Country: France
Type: Warning
Status: Ongoing dispute

The “Terres Noires” site in Digne-les-Bains (04) is an exceptional natural site, world famous for mountain biking. These marls are ancient sea beds dating back more than 160 million years! This site, rich in fossils, is today classified and protected by the National Geological Nature Reserve of Haute-Provence and the UNESCO Geoparc of Haute-Provence. It belongs to public and private forest owners.
Local authorities, managers of natural areas, private owners, guides and local clubs have worked collectively for several years to plan and develop quality routes, suitable for mountain biking, on this exceptional site (6 routes fitted out and marked out for All-Mountain, Enduro, VTTAE, Gravel…). Following the publication of several Free-ride videos, recently shot on the site without authorisation, the local authorities (Provence Alpes Agglomeration and the municipalities concerned), the ONF, the Rando04 mountain bike club and the Mountain Bikers Foundation are joining forces to denounce mountain biking practices that are not respectful of our environment and prohibited in natural areas (environment code, forest code, 3DS law).

1. Dropping off by helicopter for the practice of outdoor activities is prohibited in France
2. The creation of mountain biking facilities (trails, springboards, jumps, bumps) on land without the owners' authorization is prohibited
3. The practice of mountain biking Free-Ride (off-trail) is prohibited

The "Terres Noires" are a remarkable natural site for mountain biking, but faced with the evolution of attendance, land constraints, respect for private property, issues related to biodiversity, the conservation of habitats, fossils and species, to the phenomena of erosion and to the sharing of space with other users, it is necessary to adopt a behavior that respects our environment. For the practice of mountain biking to continue in natural areas, let's adopt responsible behaviour.