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Recreation Advocate

The OutdoorWire family websites feature news and information affecting outdoor recreation opportunities and access to public lands. 

Editorial Response - No Room for Trail Bigots in the 21st Century

Failed Sediment Basin in Non-Motorized Recreation Area

Trail bigotry is ugly and counterproductive to ongoing collaborative efforts between OHV, conservation groups, local government, and land agencies to manage motorized recreational opportunities in a sustainable manner.

I was prompted to write this response after reading Jan Ziman’s Editorial: “We're being taken for a costly ride” in the Wyoming Trib.Com.

Link to Ziman’s Editorial

Cherry-picking anecdotal stories about trail impacts to the resource, user conflicts, and planning challenges is an old literary trick that is outdated and ineffective.

I could cite a recent incidence in the San Gabriel Mountains where an equestrian jumped off his mule and sliced the rear tire on a kid’s bike when the small group of mountain bikers pulled off the trail to let him pass.

Or, I could include a picture (which I am going to do at the top of this story) of a failed soil catchment basin along a “Hiking only” trail in a large non-motorized recreation area in East Contra Costa County, California.

As I work with various land agencies and user groups of all persuasions in California and elsewhere, I have found such illustrations – when used to try and impugn other user groups – to be nothing more than a cheap shot that makes the presenter look small and mean-spirited.

Merriam-Webster defines a bigot as a person who hates or refuses to accept the members of a particular group.  In my view, there is not a lot of room left in the land use debate for trail bigots who seem stuck in a 1960s-era mindset.


Original author: Don Amador
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