Mon, 7 Mar 2011 08:14:07 -0800 (PST)
From: Joan Weaver <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Big Basin Redwoods State Park General Plan Comment
This is a plea to you to NOT consider any expansion of trail size, or multi-use in our gorgeous State Park areas.
I live near, and hike many times weekly in the Santa Susana, Santa Monica, and Simi Valley Mountains and canyons. Also, several times a year, I backpack into some of California's most beautiful park areas, including the Big Basin Redwoods State Park area, to enjoy the beauty, serenity, and possible sightings of wildlife.
I have been a hiker and backpacker for many years. In my experience, mountain bikers do not care about the quiet beauty of any place . . . they are after the challenge, and thrill. Mountain bikers very often come zooming down narrow, or single-track, winding trails which might be populated by people on foot, or wildlife, who have no time to move out of the way. Two years ago, a friend and fellow hiker was left with a broken collar bone, and the mountain biker apologized to her, saying "I thought you were a kid." She was at the back of the line of hikers, and couldn't jump out of the way fast enough. Please, please do not consider widening single-track trails at all! Hikers and equestrians are out there for the most peaceful, natural experience we can get . . . Mountain bikers can leave their destructive mechanical devices at home and come out and enjoy these fantastic areas just like we do . . . ON FOOT! Trail widening would defeat the basic purpose . . . to protect and enjoy!
More and more often, I am seeing that these thrill-seeking mountain bikers are cutting down trees, laying the trees and large rocks across trails, and creating a ramp/jump for more thrills - this was in Sequoia National Monument in 2010. This is only one negative facet. I have personally helped take apart, and try to return the trails to their original state, only to find, a day later, that these destructive structures have been reconstructed.
The noise of these mechanical devices is enough to scare wildlife away from their own habitat! The noise and fear of being run over and injured is a deterrent to hikers and equestrians, as well.
It is all too common that we see trails "cut" by bicycles, crossing the existing switchback trail in order to exaggerate the biker's downhill thrills – destroying vegetation and causing erosion. Oh yes, erosion. As the mountain bikers careen around corners, the compacted soil becomes loose, and deep v-shaped grooves form, making for certain erosion when the rains come. This also happens on up-hill and down-hill portions of trails because of the wheel-spinning and braking actions of these machines. All this damage creates potential injurious ruts for hikers and horses.
Mountain bikers have the same rights to enter any of these pristine areas as do the rest of us – on foot. I advocate for the plants, wildlife, peace, serenity, and safety of us all.
Please ban mountain biking in ALL parks, and wilderness.
Thank you for your consideration,
Joan S Weaver