No Motocross
A Mountain's Plea

(Seattle Times)

For generations, I, the Mountain Loop Highway region, have provided a natural environment for you and your families to explore. You have enjoyed hiking my trails, camping in my forest, fishing or kayaking in one of the many waterways. My mountains you have climbed and my wildlife you have had the pleasure to observe. I have always held a peaceful presence where you could just sit and listen to the sounds of nature. You have known me to be the definition of "green." Now my reputation is threatened. I need your help.

MXGP Inc. is proposing a 435-acre motocross complex with three racetracks to be developed along the north side of the Mountain Loop Highway, approximately six miles east of Granite Falls.

This will affect all of you who live on or travel up the "Loop" to spend time in my pristine wilderness.

As you sit on top of Mount Pilchuck taking in the view, you will also be hearing the sound of 150-plus dirt bikes racing in the valley below you. When you hike the Robe Trail or Monte Cristo railroad tunnels, you will be hearing the buzz of dirt bikes racing one mile down the road. This motocross project is in no way beneficial to my environment, ecosystem or the wildlife that lives within.

I provide an all-natural refuge for you to "get away from it all" and refresh your spirit. Your speaking out for my preservation now will help maintain my natural existence for future generations to experience.

— Gayle Kosydar, Granite Falls

Sport is fun, but not close to home
(Everett Herald)

In response to the Aug. 9 letter, "Thrilled my son will have place to ride," I am all for family fun, I even think motocross is a fun sport. I grew up on motorcycles. However, I live one mile from the proposed Paul Thomas Motocross Complex outside Granite Falls on the Mountain Loop Highway and I do not live here so I can listen to motocross seven days a week, nine hours (minimum) a day!

No one wants it in "their" backyard, but it is just fine in someone else's. I propose putting it next to an airport, an amphitheater or maybe in the desert. This is the only way any residents in a proposed motocross area are going to want it. Do you want it in your backyard? Literally?

— Verease McNulty, Granite Falls

It would ruin veterans' retreat
(Everett Herald)

Mount Pilchuck beckoned Bill and me in the summer of 1977. We bought property in the beautiful and serene Robe Valley, which is surrounded by the mountains.

Through the years I have raised a large family and experienced fond memories of my deceased husband. His suicide, due to Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder from Vietnam, devastated me. Mount Pilchuck gave me strength and continues to give me strength.

The gentle richness of this natural setting has helped heal my spirit. I have decided to dedicate a large portion of my land to the "Healing Hearts In Hope" Veterans Retreat Center. The center's council has begun the process. The proposed motocross track, a short distance from me, would devastate the natural setting I have treasured for 30 years.

Our veterans need and deserve a setting of beauty and quiet to heal the emotional wounds that war brings.

The motocross track proposal is not conducive to our wildlife, woods, air, and people as a whole. It would destroy the quiet setting for our healing center. Many political supporters are behind "Healing Hearts In Hope." A few of these people are John Lee (executive director of Washington State Veterans Affairs), Mike Gregoire, our first Gentleman, and Snohomish County Executive Aaron Reardon.

I am asking the citizens of this area to contact our Snohomish County Council member, John Koster, and let him know that you are against the proposed motocross track which would be too close to the "Healing Hearts In Hope" Veterans Retreat Center.

Each one of us can make a positive difference in our world. Reach out and save the serenity of our beautiful Mount Pilchuck.

— Teresa "Flying Eagle" Baird, Granite Falls

Here are a few facts
(Marysville Globe)

The proposed Motocross Track complex along the Mountain Loop Highway has begun to stir debate, which is important toward the community making the best decision. The proposal can also generate arguments not based in reason and cloud the facts. Here are a few facts.

The proposal involves clearing 75-85 acres of forest. That amount of forest removes approximately 400,000 pounds of carbon dioxide from the atmosphere annually. Carbon dioxide is the primary cause of global warming. Approximately 75 riders per day would use the tracks resulting in approximately 600,000 pounds of CO2 (and other harmful gases) being introduced into the atmosphere annually. Net result? A “carbon footprint” of over 1,000,000 pounds of CO2 annually.

It’s also a long distance from emergency services. This means slow response from fire and medical services. The area can become extremely dry during summer months. Virtually all the private forested land in the region is closed to access during those times — the risk is too great. Over 4,000 motocross riders are injured seriously enough to require hospitalization annually while riding on motocross tracks. A rider who is injured on the proposed track would have to “hang on” for over an hour while, first, paramedics are called to the site, second, determine the injuries are life-threatening, third, call for a helicopter and finally, fourth, transport the victim to the hospital.

Any person, plant or animal within at least a three-mile radius would be impacted by the noise and dust. These are facts that are usually not fully weighed until it’s too late.

The issue is where to best locate a motocross facility. The promoter has made a poor choice and the County Planners need to know. Contact Erik Olson at Project Manager, Snohomish County PDS, 3000 Rockefeller, Everett, WA 98201 or Erik.olsen@co.snohomish.wa.us.

— Jeff Van Datta, President Stillaguamish Citizens Alliance, Granite Falls

No Motocross on Mountain Loop
(Lake Stevens Journal)

Thanks to Mr. Barnbaum for the heads up the proposed motocross track near Granite Falls. I have already written to Mr. Olson expressing my opposition, and will continue to do what I can to stop it.

I must admit that most of my problem with the track is purely selfish. I am a hiker and back-country skier who climbs Mt. Pilchuck many times a year seeking a peaceful place to exercise and commune with nature. The noise from this track would adversely affect this experience for myself and the thousands of others who visit this popular state park.

