"In Good Company" - A film about the importance of mountain biking to a community

May 16, 2012
by Brad Walton  

On April 2, 2012, the riding area known as 'The North Fork', on Slide Mountain near Bellingham, WA, was closed due to concerns of liability and environmental sustainability. Despite thousands of hours of volunteer effort on public lands, the trail system was deemed illegal and closure was immediate. The small network of user-built downhill mountain bike trails constructed to the highest of standards was not just a playground for locals. Over the past 5 years, the North Fork trail network exploded in popularity, drawing riders from across the state, and beyond. Bellingham-area locals used to drive north to ride the popular trails across the border, but eventually growing tired of the commute, they created some of the fastest, most sustainable, and challenging trails in the northwest. And, oh, how the tables turned - every weekend would see at least one truck full of Canadian downhillers honing their skills on American soil. Many professional mountain bike riders also used the area as their training ground.

North Fork trail deconstruction

These public trust lands which hosted the trail system alongside the North Fork of the Nooksack River are managed by Washington State Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Off-road motor vehicles were kicked out of this area in 2005 due to a negative impact on the vast salmon spawning habitat. While there was mountain bike use prior, when the motorized enthusiasts were removed from the area, the mountain bikers began to use the area more heavily. As the mountain bike trail system and its use grew, DNR concerns grew as well. A verbal agreement between local DNR reps. and area mountain bikers went into effect to contain further building pursuits. A local mountain bike alliance, Whatcom Trails Co-op, was formed to better organize future conversations with land managers. Over the next several years, mountain bikers pushed to open a dialogue with land managers to secure legal access to the land, but the issue remained largely untouched by legislators and the DNR lacked funding for planning.

Suddenly, in March 2012, DNR forewarned Whatcom Trails of the impending doom of the trail system. Mountain bikers organized quickly through the community and were offered assistance from neighboring Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. However, the gavel had already ruled for immediate closure. Trail decommission began almost immediately. All trails were closed to mountain bikes, and authorities threatened to issue citations for anyone caught riding in the area.

This film is a candid reaction by various members of the community.

Views: 57,091    Faves: 1,067    Comments: 135


The support from the riding community and local businesses has begun to pay off as our pleas for partnership and proactive solutions to mountain biking access in Whatcom County has been heard by the DNR and our state represenatitives and senators. Whatcom County Council has since passed a resolution 7-0 urging the DNR to work with mountain bikers towards a solution. The Council sees the economic impact to our community with the loss of the trail system, as well as the detriment to local quality of life.

Additionally, negotiations are underway between Whatcom Trails Co-Op, Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance and the DNR to derive a short term plan to restore mountain biking to the landscape and to establish a long-term solution for all recreation in Whatcom County on state trust lands. This involves obtaining funding through grants and working hand-in-hand with the land manager to secure access that is environmentally sustainable, safe, and provides the experience mountain bikers require.

North Fork trail deconstruction

The timeframe for this process is varied, but our goal is to establish authorized recreation in Whatcom County for its residents and visitors for years to come. Whatcom Trails is working proactively to establish biking access in the short term and if all goes well there could be a riding opportunity in as little as one year. Whatcom County has now become one of the top 3 priorities for future planning, but the larger recreation plan will require additional funding and input, with a timeframe of 3 to 5 years.

The key to success in this relationship is our ongoing compliance with the current trail closure and respect towards the DNR and its employees. Whatcom Trails is asking that no new trail construction take place, no riding of closed trails, and that mt. bikers make their voices heard regarding access and funding for planning.

Whatcom Trails Co-op considers this an opportunity; a beginning rather than an end. We are on the verge of a very exciting time for biking here in Whatcom County and Bellingham. Please stay tuned and passionate, you are the cogs turning the wheel!

Thank you so much for your ongoing support!


Subscribe to Whatcom Trails Co-op newsletter

For more information, visit:
WhatcomTrails.com
EvergreenMTB.org

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284 Comments

  • 220 4
 "I guess if it allows you to have fun, its illegal" - the government
  • 112 3
 I like how they always play the "environmental" card when pulling stuff like this
gotta love hypocrites
  • 25 2
 fun busters = government.
  • 53 1
 "But if the roots are exposed the tress won't grow".... bollocks.
  • 20 1
 It supposed to be "The Land of the FREE".... where is the freedom when they take away the things that you really like doing without hurting anybody? I guess somebody enjoys to see grown people with tears in their eyes.sad
  • 13 1
 I agree with absolutely everything that the people that ride there said! It's a Crime in itself to destroy such amazing trails!
  • 11 2
 Goverment, everywhere the same shit, they make you feel like you`re in home prison.
  • 13 292
flag ownit (May 16, 2012 at 4:21) (Below Threshold)
 The whole time, they are complaining that they cant use the public areas..but they do. being public does not mean you can just there and build something there. it compares to randomly building a house on public land. noone would do it. I love mountain biking just as much as these guys do, but seeing people building trails like that makes me sick. sure they're fun to ride. but those guys just take the right to tear down trees simply because they are A) in the way or B) they need wood for building jumps. These guys say they adore the nature. at the same time they tear it down. Thats not what mountain biking is about. If you want such trails, go to bike parks.
  • 75 0
 Correct me if I'm wrong, but all of the slats and stringers came from already dead or fallen trees.. So there goes THAT argument!
  • 115 1
 @ownit, this is a working forest were talking about here, many of the best trails were clearcut in the last couple of years. You really dont know what your talking about, its certainly not some protected red woods forest. The DNR has done such a poor job of managing the de forestation in this area that an entire mountainside slide off into racehorse creek 3 years ago! Millions and millions of cubic yards of dirt went into the river as a result of their logging technique, yet they have the audacity to shutdown the MTB trails for "sedimentation and erosion" reasons, my ass! And the fact of the matter is IT IS PUBLIC LAND. The only person randomly building anything here is you, randomly building a case for more government oversite and intervention. In fact your probably a government employee yourself, never had to produce or be accountable for anything in your entire pathetic existence.. "Own that"
  • 12 0
 i feel like it doesnt make any sense for them to ruin the trails and just litter the forest with pieces of bridges and jumps. it seems that that is more of a waste of the wood than cutting down trees and making bridges. it would make more sense if the could leave in most of the stuff and modify it to make more environmentally friendly and safer.
  • 52 0
 @ownit I just want to chime in as a trail builder of the NF and let you know how much hard work, dedication and planning went into building these trails, using natural resources, shaping our trails to the land and not against it, using the best and longest lasting natural materials we could use. Always taking into concern water shed, proper drainage, sustainability and respecting the land and wildlife. We don't just go find some random hill and start cutting down live tree's. I find it very odd of you to jump to conclusions without knowing our back history and trying to say things that are entirely incorrect.
Please come to www.whatcomtrails.com to learn more about us and what we do. We are not an irresponsible group. We are a group that picks up the mess of other irresponsible people in the area.

In the video above you will see a lot of wide milled cedar slabs. My friends and I worked hard to trade services with other locals to get this prime cedar wood, we spent numerous hours and our own money to buy the equipment to be able to create these slabs at our homes and bring into the wooded areas with little to no deadfall or blowdown wood. www.pinkbike.com/photo/4489083
  • 3 2
 Once again, governments fucking about withour trails.. Why cant the see they are built that big to keep people of them !
  • 9 2
 Build the north shore with concrete, then clad it with wood...would like to see them cut through that with a chainsaw!
  • 2 0
 I hope this video can be watched backwards . It's like godzilla building a half burnt city.
  • 19 0
 @retoid

I hear your pain

it takes so much work to build a trail network or bike park and its all done "for free" by the volunteers, or at their own cost

I spent 10,000s of hours of my free time building the UK's premier FR park, which stood for nearly 8 years, in the end to only to have it all ruined by "lawyers" acting for a "client" with money, where we had none

the destruction of the bike park was sickening to behold, as was watching the government-authorised vandalism of your North Fork trails!


something these government operators never seen to understand, is the economic benefits MTB brings to an area, and once they realise (...sadly after their chainsaw massacre) they will change their mind and legalize the trails


the only benefit of this pain, perhaps, is a fresh chance to rebuild your trail network using all the information you learned during the previous build, and create something even better than the 1st generation North Fork

good luck, and best wishes from a trail builder in the UK Smile
  • 14 0
 saddest movie ive ever seen Frown
  • 10 0
 just feel pissed off after seeing all that paradise getting ripped apart! bullshit!
  • 20 2
 @ownit.....you sir are a twat.
  • 30 2
 @ownit... please delete your pb account now. you do not deserve to call yourself a mountain biker
  • 5 2
 ownit...

bike parks tear down tons of trees to make said trails. I don't get your point.
So do governments and logging groups , except they do a much , much greater toll on the environment than Bikers ever will.

There's a reason why we're called Mountain bikers , not "selective sanctioned-area mountain bikers".

