Thursday, July 15, 2010

Timberline Lodge proposes lift-assisted mountain biking but faces opposition

Lift-assisted mountain biking could be coming to Mount Hood if a proposal by the operators of Timberline Lodge to develop a trail system for it wins approval from the Forest Service – and if environmentalist groups opposed to the plan don’t puncture Timberline’s tire. Lift-assisted mountain biking is what it sounds like: Bikers take ski lifts to the top of a system of trails and then ride down. Other ski resorts – most notably Whistler Blackcomb – have developed lift-assisted mountain biking areas to attract visitors in the skiing off-season. “Mountain biking is a very good complement to our winter and summer skiing,” said Jon Tullis, Timberline’s director of marketing and public affairs. Less positive was the response of a coalition of environmentalist groups led by Bark, a Mount Hood-focused organization. Bark staff attorney Lori Ann Burd said lift-assisted mountain biking is substantively different from what most people think of when they think of mountain biking – the bikes are heavier, the speeds are faster and the activity has more overall impact, she said. Bark and its partner organizations fear that lift-assisted mountain biking will negatively affect Timberline’s quiet summer character...more

So now we have to protect an area's "quiet summer character".

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