“One of the Park Manager’s biggest environmental problems may be soil erosion. Since it takes anywhere from 50 to 100 years to build 2.5cm of topsoil, this vital resource must not be wasted. While all soils erode, some erode more rapidly than others due to factors such as vegetation, soil type, precipitation, topography, wind, and animal and human impacts. (Sharpe et al, 1983)” – 2000 AN EXAMINATION OF THE PHYSICAL AND SOCIAL ASPECTS OF MOUNTAIN BIKING AT BESTWOOD PARK By TOM GERAGHTY
”Vegetation suffers directly and indirectly from the passage of off-road vehicles (ORVs). The effects can last decades or even centuries (Blackburn and Davis 1994).”
Of course there are no off road vehicles allowed in the Fells, but the impacts of other kinds of recreation can have a similar impact and this is just as long lasting. That is why erosion like this should not be treated lightly. If this much damage has occurred on one trail in only 12 years, and other trails are also becoming seriously eroded – what will this park look like in 20, 50 or 100 years if this is allowed to continue? Anybody managing this park has to keep resource preservation number one on their agenda. If resources are not protected, then the very character of parks like the Middlesex Fells will be forever changed.
In the first photo shown here, there is a very narrow path through a moss bed that bikers have created. These types of edge trails are common throughout the Fells. As can be seen in the second photo, the hillside where that narrow trail ran has completely collapsed.
Middlesex Fells draft Resource Management Plan by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation submitted on Sept 14, 2011. These are links to other important pages on this site.
- Studies debunked - flaky studies do not support claim the hiking/biking impacts are similar or that biking hiking should be treated the same. new trails unjustified, DCR has no power to even issue tickets to offenders, no funding or staff to implement plan.
- illegal trail use - bikers on closed trail, reviews of closed trails from bike websites, Fellsbiker encourages illegal use.
- NEMBA/Gary Fisher illegal group ride video -New England Mountain Bike Association brazenly shows their disregard for the Fells.
- impacts can last for centuries - one of many before and after photos showing the enormous impacts recreation is having on the Fells
- nature trail replaced with bike trails - DCR wants to closed Dark Hollow nature trail, one of the most ecologically diverse and important sections of the Fells with 12 distinctly different plant communities. Photos and info on each area.
- Bike lobby: more trails equals more bike sales - bike industry sales stagnate during recession, lobby has opening over a thousand miles of new trails which helps dealers and manufacturers sell more bikes. Gives trail grants and other assistance to members like the New England Mountain Bike Association. Fells critically important to success elsewhere, if Boston accepts bikes will easy to get bike trails in countless other locations around the country. If Boston rejects bikes, just the opposite will happen. This is why it is so critical that the DCR make a decision based on facts about bikes, not flaky studies fed to them by NEMBA, IMBA, BikesBelong, and the mob of bikers who have attended every Resource Management Plan meeting.
- DCR says no complaints about bikes, dozens of letters show to DCR show this is not the case at all. Excerpts from just a few of the many letter written to the DCR complaining about bikes impacting the Fells experience, trail erosion, safety and other issues.
- Sierra club against bikes in the Fells - DCR plans go against Sierra Club policy
- Important Court Decision declares Mountain Biking is not a legal “right” - bikers complain about exclusion and elitism on the part of those trying to protect the Fells but the court says this is not a valid argument to justify biking.