If the government wanted to make a good case they would have at least removed all the crap they flung everywhere to hold true to their "Environmental" message. But all they did was succeed in disturbing more parts of the forest with their needless destruction. Which is why I called them hypocrites. This was simply bully behavior at its finest. Tearing down what brings a community together is just plain stupid. But then again I don't expect anything less from them.
  • 11 2
 @ownit why do you have an account if your not even a true mountain biker???
  • 4 0
 I also cant help but wonder: what difference does it make on the environment if the structure are up, supported by poles that touch the ground, or if its cut up into tiny pieces and ditributed on the land in smaller pieces? sorry but thats flat out f*cking wrong... nice try though!
  • 5 11
flag bikerkid16 (May 16, 2012 at 18:17) (Below Threshold)
 hey guys be nice to @ownit everyone's entitled to their own ideas and opinions. He can think whatever he wants
  • 4 2
 thinking is one thing putting it up for a whole bike community to see is another..
  • 5 1
 I hope there chainsaws hit nails...like, 10 inch spikes....
  • 1 0
 Its bullshit, like they said, bikings more of a lifestyle, and all there doing is taking that part of life away from us
  • 1 0
 those whips are fucking sexy!
  • 1 0
 Not all government.

My local government recognized the need thanks to some motivated riders, as well as some dickhead hikers who set traps for riders!

www.mitchamcouncil.sa.gov.au/page.aspx?u=1475

This is one project I am happy my expensive council rates help fund, and never thought I'd be a volunteer for any government Smile
  • 1 0
 Definitely Sick whips! but Environmental issues?! They're mad because we're deciding to go out, enjoy nature, get away from all those cars and do something that the only thing that you need to have to participate is a bike and legs to push pedals downwards? They make us sound like monsters just for deciding to enjoy ourselves and get creative with "Public land"....
  • 5 0
 "environmental concerns" --- > Busts out gas powered chainsaws, and uses tax payer money to employee workers to decommission sustainable trails. some things i don't get.
  • 3 0
 It seems as this is the same all over the world , happend to our trails and many others all round the uk .. Should start a lobby group with mtb industry to pressure gov into positive action for trails built for FREE by the public , not destructive ones ! Good luck from the uk .
  • 1 0
 they should just build trails for us to ride im lucky were i live they pretty much gave us a mountain and said build / ride (vedder) its bs how they did that no respect at all heart droped to my toes ! Frown
  • 65 0
 made my heart sank when i saw those jumps being torn down! Frown
  • 6 0
 The important thing to learn from this is to keep the entrances and exits hidden, keep it on the down-low, and don't make it easy to decommission.
  • 2 0
 Im a student at Western Washington University in Bellingham and these trails were a MAJOR deciding factor in my choosing where to attend college. Seeing these get torn down just makes me sadder than anything else. The only thing we can do is be persistent in getting a friendly relationship with the local trail building groups and the DNR so that the incredible trails can be rebuilt and exist without the treat of being torn down. Hopefully something more beautiful than before can emerge out of the situation. If negotiations go accordingly, an even better trail system could bloom out of this shitty situation.
  • 44 1
 in Australia someone knocked down a local downhill trail.......someone then drove there truck through the concrete fence that surrounded the persons garden.
  • 4 1
 baha amazing!
  • 5 3
 Yeah lowering to their level will help. :/ Please don't do something as stupid as that, you will end up with a criminal record and a fuc*ed truck.
  • 4 0
 it gets the point across though!!
  • 33 4
 This is not going to be a popular comment, but all government land management agencies function under very specific mandates that have to balance resource extraction (stuff we need, whether you like it or not), conservation and recreation. I live in Colorado and Googled the CO DNR and got this for that it does: "Oversees parks, wildlife, water resources, geology, mining, and soil management."

Recreation is only a small part of their mandates. It's not all about YOU and what YOU want. Land MANAGEMENT means more than whiny mountain bikers and their illegal trails. We are but a small piece of the pie. However, mountain bikers have been a very effective partner to land agencies when we do band together and go pro.

The best thing to do is to help out the Whatcom Trails Co-Op and the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance. If this incident grows their memberships ten-fold, the land agencies will be forced to pay attention. When mountain bikers go pro, land agencies take notice. Legal access and legal trails are a tough battle. If you're tough enough to ride freeride and downhill stuff, then you shouldn't be shying away from this fight.

Is mountain biking worth fighting for? Are these trails worth fighting for? YES. Mountain bikers have had lots of successes recently with land management agencies, but not by putting trails in illegally and getting them ripped out the next week. We have to EARN the respect we are demanding by being an effective partner. Start with the powerful argument made here: Trails = economic benefits for the nearby towns. There's tons of data to back that up.
  • 5 1
 One of the few level headed, responsible comments made on this entire posting. Thanks. If there are any real riders reading this take note. There is a proper way to do things, not simply the attitude "its a free country bro, I'm building trails in the woods and thats a good thing". And the government is a bad thing?? How do you associate government with development and malls and condos??? This is the same government that insures you freedom to be a mountain biker, and you're haten' on that??
  • 7 1
 Passion vs Beaucratic BS. Its a well fought battle.
  • 1 2
 I deal with these types of issues in CA on a regular basis as part of my job with multiple recreation communities, everything from biking and climbing to horses and OHVs, and I have to say from my experience this was a wholly inappropriate action and response on behalf of the DNR and land management agencies. Those trails were there and have long since been established. The agency could have easily engaged in a public outreach program and worked with the community to address issues and mitigate concerns. Legitimizing the trails into a formal recreation network, especially when you have such an engaged and robust community, is cheaper and easier on all fronts. All this will do is push illegal use somewhere else and the process will repeat with out solving anything and creating animosity between managers and users. Have they been sued already? If not what makes them think they suddenly will be? What are the environmental concerns? I build trail for a living quite often and those trails looked fine to me. Actions like this from the agencies are the reason there is friction between managers and users. Tearing out these trails does not solve the problem or address the issue and only creates more problems. If managers are going to let known trails stand for that many years then suddenly decide to take action it de-legitimizes their role as managers. If they were a problem they should have been gone as soon as they found them. The DNR clearly dropped the ball on this one.
  • 2 0
 "If this incident grows their memberships ten-fold, the land agencies will be forced to pay attention."
What upsets me is that the word "force" has to be used here. It is very unfortunate. The government and land agencies will voluntarily, almost eagerly, submit to the destruction of something that is already in place, but it takes years, lots of publicity, and an incredible and unnecessary amount of support for the demand of a trail system before the government and land agencies will even start to look into or even acknowledge an issue. Like they said in the video, the government gladly and often works together with hiking communities to create trail systems, but does not extend the same kindness to the mountain biking community. The government should work for the people, not against them. I live in Portland where the mayor/land agencies/government have refused to allow any trails to be built in the county, despite the presence of a tremendous mountain biking community. So I have traveled around the northwest to many bike park locations, including Northfork, and it was truly one of the best. It is sad to see such a valuable piece of land made useless for reasons that seem to have no merit. Truly a tragedy.
  • 23 0
 I know exactly how you feel...I was a teenager riding on the North Shore in the 90s when freeride started to make its mark. All it took was one kid with a ruptured spleen then came threats of lawyers and lawsuits and all the rest...suddenly whammy: no more stunts. There's not many things that give you a more sickening feeling than pointing your bike down a trail you've spent countless hours building only to find it massacred by the "authority's" chainsaws. It still blows my mind that people who hurt themselves while choosing to ride down an "illegal" trail (which provides immense enjoyment for hundreds of enthusiasts) can turn around and sue the municipality/town/city/county/whatever. Thank a greasy lawyer for making something so stupid possible.
  • 21 0
 Yeah the best part is that it's all 2nd or 3rd growth forest...it was logged to oblivion years ago, managed to re-grow just fine, and they say a single track trail is harmful??!?! Ha!
  • 14 0
 Of all the things going wrong in this country, this truly makes me sick, they have nothing better to do than take wha little we have left and destroy it because they see lawsuits and legal bs. when all we want to do is ride. I am sad to say i am an American!!!!! You just ripped out the heart of a community great job!!!!!!!!!!
  • 12 0
 It's not just the trails they've destroyed. Ramps can be rebuilt in a matter of days. They're destroying the scene and the community, which isn't something that can be so quickly fixed. It's such a shame that that has to happen and I really feel for all the local riders and particularly the owners of the shop who're probably going to recieve a considerable financial penalty if these riders move to another town. Sucks to see this happen.
  • 1 1
 yes you're right, the trails can be rebuilt, what they're really trying to destroy is the COMMUNITY! divide and rule, man!
  • 12 0
 Funny how no governement all over the world has the money to lower taxes, but they have the money to pay dozens of chainsaw-men in the woods.
  • 2 0
 They fly helicopters to chase us down and try to ticket us for riding our trails, when they cant even fund proper education for our children properly in public schools!
  • 10 0
 So gutting... another fantastic example of bureaucracy deciding what is best for the majority... without consultation. Hoping you get it all up and running again, the trails looked amazing.
  • 11 0
 the sadest mtb movie i ever seen - as a builder i know what kind of shitty situation this is - tears in my eyes.....
  • 10 1
 Remember this is an election year in the USA so don't be an ass-hole and vote is another idiot that will destroy the will of "We The People".
  • 16 1
 Seriously? who is running for any office that isn't a self serving asshat?
  • 9 1
 I think they are voting to decriminalize marijuana in Washington state this year, so it is an important election year for mountain bikers down there.
  • 6 0
 "the nations are getting fatter" as a result of this we are making it possible for people to not stay in-doors and to get out and get exercise... and by doing this we are destroying mountain bike trails.... Blank Stare

all it takes is a sign on public land that says "you are riding here at your own risk" BINGO!

