Welcome to the Comment of the Week, where we highlight good comments in order to inspire more of them. You can help us choose our next one by replying with “comment of the week” to any comment you think deserves recognition. Please note: These selections are not endorsements.
BikePortland’s opinion post about the NW Examiner’s history of misleading coverage of Forest Park and cycling hewed close to its critique of the Examiner. Jonathan wrote, “I’m not here to defend the [Off Road Cycling Master] plan or the process it took to create it, but it should be represented with accuracy.”
But writerly discipline doesn’t mean that commenters can’t expand a little on the author’s topic. At their best, BikePortland’s commenters use the posts as a jumping off point to new information, further discussion, and personal experience.
And that’s what MaxD’s comment did. It is sandwiched between two other good comments and all three make for interesting reading. They also nicely model the synergy that can arise from a good discussion.
Here’s what MaxD had to say about how cycling trails can be a part of sound forest management:
well said! Some people talk about FP [Forest Park] like it is some backcountry ecological paradise that needs protection. It is a beautiful resource, but recreation can and should be a tool to enhance the ecological health. Tree thinning, ivy and invasive species removal and select planting could be a part of rebuilding and greatly expanding the trail system. There are some nesting areas that should be protected, but that would be a seasonal closure of short trail section likely in the March-July time frame. If we really want to develop the ecosystem, we need a good management plan that incorporates well-designed trails with contiguous open spaces and the ability to seasonally close trail segments along with a planting and maintenance plan. Calling a bunch of dense second-growth Fir with a an Ivy understory a pristine ecological treasure is laughable. Also, Cars and cats do a magnitude more damage to ecosystem health than hikers and bikers, even if they bring their dogs!