Monday, September 17, 2007

Guns but no quads

I often joke, when I tell people that I write the Gazette's outdoor section, that the section encompasses anything you can do outside that doesn't use a gun or a motor. Firearms and vehicles are often assumed to be on the same side of the recreation coin, while the other side isfull of flower-sniffing, wilderness protecting hikers and bikers. But the Backcountry Hikers Association is increasingly making it hard to make generalizations.
The vocal group, based primarily in Southern Colorado, has been pushing hard of late for creation of the Brown's Canyon Wilderness. And it's put them at odds with normal allies, such as the NRA and the Republican Party.
Here's an interesting story that touches on the schism from the Rocky Mountain News.


John said...

I recreate as a dirt biker, mountain biker, hiker, camper, fisherman, etc. I read both articles and agree that Brown's Canyon is a good area for Wilderness designation.

I also share the sentiment regarding ATVs. Might sound odd, but the Dirt Bikers are also becoming extremely averse ATV's. A large amount of sustainable single-track trails have been destroyed to allow ATV's passage. This is due to increased surface area and thus increase chances for erosion. It is also caused by uneducated ATV riders, many that only ride during hunting season. Theree are bad apples out there on dirt bikes as well, but the tide is definitly against the ATV's. Both of these situations are causing long time trails to be closed and lost forever when they have been sustainable for biking for over 50 years.

I hope the public will learn separate the ATV community from the Dirt Bike community when considering trail restrictions and closures. It's unfortunate and odd, but if that's what it takes to preserve sustainable be it.

Dave Philipps said...

I agree. I've always seen a difference. Dirt biking takes a level of skill that ATV's don't. It's a whole different group of people.