everyones always complaining about how the world is getting fatter, as its so easy to just "stay in-doors and play on a games console".
but they go and destroy something that is allowing people to get out, get fit and allow for bonding time with other humans.. really doesn't make sense to me. theres too many people that don't care about others now a days, but I've never met a bad mountain biker.
  • 5 0
 I drive past all the hiking trails, walking trails, dog parks that are on public land and think..."Damn I wish MTBers had half the respect from our government that a dog does" Maybe we should call our trails "Cute trails for cute puppies" and we will have access to all the public land we could ever dream of.
  • 5 0
 I remember when I first made the switch from BMX to MTB. I bought a demo Shore from the shop I was working at and when I told my longtime friend the news he was almost as stoked as I was. He took me out to NF that weekend with a shit eating grin on his face the entire drive up and kept saying "just wait man, just wait" over and over again. My first run was down Moto to break me in and as soon as the trail dumped out into the road I dropped my bike and gave him a high five. HOLY SHIT, I have never ridden anything that felt so free! We spent the rest of the day riding that trail and Race Horse; I was hooked after that day. From there on I kept coming back almost every Sunday drinking Rainier and riding with people I knew and didn't know. I have traveled all over the USA since that summer a couple of years back and I will have to say, NF is by far the place I have ever ridden. You will never find a group of people that down to earth and so welcoming to anyone who shares the same love for mountain biking. There are no inflated egos, no competitiveness... just a group of people that will treat you like family. That you to everyone who has helped build, the supporting girlfriends who have shuttled us, and all the riders I spent the best two years of life with in a place with no phone service to distract us from what we love. Brad, THANK YOU so much for all of your hard work.
  • 7 0
 this makes me wanna fly over there and rebuild everything in concrete and saying try pul this apart cock heads
  • 4 0
 the government wants to remove liability for people being hurt on these trails... by making their own trails? i understand how it works, but why? if the state had no idea about these trails then why is it their responsibility to pay you when you break your sh*t? you could argue they should know about them, but why? you want them to spend more money of your money to hire a bunch of overpaid loons to 'oversee' everything that -the people who care about the area and its environmental soundness MORE than anyone who could be paid to do the same thing- are doing? people need to vote and get involved. WA state wants to take tax payer money to 1. tear down working responsible trails 2. build more trails in another area - why not hire one civil engineer who can sign off on trail builds for $40k/yr instead of spending a considerable bit more to build gov't trails and parks? WE ARE DOING A FINE JOB STFO. how is it not an option to sign a waiver saying 'if im found broken in half, it was my own fault, thank you' (in more legal terms) so that WA does not have to feel liability pressures? hire that civil engineer to wander around the trails and watch/guide volunteers into good enviro practices? how could guys like @retoid be against this? they couldnt. they do a good job already, and with a busy civil engineer and some waivers, WA could be liability free, the forests protected, the riders happy, the county generating income, volunteers busy (like they always have been). it seems so simple... am i missing something or how is something like this not implemented before WA destroys everything and sets a precedent for other states?
  • 6 0
 I thought things like this happen only in my silly country (Poland :-) , but I was wrong...
  • 6 0
 I've recommended this video to my girlfriend for better understanding of myslef.
  • 3 0
 I almost cried........ for real... idk why because of the riding and the community and the trails being awesome or the douches cutting down the trails.......
The peoples story is just so much inspiring, and it just makes me wanna ride so much, f**k those douches we can fight , we have our rights!
  • 4 1
 Liabilities? Lawsuit? What f@*#king lawsuit - someone please name one!!!! The govt goes in and destroys this - they litter the woods with broken features that will rot and now expose hundreds, thousands of nails - there's a lawsuit that the govt made right there!!! - let a hiker get impaled, not to mention the animals, which may get hurt, from stuff that was otherwise kept up! Not one of those lazy ass workers is a mountain biker! If that was my job that day to cut down those features - I would have said NO and quit! What's the REAL reason govt people? Putting in a development? Another Mall or Condos, maybe a Walmart - yeah we need one of those.
  • 3 0
 So un-proud my hard earned taxes go to things like this. DNR is like a bull in a china shop. We had a senator, two reps, and the county council all ask DNR to just hold their horses for a few while we worked this out. They did not care. It's sad.
  • 1 0
 can we get the senator, reps, and county council members names? i for one would like to write them a thank you note for trying, and ask if they have any ideas for what's next.
  • 1 0
 Yes jcladian,
42nd District

Senator Doug Ericksen

doug.ericksen@leg.wa.gov

414 Legislative Building

PO Box 40442

Olympia, WA 98504-0442

(360) 786-7682


Rep. Jason Overstreet

jason.overstreet@leg.wa.gov

422 John L. O'Brien Building

PO Box 40600

Olympia, WA 98504-0600

(360) 786-7980


Rep. Vincent Buys

vincent.buys@leg.wa.gov

470 John L. O'Brien Building

PO Box 40600

Olympia, WA 98504-0600

(360) 786-7854

Whatcom County Executive:

Jack Louws - JLouws@co.whatcom.wa.us



Whatcom County Council:

· Bill Knutzen - bknutzen@co.whatcom.wa.us

· Kathy Kershner - kkershne@co.whatcom.wa.us

· Ken Mann - kmann@co.whatcom.wa.us

· Sam Crawford - scrawfor@co.whatcom.wa.us

· Carl Weimer - cweimer@co.whatcom.wa.us

· Barbara Brenner - bbrenner@co.whatcom.wa.us

· Pete Kremen – pkremen@co.whatcom.wa.us
  • 4 1
 I've been bent out of shape about this and I'm not even from said area, but NJ. So I sent an email to Mark who I believe made these decisions, although I will be the first to admit I do not know that much about this situation. My letter was not compiled well at all an instead of writing a novel to the man which would have ended up being a rant, I kept it short. And I did receive an email back quite quickly. I don't know what to make of it exactly but he did include a lot of info. Perhaps those with more info than me can find refuge in his response. Here is both emails :

To: MAUREN, MARK (DNR)
Subject: Way to go !

Mark,
I'm writing you from NJ. I saw you on the news and wanted to express my disgust for you. "You see the trails as a 1.5 million dollar lawsuit." You sir should be ashamed of yourself. You aided in the destruction of those trails, thousands of hours of peoples work, as if it were nothing. Then I'm sure went home and slept like a baby as if nothing happened. Was any research done to look into the damage this senseless destruction would have upon local business ? Were there even any $1.5 million lawsuits ? Did you even look at the possibility of waivers to avoid the destruction ? I'm sure you could have even created a job and turned a small profit by assigning someone to collect a small fee to ride the mountain. Ok thats all, I just needed to let you know you looked like a complete fool on TV. Good day.
  • 3 0
 Hi Travis

Thank you taking the time to share your perspective and passion for the trails located in the departments “North Fork” block of forest trust lands managed by the Department of Natural Resources (DNR). Like any issue there is the rest of the story that seems to get left out........

Several years ago the Department restricted ORV use in this area because they were causing environmental damage and constructing miles of unauthorized trails. At that time the mountain bike community requested that they be able to continue to use the roads in the area. We gave permission to use the existing roads but stipulated that they could not develop or use the illegal and unauthorized trails that the ORV community had built. Unfortunately, well intentioned members of the local mountain bike community intentionally or unintentionally disregarded this agreement and created a huge mountain bike trail system without our knowledge and permission.

Being from New Jersey you may not realize that the lands that the department manages are Trust lands. By Federal and State constitution they have to be managed to generate revenue for a variety of trust. For example the Common School Trust provides the matching funds to build K-12 schools. We are a trustee and bound by the same laws that all trustees are held to i.e. undivided loyalty to the trust.

With that said the Department over the last 4 years has completed or about to complete seven recreation plans covering over 300,000 acres. All of the plans have identified new mountain bike trails and facilities. In fact we are in the process of permitting trail a downhill trail in Clark County (Yacolt State Forest) and are looking for mountain bikers to work with us to develop mountain bike trails at Reiter. So we do support the mountain bike community and we are working hard to open up others areas but it takes time and resources. However as a government entity we:
  • 3 0
 Realistically this kinda BS would have never happened to hunting zoning in say... texas! The city councils probably get shot! Saddest f*cking thing I seen in years! I know i would not have chosen to live in vancouver if our North Shore was taken away!

