Kudos to Mayor Kelli Linville for standing up to keep the city on a steady course to preserve the Chuckanut Community Forest; a forest which is protected in public ownership in perpetuity, with respect for its ecological functions.
We love the Ski to Sea race, which was held on May 24 this year. Indeed, one of my sons planned to ride his mountain bike in the race. But subjecting this sensitive wetland forest to intense use for the mountain bike leg; including development and direct use of the proposed race route, use of the entire property by spectators, and improvements to access the property, would have resulted in immeasurable impacts, including disturbance to soils, wetlands, flora and fauna; altering current conditions. There are no improved trails in the Chuckanut Community Forest, nor facilities for public use of any kind, no signage, no restroom facilities and no parking.
Global climate change is altering environmental conditions in northwest Washington, resulting in warmer, wetter winters. In the future, it will be important for Ski to Sea race coordinators to earlier plan and get permits for alternate routes for the various legs of the race. And while we are having fun, we need to preserve and protect — not damage — what we love in our beautiful Whatcom County.