All posts tagged: needs of bikers

Outdoor Recreation Always Seemed Benign

Outdoor Recreation Always Seemed Benign

Nestled among the Rocky Mountains, in a yawning stretch of sagebrush, granite rocks, and flowing hills near Gunnison, Colorado, is the Hartman Rocks Recreation Area, one of the first spots to clear of snow in spring. Which means that it is one of the first spots to give cooped-up humans a place to stretch their legs and fill their lungs—to ride their bikes. Unfortunately for the Gunnison sage grouse, the seasonal rhythms that send cyclists outside coincide with the rhythms that make the birds start fanning and strutting like little brown peacocks, in a bid to reproduce. Back in the early 2000s, they were stuck flaunting their strange mating dance amid Hartman Rocks’ ever-more-popular trail system. The birds did not love loud noises and two-legged creatures zooming by on wheels. Stress made them mate less and abandon their leks, one more straw on a dwindling population’s back. And so the Bureau of Land Management decided to limit spring disturbances such as motor and mountain biking. To balance the needs of bikers and birds, the agency …