Push-Back Needed by OBceans to Protect Public Land from Bikes

by on December 21, 2017 · 45 comments

in Ocean Beach

from Pacific Coast Trail website

By Brett Warnke

“…a turn or two I’ll walk, To still my beating mind.”  –William Shakespeare’s Prospero, The Tempest Act IV, Scene i.

Would you take a mountain bike down Cabrillo’s cliffs?

Or do a bike-trick on your i-phone off of Sunset Cliffs as the day expires?  If not and you imbibe your experience on public land through the serenity of a craggy desert walk or a trip up the melancholy hills of Southern California, a local group is trying to spice up your walks with a cascade of helmets, rubber tires, rapid speed, and dry-fit gear.

The San Diego Mountain Biking Association has has been recruited by Republicans to help roll back wilderness protections on public lands.  According to the LA Times the new measure would “invite mountain bikers to shred through the iconic landscapes.”

While the San Diego chapter is opposed by the 40,000 strong International Mountain Biking Association and numerous environmental organizations, the local has gone even further, posting a petition on Dec. 17 stating the following:

We demand that the International Mountain Bicycling Association (IMBA) cease its opposition to HR 1349, a bill that would allow mountain biking in Wilderness areas on a case-by-case basis. We demand that IMBA retract its public comment opposing HR 1349. IMBA’s opposition to this bill is contrary to their stated mission to “enhance and protect great places to ride mountain bikes.” We believe that IMBA should be supporting mountain bike access and not lobbying against it.

Yes, a local organization is working with Republicans who yesterday opened up Alaska’s ANWR (Arctic National Wildlife Refuge) to big corporate drilling.  The same Republicans who two weeks ago shrunk Bears Ears and Grand Staircase-Escalante monuments in Utah so that oil, coal, and uranium could be sucked out for private profit.

What can you do?

1.     Organize a group of OB hikers and push back.  Send this link to their Facebook  tag them in posts related to preserving public land, and get together over the holiday.  There are others who do not want to compete with mountain bikers on public land—a clear violation of The Wilderness Act.  Organize, organize, organize.

2.     Contact local and state elected officials:  Tell them what to do or the loudest lobbyists will.  (Over 6,000 lobbyists worked on the Tax Scam that passed Dec. 20.  How did they make out?  How did you?)

3.     Volunteer on the Pacific Crest Trail Association to experience and preserve public lands.  Take your children, your students, and your friends.  This is your land, use it or lose it.

4.     Join SD 350, a local volunteer organization that pushes people to take action for better public policy to create a cleaner, more just world https://sandiego350.org

 

 

{ 45 comments… read them below or add one }

Chris December 21, 2017 at 6:15 pm

Personally, I would like to see a compromise. Over the years a lot of mountain bike trials have been closed off to biked due to a new wilderness designation. I agree wth the SDMBA on this (case by case).

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Chris December 21, 2017 at 6:16 pm

Or more specifically, certain trails but not all.

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Karen K. December 21, 2017 at 10:50 pm

I’m a long distance hiker but I think there’s room for bikers in Wilderness. We need more people to care about protecting these places, especially with the current President.

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Chris December 22, 2017 at 11:22 am

I agree. Leaving at least some room for MTBers in the wilderness doesn’t mean everywhere. Some trails can be shared, others not so much. How to decide which would vary. Most MTBers I know are also avid hikers. I love how the author makes it sound like MTBers and hikers are to who separate entities.

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Ritza December 22, 2017 at 2:28 pm

The only thing I have against mountain bikes on ANY trail is the rider’s attitude that I must get out of their way in time, so they do not lose momentum. That alone is enough to get me to vote no to them on any trail, even though at times I’d like to ride my bike on the same trail. Jerks.

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Chris December 22, 2017 at 5:45 pm

I think that goes for any # of sports where multi users are sharing the same piece of space. Think shortboarders vs. lonboarders vs. SUPers sharing the same surf spot. I like to hike and at times i DO feel it’s proper for me to get out of the way.

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Alec Barron December 22, 2017 at 7:22 pm

I agree with Chris, but I would to point out that the San Diego Mountain Bike Association (SDMBA) has done an excellent job of promoting safely sharing trails. This is why they have supported bells at trailheads for riders. As a member SDMBA, I love to promote this practice and have been thanked by hikers for a friendly ring as I approach. I’m a hiker it too, so I think it’s important for us to work as partners to promote reasonable access.

