Compost Dump Site Proposed near Mount Seymour Trails
A local company, Anaconda Systems Inc, has petitioned the Crown for access to 2.6 hectares of land at the second switchback on Mount Seymour. Based on the diagram provided by the company the facility could block the entrances to TNT/Cabin trails and prevent riders from exiting CBC trail, both popular routes for mountain bikers who ride Seymour.
Waste that is currently transported off the North Shore for processing (approx 60 kms round trip to Harvest Power in Richmond) would be dealt with on the site. Vehicles would travel the often busy Mount Seymour road daily to deposit waste.
At this point everything accessed from the Mount Seymour road is focussed on outdoor recreation. There is a popular ski hill that provides access to the backcountry for adventurous types and the area is popular with snowshoers, hikers and of course some of the best mountain bike trails in the world. There is a patchwork of landowners on Seymour but the largest area is a 3500 hectare Provincial Park. The land Anaconda would like to rent from the government is Crown owned and would be subject to a fee based on approximately 15% of the assessed land value per year. It's unclear at this time if the land is part of the Canadian Mortgage and Housing property (CMHC) which became contentious last year when it was briefly closed to recreational users.
This facility isn't likely to be a wee hobbit shack producing garden compost, and the company plans to modify the land extensively for their use; "Before any of the facility components can be delivered to the site, the area will need to be cleared, levelled, excavated, stabilized, and paved." That's the entire 2.63 hectares. After that various facilities, buildings and equipment would be brought in and built on the site if necessary.
If you think this proposal is a little strange you aren't alone. Why deal with waste half way up mountain within an intact forest? Does it make sense to drive heavy disposal trucks up a treacherous road all year, particularly one that is often choked with traffic battling to get to the ski hill?
One source I spoke to, who wished to remain nameless, speculated that this was gamesmanship by the Provincial Government. Apparently the Province has been trying to get the District of North Van to commit land to build non-market housing, but the District apparently contends they have no available land. It's possible the Province is angling for some leverage on the District. While this is purely speculation, my information came from a knowledgeable source.
What we know for sure is that at this point your voice can be heard. I personally don't think Mount Seymour should begin any slide toward industrialization. Wilderness is a at a premium, particularly wild areas so close to a metropolitan area. And once these areas are used for industrial applications others are sure to follow suit. My opinion is that this is a ridiculous location for a waste disposal site. Leave Mount Seymour for recreation and put industrial operations on industrial lands.
At this point your voice can be heard about this issue - until November 23rd. If you'd like to stand up for natural areas and mountain bike trails, please submit a comment about this development here...
For more info on the proposal click here...