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Bicyles, inanimate, do not have rights!

“Trails plan aims to put Silverton on map for mountain biking” (May 13) – what were you thinking? Mountain biking and trail-building destroy wildlife habitat! Mountain biking is environmentally, socially and medically destructive!

Bicycles should not be allowed in any natural area.

They are inanimate objects and have no rights.

There is also no right to mountain bike. That was settled in federal court in 1996 .

It’s dishonest of mountain bikers to say that they don’t have access to trails closed to bikes. They have exactly the same access as everyone else: on foot. Why isn’t that good enough for mountain bikers? They are all capable of walking.

A favorite myth of mountain bikers is that mountain biking is no more harmful to wildlife, people and the environment than hiking, and that science supports that view. Of course, it’s not true. Mountain bikers also love to build new trails – legally or illegally. Of course, trail-building destroys wildlife habitat, not just in the trail bed, but in a wide swath to both sides of the trail.

Grizzlies can hear a human from one mile away, and smell us from five miles away. Thus, a 10 mile trail represents 100 square miles of destroyed or degraded habitat that animals are inhibited from using. Mountain biking, trail building and trail maintenance all increase the number of people in the park, thereby preventing the animals’ full use of their habitat.

Mike Vandeman

San Ramon, California