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Ben December 22, 2017 at 3:20 pm

This article is insane, somehow calling on the public to rise up against mountain bikes. This writer has a lack of understanding on the issue. Mountain Bikers simply want local land managers to have the option to allow bikes where they deem appropriate. The idea that somehow these landmanagers are incapable of making these decisions highlights the writers complete arrogance. I supported this bill, before it was deemed partisan, actually before it was a bill and just an idea.

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FjLehnerz December 22, 2017 at 3:28 pm

The authors of this article really need to do more research.
Cabrillo is a part of Cabrillo National Monument which is administered by the National Park Service by the Federal Government. It’s not a designated wilderness although it is protected. Bicycling is only allowed where other vehicles are allowed to travel and that’s policy in most, of not all National Parks and Monuments. If off road cycling were to be allowed in designated wilderness areas it doesn’t mean somebody could ride off roads or on the hiking trails in Cabrillo though and that’s the same in other national parks like Yosemite or Joshua Tree.

Closest wilderness areas to San Diego are the Pine Creek and Haydee wilderness areas which are both south of I8 roughly between Pine Valley and Potrero inside in Cleveland National Forest. Agua Tibia is Northeast of Pala. Beauty Mountain is south of Anza (Riverside Cty) Lastly, the San Mateo Wilderness is in Orange County between SR 74 and Camp Pendleton.
Also immediately east of Mt. Laguna there’s the Sawtooth Mtn Wilderness and a few other areas out in the deserts.

Sunset Cliffs Natural Park is run by the City of San Diego – a separate entity.
Designated Wilderness are a whole different distinction, any form of mechanized transport is prohibited inside Wilderness areas. Only hiking and equestrian use is permitted and the only devices with wheels allowed are wheel chairs. Under certain conditions are exemptions made and that’s usually for fire fighting or search and rescue. Wilderness areas can be inside National Parks, National Monuments (both under the Dept. of Interior), Forest Service (USDA) and Bureau of Land Management (Dept of Interior too) land though. The state of California also has their own designated wilderness areas too but these are different from the federally designated ones.

Those who support bicycling in these pristine areas should really consider the potential damage they can do both to the area and to the serenity of the wilderness.
A good source of information for wilderness and public lands in general is http://www.wilderness.net

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Chris December 22, 2017 at 5:51 pm

I don’t think the author of this article is unaware of anything you mentioned, rather he is actually being a bit dishonest. There are people who don’t like bikes on any kind of off road trails in any capacity. I can’t say if that’s the case with him but I have my suspicions.

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Jenny December 22, 2017 at 3:39 pm

“The San Diego Mountain Biking Association has has been recruited by Republicans.” Just because the bill was backed by a Republican, doesn’t mean the inception of the bill was a Republican brainchild. The politics just happened to land that way because of the election of our current administration. I wish everyone would remember this issue is bipartisan and should be kept that way. Mountain bikers like hikers and others are conservationists at heart. Especially the ones going out and doing trail work for everyone to enjoy. Lets keep politics out of this and focus on the real issue at hand.

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Chano Murphy December 22, 2017 at 4:34 pm

Very biased article. Author makes it sound like the people supporting this bill are a bunch of crazy adrenaline junkies. Bikes are human powered. Most people riding them love and respect the environment and want to commune with nature. I don’t see anything wrong with letting local land managers decide on a case-by-case basis. Peace out.

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James M December 23, 2017 at 9:07 pm

“Bikes are human powered,” than what are all those gears you have on your bike? Any device that has wheels and gears has no business in a Wilderness Area. If you want to check out a Wilderness Area you can hike in just like the rest of us. Also, any bike advertisement ever made contradicts your statement that mountain bikers are not “A bunch of adrenaline junkies.”

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Chris December 27, 2017 at 4:58 pm

“Also, any bike advertisement ever made contradicts your statement that mountain bikers are not “A bunch of adrenaline junkies.””
You’re expressing an opinion you don’t really hold. Yes some adds do but others don’t, just like some mountain bikers are adrenaline junkies and some aren’t. Also, what is wrong with being and adrenaline junkie?
As to whether or not bikes belong in the wilderness, we could use the same argument as to whether or not canoes and kayaks belong in the wilderness. Or horses or even hikers. And those of us who are advocating for opening trails to bike in the wilderness are not saying ALL trails should be open.