Mr. Fulmer has a good point about all the gas used by visitors to the area (I feel a little guilty every time I drive to the mountains), but this only reinforces that this easy access area (minimizes driving for many) should be left peaceful and quiet. Muscle powered activities also do not continue to burn gas once they are out of their cars.

In response to Mr. Quarterman's argument that dirt biking is good exercise I agree that it is a fun challenge and hard work, but I don't see such a track providing regular exercise for many people. Children will need parents who can buy the expensive equipment and drive them to the track, so it will be used by a very small elite group. As an elementary P.E. Teacher in Granite Falls I would rather see my students get on their bicycles, or play in the woods after school.

— Jim Dockery, Lake Stevens

MX noise hinders Veteran’s Retreat Center Vision
(Lake Stevens Journal)

I enjoy supporting all safe and fun family activities, including motocross. Unfortunately, the location is the losing point for us.

One of the NW’s first Veteran Retreat Centers is going in close to the proposed site and since one main focus is healing of Veterans with Soldier’s Heart, the decibels are the issue, as well as the fact, that this “small town” must grow gradually to grow responsibly, and with consideration for the best interest of its residents.

My job brings me to approximately 900 square miles of Snohomish County, and I know there are many safe sites for motorbike activities within a one-hour radius.

Also remember there is currently one way into GF and one way out. Imagine the commute and traffic problems all this quick and irresponsible development can cause. We need to adequately accommodate our residents before bringing in large amounts of the public, which will include crime, and impact.

We are already due for a huge tax hike to accommodate our Police, EMS, and Volunteer Fire Department up the Loop. Slow and easy is the responsible way to go for Granite Falls.

We all know the nickname is just a myth, and that there are bushels of great apples for those couple of bad ones. But how much more traffic do you want to pay to regulate?

Let’s get together and find a place that works for everybody.

— Michelle Ochoa, Healing Hearts in Hope, Veterans Retreat Center Secretary, GF resident

Another motocross track?
(Lake Stevens Journal)

Do we really need another motocross track in Washington State? A five-minute internet search brought to my attention that there are currently over 14 official motocross racing facilities and over 30 designated MX/ORV trails or parks in our fair state.

I do not really see the need to deface over 400 acres along the Mountain Loop Highway, the disruption from clearing the timber along with the negative effects of human-generated noise on wildlife that now lives and survives on that parcel of land, polluting the air with carbon monoxide (CO), plus the amplified noise of hundreds of dirt bikes ricocheting throughout the amphitheater of mountains.

We air breathers need to do all we can to preserve the 38 percent of natural forestland left in the Northern Hemisphere. There are enough places to ride, race, jump, and make all the noise you want readily available out there.

I don’t think in this day and age of families rushing around, anyone would object to spending a few more minutes of focused quality time with your family driving to one of these already designated MX/ORV areas.
So pack up the SUV, load up your dirt bikes or ATV’s, pile the kids in along with the family dog and head out to one of the already existing tracks, trails or parks for a fun filled day of quality time together. Let’s leave the Mountain Loop alone and preserve the “green” jewel of Snohomish County.

— Gayle Kosydar, Granite Falls

Answers to motocross letter
(Lake Stevens Journal)

I would like to answer Mr. Osterholtz's question in a previous letter, "So what gives them the right to say the woods are only for hikers?" First, none of the letters against the proposed motocross track have stated that.

"Where are our rights?" he asks. All of our rights must also take the rights of others into account. I have the right to listen to any kind of music I like, but not to impose it on my neighbors by putting my stereo outside and blasting it at them. Some people don't seem to understand that, which is why there are noise ordinances.

Compared to horses and hikers motocross bikes are noisy. A few of them tooling around occasionally isn't a big problem, but 50-90 a day racing in the same location will be, especially for the local residents. I doubt that many avid riders would want such a track next door to their house.

I never said that it wouldn't be used, in fact I'm afraid it will be used too much! I just don't think that it will provide a viable outlet for many local children to get the daily exercise they need.

It would be great if another suitable location could be found, but due to population growth there are few places left in our area where it can fit. This is the nature of the activity, and one that those purchasing such vehicles should take into account before they buy.

— Jim Dockery, Lake Stevens

MX can go someplace else
(Lake Stevens Journal)

I am responding to a recent letter written by J. Osterholtz from Granite Falls, regarding the proposed Motocross track on the Mt. Loop Hwy.

I am also a long time resident of the Granite Falls area. Mr. Osterholtz asked the question where were his 'rights' to enjoy his sport? I along with many others who live nearby the proposed site do not oppose motocross as a sport; however, we do not want the sport to interfere with our 'rights' as residents and property owners. We should have a say as to what moves into our neighborhood.

I believe that Mr. Osterholtz does not live on the Mt. Loop Hwy, so this will not be affecting his property value, nor awakening him early on a weekend morning with the noise from motocross racing.

The Mt. Loop Hwy. is a narrow two lane road, with an old narrow bridge that the county recommended be changed to accommodate one lane traffic with a signal at each end. This road is already over stressed with recreational folks traveling to the Mt. Baker/Snoqualmie National Parks and local residents just trying to get back and forth in their daily lives.

Mr. Osterholtzs' letter states how many people participate in this sport along with families and spectators,affirming the opinion of many, that the Mt. Loop Hwy. can not support this traffic.

Another site needs to be found for ORV enthusiasts, perhaps the proposed site of the failed NASCAR track in Marysville or some other centrally located area.

Yes, Granite Falls will grow, but please let's do it with care. Look at surrounding towns, exploding with housing developments and road congestion. Why is everyone so desperate to make Granite Falls into the next Lynnwood? Change will come soon enough.

A few years back people were suggesting that Granite Falls could become the 'Leavenworth' of Western Washington. Whatever happened to that idea?

— Pat Thorsen, Granite Falls

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