Support BikePortland - Journalism that Matters

Guest Opinion: The case against the Timberline MTB park

Posted by on March 25th, 2013 at 2:02 pm

Amy Harwood

Publisher’s note: We’ve covered the Timberline MTB Park several times since the project became public in April 2010. Last week I was contacted by a member of Bark, a Mt. Hood Forest watchdog group working to stop the project. This guest article was written by Bark Board Member Amy Harwood (she also provided the photo below of Mt. Hood).

This week lovers of Mt. Hood are stuck between a rock and a mountain of issues. On the one hand mountain bike enthusiasts are even closer to getting a world-class bike park on the slopes of one of America’s favorite peaks. On the other, the park is one of the best examples in recent history of how profit can rapidly trump concerns about the future of Mt. Hood’s wildlands.

Bark continues to stay engaged in efforts to stop the expansion, despite the risk of being swept onto an anti-bike blacklist. It’s worth stating why:

South face of Mt. Hood.
(Photo: US Forest Service)

Mt. Hood is the most beautiful mountain in the world — or so a lot of people who live in view of it will tell you. On a clear day, those of us stuck behind a window can look out at the pristine skirt of snow and be reminded of the wildness just down the road. But what really makes Mt. Hood the most beloved mountain is the view once you get there. In just a few weeks wildflowers will begin to peek out from under the snow. The alpine meadows will soften the hard edges where mountain meets forest. Martens will scurry between their rock homes, elk will move up into their summer range, and hundreds of different butterflies will occasionally erupt in the sky, just as they have for thousands of years. Our mountain is alive and Bark is committed to speaking up for the creatures that we share it with.

The Timberline bike park is a corporate scheme to have more weeks of the year attracting cars to larger and larger parking areas that have been poured over our remaining wild creeks and meadows.

RLK’s proposal to use Timberline’s slopes for mountain bike trails is not the bike-friendly proposal you might think (links to PDF) – that is, if bikes are an idea in line with your values of environmental stewardship, local power and equity. The Timberline bike park is a corporate scheme to have more weeks of the year attracting cars to larger and larger parking areas that have been poured over our remaining wild creeks and meadows. A ticket to use the resource-intensive chairlifts cost the price of a week’s worth of groceries. And the routes downhill are not the reused ski trails (PDF) you might hope for, but rather a new scar on the face of the mountain. This park is not interested in tapping into Portland’s famous love of all-things bike. It’s a luxury theme park for the dwindling leisure class.

It should be kept in mind why RLK would be investing so much into this development. As the ski season shrinks more and more every year due to the catastrophic shifts occurring on our mountain from the effects of climate change, resorts around the country are desperately beginning to diversify. It’s no mystery that the Cascades will never again be the mountain ecosystems we know them today. Now is the time to be assessing whether more development is an appropriate direction to take. Figuring out how to keep the rich happy is not adaptation; it’s denial.

Above all else, Bark cannot turn a blind eye to the lack of public participation. Unlike so many other aspects of Forest Service management of recreation, the alpine recreation areas are required to have a Master Plan to layout future desired projects. However, these Master Plans do not factor in impacts to the rest of the national forest and are not required to go through a public input process. So, for instance, as federal funding becomes available for the Forest Service to convert old logging roads to bike trails, Timberline’s proposal becomes a disincentive for our forest to get these funds over another forest without a private park. Because the actual users of the forest were never engaged in this process, we’ll never know what other projects could have been possible.

One of the hardest parts for Bark in taking this stance against Timberline’s proposal is the fact that many of our supporters, volunteers and staff are bikers. We believe recreation interests and conservation have powerful alliance when it comes to the future of Mt. Hood. We’ve worked for years with mountain bikers who don’t want their favorite trails to be a tour of the latest logging project and energy development. And we have repeatedly created a platform for the diverse quiet recreation user groups to come together on a vision for Mt. Hood that reflects the people who love it, not the people who want to profit from it.

We remain committed to Mt. Hood’s communities. Humans included.

Amy Harwood is a Bark Board Member and co-founder of Signal Fire. Read more of our Timberline MTB Park coverage here.

