mail template from Sustainable Trails Coalition’s “write to congress page” on their website-
Dear Senator Duckworth,
I live in Stillman Valley, IL and am writing to request that you support reversing the regulations that ban bikes in all federal Wilderness areas.
The Wilderness Act shows Congress had two goals. One was to preserve “Federal land retaining its primeval character and influence.” The Act has accomplished this nicely. The second was to protect land for “solitude or a primitive and unconfined type of recreation.” Those are my goals as a mountain biker, but if I want to ride my bicycle I’m banned on every Wilderness trail 100% of the time. There is no good reason for so broad a ban. This year’s H.R. 1349 and last year’s S.3205 (the latter titled “The Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act”) will reverse the blanket ban and give local rangers leeway to allow, or prohibit, bikes on a trail-by-trail basis.
Please support H.R. 1349 and S.3205, the Human-Powered Travel in Wilderness Areas Act. Thank you.
Response to me-
Thank you for contacting me regarding your views on H.R. 1349, a bill to amend the Wilderness Act to ensure that the use of bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers and game carts is not prohibited in Wilderness Areas, and for other purposes. I appreciate you taking the time to make me aware of your concerns on this important matter.
If enacted, this legislation would amend the Wilderness act to clarify that bicycles, wheelchairs, strollers and game carts may be used in wilderness areas. This bill was introduced by Representative Tom McClintock of California on March 2, 2017 and was referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.
Like you, I support protecting our Nation’s bedrock wilderness laws and oppose efforts to weaken or dismantle them. I deeply treasure the historic monuments, recreation areas, scenic landscapes and pristine ecosystems that makeup the National Wilderness Preservation System. Rest assured, I will continue to work with my colleagues on both sides of the aisle to maintain protections for these National treasures.
Thank you again for contacting me on this important issue. If you would like more information on my work in the Senate, please visit my website at www.duckworth.senate.gov. You can access my voting record and see what I am doing to address today’s most important issues. I hope that you will continue to share your views and opinions with me and let me know whenever I may be of assistance to you.
**Edited 3-25-18- I also received a response from Senator Dick Durbin. It is almost word for word the same response as above so I won’t post it.