The U.S. Forest Service is tapping into its creative side to address illegal trail building on public lands by announcing an official partnership with a newly released mountain bike documentary.
The hour-long documentary, entitled “PEDAL-DRIVEN: a bikeumentary,” delves into the escalating conflict between mountain bikers hungry to ride and the federal land managers charged with protecting public lands. The growing trend of rogue trail building on public lands has become a national and international issue in recent years due in part to advancements in bicycle technology.
“Our primary theme here revolves around sustainability,” said writer/director Jamie Howell. “Mountain biking is exploding around the world and is forcing the development of new, cooperative approaches that both allow for it as a legitimate land use and manage it in a way that prevents the destruction of our precious and limited natural spaces.”
“This production documents the great things we can accomplish when we work together to solve problems,” said Forest Supervisor Becki Heath of the Okanogan-Wenatchee National Forest, whose forest is prominently featured in the documentary. “It also illustrates the challenges user-built trails can bring, including resource damage and public safety issues.”
“This really is an international issue, and this partnership is a milestone,” said producer Jeff Ostenson. “Becoming an official partner of the U.S. Forest Service, combined with the active support of such major players in the bike industry, lends a great deal of credibility to the film as an advocacy tool for riding organizations here in the U.S. and public land agencies around the world.”
Centered on the small town of Leavenworth, Wash., the documentary visits communities across the West in search of organizations working cooperatively to find more sustainable solutions to the ever-growing demands for recreational opportunities on public lands.
PEDAL-DRIVEN is currently on a 250-stop world screening tour and has screened at more than a dozen film festivals, including being recognized as a finalist in the Banff Mountain Film Festival and taking Best Cinematography honors at the 2011 DOCUTAH festival.