You guys are in the US, i say start practicing your Second Amendment for something more practical... jk Big Grin or am I?...
  • 3 0
 Me and a group of fellow riders have spent every weekend for the last year building new trails in our local area. We had a deal with the land owner that we could build what we wanted just as long as it wasn't on the main footpath. We held our side of the deal, we built secure structures, all the jumps had chicken runs around and there was no litter anywhere on our side of the hill. However, last Tuesday a friend of mine when up to ride the trails after school only so find that all our jumps, landings, burms and northshores were torn down. Logs had been chucked onto the trail in a violent manner with no consideration to the well-being of any mountain bikers that might use the trail leaving our trails dangerous and unridable. Months of hard work own the drain. We have deduced due to a number of factors that it was someone with a grudge against mountain bikers who walked up the trail with the soul intention of destroying it. This had also happened to a number of other trails in the area including officially legal spots. I thought I would share this with everyone not only to tell our side of the story but also to spread the message that even if they take our trails down, we have to rebuild them. We can't let the ignorance and spite of an individual destroy the creativity and passion that we all live with. We have already started building a bigger and better trail, stronger than the previous and on a very steep gradient. Although we still feel on the defensive we will carry on building and riding until the person who committed that bitter act has lost.
  • 5 0
 All of the effort that has go into making those trails, gone with the swift cut of a chain saw. Bloody sad to see really.
  • 6 1
 its the story of my life ,if the government dosnt make money of the sport you cant do it ,
  • 2 0
 Absolutely! Have thought that's more about countries like Russia where the only thing "officials from sport" are think about is money they can make out of such kind of stuff. And like you said - if they can't make money out of it they put a lot of efforts to destroy it... Frown don't really get it.
  • 1 0
 plublic land not for public abuse ,wth his he talking about the public land is ours we pay for it whit our dam taxes ,if we where paying to ride there their spench would nt be the same ,everything was well build ,the builders respected the environnement,it really breaks my heart wen i see this ,but lets go buy some jets for 30 billion that we dont need thats more helpful
  • 1 0
 "built by mountain-bikers but it's on state land"....... Fukc the state !!
  • 2 0
 That's the saddest thing I've seen all year.

And I thought I'm in the only place where uptight, self righteous government Aholes destroy everything you build.
Over here they say that "the tire marks disrupts the natural water flow and destroy the land"..
in the U.S it's all about law suits.
They just won't let you live anywhere these days.

What a load of B.S
  • 2 0
 I'm really hoping that the MTB community and the state officials can get this figured out. I feel that public land is and should be that PUBLIC. Riding is such a healthy thing to do and a huge part of my life. Good luck....
  • 2 0
 I was crying when they brough down the trails. Aa a trailbuilder I know this pain, when somebody destroys your work, just because it has no income for them . Probably state Washington would be happier when people don't have hobbies at all. And the would spend all money on alcohol taxes . Sick world!
  • 2 0
 It seems that a lot of blame is being laid upon the nebulous concept of the "government". Vaguely blaming "government" seems to be popular right now, probably because of the recession over the past few years.

But I would urge that everyone look deeper than that and criticize the real cause. The government itself isn't the problem. After all, public land generally wouldn't even be public if it weren't for the government having ownership and making it available for our use. Free use of private land is becoming increasingly rare so having some set aside is a good thing.

So what's the real problem? Bad decisions made by people who happen to be in government. That's right, specific humans are to blame. Let's point the finger at the people who are making bad decisions. That's the only way to bring accountability to the situation.
  • 2 0
 so sad, the biggest problem is we just allow governments to walk over us. we all need to stand together and say no. and in protest move from that area to another area where they will welcome mountain biking and the work and development that you have brought to that town, in response the town will cripple with no trade or interest.
but instead we just go oh no i don't want to move now or stand for my rights i will just lay here and be kicked like a dog. so sad Smile
  • 2 0
 "it is a liability" Well yeah now that you have torn down these jumps and bridges and left them throughout the woods with nails sticking out of them.. How is that any better for the environment than what it was before? And lets be real about this, NO one would ever sue the state if they got hurt 1. because thats a bitch thing to do and 2. as bikers we know our limits and we also know that with risk comes responsibility so if we get hurt it is on us not on them.
  • 1 0
 you must be living in make believe land. No one would sue if they got hurt?????? Where are you from???? Because its a bitch thing to do?????? Yeah I know my limits, I've also seem jumps, ladders, teaters break. Thats right, stuff breaks. Sometimes it breaks because it was built wroung, like buy some kid who just wanted to build a jump, he leaves it there and you come along, and bust your ass. "hey, I wouldn't have gotten paralyzed if this was constructed correctly, I'm pissed, but only bitches sue so its ok. Sound about right?
  • 2 0
 Sickening. And there are people who wonder why mtb'ers build illegal trails everywhere. I still think all the riders from Washington needs to throw a shit fit about this to the right person and talk about the money that this gov't "expert" just cost Bellingham and how that 3rd generation logging forest wasn't being harmed by those trails. That way they could get someone behind them that is over this guys head. Or maybe someone should just go tear up that fat dudes golf course for disrupting the natural environment. I'm sure he will understand.
  • 2 0
 we have been dealing with this same issue in the salt lake area of utah. the government tells us our trails that go around trees are damaging to the forest. the city has put in cars to stop erosion next to drinking water sources, that now have rusted and stained the soil all the way to the water. when they have come in days before a public hearing to determine some trails staying open or closed, and cut down 70 to 80 large trees all over 60ft tall to close these trails. then they proceed to say we have damaged the forest, they caused more damage in one day then i will have in a life time, i have never cut a live tree for any trail ever. these same government officials have recently put in a pureposal to run a paved trail all the way up a canyon for a bike lane in addition to the preexisting bike lane already in place. they are threatening to demolish a jump park that has been established for going on 12 years, they have know about it the entire time. we need to band together as a community nation wide and show the government just how many people this sport really represents. there are more of us out there than they think and we can overthrow them whit the shear numbers.
  • 2 0
 i hate to be a copy cat but I'm very tempted to make one of these videos showing riders and their views to save our local spot under threat from the local authorities! it sums up the views and points of local riders (people who actually use the spot) and would give us a strong community/family voice Smile

great film; very inspirational
  • 1 0
 I say go for it. The more the authorities hear about how upset all the mountain bikers are, they might actually understand our viewpoints and respect the trails that the builders spend their own time, money, and energy on.
  • 2 0
 @ownit. im guessing you live close to a bike park. these people built these trails because its close to home and who really wants to commute to go to the trails. that would limit the amount of time they can spend on the sport they love. they arent tearing down anything they arent destroying anything. the government is just a big ass bully and they dont like anything they cant get a profit from
  • 2 0
 Y'know, I get the liability aspect. It is a real and legitimate concern for government, and it should be for tax paying citizens. However, they way mountain bikers need to attempt to mitigate/avoid litigation and liability concerns is to try to fight bureaucracy with bureaucracy. Seems to take the fun out mountain biking, but the way a corporation can rape and destroy the land, leave machinery at a worksite to rust and 'decompose' into the ecosystem, and even have workers die during construction, etc, etc, is to have a system in place that doesn't leave them searching for legal support when the heavy hand of the law comes crashing down.

The government isn't trying to shut down fun, even though this is the result. The goal is to ensure they aren't footing the bill when some Dad decides that biking is better than Xbox, but biking broke his neck. People change their philosophy when someone is crippled by what many regard as a preventable accident.

Bikers require, not only a cohesive, but a legally bound, organization--be it local, municipal, state/provincial, or national, where there is some measure of protection in place, not only for/from what they build, but also for/from the laws that govern the lands they use.
  • 2 0
 It's the right of a person to exercise a risky sport. This is definitely not something you should have to ask the gouvernment for permission. It's just within your freedom and self-determination, which is a feature of a well developed state. Only thing a state needs for not 'footing the bill' is a mandatory health insurence with a compulsory risk settlement for which everybody has to pay financial contributions. A fat man with diabetes, adiposity and severe back problems does not cost less, than somebody crippled by an accident and it's at least as preventable. And then again it may be more dangerous to ride bike in traffic and get hit by a car... I for one think, that it's pretty commendable for the dad to have is son spending time with him and therefore teach him social life instead of have him playing videogames alone in a darkroom and become estranged from his parents and others - even if I like doing both, riding and playing games, I think riding is the more salubrious alternative. Apart from that, I agree with you, that a legally bound organization would help in many ways.
  • 1 1
 Well, if everyone thought this way: 1) Mandatory Health Care 2) Universal Health Care 3) Compulsary Risk Settlement, then they'd be at odds with those who believe in freedom and self determination, as terms like "mandatory" and "compulsary" are antithetical to their philosophy. But, I absolutely agree with you on all points, and, even though I recognize the logical conflict between freedom / self determination and government mandated user fees or taxes, I don't personally think it's a binary proposition.

We have been fortunate enough to have an organization representing biking and building, work with our local and provincial governmnets to ensure standardized building practices, and to have assurances / insurances in place for stakeholder protection. Combine that with a very non-American mentality toward litigating away personal responsibility, and our fortunes seem to be exponentially higher than those found south of the 49th parallel.
  • 5 3
 • Cannot condone the development of trails on public lands without permission because these lands are managed for the benefit of specific
Trusts not for anyone individual or group to stake a claim to the land.
• Have to obtain all state and local permits, which there are many when developing recreation trails and facilities.
• Are required to have a licensed landscape architect or civil engineer design and oversee the construction of any public facility or trail,
• We need to ensure that recreational activities are sustainable and do not interfere with our primary responsibilities (to generate revenue
for the trust)
• Need to have the resources to maintain the recreation trails and facilities and provide a level of education and enforcement so that users
feel safe while recreating.
• Are required to prevent environmental damage caused by sediment from the trails reaching flowing water, with trails crossing streams and
destabilizing slopes.
• We are legally required to protect cultural sites that are located in and around this area.

