You say only 4% of the land in Oregon is protected as wilderness, and that does indeed sound like a pretty small amount of land. But that also means hikers and mountain bikers, and equestrians and cross-country skiers, must share all that remaining land with cars, trucks, ATVs and snowmobiles. Vehicles classified as Off-Road Vehicles (ORVs) typically are not required to have catalytic converters or even real mufflers. The damage these vehicles do to the environment, including the ground, the air, the water, and the noise, cannot be compared to the impact of non-motorized users. It?s silly to even try.
The remaining 96% of Oregon?s land, or whatever is left after new Wilderness Area is declared, must accommodate all users. This means more conflicts between non-motorized users and motorized users. It also means more conflicts among the non-motorized users, leading to increased tension among a bunch of different groups who generally share the same desires ? to experience nature, not use and abuse it.
The number of people who ride mountain bikes, horses, and in the winter XC-ski, is very small compared to the number of people who don?t know how to have fun without a motor. If less than 4% of the people in this country even walk in town, the number of people who are willing and able to drive to the middle of nowhere to walk around in the woods must be small indeed. Should they be the only ones allowed to access all that land?
Mountain bikes are an excellent way to explore natural areas. As are horses, cross-country skis, and a pair of good boots. Mountain bikes offer people the opportunity to get to places not accessible to people on foot, or certainly not within a one-day outing. You can get a good workout, which most of the people in this country sorely need, and you can have a heck of a good time. Mountain bikers describe a good long ride as epic for a good reason. It?s mentally and physically challenging, you get to see some fantastic nature, and when you?re done and you?re completely spent you feel like you accomplished something. You have a grin on your face and a story you can?t wait to tell. Things are right in the world, and life is good.
posted 4 years, 4 months ago
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