Mountain Biking - Hood River stunts threatened
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09-11-03, 05:45 PM
Thanks to George Bush's "Healthy Forest Initiative", a group of officicals went poking around the forest in Hood River to find more reasons to cut the forest down. I wonder what they were thinking when they stumbled across the plethera of stunts....
Anyways, they're having a meeting to decide what to do with the forest, and I'm sure the stunts are going to be sacrificed. Really sad. :(
09-11-03, 05:46 PM
Oops, here's a pic of them from the local newspaper:
09-11-03, 06:26 PM
Sounds to me like you better gather up all your cycling partners and get to that meeting. Other wise there is a very good chance you will loose your trails.
Building stunts and messing up the very environment that mountain biking was founded on is stupid. Freeriding has screwed up our forests with junk like that. Boards and trash lying everywhere. What's wrong with riding the terrain that's NATURAL instead of riding stuff that has no business out in the woods? Nailing planks to trees, digging up soil... just leave it alone. I don't disagree with taking those down whatsoever. Freeriding is great, but don't alter the land just so you can ride of insane stuff. If you want to ride junk like that, buy your own land and build it there. But that kind of thing is threatening the image of mountain biking and it's future. Instead of being viewed as lovers of the outdoors, people see us trashing it. Mountain biking is about riding TRAILS and trails do not consist of plywood and 2x4s. I've never understood the whole mentality. I don't want that crap in my forests, nor do I want a negative connotation when people think of mountain bikers.
09-11-03, 08:31 PM
Jim, thats the wrong line of thinking as this type of riding probably isn't going anywhere. You should try working with the local builders who want to build stuff like this and try and find a comprimising area. To brush them off and say they should build on their own land is naive.
I don't disagree with taking those down either, there are steps involved in making good trails that are legal and everything should be done to create legal trails that are fun. You don't have to understand it, it is a part of the sport. In th end it isn't that hard to understand why people do it, its fun and adds to the sport.
Gonesh, sorry bout the trail I always hate to hear of trail closures, if mor builders took lessons from the NSMBA they would be much better off as there would be co-operation between the builders, municipality and bike clubs. Illegal trails isn't helping the situation at all.
09-11-03, 08:53 PM
If they were illegal, down they should come! I agree, clubs need to work with municipalities to build trails with permission. Look to da Nort for examples of how it should be done!
09-12-03, 04:10 AM
well... a few thoughts:
Building stunts and messing up the very environment that mountain biking was founded on is stupid.
i have to disagree. i am an active environmentalist and outdoors/nature person, but to blanket state that all stunts in the forests is stupid and "messing up the environment" is just not right.
as the the "unnatural" aspect Jim has referred to: yes, sometimes the building of trails, especially unauthorized trails can get out of hand. BUT, in this case it sounds like it is either: leave trails and (maybe) build-up or remove trails for logging... well, which one is more "natural", or a better use of our forests?
furthermore, there is STILL so much road-building going on in the national forests (thanks GW for revoking the "roadless areas" that Bill Clinton set up!! it's going to really help preserve our public land for the future! and help save animal habitat too! and aid in recreation opporunities -- ok, maybe snowmobiling and 4-wheeling). i would feel VERY little guilt contributing to the "destrcution of the forest" by building a few ramps -- when you compare to all the roads that are built -- roads, parking lots... that's what really destroys the land -- and permanently. a few wooden structures can be torn down and a year later the forest is back to normal --- a road lasts for decades. the building of just one road destroys more trees, habitat and increases erosion than A WHOLE lot of ramps -- plus a road looks crappy - at least ramps and stuff are made of local/natural materials and half-ways blend in...
i also agree with the comments here that the best way is through official/legal channels. and proper trail-building is important. maybe the stunts do need to come done in this case - but surely not for the logging interests!