The department is committed to working with all user groups to develop a recreation plan for a block of state managed trust lands in Whatcom County. The issue is picking the right landscape to develop trails in. I don’t know if you are aware but the soils in that area are a clay/ silt which means they are very erodible and prone to slippage. What we plan on doing is working with the users groups and county to identify a block of land that is best suited to support sustainable trail system and develop a recreation plan that identifies were the different types of trails should be located along with trailheads.


Take care

Mark


Mark Mauren
Washington State Department of Natural Resources
Assistant Division Manager
Recreation & Public Access
  • 1 1
 Good comment. It's a two way street, both parties help each other. Volunteer hours for the DNR gets them more funding, and the volunteers/trail builders get to build legal, healthy trails.
  • 4 2
 There are so many things wrong with the above statement that it is useless to argue. User built trails exist everywhere on DNR land, they chose to wreck house here instead of finding a proactive solution, period. Now with enough blow back they are starting to bend the rules, since the flexibility is there with pressure, to provide recreational opportunities. Too little too late.
  • 2 1
 same chain letter i got, not a single word out of place. i was thinking, well you're a douche but thanks for the thoughtful spin. now i'm just thinking douche.
  • 1 1
 some of it must be different, as I doubt your from new jersey! the email was to big to post all at once so I posted it in 3 parts back to back but for some reason it didn't post consecutively, they are out of order, I contacted a mod but it can't be fixed. If you look for my SN "go hard jersey" you will find the other 2 parts. But I see your point.
  • 5 0
 humans are the only species that tear down a tree make paper out of the tree and put save the tree on the paper
  • 2 0
 Hearing people describe their reason for mountain biking and living in B-ham brought tears, no joke. Gotta regain my composure for my afternoon meeting... I've never ridden up there but I hope they overcome and I get a chance one day
  • 2 0
 WOW my heat goes out to all the trail buildersSalute Salute Watching that makes me mad and so sad...Iv been dealing with alot of the same set backs .you build something that betters the mtn.NOT just a jump with pot holes around it,i build sustainable trails with irrigation that shares the land with horses and hikers but i still come to find huge features wrecked by drunk people in the jacked up turbo diesel trucks or spite full kids.It breaks my heart to see an amazingly built trail system get wrecked.. I would love to see National and State forest services dedicating more time towards the mtn bike community,just like dude said in the video, "do we want our kids growing up eating fast food on the couch playing video games or do we want to take them out and show them this beautiful earth that were blessed to live&ride''//////////////// there so much wrong with what big brother did to north fork ..if you see it as a 2.1 million dollar lawsuit how-about make it safer(idiot proof) instead of destroying it! I live in WNC and the amount of ignorant hillbillys that tear stuff down is at an all time high. id love to see the forest service work with some trail co-ops in my area. maby ill start one ........theres an idea in the right direction. like kernow said^ i see a huge rebuild comming on the big banks of the Nooksack !!get it guysSalute Rip that red tape down.keep it up guys.. Great edit!Pimp sincerely , Mike C
  • 2 0
 What an amazing place to ride! Such a disheartening clip without question....

What amazes me is how long it survived considering it was illegal the entire time. I'm curious to know if something happened on the trails that triggered the local officials to tear it down??? Something so big and extravagant does not go unnoticed for as long as this without something possibly happening. The other thing that is perplexing is why tear it down to only open discussions to allow people to rebuild? A bit hypocritical in my opinion. I would imagine next election year in this community would be rather interesting.

Keep your chins up and hopefully you will have the ability to rebuild bigger and better!
  • 2 0
 Well since they rip down the trails that keeps us out of trouble why dont we all go smoke pot insted and see what they would prefer because i know that some kids out there without biking turn to drugs This is just strait BULLSHIT! No ones going to sue the FUCKING state if they bail the government is so full of shit
  • 2 0
 It's complete bullshit that the DNR will actually work with the mountainbikers to help make a trail solution. I build my own trails and they cause no significant damage to any land or animal habitats, the land owners love it because their empty land is put to use and i help to conserve and protect it. For example, if theres an erosion problem I will fix it, fallen tree? Cut up and moved to a proper location. Mountain bike trail builders are self healing, i the path of "destruction" they cause they will fix blocked rivers, eroded ground, and felled trees, all while properly disposing of stumps and forest debris to make the trail as environmentally and rider friendly as possible. I guarantee that all the work the DNR's pawns did in their so called "conservation efforts" caused significantly more damage to the environment and forest than any responsible trail building would do. It's just sad to see such an amazing piece of work go to waste, we might as well burn the Mona Lisa while we're at it. A sustained mountain biking trail helps the community more than some 12 million dollar library EVER would, from keeping the community fit to funding tons of bike shops and tourism related sales its basically like ripping your own heart out, in this case the heart of the community. It's truly a shame to see this happen and i wish y'all the best of luck in your rebuilding and re-locating efforts!
  • 2 0
 i guess google can answer at least part of my question just as well:

"State Senator For Mountain Bike Trails
KGMI News Reporting
Mike Curtiss
kgmi@kgmi.com

OLYMPIA, Wash. -- State Senator Doug Ericksen of Ferndale says he's frustrated over the state's decision to close mountain bike trails on Slide Mountain in Northestern Whatcom County. Ericksen asked the Commissioner of Public Lands to delay the closure.

He says the builders of the bike trails and ramps on Slide Mountain were breaking the law, but it shows a need for authorized recreational areas on state lands in Whatcom County. He says people's ability to use public lands is shrinking. Ericksen says he'll be focused during this legislative interim on bringing people together to keep the area open for mountain bikers."


sad truth is that ability to use dnr lands has been shrinking mark mouren's entire term, there is no discernible forward progress at all, but he's still there. he fooled the ohv people when they threw them out of wahcom seven years ago, and if you think dnr is on our side now, please send over a big bag of whatever you smoke, 'cuz i need some of that.
  • 2 0
 I did a large amount of studying about the Adirondacks and all the zoning and conservation that is entailed with this sort of stuff, and I am also a zoologist that spends 90% of my free time on a mtn bike. I see absolutely no reason as to why these trails cannot exist. I kept up with a local story of a wally world getting planted on a marsh area that was considered important to the ecosystem, but the grand old $ made someone important turn a blind eye. I understand that trails can cause minor erosion, but thats about it, dead wood was used, and the percentage of ground space used for trails is insignificant in comparison to the whole. I wish that in these cases a model such as the Adirondack park could be used where they could zone this for a certain use, and then conservation is fully upheld and protected by the community that surrounds it. This is obviously a very a very natural community and has no intent to destroy the land. I would personally trust these people as stewards of the land over the f*cked up government.
  • 2 0
 This seems to be a large community of people with strong feelings and lots of energy. Why not organize, get some corporate sponsorship and reach into your own pockets, and buy a bunch of land somewhere that can be privately owned and built into a bike park? Then there won't be all these conflicts about illegal construction on public lands. Seems like a sensible solution to me. You have to face reality: there have always been rules in public parks for one simple reason: if everybody did exactly what they wanted to, the parks would be a chaotic mess.
  • 2 0
 That was hard to watch in parts.. Sad to see what can be such a positive thing for a community fall because of short sightedness. We need to do something about "liability" in our society. I think we need to move towards a little more personal liability. So many people can not/ will not take personal responsibility for anything these days. Short of a malicious act by someone else (I'm thinking like, hanging a trip wire or something), if I get hurt riding my bike it's my fault. The end. I'm grown up and it's my choice to ride my bike around the woods like I do. Cycling keeps me fit, happy, has helped me see more of our world, and keeps me from choking people out on a daily basis, and probably most importantly given me the drive to get educated so I can further delve into the world of bike and afford to continue doing what I LOVE to do. Mountain bikes have shaped who I am. Besides if it wasn't bikes I'd probably be more into fast cars... And that probably scares the society more, or at least should!
  • 2 0
 Oh and I love when someone says a bike trail has to be shut down for environmental reasons. Usually it means they are going to build houses, strip malls or clear cut it in the next few years.
  • 2 0
 This just happenned to some of our local trails and they brought in a tractor to take them down. The tractor destoyed the ground and cut down many trees. Our shovels and little tires do not harm the outdoors, we charrish the land we ride on not destroy. TIME TO TAKE AMERICA BACK THIS IS OUR COUNTRY NOT "THERES" youtu.be/SiOKwsLMld4
  • 2 0
 Nice move WA state. While other communities chase grants, hold fundraisers and look forward to many years of hard work to have a destination-worthy trail system, you just destroyed a $2million gift from the mountain biking community. All you had to do was find a way to manage what existed and manage the risk going forward. Government at its best. Idiots.
  • 2 0
 I have read most of the comments on here. Surly forwarding the link to this page so that Mark Mauren can see the video and see peoples comments would perhaps open his eyes, not just to the immediate problem on "his patch" and the anger it is causing, but also try to represent the mountain biking community elsewhere. This problem is common in most states and countrys I persume. (Well it certainly is here in the UK unfortunatley) I suggest that someone who has his email adress forwards this page onto Mark Mauren so that he can see the reasction that this has caused not just localy or nationally, but internationally accross the mountain biking community.

