Mount Baker Experience heard from several readers about our spring 2019 cover, which shows a mountain biker riding over an old-growth stump, with big trees in the background. We discussed the ethics of the photo in our office before publishing it and ultimately felt comfortable with it since it takes place next to a popular trail on Galbraith Mountain – a working forest that’s been heavily logged in recent years and will continue to be. The forest in the photo isn’t as pristine as it appears.
However, we regret not communicating that decision and should have made the context of the photo clear to readers, as many feared the photo would encourage mountain bikers to do similar stunts in other areas, some of which might not be working forests.
Nevertheless, as one reader, Chris Moench, pointed out: “That kind of activity leads to continual widening and braiding of trails as riders look for opportunities to get a little more thrill and challenge in their “shredding.” It damages tree roots, small animal habitat and can increase erosion. That the area will likely be clear-cut in the next few decades doesn’t negate its value as habitat currently.”