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

139
Leave a Reply

avatar
46 Comment threads
93 Thread replies
0 Followers
 
Most reacted comment
Hottest comment thread
81 Comment authors
RobholioDaveyBobcycleClose Forest Parkjim Recent comment authors
  Subscribe  
newest oldest most voted
Notify of
9watts
Guest
9watts

Excellent post. Thanks for clarifying all those distinctions.

Neil
Guest
Neil

“A ticket to use the resource-intensive chairlifts cost the price of a week’s worth of groceries. ”
I thought this was about Biking, not Class Warfare.

Jim F.
Guest
Jim F.

Oh, come on. What better place to put more bike trails on the mountain than in the middle of a ski resort, which is essentially a really ugly clear cut with even uglier chair lifts!!! I am not a downhiller, and will never use the bike park. But that doesn’t mean it isn’t a viable recreational opportunity. I could not think of a better place to build it.

I know — let’s trade. If you’re against new trails, let bikes on the PCT instead. Doesn’t seem fair to block both new trail resources and prevent expanding use of existing ones. You can’t have it both ways.

ME 2
Guest
ME 2

Let’s be clear about BARK, they are no friends to mountain bikers and this statement is totally disingenuous: “We’ve worked for years with mountain bikers who don’t want their favorite trails to be a tour of the latest logging project and energy development.” Go to their site and google mountain biking, all the hits are related to their opposition to this bike park.

I am agnostic with respect to this proposed development, but as a mountain biker I appreciate having access to enjoy FS trails. However, I’ve always found BARK to be a hiker centric organization who seems to fight more on the side of keeping or kicking mountain bikers out than keeping them.

Skid
Guest
Skid

If it is truly is about profit (and in the end it is) it would be wiser to open an eco-friendly MTB Park than to find another way to make the land profitable – such as logging.

DK
Guest
DK

Bark…Ha.

Build the park!

It’s already a ski-resort for crying out loud. What difference does it make what the season or user group is? The parking lot is already there. The lifts are already there. Besides your selfish, short-sighted, profit-hating, what’s the problem?

Jon
Guest
Jon

Here is how I would distill this editorial:

I have all kinds of friends that are (fill in the blank: black, hikers, gay, bikers etc.) so even though what I am saying is very anti (fill in the blank: black, hiker, gay, bike, etc.), I am not anti (fill in the blank:black, hiker, gay, bike, etc.). I am only trying to protect (fill in the blank: sanctity of marriage, forest, status quo, religious freedom, etc.)

By the way, now that I have what I want (trails for hiking and all the roads to get there along a house made from wood) we need to stop all other recreational development and all logging.

Sincerely, Bark

Jack
Guest
Jack

Bark argues that this attraction will only serve as a “luxury theme park for the dwindling leisure class”; a blatant demonstration of their willingness to ignore reality in order to further their agenda.

Timberline would not be making this huge investment if they hadn’t already determined that they could attract enough patrons to make it profitable.

spencer
Guest
spencer

this is purely concentrating bicycle use, this will encourage and “SAVE” many other miles of trails from “motostyle” bike riding. the wild lands at T line are already scarred w/ clear cuts and lifts, a trail within the ski area permit will concentrate use and keep other wild lands wild.
Build it so that bikers can congregate away from your “mixed use but really hikers only trails”

Ben McLeod
Guest

I’m not really sure what her argument here is. As others have pointed out, the parking lots are already there. There aren’t going to be more. The chairlifts are already there. There aren’t going to be more. She doesn’t elaborate on the “new scar” statement, but I’ve seen the map. The bike trails stay within Timberline’s boundaries and, for the most part, stay on the ski trails.

From what I can tell, her main gripe is with someone making a profit. So she uses the cost of a ticket as a sneaky way to divide (we are the 99%!) and then insists that this is a project for the rich.

If they are against someone making a profit from biking on Mt. Hood, Bark should support allowing MTBs on all trails.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

Somehow I have a feeling that if re installing the old tram from government camp so people wouldn’t need to park at the top was suggested they would oppose that as well. The end goal is an end to all non-hiking uses. This is no different than Friends of Forest Park, pretend to want to work together but oppose every specific attempt to add mtn biking and support every specific attempt to further restrict it even if it is off in a separated place where there will be no conflict with hiking.

Bjorn
Guest
Bjorn

Also Timberline has the longest ski season of any resort in the US, It is open around 10 months a year so this idea that global warming is significantly shortening their ski season leading to a massive need to have a bike park also seems quite off base.

