Date: Fri, 30 Apr 2004 17:59:44 -0700

From: [a responsible citizen]

Subject: Re: Mountain Bikers are Eco-Vandals!

Eight million bikers can be wrong when it comes down to the welfare of the environment. You can get the whole story on the Alpine Recreational Study on the site. Just scroll to it on the right hand side box.

On Wednesday night, a Parks and Natural Environment committee member showed us some pictures of mountain bike structures, illegally built on our upper mountain. What a pack of trash and vandalism in our forests. We are supposed to go up there again with a parks ranger, and look at more this weekend. It is time for a backlash against this eco-vandalism by the general public who are not mountain bikers. It is a crying shame what they have done to our woods. By my intuition, I have always said that what was happening in our little park (Mountain View), was probably happening all over Mount Fromme. It seems I am right. When I go up there, I plan to take a lot of pictures. One biker on our committee said it would be bad judgement to go on a Saturday, as we would be taking risk on "mountain biker territory"----WHA--? There, the truth. I sucked in my breath, and glared. These people tell me I have no right to claim the neighbourhood park for our neighbourhood, and yet tell me I will be "infringing" on their "territory"? I was about to say something, but thought the better of it, since it probably would have gotten me thrown off the committee, and I can do more on the committee.

Some very dodgy things going on with the mountain bikers and the NSMBA. The focus groups and Alpine Plan is an eye opener. Things were said like:

* Preserve unique nature of mountain bike experience. Standards can sterilize experience. ( I take this to mean they do not wish to have rules, containment, restriction, or enforcement)

This one is a real beauty, isn't it.

* Promote (North Shore Mountains) as a world class mountain bike destination. (The district already is, so what else is new?)

* Need for mountain bike skills park for kids and youth. (One is already in the plans; another is being looked at, etc. How many do they need??? And why do we need to teach youth "skills" to rip up our wildlands? If they build mountain bike "amusement" parks, and kept them out of our wild places, like skateboard parks to keep skateboarders off the streets, I could see that working. ie. one for the city, one for DNV and one for West Van.) -- but of course hell will freeze over first before we get any mountain biker going for that..

There are liability issues; rescue services are overburdened by mountain bike injuries. (North Shore Search and Rescue). Mountain bikers want free access, free ride, and free everything, etc. Another stress on our wildlands last year and this year is drought (believe it or not). So there is the added stress on our flora and fauna created by perceived long term climatic changes. If we do not get our usual April and May deluge of rain, forest closures could come up in very early summer. Which may not be such a bad thing with regards to mountain bikers and the upcoming mountain bike conference and festival. Frankly living right next to the forest, I welcome anything that would prevent forest fires. I'll keep you up to date.