A proposed mountain bike stage race to be held in the Tally Lake Ranger District is being met with opposition from a local environmental group.
Keith Hammer, chairman of the Swan View Coalition, submitted a four-page comment to the Forest Service contending the bike race will promote conflicts and collisions between cyclists and wildlife.
Flathead National Forest spokesperson Wade Muehlhof says there is nothing out of the ordinary about the permit request and that minimal impact is anticipated. District Ranger Lisa Timchak made a preliminary decision that the race is excluded from an Environmental Assessment or Environmental Impact Statement.
Hammer, however, contends that bike racing and speed sports in general encourage reckless behavior that greatly increases the risk of negative encounters with wildlife.
“Trail runners and bikers alike have been swatted, butted, mauled and killed during surprise encounters with bears, lions, wildebeests, and other wildlife,” Hammer said in his comments to the Forest Service. “While folks can get hurt hiking, wildlife and land management officials have become fully aware of and advise against the added risk of increased trail speeds involved in running and biking.”
http://www.flatheadnewsgroup.com/whitef ... f887a.html
I find this personally interesting because I used to live and ride in this area. What I REALLY don't get is that the forest service seems to think that the race will be fine, but Mr. self righteous Keith Hammer thinks he knows better.
Also, lions and wildebeests? In Northwest Montana? Are you kidding me?