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Robert Hubbard December 22, 2017 at 5:43 pm

This is very troubling. To suggest that the local land managers don’t deserve input is preposterous.

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FjLehnerz December 23, 2017 at 1:58 pm

Local managers do have a lot of leeway but they don’t get to defy law and the 1964 Wilderness Act is the law of the land. But what they can do also requires input of the public.

The most troubling thing, and it’s a very fair issue, for mtb users is that they’ve accessed areas that were recently designated as wilderness areas and thus can no longer ride there specifically because of the designation. For the vast majority of them who are good stewards of the land and leave no trace they probably view it as a slap in the face because they don’t feel like they were doing anything wrong.

The issue with the local SD group is that it’s not the wilderness issue that’s keeping them from riding in the San Diego area, it’s all the other land issues which mostly includes the sprawl of urban development, DoD owned land, reservation land, and plain old private property.. There are no areas in Southern CA that experienced a change in designation though what removed Mtn bikers as mentioned above.

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Alec Barron December 22, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Join any outdoor organization and connect to a diverse set of trail users. If we keep away from positions and stick to interests, we will see that we have much more in common than we realize. Sustainable trails that allow us to protect and preserve the environment are in the interest of both hikers and bikers. You will find that bikers are incredible trail stewards and excellent partners for preserving more, not less open space.

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Doug December 22, 2017 at 8:32 pm

“This is your land, use it or lose it.”

I use it regularly by both foot and by bike, and fully intended on continuing to do so thanks.

Also, your statement that “the San Diego chapter is opposed by the 40,000 strong International Mountain Biking Association” is categorically false. To begin with, every one of the members of the SDMBA is also a member of the IMBA, as it is a local branch. Additionally, if you even did a tiny bit of research, you would find out that the vast majority of the IMBA members are in favor of wilderness access on a case by case basis, as it’s being proposed, and the board came out and voiced their objection without getting the input of it’s members. But, as others have already pointed out, your column is rife with inaccuracies and personal agenda pushing.

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Jeff December 22, 2017 at 9:20 pm

Yes, us mountain bikers live to destroy nature. From our jumping off sunset cliffs to plowing through the tides pools. If only they would let us jump from grave to grave at Arlington.

This article was written by someone that has no clue as to how much mountain bikers respect nature and help to maintain the local trails.

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Chris December 23, 2017 at 7:07 pm

Or he does know better but is intentionally stretching the truth and is just not being honest about the fact the he does not want bikes on any off road trails. I could be wrong but I really have a hard time believing he believes all the words who wrote. If he lives in San Diego and OB, there is not way he doesn’t know at least a few mountain bikers. I know that’s a bold accusation but if I’m right, he wouldn’t be the first. If I’m wrong and this is truly a heartfelt piece, then he runs around in some pretty small circles.

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James M December 23, 2017 at 9:14 pm

Go up to Carlsbad HIghlands Ecological Reserve if you want to see how mountain bikers respect nature . Also, a few mountain bikers rode through a funeral at Miramar a few years ago so your comment about bikes jumping from “grave to grave,” is not completely out there.

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Brian December 23, 2017 at 8:57 am

First, I am a hiker and a mountain biker. I have through hiked the JMT and I have been a mountain bike docent for the Nature Conservancy. Brett Warnke tries to associate Mountain Bike Access with Trump/Republican anti-environmentalism, when in reality, his (Warnke’s) position is exactly the kind of elitist Republicanism that says a certain segment of our society is entitled to something wonderful that the rest of you can’t have. Wilderness access should be restored for all, not just one user group. Personally, I hate horses on trails, I just do, but just because I don’t like a certain kind of trail user doesn’t make me more entitled to that trail. The wilderness is meant for all of us, not just the ones that Brett Warnke chooses. The original wilderness act set out to protect land from development, industry, and “motorized” transport. It wasn’t until the 80s that some very rich, very un-OB types hired their expensive lobbyists and decided that they didn’t have to share the wilderness with “that kind of element”. This proposal by the STC that SDMBA supports only reinforces the original intent of the Wilderness Act. That mechanical devices that aid in “human powered” movement no longer be blanket excluded everywhere, and to let land managers decide when to allow bicycles, or wheel chairs, or wheel barrows, or snow shoes, or cross country skies, or horses, or hikers, or trails at all. More access for more Americans who will enjoy, cherish, and fight to protect our wilderness. Uniting, not marginalizing, trail users is exactly the kind of thing that needs to happen to fight the anti-environment forces that are threatening our land. Shame on Brett for letting his personal agenda further divide nature lovers and perpetuating this elitist entitlement.