i'm pretty sick of the "mountain bikers are bad for the environment or nature" comments. it's just not true! yes, there are few "best practices" that should be learned both in riding style (e.g. no switchbacks, no locked brakes) and trail-building... but it is a very environmentally friendly sport - virtually no pollution (only litter), very little noise pollution, very little erosion and destruction of habitat (similar to hiking, much less than any motored vehicle) and relatively minor wildlife disruption (studies have shown similar to hiking as bikers travel more miles, BUT stay more on paths, so the wildlife KNOW where to avoid and are less often surprized --- and noise MUCH less than motorized vehicles like motorcycles and snowmobiles)
In that very picture there are boards nailed or probably screwed onto the trees themselves. You can't tell me this is a positive thing. Just LOOK at it.. it's an eyesore. Comparing roads being built and stunts being built are two different things. Roads exist in national forests because national forests make MONEY and are owned by corporations. They let you use their land because they want to. National forests are there for the purposes of lumber, not your recreation. So if you want to build abominations like that in them, you should talk to the company that owns the land first.
09-12-03, 08:23 AM
Roads exist in national forests because national forests make MONEY and are owned by corporations.
Ahhhhh. So if mountainbiking made more money then itwould be perfectly fine to build the stunts. I see the light now.:D
Actualy that statement hit the nail on the head. It is all about the money.
09-12-03, 08:37 AM
Granted, it has A LOT to do with the money, but it also has to do with "public use".
If an "organized" group can show up in numbers and plead their case and legitimize themselves, show how their involvment will "IMPROVE" a situation, chances are they'll get approval. I know in CA, there is such an adamate hatred for mtn bikers and it's a tough road, but doing things illegally where John Q public might hurt himself and sue, only hurts the cause!
I think we need to look to Whistler and many areas up Nort, as examples of how to work WITH these Land Managers.
09-12-03, 09:02 AM
Roads exist in national forests because national forests make MONEY and are owned by corporations.
National forests are there for the purposes of lumber, not your recreation
sorry but that is a sick idea: that are national forest are owned not by the government and not there for the people and public in general, but OWNED by corporations. dude that's so scary!
the right to use our PUBLIC national forests is LEASED to CORPORATIONS, a scheme which is quite subject to debate as to whether it should be allowed or not... not everything should be about money, and preserving open space, habitiat for wildlife, open space for the sake of open space, and recreation opportunities should not necessarily be about money (unfortunately every year it becomes a bit more so because of corporate interests)
09-12-03, 09:11 AM
OH CRAP! I haven't heard anything about that! Its not Post Canyon is it? What can I do to help?!:eek:
09-12-03, 10:08 AM
Originally posted by Jim311
National forests are there for the purposes of lumber, not your recreation.
I agree with Nathank that this is a very sick point of view regarding forests. Obviously you have a distorted view of forests in general, probably due to your location, not knowing what a real national forest is. It is extremely sad around here, that wherever you go, the mountains are filled with clearcuts. Most places here are just clearcuts with patches of forest. George Bush's healthy forest initiative includes raping the forests even more. National forests are NOT for the purpose of lumber, infact I believe they should not be allowed to be harvested at all. They are our last stands of oldgrowth left, including so many animal and plant species that couldn't survive without them.
Now I agree that trails set up in illegal ways are not the best idea. The community of Hood River, though, seems to have been very accepting so far of the stunts built around there up intill now, when they are just looking for reasons to chop more forests down. It is a town set up mostly for recreation, and mountain biking is big. I also think that a lot of the trails in Hood River are built on private land, so those are not a problem.
I also agree with Nathank that although we need to respect our trails as mountain bikers, the few number of trees sacrificed to build the stunts have a very minimal effect on the forest compared to building roads through it and logging. Also, a lot of stunt builders I know are very knowlegable about forest ecosystems, so can selectively harvest small trees in denser areas, which actually helps the forest.
MountainDew- Not sure what you can do, but here's the article:
it all comes down to money.
