I learned recently of a proposed Bike Skills Park at the old city landfill, which lies within the Anacortes Community Forest Lands.

Proponents of the bike park use language to imply the area is ugly or needs improving by referring to it as a dump. In fact, due to being capped with clay, mowed twice yearly and separated off by a chain-link fence, the area is now a grassy meadow, providing protected hunting/grazing ground for diverse wildlife. No other area exists like this within our forestlands.

Some further questions to consider: 

Why is this unique site being considered at all, knowing that disturbances to the site could release toxic waste, thereby harming water systems, plant life and other living beings? 

What happens when the current group of bikers grows tired of maintaining this complex system of tracks and surfaces?

The installation may also create other problems from not being visible from the road. Misuse would inevitably occur, such as non-target groups gathering, littering and using the tracks unsupervised. Fire danger would be increased by smokers, potential encampments and camp fires. People congregating after dusk would increase crime in the area.

It is time to seriously consider an alternative site — one that does not remove the only significant open meadowland in the forest and one that does not create increased risk and liability issues.

ANNETTE MACARTNEY

Anacortes

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