Its human nature to assume the things we like or accept as normal don’t have a large negative environmental impact. Things we don’t consider to be that big of a deal can have huge effects, like man made clothing materials or earthworms.
Years ago, there was a video by an environmental group that involved a young mother who returned to an area where forest thinning operations had taken place and complained about how it was a travesty to have any logs cut. Like a certain commercial from the 1970s, a tear literally did run down her cheek. Yet, she explored this area wearing a North Face puffy jacket made with polyester and stuffed with dacryon. Do you think she knew the difference in impacts she was illustrating? That area of forest would be back to its old self in her lifetime. Within her children’s lifetime that section of forest could be considered “old growth”. Her jacket would pollute the environment for the next three hundred years (at a minimum). The infrastructure required to create the materials of that jacket, i.e. petroleum, and ship them to factories and then to stores in her area directly destroyed hundreds of times the forests than the thinning operations. The carbon released by all this shipping threatens every forest on the planet, which, if the math is right, is much larger than the forest she shed tears over.
Can we, as mountain bikers, find ourselves in a similar Catch-22? Can we overlook a large impact that is front of our nose? How can we quantify existing conditions at a site before creating trails? Is there a way to quantify conditions after creating the trails?
Write something about yourself. No need to be fancy, just an overview.