I've seen so many trails and jumps destroyed with signs put up saying stuff like 'this is protected land' and 'wetlands, moving of dirt will result in arrests' then the next thing you know, there is a highrise or some type of building being built in the same spot.
bottom line is, we are destroying the planet. better use it up now because one day IT WILL BE GONE.
and jim. I didn't know florida had forrests......
Some of you seem to be confused here. National forests are different from National parks, which are protected and owned by the government precisely for the purposes of your recreation and preservation. A national FOREST is not owned by the government, but independant corporations. If you think Bush's proposed plan will actually HURT the forests you should read up on some Ecology. Many of you are mislead about some factual information, and I'll attempt to educate you. I'll quote some facts straight from a textbook of mine.
"Unlike the national parks which were set up to protect and maintain trees and wildlife, national forests were originally set up to develop a sustainable system of growing and harvesting trees."
Yep, that's right. And therefore you are given the PRIVELEGE of using their land for recreational purposes. Someone stated earlier in this thread that I probably didn't know anything about forests due to my location.. you couldn't be more wrong. If you know the area, you know that the Ocala National Forest is located about 30 minutes south of me, one of the premier locations for ORV and recreational activities. I know ALL ABOUT forests my friends, and my definition of a healthy forest is NOT one which is full of lumber and junk from kids setting up their own stunts to get hurt on and ultimately take MY privilege to ride there away. If you build on authorized land, that's one thing. There are specific ways to go about building your stunts, but getting all guerilla and building them where you aren't supposed to is NOT something that reflects positively on our sport. Florida is full of natural resources. I'm really surprised that people think Florida is one gigantic sandy beach. It's a series of extremely diverse climates and species ranging from tropical to temperate.
If you'd like me to educate you on Bush's forest initiatives, I will do so as well, seeing as how the Sierra club and other righteous organizations love to bash anything a Republican president has to say about wildlife. Educate yourself and don't believe everything the media tells you. Thinning forests is NOT a bad thing, it actually allows it to flourish.
09-12-03, 06:19 PM
Well thought out points, Jim, but let me refute:
First of all, Bush's "Healthy Forest Initiative", at least how it applies to Oregon, is helping to lower the risk of forest fires by cutting the forest down before it burns. This is rediculous on many levels.... the most major issue with this line of thinking is that clearcutting is devastating to forests. Sure, they replant, so in 75 years there's another stand of decent sized trees. But during that 75 years the forest is much more prone to fires due to all the debris that logging leaves behind, and the underbrush that grows too large during that time.
I realize that Florida has a very diverse ecostystem, but really, there is a huge difference between the type of forest you have there and the type here in the Northwest. Not many people have been to a true old-growth forest. If you have, you know that in places that have never been logged, you can pretty much walk through all the forest. In previously logged forests, there is so much brush and debris lying around that in most places you can only really walk on the trail. This is what causes fires.
You are correct, Jim, that National Forests are owned by private corporations, but they are still overseen by the government. It is the government's responsibility to assure the health of these national forests. If a certain species is found that would not survive without the forest, the government has the responsibility to secure it from logging.
I cannot believe you are so opposed to a few stunts built out in the middle of the forest, but you seem to fully support destruction of the forest in its entirety if it means someone is making money off of it.
I never justified the destruction of forests, but people don't seem to understand what they're doing to the image of our sport. These forests are NOT destroyed, they are rotated and replanted, not just used up and left behind. Apparently you're not familiar with the concept of controlled burning, either. The forests will be thinned, and the debris burned. Read up on fire's effect on the ecosystem. Certain plants DEPEND on the nutrients fire leaves behind to grow!
09-12-03, 11:28 PM
Jim, I realize you are educated in this regard. Please understand, though, the reason I brought up the difference between the forests you are used to and the forests around here. Clearcutting an area here does infact destroy the area. Forests are an essential part of our ecology. Disasterous runoffs from clearcuts end up on the bottom of the mountain, which ends up in the river, which ends up really screwing up river ecosystems. Again, this is why I mentioned your location... how many mountains do you have there in Florida? It's a bit different here.
