My letter was edited (re-written) incorrectly and a reference was left off. The Wilderness Act was not "amended" to ban bicycles. Rather it was re-interpreted in order to ban bicycles. This is fully explained in this reference: http://www.imba.com/resources/wilderness/stroll.pdf. It is a legal opinion by Theodore J. Stroll, a Judicial Staff Attorney of the California Supreme Court. His argument cannot be reduced to a "sound bite" or short comment so I advise downloading it and reading the whole thing. He suggests, among other things, that the use of fishing tackle could be called mechanized transport of game.
"Its hallowed status is enhanced by the fact that, except for a trivial modification in 1978, it has never been amended, although new areas are regularly added to the Wilderness inventory under separate pieces of legislation," Stroll writes.
Interpretation and amending are two entirely different things.
Arne P. Ryason
Editor's note: The Express regrets the error.