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Know the West

Erosive grooves


Daniel Greenstadt’s article, “Mountain bikes shouldn’t be banned from wild landscapes” (Writers on the Range, 8/7/18), covered all the complaints of the wannabe wilderness bike riders without addressing the reason for their exclusion. Bikes, like all other wheeled vehicles, create a continuous groove in soft earth that serves to channel running water from rain or snowmelt and erode the trail. Given the extreme physical labor needed to produce user-acceptable trails in the wilderness, the 1964 Wilderness Act was prudent in its decision to ban wheeled vehicles. 

Walt Briggs 
Missoula, Montana