A memorandum of understanding has been signed between the National Park Service and the Adventure Cycling Association to promote the opportunties for road cycling to and within the National Park System.
Adventure Cycling, based in Missoula, Montana, is a non-profit organization that was launched in 1973 to encourage people to use bikes more often in their travels. The group produces cycling maps for the Adventure Cycling Route Network, "one of the largest cycling route networks in the world at 41,420 and growing. We are also the lead organization working to create an official U.S. cycling route network, the U.S. Bicycle Route System. Once complete, it will be the largest official cycling route network on the planet."
The MOU was signed on April 30. It is intended to "provide, where appropriate, opportunities for NPS managers and the Adventure Cycling Association to collaborate in creating safe bicycling opportunities throughout the country."
According to a release from the Park Service, the 5-year agreement "provides an opportunity for the Adventure Cycling Association to collaborate with NPS superintendents and program managers to share information, support best management practices, and create and promote safe and managed cycling opportunities for the public. NPS managers will define the amount and type of collaboration with Adventure Cycling Association and retain their authority to make final decisions where and when bicycling is allowed and promoted."
"Nationwide bicycle routes connect Americans to their national parks in an environmentally friendly manner. NPS partnerships with the bicycling community could present an opportunity for us to foster connections between national parks and cyclists of all ages," the release continued. "The agreement encourages collaboration in promoting user etiquette and safety while evolving recreation and tourism opportunities. It will also help the partners leverage resources, expand volunteerism, and tap expertise in providing best management or maintenance of infrastructure for bicycling activities."
Exactly what sort of materials the partnership will produce remains unclear, as the cycling association is still in the initial planning stages in the wake of signing the MOU.