Letter to IMBA from SDMBA
On December 12, 2017, the Board of Directors of the San Diego Mountain Biking Association sent the following letter to the Board of Directors of the International Mountain Biking Association as well as the Executive Staff of IMBA:
December 12, 2017
To the IMBA Board of Directors and Executive Leadership Staff:
The San Diego Mountain Biking Association Board of Directors are extremely disappointed in the action taken by the International Mountain Biking Association in filing written testimony to the Federal Lands Subcommittee that does not support HR 1349 sponsored by Congressman McClintock and supported by the Sustainable Trails Coalition (STC).
The SDMBA Board of Directors and the majority of the SDMBA membership is supportive of the focus of STC as well as the version of HR 1349 currently being moved forward. We see no conflict between our goals and the goals of STC and HR 1349. We are baffled that IMBA would interject itself as a major representative of mountain bikers and voluntarily and in no uncertain terms say they are “not supporting H.R. 1349.”
SDMBA has supported STC since its inception both financially and in efforts to educate and inform our members and other community members about their legislative efforts in addition to supporting IMBA’s efforts. Ideally, IMBA would have taken a lead role on such an important issue, but in the vacuum, STC bravely took on this fight. People are now speaking about cycling in wilderness at the highest levels. Public comments over the past several days on social media and through direct communication with SDMBA leadership shows an overwhelming negative response to IMBA’s lack of support for HR 1349. In short, it is clearly evident that IMBA’s statement does not echo the stance of the members who pay IMBA to speak on their behalf.
Having a strong board and executive team for any organization is critical. The team will often be confronted with difficult decisions resulting in national benefits and consequences. When an organization does not seek out or act on member input, that organization cannot accurately represent those members. This was clearly seen in your stance against HR 1349 and your stance on motorized bicycle usage. This should come as no surprise with a board highly represented by industry and environmental advocates. While we applaud the appointment of one Chapter Leader, it’s not nearly enough. As shown once again by IMBA’s recent stance on HR 1349, IMBA’s board is tone-deaf to the community and has too frequently taken controversial stances when claiming to represent mountain bike riders’ interests. Once again, SDMBA strongly calls for IMBA’s board to be replaced with elected mountain bike leaders with a strong, accomplished history of outstanding advocacy wins in favor of mountain biking. Unfortunately, the existing board has consistently failed to lead this organization as mountain bikers require.
Earlier in 2017, the SDMBA Board of Directors voted to remain an IMBA Chapter. We urge IMBA to modify their position either to align with the overwhelming support from the mountain bike community or simply withdraw your comments and move to a neutral position regarding HR 1349. We will be watching for developments - this will determine whether we continue our future association with IMBA.
Kevin Loomis, President
Ben Stone, Vice President
Bob Winston, IMBA Board of Directors
Chris Conroy, IMBA Board of Directors
Taldi Walter, IMBA Board of Directors
Mike Cachat, IMBA Board of Directors
Luther Propst, IMBA Board of Directors
Faryar Shirzad, IMBA Board of Directors
Howard Fischer, IMBA Board of Directors
Alden Philbrick, IMBA Board of Directors
David Treinis, IMBA Board of Directors
Ernie Rodriguez, IMBA Board of Directors
David Zimberoff, IMBA Board of Directors
Kent McNeill, IMBA Board of Directors
Jim Grover, IMBA Board of Directors
David Wiens, IMBA Executive Director
Aaron Locker, IMBA Vice President, Development and Member Services
James Clark, IMBA Vice President, Field Operations