Change has to happen and its going to happen in three ways:

1) The goverment changes its attitiude and accepts Mountain biking as a sport and starts providing locations for people to do it legaly. This woould both create intrest in the sport, and as shown in the video economic and social benifits to the local community.

2) The goverment doesnt change its attitude and all trails get driven "underground" so that it becomes an secret, secluded sport.

3) Mountain biking dies as no one has the facilites to enjoy this fantastic sport legaly. This will have massive detremental economic and social consequences to local people and biking internationaly.

Good luck to all the people who are involved in this process and I hope that you get the outcome you want and everyone on Pinkbike wants!
  • 1 0
 Its like, powers that be are so paranoid that if somebody injures themselves they will blame the power that be... pretty much everybody that rides knows that injuries etc are their own fault... I have never thought about blaming somebody else... but to cover their own arses they take away the fun for an entire extended community of riders... WRONG.
  • 1 0
 Precisely, unfortunately there is a small percentage who seem to believe otherwise, ruining it for everyone, like most fun things in this world..
  • 5 0
 what a waste of money and resources ...
  • 1 0
 without building something yourself you never realise just how long it takes to even make one jump to perfection and for people like that to come in with chainsaws and destroy something so well built in just days is sickening!
  • 4 0
 This is completely ridiculous. The county government seems to be blinder then a dead man. Out of control stupidity!
  • 5 0
 It would be a different story if they found oil out there
  • 1 0
 Just shows how easily what took time , sweat , tears, and blood can be torn up in just a split second . Its really a shame and i love how the guy was so worried about a "law suit " LOL really? Sorry but these type of mtb riders arent stuck up pricks looking to make money . What about people riding horses on a trail, you can easily get bucked off a horse and break your neck. Just sayin .. I hope all the best for these guys out there and may the best outcome come out of this. Keep ridin !
  • 1 0
 It's a pain to see such images. In Portugal, we are facing a similar situation in some of the most amazing spots to ride. Although, in a difference panorama, since in some cases, they are destroying the trails to build safe zones for fire fighting. In other cases, they destroy it just because they say it's illegal ( at least from their point of view ) .

And we're using mother nature goods to build the trails, from trees that they destroyed...
  • 1 0
 as a builder and a rider I can only empathize with everyone involved, from the people who moved there just to ride, the folks that opened up business's to be close to the riding, the builders, and so on...tore me up watching the saws go through the stunts...all because some narrow minded individuals who know nothing of the mentality of mountain bikers take it on as their mission to protect the peoples best interest...But its the solid message behind Whatcom's video that will hopefully continue to get people who are upset to take a stand and let their voices be heard...Because if we all go quiet, then we all lose.
  • 1 0
 seems to me like the goverment spending shit loads of money just to make a point, fuckwits aye.i dont rate any argument they have about environment blah blah ive stood and watched our government cut down oak trees that are fucking ancient so they can have there way .l
  • 1 0
 Ok so they go out and destroy the trails and then throw all the stuff they destroyed in piles like that out in the middle of the woods so now it looks worse cuz they just throw it into the bushes. The eviro-mentalist are just bored and pick on us so they have something to do.
  • 1 0
 If they cared so much about then environment they wouldn't have cut down all parts of the trails made out of wood. Because now with the solution of building something "safer" they need to cut down how many trees to remake all the stuff they just cut down
  • 1 0
 I'm sorry but I really don't understand. After only watching the video I can appreciate that I only have one side of the story. However, what was it that these guys were doing that was so wrong it warranted mobilizing the guys with chainsaws?
The video does a great job of portraying this community as a peace loving, nature appreciating, non age/gender specific, open group. In that it welcomes everyone, shuns nobody, works/ plays together and doesn't appear to be problematic in any way. I'm still having a hard time understanding how a public group utilizing and enjoying public land has suddenly become a public enemy?

Please support the Watcom Trails co-op because it scares me that this is only the tip of the iceberg. If officials see it as reasonable to close down and cut up their trails, how long before our trails (and even our whole scene) come under the same scrutiny ?
  • 1 0
 Such a great video! But realize that taking the natural response to this and fostering the 'us vs them' attitude only polarizes and escalates things. We are still a country and a government 'of the people, by the people and, for the people'. We need to keep reminding the DNR and the state of that and 'they' will respond to enough public pressure, because 'they' are really just 'us' who happen to work for the government. The issue of liability stems from a $2.1 mill lawsuit won by an individual who injured their self while riding a four wheeler behind a locked gate. That set the legal precedent, which to me speaks of a problem with our legal system. Some law firm probably made about $700,000 on that case which was paid by our tax dollars, and we're still paying for it in reduced use of our 'public lands'.
  • 1 0
 This sort of story just makes me sad. There seemed to be a group of fairly responsible people taking care of the trail system, but for what ever reason the DNR decides to rip the land out from under them. They cite environmental and liable as the reasons to decommission the trails, but in the end its just the liable they see and don't realize that the trail is actually safe and self monitored. I am willing to lay money down that not one of the people involved in the decision has ever rode a bike on anything more than a gravel path in their adulthood, and the thought of getting even one tire off the ground is something they can not comprehend. I truly hope that a fast and good solution is found for these riders and trail builders, but the only way to secure places to ride is for people to step up and take responsibility for their own actions and stay the heck out of the court system with stupid lawsuits. Even a stupid lawsuit that gets thrown out before the first day cost the government money.
  • 1 0
 i don't understand people, if the government lets us build trails,it makes tourism and tourism=$$$. a guy posting a video of him riding at his local mountain can bring attention to how good that trail/ trails are and will bring attention to riders who are looking for a holiday...
  • 1 0
 Your Government is influenced heavily by organizations, now this may have not been the case in this instance, but the Sierra Club is one very strong organization that can go a long way in fighting AGAINST you and land access for mountain bikers. Their policy for land usage is centered for hiking and those with horses, they do not support MTBing and actively work with government to create protected areas from vehicle use, this includes bicycles. My reason for bringing all of this up? I use to support the Sierra Club because I agree they we need land protected from development and abusive useage, and that is what they tell you. they do not tell you how they are against MTBing, nor do they tell you how many of their members are Government employees that help to create policies like the one in the article. I guess my point is that we need a large body that all of our little clubs can attach to and become a large and stronger voice. IMBA is not it. A good organization but not one for dealing with government.
  • 1 1
 IMBA sucks -- it is to MTB what Sierra Club is to ecosystems, a false front, a pose, a way for mainstream "development" interests (money before everything else, image before substance) to dominate the discussion.

IMBA is a joke. Its trail signs start with bad default assumptions: MTBs must yield to hikers and horses. Why? Because the assumption is that MTBs are always doing the wrong thing, and that hikers and horses are always doing the correct thing.

Why would someone take that stance if they were FOR mountain bike interests?

I'll tell you: because they believe in the form of "compromise" that is equal to slitting one's own throat. They believe in bargaining away all power from the first step.

IMBA is a joke.

And thinking that the Whatcom area govt is "working with" the builders of these trails? That's hilarious. If they were "working with" the trail builders, there would have been no dismantling of trails.
  • 1 0
 This is realy terrible...I as a european, thought till now, that it is quite easy to head up to the woods an build an trail...in vast america, but actually it dosen't seem so, don't get me wrong Wink . Here in Germany we got the same problems. They alway giving you economical reasons to destroy the things you build with a lot of effort. They also got the argument, that the riders with their tires are destroying the soil and the ground significantly, but when you look at their machines, cutting off the trees, it looks even worse as it was befor....this is realy sad and every trail in the whole world is a place were riders meet and have a good time together...I hope they will find a way...
  • 1 0
 I stayed in Bellingham in around April 2010 when I was on the way from Portland to Vancouver. At the Hampton in, we called it the Bellinghamton. I wish I knew about these trails, when I was there (wasn't super into MTB at the time or a PB reader) ...I could have rented a bike and rode the fork in all its glory. Damn
  • 1 0
 until the eleventh minute I thought I saw heaven. when you have riders in the forest paths and trails does not need money for guards and forest guards. And regarding the ramps is made from the broken branches of trees and soil, and thats for those who say go to the parks. it's sad so sad
  • 1 0
 we got prblems like this kinda in cali. Except we dont get so far as to actaully building the trails lol. we get shut down before that. They are hypricrates. At the end of the day its all about money. Its funny theres trails all over my mtn for dirtbikes yet dirtbikes f-up the earth more then a properly maintained bike trail. And I beleive a dirt bike is more of a liabiltiy then a mtb lol. I mean they can start forest fires which are a huge thin in SOCAL. But hey thats just my 2 cents. what do I know im not an govt offcial, just a novice mountainbiker that knows the obvious BS when he sees it.
  • 2 0
 Disgusting. I feel physically ill after watching that.

