The Sierra Club

Michael J. Vandeman, Ph.D.

November 9, 2023


†††† The stated goals of the Sierra Club are to preserve and enjoy nature. But if it isnít preserved, there would be nothing to enjoy, so preservation must take precedence over recreation! All forms of recreation destroy habitat. Trail-building obviously destroys and fragments habitat, but trail maintenance and trail use, which fill that habitat with humans, discourage wild animals from using their habitat, and therefore destroy habitat. However, mountain biking causes much more harm than hiking, because a bike allows one to travel much farther and faster than a hiker (and, of course, e-bikes give one an even greater range, and therefore are even worse than regular (non-motorized) mountain biking).


†††† Wildlife conservation results from unselfish concern for other living things - taking their point of view, like a mother raising her child. Recreation, on the other hand, is mostly a selfish activity undertaken to please oneself. Itís always claimed that recreation will lead to conservation, but mountain biking provides a good counter-example: it has never led to conservation, only more habitat destruction and access for bicycles. But other forms of recreation arenít much better. Whenever I engage in habitat restoration, I see dozens of hikers going by, but not one of them ever offers to help. Iím not aware of any Sierra Club members or committees who engage in habitat restoration.


†††† If you study it, you will soon see that employees will never have the necessary resources to eliminate invasive plants.They are far too numerous. Only volunteers can do it. What other activity can you think of that provides instant results?! Pull an invasive plant out of the ground, and it is never coming back!




Boyle, Stephen A. and Fred B. Samson, Nonconsumptive Outdoor Recreation: An Annotated Bibliography of Human-Wildlife Interactions. Washington, D.C.: U.S. Department of the Interior Fish and Wildlife Service Special Scientific Report -- Wildlife No. 252, 1983.


Hammitt, William E. and David N. Cole, Wildland Recreation -- Ecology and Management. New York: John Wiley & Sons, 1987.


Knight, Richard L. and Kevin J. Gutzwiller, eds. Wildlife and Recreationists. Covelo, California: Island Press, c.1995.


Liddle, Michael, Recreation Ecology. Chapman & Hall: London, c.1997.


Vandeman, Michael J.