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Brian Findley December 23, 2017 at 9:18 am

Not everything is a blue vs. red issue. Mountain bikers and hikers (often the same people) share an interest in maintaining and expanding our parks and useable wilderness. We should be working together not stoking petty arguments among ourselves with articles like this.

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Chris December 23, 2017 at 7:18 pm

What adds to the comic effect of this article is the way Mr. Warnke even thinks that OBceans overwhelmingly agree with him.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page December 26, 2017 at 2:29 pm

Well, I can’t speak for all OBceans, but I agree with Brett and I’m sure many more do as well.

Some of these comments are off track like “Think shortboarders vs. lonboarders vs. SUPers sharing the same surf spot.” None of these are mechanical in nature and the ocean is not designated as wilderness.

Or this, “Just because the bill was backed by a Republican, doesn’t mean the inception of the bill was a Republican brainchild. The politics just happened to land that way because of the election of our current administration.” Did you bother to check before making this statement?

Or here’s a good one, “(Warnke’s) position is exactly the kind of elitist Republicanism that says a certain segment of our society is entitled to something wonderful that the rest of you can’t have.” The Republican position is to open up all these lands for exploitation so people can make money. Perhaps you can provide an example of what you described?

Here is a good definition of wilderness “rare, wild places where one can retreat from civilization, reconnect with the Earth, and find healing, meaning and significance. ” “Retreat from civilization” is the key phrase. Dodging mountain bikes is not a retreat from civilization. I find it hard to believe that off road bikers are what has been described here. In my experience with them, they are not paying attention to nature, all that nature provides them is a challenging course to ride, their attention is on the ground not on the surrounding nature, until they stop that is. You can’t ride that fast and enjoy nature at the same time. It sounds like the same argument put forth by snowmobilers, “we just want to enjoy nature” as fast as we can crash through the wilderness.

The argument is that many people would like to enjoy peaceful hiking and surroundings and not have that shattered by a group of off road bikers. The activity is disruptive and I’m sure the animals do not appreciate it either. To say that this activity leaves nothing behind is not accurate either.

That said, I would be in favor of setting aside land specifically for people who enjoy this kind of riding, as they did for dirt biking. But, leave the wilderness areas to foot traffic or horses, keep mechanized travel away.

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Chris December 27, 2017 at 5:23 pm

Geoff, not all mountain bikers are downhill chargers which is something I’m sure you are very much aware of. Many are more into cross country touring and as an OBcean (or at least a SD resident) I’m sure you know at least some.

“The Republican position is to open up all these lands for exploitation so people can make money. Perhaps you can provide an example of what you described?”

That I can’t argue with. The funny thing about that this whole debate is all MTBers I know are on the same page with environmentalists (and nearly all MTBer I know are very much left leaning environmentalists, myself included). So despite this proposal being backed by a Republican, I don’t know any off road bikers that want wilderness land opened up for any type of commercial development, mining, drilling, etc. No MTBers I personally know are even Republican. I’m sure there are some out there but none that I’ve met. Seems to me there could be come kind of agreement we can all come together on and fight the other things Republicans want to do.

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Chris December 27, 2017 at 7:12 pm

“The argument is that many people would like to enjoy peaceful hiking and surroundings and not have that shattered by a group of off road bikers. ”
Which is why most MTBers do not want ALL wilderness areas opened up to them. I know I don’t want to see bikers in Yosemite (off road that is).

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Christo December 27, 2017 at 11:14 am

I would rather deal with MTBs than horses.

Fresh horse crap on trail. Wonderful.
Breathing dried horse crap that has been ground into dust. Even better.
Horse crap in the water at stream crossings (that have been savaged by horse trains). Nice.
Meadows and campsites destroyed by horse trains. Awesome.
Being told to stand down hill from a horse train because “That’s trail etiquette”. BS.

