Saturday, March 31, 2012

Blame game

Some people to have a one-size-fits-all solution to problems: Blame a mountain biker.

Over the past couple of weeks, I started noticing that small branches were being cut from spruce trees along nearly all the trails north of Campbell Airstrip Road. Someone appeared to be trimming the lower branches and leaving them atop the snow beneath the trees.

It struck me as odd, because it looked like someone had done a lot of work with no apparent benefit, but I was too busy enjoying my rides to give the issue much thought. Until, that is, I learned that people have been calling the superintendent of Far North Bicentennial Park and blaming mountain bikers for the freelance pruning.

Seriously? Mountain bikers? Why not skiers? Or hikers? And what about horseback riders? Or dog owners who don’t pick up their mutts’ turds? Any of us could choose our least favorite user group and make random accusations when something like this happens. And any of them would make an equal amount of sense. Or have an equal lack of it.

But most of us don’t. Unless we’ve witnessed something, or see a cause for suspicion, we scratch our heads, wonder what happened, and wait for someone official to figure it out. That’s normal.

Right now, for instance, I have a personal bias that makes me think I could predict which user group is the source of those calls blaming bikers for the tree trimming. But I don’t have any way of knowing, so I’m not going to point fingers.

But whoever it is, they’re pissing me off a lot more than the vigilante tree surgeon.


Jill said...

I have run into the tree pruner three times now; he goes out during the day and starts hacking away. He does not respond to requests to knock it off and considers himself a "volunteer" to "keep the ski trails clear" (yep - he's a cross country skier) and says his actions "help with fire danger" (though leaving dead branches lying around is actually just the opposite).

I don't know who he is but I'd recognize him anywhere now that I've seen him a few times. In any case, he is most definitely a skier, not a biker.

Tim said...

Thanks for the info, Jill.