Todd Hudson
Guest
Todd Hudson

I stopped reading after seeing the words “corporate scheme”.

Anonymous
Guest
Anonymous

Thank you Bark !
One thing I learned early on about mountain bikers, they are in no way environmentalists. Quite the opposite. Burning hundreds of gallons of gas to play with their $5K toys. That’s the mindset, all else be damned.
If this playground for the rich gas guzzlers must be built, it should be at Ski bowl

Dan
Guest
Dan

How far does Amy Harwood have to drive to take a hike? Not far. Good hiking trails are everywhere. It’s 4 hours from Portland to Stevens Pass and another 4 to Whistler. That sounds like a destination trip to me. There is no doubt that Portland can supply enough demand and the resort already exists. I just think Amy just needs to put something fun between her legs…

a bike.

longgone
Guest
longgone

I grew up in Missouri along the migratory path of the Monarch Butterfly. In the mid-60’s swarms of them unimaginable now, would pass through my now suburban (once rural-ish) world. It seemed like aTechnicolor dream.Those days unfortunely have passed and the Monarch is near extinction. All things are connected, and Mt Hood is the anchor for why I now reside in it’s view. I know my off road bicycle treads on it, and petrol chemicals are required to own and use it. It is good we are talking about these issues. But the greater point to me is that government allowed loopholes to be passed in the Clean Water Act that free corporations to frack for gas that isnt even needed at this point, and in some ways cause me to believe my own child will not have clean water to drink, let alone stand in the middle of the road on a sun drenched morning, unable to see his house in a flurry of orange and black wings on the wind. I believe my bike to be a slightly minor issue.

eljefe
Guest
eljefe

I’d like to think my fellow bikers are above ad hominem arguments, so I’ll just point out that whenever I see Harwood around town, she’s almost always on a bike.
This proposal is really revealing the divide between those in the community for whom biking is about taking responsibility for our impacts, and those for whom it’s about entitlement and thrills. Regardless of the class dynamics of the sport, the fact remains that this proposal constitutes an expansion of private, exclusive access to a publicly owned asset. The forest service is under no legal mandate to accomodate every niche recreation interest. I’m sure that those who favor taxing and tolling bike lanes love this kind of thing. For the rest of us, it is appropriation of the commons.

Aaron
Guest
Aaron

I’ll probably never ride the lifts at Timberline to ride my bike, but I’d gladly give up driving my gas guzzler to the mountains if I could legally ride the endless miles of trail in Forest Park.

grimm
Guest
grimm

It does not matter what you do there will always be the people who cry: “No! We don’t want your change, we like things just how they are!”

I don’t mountain bike, but why would I oppose Portland a better mountain biking facility? I know people who travel to BC in the summer to enjoy their MTB park. Why shouldn’t Oregon have people coming to here mountain bike?

Hugh Johnson
Guest
Hugh Johnson

Not on my mountain!

Jeff
Guest
Jeff

If Bark would be willing to take a pledge of not taking money from ranchers, cattle interests and the equestrian lobby, I could get behind this. I’m not saying they are, but I need to see the guarantees.

Stretchy
Guest
Stretchy

“Dwindling leisure class”??? I think REI, Yamaha, Timberland, Columbia, Suzuki, Canondale, TapOut, Nike, Wilson, The Portland Running Store, Alaska Cruise Lines, Nintendo, and many more would beg to differ about the dwindling leisure class. More people today, have more access to more and better recreational and leisure activities than ever before. (I know, leisure activity is a bit of an oxymoron)

Adam
Guest
Adam

I have following this project for a few years now and I have been curious about why it is being fought. From what I can see there are the major points of the article concerning the park

1) It will attract more people to Mt. Hood, and driving to the mountain is bad.
2) It will not be free to use the park, private use of land is bad.
3) New trails will be built, and new trails are scars, which are bad.
4) It might make it more difficult to get funding to turn gravel roads into trails because there is already a good place to ride.

My thoughts are that the more people that go to the mountain, the more people will care about the mountain. Paying people to build and maintain great trails sounds like a great idea. Trails are good things. Basically if these are the main reasons to not have a bike park, then I say lets build it. The pros far out weight the cons.

