Mon, 01 Oct 2001

I and two immediate neighbors own 10 acres of lovely native woodland

adjoining both Marin County Open Space (Cascade Canyon-White's Hill

Preserve) and Camp Tamarancho, which belongs to the Boy Scouts of America.

Mountain bikers have used two trails on our property to access single-track

mountain bike trails for both MCOSD and Tamarancho, despite the fact that

they are fully aware that doing so is trespassing on private property. Every

sign we've erected to post it as private property has been torn down bythe

mountain bikers, including those on steel poles set in concrete. We have

protested (for years now) to the BTC (which advertised our trails on their

website, drawing hundreds upon hundreds of mountain bikers from all over

Marin, the Bay Area, the State, the U.S., and even internationally), to the

MCOSD (which tried to claim the eastern access trail until a survey, said to

have cost them $150,000 of Marin taxpayers' money, proved what we had told

them all along, which was that the trail is on our property), to the Boy

Scouts of Marin (who are fully aware that there is no legal public access to

the trails at Tamarancho, and no parking available for bikers who drive to

the trails), all, alas, to little or no avail.

The environmental damage on our property has been horrendous: severe

erosion, deep ruts, narrow deer trails widened to as much as 5' across, root

damage to trees (which have then died and fallen), transmission by mountain

bikes of the Sudden Oak Death fungus (where the trees are not on the trails,

they are uniformly healthy), and more. The mountain bikers have brought

chain saws onto our land to cut trees and limbs out of their way, leaving

ugly piles of dead slash, and creating a serious fire hazard. When told

they are on private property (there are both signs and locked gates), they

spew obscenities and threaten us with violence. They have threatened to

burn my house down, threatened me with personal harm, repeatedly broken our

gate, and vandalized my husband's new truck. All of this is on record with

the Fairfax police and the Marin County District Attorney. At least where I

live, mountain biking is not a recreational sport; it's a criminal activity.

Who needs terrorists when we have mountain bikers? They fill the same


Sara Godwin