October 24, 1999
26 O'Farrell Street
San Francisco, California 94108
Re: The Bay Area Ridge Trail
The Bay Area Ridge Trail project is very misguided! Aren't you happy that humans already overrun and dominate 99% of the wildlife habitat that once existed in the Bay Area? Why do you want to take more open space away from wildlife, and subject it to more "industrial grade" recreation (mountain biking, horseback riding, etc.)???
You should be ashamed of yourselves! I know you are not. You are probably congratulating yourselves on the wonderful work you are doing, providing more playgrounds for humans. But wildlife, if they know how, are crying.
How about using your organization to do something worthwhile: buy up wildlife habitat, and make it off-limits to people. Now there is a project worth donating to!
Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.
P.S. Ridge tops and similar areas that are relatively inaccessible to people are for that reason very important to wildlife. Think a little! Think about things from wildlife's point of view…. And why would I want to donate my hard-earned dollars to create yet another human playground, when raw nature is far superior to anything that we can create?!
Mountain Biking Symposium Proceedings. Vancouver, BC: Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia, c.1990.
Photos of mountain bikers destroying Joaquin Miller Park:
http://home.pacbell.net/mjvande (including photos of mountain bike damage at Mammoth Ski Resort)