LETTER: Cyclists put natural areas at risk

This letter is in response to the recent article in the Vic News “ Network of offroad trails sprawl out across Greater Victoria.”

The idea of biking trails criss-crossing across natural areas in Victoria is basically mini clear-cuts through our natural areas. The impact of digging and dirt mounding compacts the soil around tree roots, damaging them. Native plants and vegetation are removed and these trails go anywhere they like. This makes the forest floor, now removed of vegetation, unable to absorb water and further damage is done including erosion.

Using the name nature trails society sounds like they are interested in nature but take a look at the trails already here made by cyclists. If you care about nature why would you go off trail and remove nature? Why would you spray paint trees? Why would you leave trash?

I understand sport is important, especially where youth is concerned, but we cannot use this reasoning to put our natural areas at risk. We have to put strict controls on cyclists in parks now before the damage gets too far to repair, and we cannot allow off-trail damage any longer.

We must educate people about our natural areas. “Take only memories and leave only footprints” should be a principle of how we behave in our natural areas and parks.

Katrina Madsen

Victoria

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