Quad bike tourism causes problems in Sierra Gorda semi-desert

Quad bikes are becoming a major issue for tourism activities in the Sierra Gorda, with local residents concerned that the biking groups are ripping through their small communities without any appreciation of the negative impacts such activities have on their environment and quality of life. In addition, some quad biking is occurring on pristine riverbeds, which not only causes major damage to local flora and fauna, but is also illegal under Mexico’s environmental laws.

Grupo Ecológico Sierra Gorda, with support from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), has carried out an environmental and socioeconomic impact study of the area affected by quad bike tourism. It found that “the only people who are earning money from this activity do not live in the area, are not from the area and do not care about the social and environmental impact they are having”, according to the study’s consultant, Juan Carlos Ibarra. This October, under the leadership of the Federal Attorney General’s Office on Environmental Protection (PROFEPA), a series of meetings with the affected communities were held in order to create surveillance committees. We will also be organizing meetings with tourism operators and quad bike clubs to make them aware of the issues, and encourage them to carry out their activities with more respect for the local area and population.

For more information, please contact Camilla Barnes: camillabarnes@sierragorda.net

Visit our website: www.sierragorda.net

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