Another point about clearcuts is: All the wildlife that call the area home start running out of space, and suffer due to lack of food/shelter. Seems strange, but these animals require a lot of space to live. There are elk, deer, bear, eagles, raccoons, foxes, bobcats, mountain lions, slugs, owls, mushrooms, and on and on that are forced to compete for forest space that are sacrificed for your beloved dollar.
I am completely aware of controlled burning. Doesn't happen around here anymore in forests, as too much money is sacrificed this way. I'm all for natural burns. Throughout history occasional burns from lighning have kept the forests healthy. Much healthier than the massive clearcuts that happen around here. I'm also for intelligent trail building, as done in Hood River, as these people know forests much better than most of the people making decisions about it.
"Certain plants DEPEND on the nutrients fire leaves behind to grow!"
Yes! you obviously are an educated individual.
Do not forget, though, that humans and other animals depend on oxygen to survive. Where do you think we get our oxygen from?
I'm not saying no-one should cut any trees down. I'm just saying National forests should be the last place harvested. Also, there are much smarter ways to selectively cut rather than clearcuts. They know this, too-- just not profitable enough to go about it that way.
I wasn't aware that Bush was suggesting clear cutting. I agree with you that that's disastrous, but I thought he was just proposing thinning, not the total destruction of the forest. I know it sucks, but that's what that land is for. Without it, we wouldn't have lumber and other natural resources. They only cut certain sections of the forest at a time, and replant the trees in the areas they cut, sort of a cycle. Especially in Florida with the slash pines. Hardwoods take longer to grow, but slash pines grow extremely quickly. Without those national forests, lumber companies would be practicing all sorts of backwards stuff to get the resources they need. It's the lesser of two evils, really, and it provides a great natural playground.
09-13-03, 01:32 AM
Jim- I can see your point of view, and will ponder it further.
Meanwhile, I hope the trail builders and the forest officials in Hood River can come to some resonable agreement with each other. It would be great to have a designated stunt area that is regulated up there.
09-15-03, 05:06 AM
I wasn't aware that Bush was suggesting clear cutting. I agree with you that that's disastrous, but I thought he was just proposing thinning, not the total destruction of the forest. I know it sucks, but that's what that land is for.
i am not familiar with the current plans, or Bush's position. i also don't have any data at hand. but i can say that in Oregon in the late 90's there was quite a bit of clear-cutting. as things have been RELAXED rather than more regulateed since then, i would expect that has not changed. Furthermore, from MY personal observation only, Washington state has even more clear-cutting than Oregon.
i am not against all logging, and not even all clear-cutting, BUT i think logging should be looked at from more than just a DOLLARS and JOBS perspective. as Gonesh9 has said: old growth forests are NOT the same as a clear-cut, replanted, regrown forest.
and finally back to the original subject: however you look at it (thinning, selective-cutting, clear-cutting) logging has more impact, both visual and physical on the forest than building stunts, ramps or trails. if these were removed, in 5 or 10 years time there existance would be virtually undetectble whereas a clear-cut is detectable for 100 or more, as even after the trees grow back it is different.
as to the national forests being owned by corporations: i must admit i am not aware of that. i thought the lands were owned by the government and long-term leased to the corporations with oversight management by the government. anyone have any more info on this? if i get some time i will try to research myself.
I believe it is overseen by the government, yes. Because the park service patrols our national forests. The government HAS to oversee it because if not there'd be some sketchy stuff going on out there. You could be right about it being leased, I honestly cannot remember. But recreation is not the number one goal of a national forest, that much is for sure.
Jim311 is right on. He knows what he is talking about and not guessing. If you want to know more about forest cleaning than read Outside Magazine (June 2003).
The new laws are going to stop huge 100,000+ acre fires from burning out of control by removing the "fuel". Before we were here forests would burn and that would remove the small brush and dead matter(fuel), but leave the trees unharmed. Fire was a natural process that we stop, so the forests become clogged and dangerous. So we have to go in and clean not clear the forests.
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