I am glad this article was posted. It is good to see both sides of something

JEFF BRITTON
Guest
JEFF BRITTON

Whistler is a world class ski resort and makes it’s area open year around to cater to everyone. Whistler has been at it for years and has not had any issues, and the area still is beautiful. So is Northstar at Tahoe for example. They are run professionally by people who do care for the resorts and want to keep them open for all. I have been to both in the winter and summer. They keep hundreds of people employed at the resorts who also care about the mountains and environment around the resorts. Mount Hood isn’t asking to dynamite the place, they want to build professional trails in marked locations so that there are not rogue trails everywhere. Give it a rest BARK!

Audie
Guest
Audie

I think it’s strange people speak as if bark has some secret hidden interest to stop this. It’s simple really. This project would be privatizing something that belongs to the commons and it will have a significant environmental impact.

There are 4000 miles of logging roads in that forest and most of them are abandoned. Do we really need to be expanding into sensitive high altitude exposed soil so some people can go downhill faster and a few people can make a few bucks? I personally think we should do everything we can to protect the remaining natural areas.

bjorn
Guest
bjorn

I’ve heard from someone who said they were with BARK that they can’t be considered in any way responsible for the removal of access caused by the new wilderness area because no one knew the Forest Service would do that. That is simply not true everyone knew that would be the result if changes weren’t made to the wilderness bill and I personally wrote BARK a letter to that effect before it passed, I doubt I was the only one. Here are some archival articles about the issue from before it passed, where Blumenhauer’s legislative aide talks about pressure from environmental groups (i.e. the coalition that BARK, Oregon Wild, and the Sierra Club were a part of) to include more mountain bike trails in the wilderness ending access to them:

http://bikeportland.org/2008/06/25/mountain-bikers-bristle-at-blumenauers-latest-mt-hood-proposal-8001

http://bikeportland.org/2008/05/19/press-release-help-save-important-mount-hood-trails-7614

IMBA and the Oregon Mountain Bike Alliance were proposing a different plan that did not restrict access nearly as heavily all the way back in 2005, but these groups didn’t want that, they wanted the full Wilderness designation which they knew would remove access for cyclists to more than half of the available trails around Mount Hood.

http://bikeportland.org/2005/06/22/oregon-mtb-groups-release-mt-hood-proposal-219

elk rider
Guest
elk rider

I get the impression Bikeportland.org and friends fall into the group “we like mountain bikes unless they are used in the forest”. Indoor is ok, pump tracks in city parks is ok, but riding in mountains and forests is bad.

One less non-commuter bike!

elk rider
Guest
elk rider

Also curious about the logic of how BARK promotes taking groups of people hiking off-trail while being so smug about preservation and sensitive habitat. How does that add up?

“Bark-Abouts are usually off-trail and can often be more difficult than a hike on a trail”

http://www.bark-out.org/action.php?a=557

Brian
Guest
Brian

I am very skeptical when I read rhetoric such as this. A few comments. Those who are in favor of this park are not anti-“the creatures that we share with it.” Being a mountain biker does not mean someone hates butterflies. They can co-exist. Next, she provides zero data about the plan. Instead, she relies on hyperbole to make her point. This is unfortunate as others start to copy and paste her words as “truth,” having never read the proposal themselves. People are making up their minds based upon one read through of a piece of rhetoric. Lastly, our market system is a two way street. If there was no demand for a place such as this, there would be no profit for Tline. Oregon is in desperate need of economic development. Our educational funding is, I believe, 2nd worst in the nation. People who drive North or South on I-5 to visit a lift-assisted bike park will now bring (or keep) their hard-earned dollars to our state. Should these factors alone drive the decision? Nope. But if the park can be constructed and maintained in a way that minimizes the impact on the mountain we all love (which it will based on the sound plan that has been developed), the answer should be “yes.” This is not a slippery slope. Building this park does not mean that the entire mountain will be enveloped by Starbucks, hotels, and Plaid Pantrys.

elk rider
Guest
elk rider

How can we get the next generation to be environmentalists?

The “anti-everything” groups are not very appealing.

But what about that group on mountain bikes, looks like they’re having a good time?

It’s difficult to have an appreciation for the outdoors unless you are in it.

If I was not subjected to outdoor mountain sports as a kid, I don’t think I would have had nearly as much of an interest in preservation as I do today.

