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Sunday, April 1, 2012

Help Save the North Fork trail system in Whatcom County

Beginning April 2nd the Department of Natural Resources will begin decommissioning trails at the North Fork. The trails located on Slide mountain off the North Fork of the Nooksack River east of Bellingham have become famous world wide despite the builders attempting to keep them hush hush. Riders come from Canada, California, Oregon, and beyond. I have personally seen riders from Utah and the east coast shredding the trails. Impeccably built by experienced trail builders with forethought and responsibility, the trails are some of the best riding in the northwest. Unfortunately the trails were built without permission and now face closure as a result of complaints from the motorized community; a user insisting that if motorized use is banned then all unauthorized trails must be banned as well.  Motorized use has been banned in the area due to erosion, something that bike trail builders have worked hard to minimize.

The closure will be carried out in conjunction of the DNR and Washington Conservation Corps, removing structures, re-vegetating and a gate closing motorized access to the trail head at an estimated cost of $23,000. The land is currently being logged, which has already destroyed several trails. Any impact by trails is significantly less than logging activities.

What can you do to help? Get in touch with DNR staff and the Whatcom County Tourism and voice your support of the trails and displeasure at the closure. For contact information and more details about the closure see the Pinkbike article by Thad Quinn.

DNR Staff:
  • Peter Goldmark -DNR Commissioner or
  • Mark Mauren - Head of Recreation
  • Steve Jennison - Baker District Manager