Major opposition to allowing MTBs in Wilderness areas is lead by horse groups.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page December 27, 2017 at 3:08 pm

I love the smell of fresh horse crap in the morning.

Doesn’t sound like you’re a horse guy, Christo.

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Christo December 28, 2017 at 4:56 pm

The other 4 issues are far worse.

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Jenny December 27, 2017 at 11:37 am

Or this, “Just because the bill was backed by a Republican, doesn’t mean the inception of the bill was a Republican brainchild. The politics just happened to land that way because of the election of our current administration.” Did you bother to check before making this statement?

Yes Geoff, I did check. I happen to know the author of the bill, and have been following it closely. I can assure you, it has nothing to do with politics.

In the future, the onus is on you to fact check before you start scorning those people with whom you disagree, as you, yourself have proven to be ill-informed and reactionary. 2 qualities that undermines the points you bring to the table.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page December 27, 2017 at 3:02 pm

Well, Ms. Jenny, I think you have a bit of a thin skin there. I said some comments were off track and I asked you a direct question, I hardly think that qualifies as scorn. The onus is not on the reader to fact check something someone else wrote. Your statement now seems even more cryptic, if you know all about the bill, why didn’t you just explain its genesis? If it was a Republican’s brainchild then whose brainchild was it? Instead of getting angry about being questioned, why not provide the facts that you are privy to instead?

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Geoff Page Geoff Page December 27, 2017 at 3:10 pm

I meant to write “wasn’t” a Republican’s brainchild.

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Jenny December 27, 2017 at 6:34 pm

Thin-skinned it not how I wanted to sound, so I apologize if I came off that way. However, if you are going to “fact check” readers and contributors, then I highly suggest your facts are on point, which they were not. Nor did a mean to come off as cryptic, I assumed because you contributed to this rather specific issue regarding Wilderness and Mountain Biking, you would have the basic facts and understanding of the bill. Again, my apologies, for making that assumption.

The bill was co-written by Ted Stroll of the STC. STC stands for the Sustainable Trails Coalition. They have a website that addresses many of the issues raised here. But one thing you will not find on their website is any mention of politics of any leanings.

And if you actually read the bill, you will discover that it remains nonpartisan, as it should. The bill gives the local land managers the authority to determine if the Wilderness area they oversee is appropriate for mountain biking, or not. A partisan bill slanted towards the right would want very little/no government intervention and the extreme right would want no Wilderness. (Look at the current administration and what they’ve recently done to National Monuments)

As a mountain biker who does trail work on a very regular basis and advocates for keeping our trails and mountains well maintained and accessible, I take umbrage to anyone saying that mountain bikers are not conservationists. We are. We respect and love the trails as much as any other user group. So much so, we actually get our hands dirty by working on the trails and donating money.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page December 28, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Ok, Jenny, now that’s an informative response that helps the discussion. So, to the point of the politics, can you add what more you know about the land managers you’ve mentioned. Who would these managers be? I’m assuming you may mean a variety of agencies like the city, county, state, and probably federal government. To put the political argument to rest, it would be good to know who the managers are and who they may be beholden to.

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Jenny December 29, 2017 at 11:59 am

Congressional Wilderness Designation is the issue here, which means it falls under the aegis of the Federal government, specifically the Department of Agriculture.

Take out any State, County or City governing bodies. The majority of Wilderness is managed by the USFS, then the BLM. The National Park Services runs a smaller chunk and lastly, the Fish and Wildlife Service runs the smallest portion. I’m not certain why/how the agencies are assigned to the different Wilderness areas. My guess is they try to take a reasonable approach, but I’m sure there’s more to it than that. For example, when the San Gabriel Mountains in Los Angeles became a National Monument, there were questions as to who would manage the land, the USFS or NPS. The USFS ended up managing it because it was not designated a National Park and the USFS was already overseeing the ANF.

So to answer your question, there are several Federal agencies managing Wilderness areas. And because the land managers of each area have intimate knowledge of their land, and can provide the best insight to determine if biking and other human-powered pursuits make sense for the land they manage, a blanket ban, as well as a blanket sanction is goofy.

HR 1349 is bringing common sense back into the Wilderness Act, of which, the original intent was to never ban human-powered devices. The blanket ban didn’t happen until 1984, 20 years after the Wilderness act was in place, back when a Republican President sat in office. Granted, the Republicans were in control of the Senate and the Dems were in control of the House, so take that for what its worth.

