Readers Write: Why promote a disrupting and polluting hobby?
October 14, 2008
I was unable to make the trails meeting at Squaw Valley yesterday because I found out about it only after it happened. I also found out yesterday that the walking trails next to my house in Kings Beach have been obliterated and that additional OHV trails are being added. (Shouldn’t the meeting and opportunity for input happened before the work?)
While I understand trail closures for environmental reasons, the reasoning behind closing trails used by walkers (95 percent of the forest users as stated on the Forest Service Web site) while simultaneously promoting and expanding use by the most destructive 5 percent of the users (OHVs) is completely absurd.
We have managed to coexist in the past because there were trails the walkers could use to escape the eroded dirt, dust and direct physical threat from fast-moving vehicles.
Why a government agency would spend money to promote a use (by a minority of citizens) that jeopardizes public safety and creates air and noise pollution, greenhouse gasses, and major erosion into a nationally treasured body of water is completely irrational.
The elimination of walking trails and promotion of OHV routes negatively impacts the quality of my life (and that of many others) on a direct and daily basis. It also deflates property values. The single-track trail system is why I, and many others, have decided to live where we do.
Enjoyment of the natural beauty of the forest brings peace, comfort and meaning to hundreds of local single-track enthusiasts in this neighborhood. Please do not continue to squelch this way of life on behalf of a noisy minority of users engaging in a disruptive and polluting hobby. I urge you to stop this destructive policy and work immediately.
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