How can they just tear it down without doing some research or giving the community a chance to defend itself? Heartless bureaucratic bastards.
  • 1 0
 Same crap we are dealing with here in California. They close all the trails because of "environmental impact" and herd everyone onto one trail. Then they close that one trail because it is too DANGEROUS. I thought it was only California but it seems that in any dense population of liberal thinkers they worship the creation and not the creator. Like the guy in the video says. The demand is still there. I have witnessed this with moto in California but never thought it would happen to MTB. My 6 year old son does more damage running through the bushes and off the trail than a mountain bike that is "passing through" a space. Just my 2 cents.Smile
  • 1 0
 Always with the enviroment card = Government. Our COMMUNITY is going to get so big, and so full of bikers that Eventually , they will HAVE to let us build. They will HAVE to let us ride! the day of reckoning is coming my friends!
  • 1 0
 "Have my teenager out here enjoying fresh air and exercise or stay home and play xbox 360?" The owner of Walmart is very happy now! Win for commerce. Yes, folks, it's about money. Obviously they trashed the place so they don't care about the environment. The government is quite happy about you letting out your stress during first person shooting games. And hey, they train you for the army at the same time! Win Win!
  • 1 0
 It is quite sad, they say they want to discuss plans to put in place for mountain bikers to have their own place to ride, well mountain bikers put weeks, months and sometimes years into building adrenalin pumping trails and before starting the discussion on where these tails could be built they go ahead and take apart the pre-existing trails. I feel as if this could have been handled much better, they could have had meetings with concerned citizens and the mountain bikers that enjoy these trails to debate and discuss different solutions to the problems the government had with these trails, if liability is an issue you could put up signs like this one at my local bike park. www.flickr.com/photos/justinchang/4886365607 (just do it without the "no handmade jumps or props" rule) that takes law suits out of the problem. Don't even get me started on "environmental issues" What would the government rather have kids these days doing? Selling and using drugs, or fighting the obesity problem with good mountain biking like this?
  • 1 0
 More damage is done when they take the trails down than the trail origanily caused in the first place. I have seen this so many times out here in Arizona as soon as someone complains the trail is ripped apart along with the land around it and when you see that it makes me wonder why??
  • 1 0
 @ownit.... You say " I love mountain biking just as much as these guys do" and to ride in a "bike park" where are bike parks built? What's underneath one? What was there before the park? Obviously you have no idea! This area was once used by OHV (off highway vehicles) the damage this area sustained was far worse than the few trees that were used for these ramps. I'm sure the forest is far better condition now than it was before. Not to mention look at the damage the deconstruction teams were doing trumping all over like it was a construction site, chain saws spewing carbon into the air. And your sickened by the 3 ft wide path. Mountain biking is about getting out there and embracing nature and the plentiful resources it provides ie, wood, dirt, rocks and use them to expirence this world in a way that only a mtn biker can discribe... So go enjoy your "park"
  • 1 0
 Tears and broken hearted. I have always wanted to be apart of a community like this one. Devastating and amazing to hear everyone bare their soul. Senseless and totally tragic. Losing a trail is so personal. We recently lost the only wood ramp in the area on my favorite trail due to so called liability. It drives me crazy every time I think of it. It seems no matter how proactive and conscientious mountain bikers are, we will always be at the mercy of thoughtless government officials. I guess it is literally easier to move mountains than deal with the government. To all those riders up there, I hear you and will do my best to back you up. I hope to one day ride and turn a shovel with you.
  • 1 0
 I can hope only that in the future, any such actions taken by any body, organizations, government, etc.... which would see the enjoyment of others so vastly diminished and interrupted, would result in those responsible facing criminal prosecution. And that indeed is the extent of it - removal of such a natural playground which so many enjoy is nothing short of criminal
  • 1 0
 Another act to control the people for the reason of IF and money. We are never free and will always be under the perverbial thumb of the losers who have the access to control happiness and freedom of our peaceful community no matter what we do.
  • 1 0
 @ownit in the 16 years ive been riding and the endless amounts of trails ive created and made ive not once cut trimmed or destroyed any plantation or living organism and have always 'always' built around nature, as any REAL rider will know its the flow of planets natural curves that make the shredding feel so damn good! All the government is worried about is people getting injured and instantly going to sue them, but at the end of the day you cant leave a sign out saying 'floor wet please do not slip' they sign an agreement to whoever rides it and let them live there life. I'd shuv the chainsaws where the sun never glows.
  • 1 0
 First off, Amaaaaazing film Brad Walton! You truly captured the essence of community that mt. biking creates. My heart goes out to the builders that spent so much time, effort, and money to create a first class trail system and I'm super bummed this incredible riding area is now closed due to Gov't. BS. However, I'm optimistic that our riding community will be loud and vocal with their support of future legal mt. bike access in our region. While this is a HUGE setback, the future looks bright in terms of opportunities. Keep up the pressure! The squeaky wheel gets the grease.
  • 1 0
 "Thats what it is with teenagers, either show them the edge of adrenaline or let them sit at home and play xbox." This dad literally couldn't be more right, mountain biking has yet to come to complete prominence as a legitimate sport that can coexist with landowners and conservation programs, and I think it's a damn shame.
  • 1 0
 I seriously don't understand the logic of these people. They say its bad for the environment, so they drive their diesel trucks in to cut apart the trails with their gas powered chainsaws. They don't even pick up they pieces of ramps and bridges, they just leave them there to rot and expose all the nails. Everyone is also complaining about how the country is getting fat, yet they go and destroy trails that people ride to stay fit and have fun. We could choose to stay inside and play video games all day, but instead we mountain bike. It just doesn't make sense.
  • 1 0
 This just made me sad! I was so stoked with the first half of the video and then THIS...I was about to share it with my pals in Costa Rica and set it as an example for us in terms of a trailbuilding mtb enthusiast community, but the goverment destroying part bummed me alot! I even considered pursuing a job in NW WA hahaha...I am serious!
  • 1 0
 This makes my blood boil!! The people have forgot the governments rightful place. They are employed by us to work for US. Not the other way around. Its a public place , who gave them the right to cut things down. These people should be held accountable for destroying the trails. I am an aussie living in Canada feeling for you guys down there, standing together is the only way. Hope there is good news around the corner.
  • 1 0
 that was like a chainsaw through my core....after years of building, i can see the time and love that were put into those lines. those builders and volunteers must be devastated. i truly don't understand how those piles of destroyed stunts left in the middle of the forest are better for the environment then an army of devoted trail builders. i hope some one trips on the debris and sues the government for damages.......so they can truly realize the fantasized lawsuit......
  • 2 2
 Now let me tell you what your government wants,it wants to see you in a change,where you don`t think ,you don`t belive thet they are behind all ov this,thats whay they want you back in your homes,and away from the forest. Because in the forest there is nothing electronical that could control your mind (subconciusness)No tv,no computer.I know these becaus in your contry these kind of info. is prohibited .Think of what i have writhen here, thinking is your only solution, don`t take things fore granted.
  • 2 0
 Good on you Whatcom Trails Co-Op. Super video and great to see that you're taking positive action. Hope you get back what you put in.
  • 1 0
 I just got into downhill riding over the past few weeks, but have been riding for 5 years. I was planning on heading down there this summer to ride :'(...screw you government...
  • 3 0
 I like how they ban all motorized vehicles.... logging trucks have no effect on enviorment I guess. Corksuckers!
  • 1 0
 spend money to take down trails that are the best en already there. and than spend more money on finding and building a place for them. doesn't seam to be a good deal.

PS made me kind of emotionalFrown
  • 1 0
 the goverment have bad choises that is whay the planet is to die slowly i love
my planet an i hate the political ideas

because of that we are all in reseçao and is gome be worse the future
  • 2 0
 environmental card was and has been played to many times! i think logging destroys more then mountain biking! people these days
  • 1 0
 anyone who gets off the couch to get outside in the wilderness (biker, hiker, walker etc) would appreciate the trail system that the volunteers put together! What a bunch of BS to tear it down!!
  • 2 0
 build build build and build it again if they rip it down .oh and take ya rubbish home especially you(monster energy sugary shit drinkers).
  • 3 0
 If there was a lift operated by corprate interests this whole thing would be just fine
  • 1 0
 That video makes those trails look awesome, think I'll go down there and bring the local community some business...... o wait, nope, no I won't because the government tore up all the trails
  • 2 0
 So we have a obese country and the government acts like they want to change obesity but they cut down outdoor "athletic fun parks" because its a liability. WTF
  • 1 0
 This blows! i live on these trails it is my passion and just to watch them tear it down makes me want to fuck those loggers up! Well there goes my summer looks like ill be sitting on my ass doing nothing!
  • 1 0
 "all on state land" Well what is wrong with letting members of the public use it? It's a joke, putting money and time into destroying something that is only benifitting the community...
  • 1 0
 This actually makes me sick, I would kill for trails like this in my area and if the government knocked them down then surely you could come to an agreement before that stage.
  • 1 1
 look at all those fucking douchebags full geared just to cut some wood, I do that on shorts and barefoot and at the end they just made it worse just throwing it in the middle of the bushes. Thank god I live in Canada and I don't have to deal with American bureaucracy and bullshit
  • 1 0
 dear USA govt....We don't need you, most of everyone I know have never needed you. You can't even take care of yourself.....Please leave productive people to their own work. You worry about that next heart attack.......
  • 1 0
 This seriously pisses me off, i think the a**holes tearing down the trails are doing more damage than "good" like they think they are. These stuck-up jacka**s's should just go screw-off and mind their own dam business.
  • 1 0
 well, if you don't like hate mail, maybe you prefer a telephone call to express your disgust? here's the complete directory for dnr: www.dnr.wa.gov/CONTACTDNR/EMPLOYEEDIRECTORY/Pages/Home.aspx
  • 1 0
 I would have loved to fly over there and ride those trails that got built for free. Think of the money the goverment/state is missing out on from traveler and not the bloody what ifs.
  • 1 0
 My heart goes out to whole community there. Sad to see such hard work & passion be destroyed, over some really non-important issues in the "big picture" of things. Live to Ride. Ride to Live, my brothers & sisters.
  • 1 0
 this pisses me of so much ! i think they should all get together and ride round the streets and government buildings being an ACTUAL nuisance and then they might get the picture
  • 1 0
 It is one of those attempts to take freedom from people. If they were loosing votes the wouldn't touch the trails. If they could earn money by cutting the trees, they would do it in weeks & make it legal.
  • 1 0
 So what did they do with all the wreckage? My local Rangers tore down a ladder bridge in my local forest a few years ago. There Still is a littered mess of nails and wooden remains on the trail.

