Letter to the Editor: Allow bikes up Heavenly’s lifts
August 6, 2009
This is the second time the Forest Service has had to spend time and money removing what they call an illegal trail, but others know it as “Kingsbury Jackie Chan.”
Illegal trails will continue to be blazed through National Forest lands due to the growing popularity of freeride and downhill style mountain biking. With more people involving themselves in the sport and the lack of south shore downhill riding, the forest service has an impossible task.
The solution to me seems very simple: allow chairlift access mountain biking at Heavenly Ski Resort. Instead of spending tax dollars taking down trails that keep being rebuilt, Heavenly would be able generate tax revenue for the community. This would also create local jobs and stimulate the local economy.
Heavenly already has established first-aid and with the ability to construct features and legitimate trails, the level of riding could progress without disturbing National Forest lands.
By allowing the advanced riding at Heavenly it would greatly reduce the risk on forest service land. Heavenly has already invested in erosion control according to the TRPA’s standards. If we believe that mountain biking increases erosion causing the lake clarity to suffer, then decreasing the riding on forest lands and moving those riders to areas that have sedimentary pools already in place is the most effective way to help the Lake Tahoe environment.
It is my understanding that the TRPA will not allow Heavenly to offer its lift-accessible terrain to mountain biking. With the growth in popularity of mountain biking, I’ve heard countless guests respond in shock and disbelief when we tell them they’re not allowed on the Heavenly lifts with their bike.
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So to the powers that be, please consider the positives to allowing Heavenly the right to offer mountain biking access via its lift system.
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