Corral Bluffs safe from tire track erosion

COLORADO SPRINGS- El Paso County Board of Commissioners decided today not to pursue a proposed Corral Bluffs OHV park. Their reluctant vote followed a recommendation from El Paso Parks Department that the site would be inappropriate for motorcycle trails. Open Space proponents exchanged smiles at the unexpected turn, but bore the brunt of scolding as the board tripped over each other to pander to their yokel constituency.

Our speakers today were careful to point out the argument had never been against OHV parks in general, merely for this site. Off-road motorcycling being a recreational orientation like any other. As if gas-guzzling, air-noise-polluting, and terrain-shredding were inalienable rights, a God-given American pursuit of happiness guaranteed by the Constitution.

El Paso hayseeds.

The El Paso County commissioners could have made this vote a stand on environmental grounds and heralded the Pikes Peak region’s awakening to the enlightened frame of mind generally attributed to the rest of Colorado. But no, El Paso County are proud hayseeds.

Voting down the OHV turned into protestations for having to do the right thing, without understanding, nor fully believing why. This included repeated admonitions to the Open Space group for its presumed condescending attitude toward the lowly off-road bikers. One commissioner even called upon the presumed eco-nimby crowd to help their motorcycle-preoccupied brethren to find a suitable alternative OHV location, and “not a dump, or under power lines,” etc. She would “hold [our] feet to the fire” until an OHV site was found for them.

Do we have to?

With receding fuel supplies, global warming, and a rising appreciation for man’s unsustainable environmental footprint, the days of feeling entitled to moshing about on motorized dirt devastators are probably coming to a close. I’m not sure how to defend the argument that hillbillies must be permitted their heritage of behaving badly.

It’s fun? I’m sure it is. So was bear-baiting I’m sure, and spitting, smoking or snag-hooking spawning salmon. Having come up against man’s better judgement, maybe it’s time to rain on our off-road thrill-seeking destructo-hicks. Who has the time to police whether they can tell an anthill from a pile of sawdust? They’ll scatter either like it was confetti.

A chief argument made by Commissioner Bensberg had to do with the sticker fees already collected from motorcycle owners. They’re entitled to something for that. I say they’re entitled to get their money back. Having collected the fee is not a reason to keep prostituting your down syndrome sister once someone with better judgment has let you know it’s wrong. Give the fee back. Go pimp something else, if that’s all you know to do.

El Paso County is clearly a poor steward of our land resources. Beside the sprawl, beside the lacking mass-transit system, look at our mountain scape. How are we doing? There are the mining scars along the Front Range, our part of the Front Range, where we shave for aggregate because it’s cheaper than digging for it like every other town. The mining companies have old, pre-environmental contracts, but apparently we do not care enough to stop them. For tourists, our mountains are our natural resource. How much deep-thinking do we have to do to figure out they are worth more than cheap aggregate?

There’s the Pikes Peak Highway. Still unpaved, despite the environmental devastation it causes. Was it the advent of automobiles that convinced civilized man to pave the roads? Did I say autos? I meant Romans. Of course, paved roads came late to the American West, but they came when we tired of wiping the mud off our boots every time we crossed the street. Later we learned that paved roads are better for the environment. Well some folks believe that.

There are the ridge top homes. Pikes Peak is the only region of Colorado where homes are permitted on ridge tops. The practice is terrible for erosion and flooding, not to mention everyone else’s view, but in these parts we say Okie Dokie!

Of proposed methods for saving the archeology of Corral Bluffs, Commissioner Bensberg professed he didn’t see how either flooding or paving would preserve the artifacts, hence his preference for motorcycle trails. If you are not prepared to follow the recommendation of experts because your inexpert self doesn’t understand it, you’re probably not suited to vote on the matter.

Pikes Peak region trustees can point to the mining scars on the Front Range, the still unpaved Pikes Peak Highway, and the ridge top homes as proof that Colorado Springs won’t be told how to care for nature. And we’ll look to serve the OHV throwbacks too. Give those yokels their spitoons!

1 thought on “Corral Bluffs safe from tire track erosion

  1. AvatarMajor George Hutton

    Yo Eric,
    Ever ride a bike? Try it, till cool and fun.
    Really uses little gas but is fun.
    George

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