Idiots.
  • 1 0
 Wow! So sad to see a place that brings the community together for heathy fun destroyed. There is so much I want to say but its not for a public forum where little ones might see. Get the point politicians?
  • 2 0
 i was really enjoying that video up until the part were they started cuting the trails up
  • 3 0
 this makes me angry! hahaha but will never stop me building more
  • 3 0
 Mountain biking - 'A church full of trees' . i love this.
  • 1 0
 Very sad, I admire the courage and resolve of this community to rise from the ashes, and peaceably rebuild what has been destroyed.
  • 1 0
 Amazing work Brad. Thanks for all the effort WTC are putting in. Hopefully this may be the tipping point towards a solution. The current situation is absolute bullshit.
  • 4 0
 Fuck the government
  • 3 0
 This knocks me sick seeing this but it is not stopping me
  • 1 0
 god damn conservation laws...how fuckin stupid is that! What a bunch of bull shit! mountain biking causes little to no damage what so ever!
  • 2 0
 I don't swear but this time i might just have to........FUCK THE GOVERNMENT
  • 1 0
 the place looked better before they took it all down, now it just looks like a land fill because they just chucked it all to one side.
  • 3 0
 i hope one of those workers "accidently " step on a nail
  • 1 0
 i personally do trails and have problems with jutice about that. I know peeps in the same case. PPl dont like montain bikers maybe.
  • 1 0
 everything has already been said, but to put it simply, I'm in favor of leaving trails be and working with bike groups for sustainability
  • 1 0
 Bottom Line: Don't build trails illegally. Its a waste of everyone's time. Learn from situations like this. Do it right the first time.
  • 1 0
 at the me movie first i was Smile than :/ damn it, in Austria happens this also, they have found our spot and it got also destroyed Frown .....
  • 1 0
 I feel sorry for local cyclists, I know how much it needs work, my trail also was destroyed - mtbartek.pinkbike.com/album/Trail
  • 1 0
 Hello Mark Mauren. A very strong lesson that our religion has taught all Velo brethren is simply... what goes around comes around.
  • 1 0
 The government officials should be required to ride the trails before they they tore it down. They obviously have never been mountain biking.
  • 1 0
 Pretty sure that's worst then cutting down some bluebells.. But I'm Not gay like that
  • 1 0
 WOW WHAT A SHAME, public land is not open to the people who actually want to use it
  • 2 0
 feel for the guys that have moved across country
  • 3 0
 iMad.
  • 1 0
 este pessoal do governo são uma cambada de idiotas, um trilo bué porreiro e como ficou. que estupidez
  • 2 0
 The horrible sinking feeling i got when i saw that chainsaw Frown
  • 2 0
 So sad...B-Ham will never be the same.
  • 1 0
 i would rather see them do that to my house and my car then to my bike and my trails. the mountain his my home.
  • 1 0
 I watched this with my mouth open and with a big question mark in my mind. WTF? What a sad story!
  • 1 3
 Anyone who believes the WA govt people who say it's about erosion and liability = fools.

It's not about erosion if the area is regularly logged.

It's not about liability if the govt didn't build the trails.

kidwoo professed on TGR Sprocket Rockets that the situation is "under control" from the trail builders' perspective.

Excuse me, but if 5 years of effort, materials and ingenuity have been unilaterally dismantled by the govt, you do NOT have things "under control" and you are at a distinct bargaining DISadvantage -- you are at the WA govt's mercy. It would be like trying to sell a pimped-out bike that cost you $7k to build, where the potential buyer steals the bike from you and then demand you pay HIM.

Fools.
  • 1 0
 if there is anything we can do to help you guys please get pinkbike or nsmb.com to post it. we all share the passion
  • 1 1
 Sorry to hear about all of your luck Frown I would loose my mind if they took away my trails!
FIGHT BACK AS HARD AS YOU CAN and good luck.
  • 1 0
 Knowing how much time and dedication it takes to make this stuff this makes me sick.!!!!
  • 1 0
 they were helping the economy and the goverment closes the trails lot of money lost from both sides Frown
  • 1 0
 Is there anything we can do to get involved? A petition or anything? PINKBIKE WANTS TO HELP YOU
  • 1 0
 any one who is apart of the diseased temple that we call goverment, FUCK YOU!!!!!
  • 1 0
 i don't understand how the people who destroyed the trails can sleep at night.
  • 1 0
 I can't believe they shut this place down, it looks amazing. The trails look like they've been build on a resort!
  • 1 0
 Its pretty sad to see hundreds of working hours by a whole MTB loving community destroyed by a government
  • 1 0
 it takes a lot to piss me off, and this pisses me off... great job on the video btw...
  • 1 0
 they must have no soul if they can just tear down trails like that like its nothing.
  • 1 0
 watching them tear those jumps down made me want to cry and i dont even live there! :'(
  • 1 0
 This is what Mint sause says on the subject -

www.pinkbike.com/photo/8132910
  • 2 0
 I am going to directly hit the first person i see!
  • 1 1
 I just emailed Cheryl Collins from Bellingham tourism, she watched the video and says she will pass it on to others in her organization! So stoked!
  • 1 0
 Such a great vid. Emotive for sure. Made us all sad and angry at the same time. Nice work indeed. Many thanks Brad!
  • 1 0
 Who ultimately pays DNR and those workers cutting up the trails with chainsaws? Tax paying mountain bikers.
  • 1 0
 How do i get to these trails? I live on the road they filmed this on but i havnt been able to find it.
  • 1 0
 sooooooooooooooooooo stupid
  • 1 0
 it is not normal , as in our country!!!!!
  • 1 0
 same story in wollongong :/
  • 1 0
 Taking the fight to "the man"... i like it Smile
  • 1 0
 such a great movie man! good work! the end pissed me off though!
  • 2 0
 i see a major rebuild Razz
  • 1 0
 Great video! Says it all!
  • 1 0
 So without the North Fork trails, what's left in Bellingham?
  • 1 0
 f*ck it build again don´t give up good job
  • 1 0
 QUE DAÑO MAS GRANDE,,,,,,,,
  • 1 0
 Nothing a little duck tape shouldnt fix
  • 1 0
 it sickens me to see things like this :'(
  • 2 0
 thats horrible, ride on!
  • 1 0
 Come to BC and ride, we'll take your tourism dollars Wink
  • 1 0
 almost made me cry to see them do that
  • 1 0
 that's sadder than old yeller
  • 1 0
 Come and live in Wales, they build them for us here.
  • 1 0
 Do they, where?
  • 2 0
 kurwy i fagasy
  • 1 0
 This is why Canada is better than the USA
  • 2 0
 ^^Says the british guy
  • 1 0
 we just need to bring down the corporations maaan.
  • 1 0
 Thats wat I call BS. that just aint right plus those trails were awsome!!!
  • 1 0
 that was heartbreaking Frown
  • 1 0
 I'm thinking vod just to spread the word of how terrible this is.
  • 1 0
 Beautiful film, shocked at what is happening Frown
  • 1 0
 I hate it when they pull this bullshit
  • 1 0
 No one ever sues when they get injured mountain biking
  • 1 0
 That's just depressing. :-(
  • 1 1
 I hope you government double standard dickbags rot!!!
  • 1 0
 let the people ride !
  • 1 0
 sick motherfucker's...
  • 1 1
 you carnt ride any were bull shit
  • 1 0
 this just pisses me off
  • 1 1
 @ownit... you suck and aren't a real mountain biker
  • 1 0
 gutted. makes me angry.
  • 1 0
 this was hard to watch
  • 1 1
 how it possibel? gov? i bet its something about illuminati lol
so sad,,
  • 1 0
 That was deep....
  • 1 0
 Beaughtiful and sad...
  • 1 0
 Thats realy ridiculous
  • 1 0
 heartbreaking Frown
  • 1 0
 Thats stupid!
  • 1 0
 heart breaking.
  • 1 0
 It's been 5 years...
  • 1 1
 fuckin douchebags!
  • 1 1
 F'd up
  • 2 2
 Fuck STIHL
  • 1 1
 worst government ever
  • 2 0
 harpers just as bad
  • 1 0
 worse
  • 1 1
 F@#$ the police
  • 1 4
 What the f*ck YOLO Frown
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