Summit Daily letters: Mountain bikes have no place in the wilderness
August 14, 2018
Mountain bikes have no place in the wilderness
RE: "Mountain bikes are here to stay" by Daniel Greenstadt, Writers on the Range, Aug. 10th
I enjoy reading articles by Writers on the Range and don't recall ever seeing one by a writer whose opinion I disagreed with. However, I strongly disagree with Daniel Greenstadt's opinion that just because mountain bikes have become popular, they should now be allowed in wilderness! If bikes are permitted because they've gotten popular, then how about motorcycles? There are many dirt bike riders who would love to be able to ride in a wilderness area. What about cars? They are very popular, so why not build some roads and allow cars too?
One of the reasons I moved to Frisco 20 years ago is to be able to live near wilderness areas. I'm a frequent hiker to them and enjoy the peace, solitude and beauty of nature that wilderness provides. A bicycle, even though it's human-powered, does not fit into that picture.
It's my hope that laws prohibiting anything mechanical in wilderness areas will never be changed. I agree with this quote by Wallace Stegner:
"Something will have gone out of us as a people if we ever let the remaining wilderness be destroyed … We simply need that wild country available to us, even if we never do more than drive to its edge and look in."
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Clear cut not the answer to wildfires
I oppose the U.S. Forest Service's plan to clear-cut Ophir Mountain near Frisco. As a 20-year Summit County resident and Realtor, I believe cutting buffers along housing developments, such as the 500' firebreak created bordering the Wildernest development in Silverthorne, are practical and effective in fighting and preventing the spread of wildfire. Clear-cutting and decimating beautiful forest along popular trails such as the Peaks Trail, miles from any housing, do not.
I urge the U.S. Forest Service to cancel the clear-cut of Ophir Mountain and instead use the funds for other fire mitigation projects such as working with local communities to identify and cut 500' buffers bordering our most vulnerable built-up areas.
I would also urge the U.S. Forest Service to make the Level 2 Fire Ban (no open fires!) permanent, providing an immediate and low-cost way to reduce risk of wildfire.
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