Ecological Implications of Mountain Bike Trails on the 'Scarp
|Posted on November 8, 2013 at 1:05 PM|
The aquifer on top of the escarpment was of prime importance to the vegetative growth on the Mountain View Park wetland site, and to the very existance of the "frog pond" and other smaller water-filled depressions.
It was recommended in the 1970's "Twin Lakes Development Study" that there be NO surface or subsurface construction allowed in the area of the acquifer and its watercourses. It was stressed that the northwest area (scarp, etc.) was of great importance to the preservation of the Twin Lakes site (now known as Mountain View Park).
The mountain bikers have pretty much destroyed that area with their incessant trail digging and erosive riding techniques, where several trails converge. Talk about forcing a square peg into a round hole! The damage is all but complete, now.
The original plans for Mountain View Park had stated that a boardwalk, with amphibian tunnels was to have been built through the sensitive wetland (DNV Parks and Natural Environment Advisory Committee), but got nixed in favour of a cheaper and more environmentally destructive gravel path fragmenting the wetland habitat (appeasing the mountain bikers who have even badly eroded the gravel path, necessitating more gravel resurfacing this past year.)
The "Twin Lakes Development Study" had encouraged the building of a boardwalks and bridges to aid "pedestrian circulation" over wet or low ground. It was suggested that the proposed boardwalk in close proximity to the pond be constructed as a raised boardwalk. This was suggested so as to not impede the natural surface and substrate surface flow out from the pond, and o provide year-round usable mud-free walks and to help preserve the existing vegetation and tree growth. Wood contruction was advised as desirable to maintain harmony witht he prevalent site character. During the building of such board walks and bridges it was advised to avoid major trees and tree roots. (How many tree roots have been callously damaged by indiscriminate mountain bike trail building? Too numerous to count! The detrimental effects of such trail building is starting to be seen in our forests. It may now be too late to remedy such callous treatment of the forest by the neverending off-road mountain biking activities.)
Over the many years after this report, DNV pretty much ignored the ongoing destructive activities in the park, which had no defined trails --- while commercial dog walkers and mountain bikers pretty much compacted the once thriving area full of native ground vegetation. Even after several years' fencing of the immediate area around the pond, that ground remains infertile in many spots, so heavily compacted and lacking the important topsoil.
DNV's idea of "Decommissioning" mountain bike trails isn't really decommissioning or closing the trail at all. Instead the so-called decommissioned trails are usually given a new trail reroute, bypass, or realignment, "corraling and narrowing" (and sometimes, even a new name) -- which only proves to fragment, erode and compact more forest floor once again. Such is the sorry appeasing of mountain biking, as we can see from this DNV Parks description, of a couple trails that converge on the sensitive aquifer/scarp (DNV really needs to "corral" the mountain bikers, and "narrow" their ongoing and unabated sprawl across the North Shore). Nothing is what it seems in the District of North Vancouver when it comes to "managing" mountain biking. Nothing, as you can see from the "decommissioning" of two trails in the upland area. All "smoke and mirrors" and twisted policy folks :
So many tree roots and trees have been damaged in the area within the park and the surrounding environs. There is so much soil compaction, and a damaged acquifer, above --- we can only shake a scolding finger at the District of North Vancouver's twisted policy for the entire Fromme Mountain area, as they fumbled and stumbled over trying to appease the wily mountain bikers, who came onto the area to ride and build without permission. Conservation is suffering inside the District, where conservation groups' voices are dim and muffled, so timid about speaking against the ecological vandals who "rule the roost". This does notbode well for our disappearing and threatened wetlands and forest land, at all!
We get the forests we shouldn't deserve.
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