The newsletter of AMERICAN TRAILS -- SPRING 1999

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Hikers and bikers improve relations

By Gary Sprung, International Mountain Bicycling Association

The Mountain bikers have for years faced conflict with the New York/New Jersey Trail Conference, a 76-year-old hiking organization which has built 1,200 miles of trails. Recently, that conflict diminished somewhat with the issuance by the Conference of a new trail use policy which begins to recognize the value of shared trails and specifically endorses IMBA's Rules of the Trail.

JoAnn Dolan, executive director of the Trail Conference, maintained that her group had unsuccessfully tried to recruit bicyclists for trail work in the past. Now that is "changing dramatically. There's a lot more organizing on the part of bike people. That's the way to get the trails-- to take on the responsibility for them," she said. "We recognize fully the role of mountain bikes. Many of our members, including our president, own mountain bikes."

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