Bike park is great idea, but not for Forest Lands

I am a road cyclist and frequent hiker in the Anacortes Forest Lands. I believe in the dual role of the Forest Lands in preserving a beautiful, unspoiled area of nature for people and animals to enjoy, as well as a place for recreation. I am also a supporter of mountain biking.

It is a great recreational sport for both kids and adults. I just wish I had the fitness, skill, and courage to do it.

I have spent many volunteer hours in the Forest Lands building trails, maintaining trails, clearing invasive plants, picking up trash, etc. Mountain bikers have been wonderful partners for the city in all of these volunteer activities. Also, they are responsible users of existing trails and are courteous to other users. A bike skills park would be a wonderful addition in our area to get even more people involved in the sport.

But I believe the old city dump area is not the best place for a bike skills park. Presently, the activities of mountain bikers, hikers, and horse riders are spread over many miles of trails, with minimum effect on the pristine environment in the Forest Lands.

Over the years, the old city dump has become a wonderful meadow, where deer, coyotes, owls and other animals are often seen. The proposed bike park would be an area of highly concentrated activity and noise, not consistent with the rest of the Forest Lands, and surely would drive out the animals in the area. In addition, the beautiful meadow would be turned into a series of dirt tracks. Is this what we want part of our Forest Lands to look like?

I know that other sites within our area have been investigated, but none were found suitable. Nevertheless, I believe that we should not settle on an alternative as unsuitable as the present proposal. I am willing to volunteer my time to find a better solution for a much-desired bike park.

Keith Magee

Anacortes

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