On Tuesday, May 19th, 2015, the (Indiana) Natural Resources Commission will be meeting (10 am , Fort Harrison State Park, agenda: http://www.in.gov/nrc/2354.htm) to discuss raising and creation of various fees, one of them being a off-road bicycling permit ($5/person/day, $20/person/annual). If you can't make the meeting, you can contact the Natural Resources Commission to make comments on the proposed changes prior to the May 19, 2015 meeting.
Paul Arlinghaus from Hoosier Mountain Bike Association (HMBA.org) has a great summary of this issue and what HMBA is doing (http://www.hmba.org/smf/index.php?topic=13717.0). The primary issue is that Indiana State Parks budget was cut $3 million in the budget just passed and in order to keep from closing parks, they are raising entrance fees, annual fees, and raising permit fees / creating new permits.
There is a call from both the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA) and HMBA to contact your legislators which is a long term fix as the budget is passed and signed; the short term is to work with DNR on maintaining access to the parks, have the state parks and forests remain open to creating more mountain biking opportunities and to have the mountain bike permit also be able to be used in state forests. More info on fee changes: http://www.in.gov/dnr/parklake/files/sp-2015_fee_changes.pdf.
Connie Szabo Schmucker
Bicycle Garage Indy / BGI Fitness