There needs to be a balance. Imagine a tiny thread running across your lawn, snaking through the grass. Look at it from above and pretend the blades of grass are trees. Proportionally, this is about as much of a “scar” as a mountain bike trail makes in the woods.

mikeybikey
Guest
mikeybikey

Thanks for posting Jonathan! Voices of groups like BARK that oppose the idea of “more” are usually silenced. Glad that they were given a forum for voicing their stance and their reasoning. I’m sad that so many commenters lined up to trivialize their opinion or resorted to name calling and attacks on the author. I know given the fragile nature of the alpine environment the following is easier said than done, but I’d much prefer to see a well-planned and community managed system for MTB access rather than an “attraction” that is run from behind closed doors and for profit. It seems to me that the latter approach has a proven track record of failure.

tom
Guest
tom

My experience with “shared” trails is that as a hiker I have to get the hell out of the way of some yahoo blasting down toward me or huffing an panting up behind me. Never once has anyone on a mountain bike stopped and walked their bike around me in a potentially dangerous situation. It was up to me to watch out for my safety because they had the right of way for some reason.

Brian
Guest
Brian

Amy,
I assume that you are not a mountain biker who prefers gravity-based riding, so I would like to inform you a bit about the sport. In your editorial you mention “the resource-intensive chairlifts.” Right now, without an option, such as this bike park, riders are gathering all over the state and “shuttling.” This means they take turns driving from the bottom of the trailhead to the top, usually in larger trucks that get poor gas mileage. Trucks are necessary to haul as many riders and bikes as possible at a time. This doesn’t take into consideration the fact that many leave the Portland and drive farther than Timberline to access these specific types of trails. I’m not exactly sure how “resource intensive” chairlifts are to run (you didn’t provide any data), but I also know that the current system being used by these riders isn’t exactly “resource-friendly.” Again, this style of riding is not going away so we need to learn a lesson from what Portland did to address the needs of skateboarders. If you have a better option for doing this than at Timberline, I am all ears. If a sustainable outlet is not provided, one that is less sustainable will be created.
Best,
Brian

Shoalolo
Guest
Shoalolo

BARK: Fail! If you want any more money from me, come up with a plan that you’ll pursue to *get* appropriate mountain-bike access; don’t just work on *preventing* mountain-bike access.

And note: I’m no thrill-seeking downhiller; I just want to ride some trails in the woods. And I am legion.

ScoBu
Guest
ScoBu

If you want to know her (and I assume BARKs) view of bikes in the grand scheme of things, simply look at the first sentence of the second paragraph. “RLK’s proposal to use Timberline’s slopes for mountain bike trails is not the bike-friendly proposal you might think – that is, if bikes are an idea in line with your values of environmental stewardship, local power and equity.” Right there she equates “bike-friendly” with “environmental stewardship, local power and equity.” Bikes aren’t recreational vehicles, they are tools for environmental stewardship, local power and equity. So of course they oppose anything recreational on two wheels. They are purely functional. Now the seemingly gratuitous “keeping the rich happy” and “leisure class” swipes make sense, don’t they?

I’ve been in Portland 11 years. I’ve summited Hood, hiked the Timberline trail twice, camped at Dollar Lake, Coopers Spur along with other places, ridden my road bike up to Timberline many times from Zig Zag, mountain biked in the adjoining area…I love that place up there. I use it in every way available to me. I’d never heard of BARK, but after this article…? They have definitely alienated me from their point of view. First rule of persuasive writing; know your audience. This proves that they either don’t know or don’t care.

jim
Guest
jim

I don’t have much sympathy for people who will pay to be taken to the top of a hill so they can go back down as fast as possible. Why can’t you go do this in a gravel pit, clear cut or other trashed part of our public lands? You aren’t going to be looking at the scenery as you bomb down the track. I don’t know what the solution is to sharing resources between mt bikers and hikers, but a Disneyland is not it.

Lisa
Guest
Lisa

I am so glad Amy decided to approach BikePortland with this.

Our wild lands aren’t endangered because of mt bikers or hikers. They’re endangered by greedy interests that would rather pillage our natural resources for their own profit than to keep our lands whole enough for humans and nonhuman creatures to enjoy and benefit from them.

If it weren’t for the highest levels of the Forest Service and BLM being in the stinky back pocket of Big Timber, we would not be having this conversation, and there would be enough wilderness to go around. We wouldn’t have to be divided to fight over the crumbs.

