In response to the Mountain Biking protest, on Australian Pine removal and a proposed beach on the North Point, scheduled for tomorrow:
I am one of the original people who saved the black beach from Development on Virginia Key and prevented the development of the North Point in 1993 with many others.
Mabel Miller stopped the blimp base on the North Point in the 1970's. I walked the North Point with Frenchy and other mountain bikers BEFORE THE TRAILS WERE MADE. ENVIRONMENTALISTS ARE VERY involved with Virginia Key. Australian Pines ARE BAD they are invasive. The hardwood hammocks grow quickly. Just go on the trails Juan Fernandez planted on Virginia Key. They are fully shaded. Mountain Bikers are not seeing what we did to make it possible for what they have. there are hundreds of environmentalists who made and saved Virginia Key. Oleta has swimming and mountain biking right next to each other.
Share with others, your single-mindedness is selfish. You wouldn't have mountain biking if not for the Urban Environment League and Tropical Audubon and Friends of Virginia Key.
Here is a note from Barbara Falsey, President of the Urban Environment League And Blanca Mesa of Friends of Virginia Key, on the Mountain Bike trails on the North Point of Virginia Key:
Last year I personally walked the area with “Frenchy” and Gary Milano and others. We agreed to a plan that provided some additional trails and that established clear boundaries for where restoration would occur.
I was really disappointed to learn that since that time trails were built and more are planned for an area that we agreed would not be touched. I suspect that some of the mountain bikers were not informed of that agreement and unfortunately invested time and effort to build the trails. That does not excuse their leadership who did know what areas were supposed to be off limits and it does not mean that since the trails are “facts on the ground” they should be allowed to stay. There have been a series of compromises reached with the Mountain Bike representatives but it is clear that at this point, the compromises are one sided. They continue to push past limits they have agreed to. What next? Close the beaches? Destroy already restored areas?
I understand that a protest is scheduled in an effort to stop restoration efforts. These restoration efforts have a much larger public purpose than extending the mountain bike trails. It not only is environmentally sound but will provide access to a wonderful beach and nature walks for whole families. It would be a travesty to stop it.
Please understand that I support Mountain Biking – in the right places. I think however that in this case it has gotten out of hand. Too many people have invested too much time in the overall planning process for Virginia Key to allow a few misguided mountain bikers to derail it.
On behalf of Friends of Virginia Key, which has always advocated for public use and ecological restoration of ALL of Virginia Key, I am writing to support restoration of the North Point and support of multiuse trails on the North Point that allow hikers and bikers to share the road amid an ecologically restored landscape that protects wildlife. And protects the land from erosion and impact of storm surge and sea level rise.
See the blog stories on North point, bike trails restoration and the
masterplan developed and adopted in 2010. please feel free to a share maps,
articles and forward.
Share the road! ecological restoration and multi use plans are best for all
including wildlife. northpoint is a special place and offers critical
wildlife habitat for sea turtles along beaches. Native planting will secure
land with sea level rise, assuring enjoyment of this land for generations.
Friends of Virginia Key worked hard to protect North Point from development
including a hotel complex proposed by Diaz administration. Now bicyclists
and environmental groups need to work together for mutual good. Here are links to more info.