BY MAIRE O’NEILL
Los Alamos County Council has received a petition from County residents concerned about proposed mountain biking (MTB) projects that include a bike skills park, an NICA Race Course. a seven-mile trail and connector trail in the Puebli, Acid and Walnut Canyon area.
The petitioners believe the projects would have “multiple negative impacts”, including:
● Degradation of Open Space areas (deforestation, increased erosion, soil disturbance, etc.)
● Disturbance of endangered and non-endangered wildlife species (through habitat disruption and increased human use)
● Disturbance/destruction of Native American cultural sites
● Expenditure of funds on development of projects without thorough public process to identify community need, or examine alternative locations for MTB activities
● Displacement of current area users of all ages, including hikers, runners, naturalists, and children and adults in school, club, and PEEC programs
● Requiring rezoning of this Open Space-Passive area to permit development
● Creation of “attractive nuisance” areas with increased litter, graffiti, noise, etc.
● Development, at taxpayer expense, of amenities that serve a narrow user group, while negatively impacting the diverse community currently utilizing the area .”
“The Los Alamos County Community Services Department has stated repeatedly that no other areas of the County are being considered for these projects. We have been advised by them that if we do not want these activities in Pueblo Canyon specifically, we need to reject this collection of proposals. By signing the accompanying Los Alamos citizen’s petition form, we are requesting that the County stop the planning for these MTB projects in Pueblo Canyon,” the petition reads.
The petition contains 125 signatures and close to 90 typed comments. The County Code only requires that a petition be signed by five or more qualified voters of the County and presented to the County Clerk at least 10 days prior to the meeting. It will be on the agenda for the July 26 Council meeting. Council can acknowledge and discuss the petition and possibly take action on it.
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