Here is a link to a good video on how mountain bike trails can build a community and have a positive effect on local small town economy:
In Good Company - A film about how mountain biking forged a community on Vimeo
Also some lessons to be learned in terms of un-authorized building. This strikes close for me as I just ran across some un-authorized stunts in the woods.
If you want to build stuff, you need to get involved with your local club who works with the land managers for permission to build.
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Thread: Good video