“Shallow water tables associated with riparian areas are especially susceptible to detrimental rutting, erosion, displacement, and compaction when they are crossed by low-standard roads, trails, or used for off-road travel by horses, mountain bikes, motorcycles, ATVs , and full size vehicles. Intense recreational use of these areas can lead to increased streambank erosion, bank failure, and loss of wetland function including water storage and sediment trapping (Federal Interagency Stream Restoration 1998).”
What is this?
Photos in this section show tire tracks through wetland areas. This kills delicate wetland plants and animals and has other impacts on nearby life.
Why is it important?
The Department of Conservation and Recreation wants to legalize biking on many new trails in the Fells claiming that bikes are not any more harmful to the Fells than hiking. The studies cited by the DCR do not support an equal impact conclusion. These photos show that bikes in real life, as opposed to those in a tightly controlled study situation, sometimes go where they don’t belong. Wetlands are delicate ecosystem, and bikes can do a great deal of damage. If more trails are opened to bikes, this will draw more bikers to the Fells and increase the chances that delicate areas of the park like this will be damage.
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.