Mixed Feelings…

15 11 2012

Click image to watch video over at Pinkbike.com…

The Coastal Crew posted a video over at Pinkbike.com that shows them riding a section of trail they built just before it’s destroyed by logging. Logging may well be the biggest industry on Vancouver Island so I’m familiar with the pros and cons. On the pro side it creates jobs and gives us both lumber and paper products we need. It also creates road networks that allow us to explore deep into the forest in a way that wouldn’t otherwise be possible. On the con side logged clear cuts are ugly, can cause erosion problems, get rid of valuable ecosystem and any trails built in areas that get logged are destroyed.

The road I drive out to Nitnaht lake 20 times a summer is a logging road and I wouldn’t have access to that amazing place if it wasn’t for the forestry industry. That’s something I try to keep in mind when I nearly get run off the road by a giant logging truck hauling ass towards me on a tight corner!

And it’s not just logging that changes our ability to ride. Out at Nitnaht Lake some riders built a nice mountain bike loop trail near the camp ground we stay in. Then a terrifically violent wind storm came along and over 100 trees were toppled into a crazy mess. You can barely get through this area today on foot. It was destroyed in less than an hour and the effort it would take to rebuild is so large nobody has bothered even though several years have passed.

If you are a mountain biker in BC you have to enjoy the trails you have access to. Ride ‘em now as much as you can. You really never know when they might be gone – whether it’s due to logging or Mother Nature. On the brightside logging companies are building new roads every year that provide an opportunity to explore and ride new terrain.

Nike had it right – Just do it!


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3 responses

15 11 2012
AndrewGills

We have a similar problem here in Brisbane Australia except it’s housing development not logging that is destroying our bushland and riding trails

15 11 2012
heather

Mixed feelings indeed, on the sunshine coast many well known and used mountain bike trails are on forest company land and the companies often encourage use. Trail building might not be allowed in provincial park or protected areas. But, once the land is clear cut, the trails are gone. There is a huge area set for logging that has trails, spots of old growth, rare species and signs of first nations use spanning many hundreds of years. Mountain biking and trial building has actually helped people access these discoveries.
There is an area up my road that has been clearcut (near coastal crew hq), but until last week I did not know how much. A new connector bike trail had been built going up to a newish logging road, which spread to various areas of destruction and lost long established trails. Some of the road has ditches and berms, but teenagers still drive as far as they can and have big parties, shoot guns and leave a mess. I’d actually be nervous biking up there because my imagination went wild.
Building of logging roads also does much to disturb pristine ecosystems and cause harm to wildlife populations. Wolves, bears and cougars have no defence against hunting, getting hit by logging trucks or other abuse. Reasonable access to back country is great, but other roads should be decommissioned which are still usable for mountain biking, atv and hiking. There is a point where I think humans just need to stay out, as we cannot assume everyone is as aware or concerned for wildlife. Logging as it is does not garner much money, the trees are harvested as toothpicks with little useful wood, raw logs shipped overseas with no value added employment which only makes unemployment in logging communities worse.

15 11 2012
thelazyrando

Personally I’ve come to terms with the fact that humans are plague on the Earth that won’t stop consuming until we devour every last resource and then we’ll turn on each other like starving rats. The good news is that if you look at it from a geological perspective the whole human thing will be over in the blink of an eye and the Earth will get back to doing its thing without us.

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