Individuals have built several courses on this park land with no city oversight and no environmental review. The MMP update and EIR will determine whether it’s possible to mitigate for current and future impacts to soil, trees, flora and fauna. Also, funding sources for the parking lot paving, other improvements and site monitoring and management must be identified.
A letter to the Bidwell Park and Playground commission [pdf] outlines concerns that Friends of Bidwell Park have regarding the current disc golf site.
Disc Golf and the Future of Bidwell Park, an article by FOBP board member Randy Abbot for Butte Environmental Council’s Environmental News also discusses these issues.
A pdf copy [584 KB] of the arborist’s report on the impact of disc golf on trees at the courses.
What is the Real Cost of Disc Golf in Upper Bidwell Park? An article for the Butte Environmental Council’s fall 2007 Environmental News.
The 1993 Grant Deed from the Trust for Public Land [pdf 3.5 MB] to the City of Chico for the area of Upper Bidwell Park where the unofficial disc golf courses are located. Also, a letter from the Trust for Public Land reminding the city that they must comply with the restrictions in that deed.
The Sierra Club Yahi Group Conservation Report on disc golf in Upper Park.
Impacts from Disc Golf in Upper Bidwell Park
Damage to Trees and Plants
The loss of branch tips and foliage was widespread across the course, particularly where trees were in the middle of the fairway. In several cases, greater than 50% of the foliage and branch tips had been removed by discs.” from the arborist’s report, City of Chico/Blue Oak Assessment, Disc Golf Course Review and Blue Oak Management Guidelines.
Soil Compaction and Erosion
“In the A horizon, or topsoil, organic matter, microbial activity, and roots are concentrated. The soil structures and strength produced by the biological interactions in the topsoil are important for dissipating raindrop impact and allowing precipitation to infiltrate into the soil” “The horizons below the A horizon are generally called subsoil. These horizons have less organic matter and the associated biological activity, and are more critical for anchorage, water retention and root aeration.Soil quality, or the ability of soils to preform their biological and hydrological functions is dependent on the soil profile existing intact and in a sustainable condition.” “What I observed at the site is widespread erosion of the thin topsoil and the compaction of the remaining subsoil.” “I have not observed this much surface area being degraded on similar land used for hiking, biking or cattle grazing.” — NRCS Soil Scientist—Letter to City of Chico regarding soil damage at Disc Golf site (12/8/04)
Damage from Multiple Trails
Trash and Unauthorized Modifications
Water diversion for erosion control on North Rim Trail