Whether or not the mt bike park goes in, there will still be this tension between communities if we keep only advocating for our own specific interests instead of seeing the big picture.

Whatever happens with this, we should all work together to stop the mismanagement of our wild lands so there will be enough to go around, and we don’t have to fight each other for the little bits these parasites toss our way.

Rol
Guest
Rol

I was pro MTB’er on this one, but I’ve changed my mind. Not because of the environment, but because of all the whining. Move to Taos.

Chris I
Guest
Chris I

I’m okay with this. I personally dislike downhilling, primarily because it doesn’t involve enough cardio exercise, but I accept that it has a huge following. I have gone with groups that shuttle up to Timberline lodge using cars and ride down to Zig Zag, so they can ride without having to huff and puff back up hill. I think it’s better to have these people riding electrically-powered chair lifts than shuttling up and down the mountain in pickup trucks.

Neal
Guest

Interesting to note the gross miss use of supplied links. Your misleading and poorly worded write up here is nothing more than fiction. RLK & Co. have in no way been anything less than the flagship for environmental and conservation causes in the Mt. Hood National Forest since 1955. Their contributions to in-situ conservation will be unparalleled with this project through the decommissioning of derelict skid-steer and out of use FS fire roads which will total up MORE acreage than will be displaced by the bike trails. Check your facts BARK. Or better yet you can find information about getting those facts from here:
http://www.fs.usda.gov/main/mthood/learning

007
Guest
007

Regarding this issue, I’m for all Bark and no Bike.

Beth
Guest

It’s no mystery that the Cascades will never again be the mountain ecosystems we know them today. Now is the time to be assessing whether more development is an appropriate direction to take. Figuring out how to keep the rich happy is not adaptation; it’s denial.

*********

I support Ms. Harwood’s assertion. The environment does not exist as a playground. We need to preserve what’s left of it for future generations. (Note that a significant chunk of the Bull Run Watershed is closed to all human use, and that’s a big part of why our drinking water remains as clean as it is.)
At the same time, we must have the conversation about which aspects of human existence continue to be necessary and sustainable and which aspects need to be left behind. Ski resorts and golf courses — and yes, mountain bike parks — that have been run through the middle of otherwise undeveloped natural areas (or likewise, through perfectly arable farmland) are outmoded and no longer sustainable. It’s time to look for other, healthier ways to recreate that don’t destroy the land. This mountain bike park as a successor to the ski resort is a short-sighted solution. We can do better, and do it elsewhere.

ac_pdx
Guest
ac_pdx

had a great experience sharing singletrack with hikers in Bend this past weekend! lots of ‘hello’s and smiling was done by all. who knew….

Brian Johnson
Guest
Brian Johnson

I really can’t get behind an outdoor bike park. Too much like “wilderness with handrails.” Honestly, if the only unpaved trails are man-made, groomed, carefully planned things than I’d rather just ride on the road with all the cars. Driving that far just to ride your bike around in a contained area seems ridiculous. And the fees? I suppose that cycling really has become the “new golf.”

matt f
Guest
matt f

What a weird article. I’m somewher in between mad and sad about it. A well-meaning person/activist and group have seemingly decided to play the same game as our politicians and use political-speak and half-truths to try to get what they want. How about having some balls and saying what you mean!

Davey
Guest
Davey

Someone may want to check-in with the American Indians and see how being given “their own land” worked out for them…
It seems to me that if you start building these parks, and the MTB community accepts and supports them, when it comes time to fight the good fight for increased trail access, those who don’t support equal access are going to point to these parks and say, “Run along lil’ MTB’er, you already have YOUR playground”.
If the conversation is truly about environmental degradation, we need solid science to show which group does what to the environment under what conditions. If the science shows MTB’s cause the same level of degradation, or less, than other user groups it’s time for conservationists to end their prejudicial bias against the MTB. From a purely political motive, it would seem to be in conservationists’ best interest: as this thread indicates, there are a lot of passionate, intelligent MTB folks that would gladly join forces to help preserve the equitable, responsible, and sustainable use of the backcountry.
All things considered, in my opinion, the best compromise for the time being is to promote Timberline as a MTB destination…using the existing ski runs, access roads, and trails.