Long Story Short 

While I've never fancied adding a motor to my own two-wheel adventures, I've generally found Colorado Springs' off-road motorcyclists to be friendly, courteous and cognizant of others.

So I was initially dismayed to hear that motorcycles could soon lose access to an area of nearby forest known as Jones Park — a favorite local playground.

At issue is a very special fish, the greenback cutthroat trout, which swims in Jones' Bear Creek. In fact, the greenback only swims in Bear Creek. And some environmentalists claim that motorcycle traffic there is ruining fish habitat and pushing the greenback to the brink of extinction.

At first glance, it sure seemed like a standard environmental tale. But as I made calls and did research for the story, I was struck by the fact that everyone — everyone — seems to care about this fish. (I had expected as least one person involved to say something along the lines of, "To hell with that fish." Didn't happen.)

It wasn't just the environmentalists who were fighting for the greenback; the motorcyclists and mountain bikers and other stakeholders were literally building bridges to protect them.

Now, human concern and intervention is hardly new to the greenback. The trout was, after all, first pushed to the brink of extinction in the early 20th century by people who loved it. Decades have been spent trying to bring the greenback back, but so far, efforts have failed.

Which kind of makes you wonder: Will people today — whether environmentalists, motorcyclists or scientists — prove any wiser?

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