Fast forward to present day, when we have another Republican President sitting in office. If following the footsteps of Reagan, regarding Wilderness, then Republicans would want more oversight on Wilderness, not less. But since we know that’s not the consensus of the party line, it points to this issue being non-partisan and should stay that way. Think about it, if political leanings had anything to do with this issue, the ban would have never happened in 1984, OR, HR 1349 wouldn’t be backed by Republicans. Can’t have it both ways because the mountain biker platform has not changed.

I know the above “analysis” is overly simplified, but when people talk about politics and party lines, their platforms don’t typically change. Let’s keep politics out of this, because it’s not relevant, wasn’t a consideration in the writing of this HR 1349, and doesn’t really add to the conversation in a meaningful way; it just adds a distraction.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page January 2, 2018 at 9:53 am

Another very informative response, Jenny. I did some reading based on what you wrote and it looks to me like the ban was instituted by the same land managers that you and other folks are now saying should make the decisions. I don’t disagree since the ban started with them, I did not find any legislation making the ban law. Basically, the Wilderness Act was done in Johnson’s administration and in 1984 a whole bunch of environmental groups convinced those land managers to ban bikes. I agree that this could use another look because the world has changed considerably since 1984. It seems to me that the bikers need to get those same groups to help them with this. But, the influence of politics can’t be ignored. Those land managers are now beholden to the idiots in charge and I believe Brett’s point, that the Republicans want the wilderness open to all kinds of exploitation, is correct. Certainly we have seen that with the reduction in park size in several places like Bear’s Ears in Utah I think. I think some areas should be opened up and so designated so that those who prefer to hike without the presence of bikes would know where to avoid. I’m guessing relaxing the ban will indeed be easier with the current administration.

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Chris December 28, 2017 at 6:07 am
Chris December 28, 2017 at 6:12 am

Perhaps a good compromise is to re-open at least some of the trails to MTBers that are now restricted but DON’T open trails that were never open to MTBers to begin with.

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RB December 28, 2017 at 8:44 am

I have hiked many of the local trails. I have hiked the 2,5,10, and 20 mile routes and have not had a problem with bikes. With the exceptions of a few hikes like Cowles and Iron Mt., I have seen very few of our 3 million residents on these trails. I suspect the anti-MTBers are like the tax experts that don’t pay taxes or the business experts that don’t own businesses………..Stop complaining and hit the trails.

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Geoff Page Geoff Page December 28, 2017 at 12:08 pm

RB, this is a discussion about the pros and cons of off road cyclists being on wilderness trails, it is not a complaint session.

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triggerfinger December 28, 2017 at 1:07 pm

Contraptions like hiking boots and walking poles are unnatural and cause damage to our fragile wilderness areas. Even clothing can leaves fibers behind and spread invasive seeds.

We need a singular policy to restrict usage to nude hikers only.

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Chris December 31, 2017 at 7:00 am
Robert Hubbard January 2, 2018 at 9:02 am

Resisting bikers in Wilderness just to resist makes no sense. I would encourage those who aren’t aware to look into what the San Diego Mountain Biking Association (SDMBA) volunteers do today for the public.

Go see their work – Check out Black Mountain Open Space (near Rancho Bernardo) and hike the trail built by SDMBA named the “Lilac Trail”, accessible from the Miners Loop parking lot. There are also several new trails on the small peak to the east near the 15 fwy. These were built using funding and massive resources (over 100 volunteers across several years) from SDMBA. SDMBA also maintains miles of trails in the county today, establishing erosion plans, removing non-native vegetation and building natural erosion control into the trail system. There are countless areas maintained/rebuilt by SDMBA volunteers throughout the County (Cuyamaca & Laguna Mountain included).

Why not utilize this resource? Why not use them more? How about aiding reforestation during trail maintenance? Bikers carry things while they ride most times….they could do other tasks while they’re in the back country. As an avid mountain biker I can tell you that most would welcome this involvement.

Mountain bikers represent an opportunity.

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Alec Barron January 2, 2018 at 10:19 pm

Thank you for posting this. I completely agree and I think we need to work towards more effectively communicating how we as members of SDMBA act as a resource for all user groups and the environment.

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