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BC government policy on bike trails

Nov. 18, 2008, 8:24 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: May 1, 2006

Do you also have to fill out the forms that MoTCA requires you to submit for new trail construction?

Yes, we have those same forms, but we've just been building short ride arounds or re-routing sections of the trail to avoid enviro issues, etc…

Kamloops Bike Riders Association
Build It.__Ride It.

Nov. 18, 2008, 10:17 a.m.
Posts: 2387
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

None of the ideas being proposed are all that out of order. Mostly they're good.

It's just that the process that they're proposing is too complicated and dense for volunteer organizations to deal with. We should be managing mountains of dirt, not mountains of paper.

37 YEARS ON THE BIKE :: 1981-2018

Nov. 18, 2008, 10:24 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Aug. 9, 2003

It's just that the process that they're proposing is too complicated and dense for volunteer organizations to deal with. We should be managing mountains of dirt, not mountains of paper.

and if the process isn't manageable in areas like Vancouver, Kamloops, or Kelowna with large rider/volunteer bases…..how are places like Port Alice going to manage it with a popular DH race course and only a couple local riders to maintain it

River City Cycle Club - www.rivercitycycle.ca

Comox Valley Mountain Biking - www.cvmtb.com

Nov. 18, 2008, 10:43 a.m.
Posts: 26382
Joined: Aug. 14, 2005

None of the ideas being proposed are all that out of order. Mostly they're good.

It's just that the process that they're proposing is too complicated and dense for volunteer organizations to deal with. We should be managing mountains of dirt, not mountains of paper.

All a bureacracy does well is both create and manage mountains of paper. Why do you think it takes 1 year to fill in a simple pothole.

www.thisiswhy.co.uk

www.teamnfi.blogspot.com/

Nov. 19, 2008, 10:07 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Aug. 9, 2003

I attended the first Open House for the Draft Trails Strategy in Nanaimo last night with approx 90 other folks. John Hawkings (from Squamish), the Manager of Trails for MoTSA gave a PowerPoint presentation on the Strategy and answered questions as he worked through the document. Here are my thoughts after attending the meeting:

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; Huge turnout by the motorized recreational segment (approx 70[HTML_REMOVED]#37; of the turnout). Many ATV[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;ers were there stating that they want access to trails and a guaranteed recreational land base. Does this mean they will try to adopt trails that are currently [HTML_REMOVED]#8220;non-motorized[HTML_REMOVED]#8221; if no one else adopts them?

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; Decent turnout by MTB[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;ers. Approx 15 people from the Nanaimo club, Arrowsmith club, United Riders of Cumberland and the Campbell River club. But our numbers were definitely shadowed by the motorized segment.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; The remainder of the crowd were hikers, equestrians, naturalist types etc.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; Re: Liability. Discussion of adopting [HTML_REMOVED]#8220;Inherent Risk[HTML_REMOVED]#8221; legislation similar to some regions in the US or modifying the OLA. As it stands you will be required to have Third Party Liability coverage in place in order to adopt a trail (which would be held by the Club/Regional District/Municipality). Trails on Private land will require Fire Protection Insurance coverage as well.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; Discussions on the Resource Road Act and potential reduced access to trails as Forest Companies deactivate roads. No definite answers provided (more of an ATV issue imo)

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; Discussions on Tourism re: Trail Stewardship vs Dollars. The key to this strategy is a [HTML_REMOVED]#8220;Sustainable[HTML_REMOVED]#8221; trail network. If the trail system cannot sustain the tourism, then that will be considered at the local level.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; There will be a Provincial Trail Advisory Body which will provide advice on implementation of the Trails Strategy.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; A trust fund may be developed to provide funding for maintenance/projects. This money may come from Tourism operators, Forest Companies, Gas Tax, etc.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; The trail adoption process will be driven by Clubs/Organizations at the local level, and will be facilitated by the government agencies. This is not a [HTML_REMOVED]#8220;top down[HTML_REMOVED]#8221; process.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; The process is unrealistic for small clubs i.e. North Vancouver Island Bike club has 5 active members who struggle just to put on the annual DH/XC race in Port Alice, never mind dealing with this bureaucratic nightmare.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; Once the process is finished, the majority of trails will likely not have been adopted and will continue to be considered [HTML_REMOVED]#8220;Unauthorized[HTML_REMOVED]#8221;.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; There won[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;t be an allocation of money to every trail group, this strategy is not a cash grab. Grants will still have to be applied for etc.

[HTML_REMOVED]#8226; This will be a slow process. Think 10 years before it is fully implemented.

So my understanding is that the new process is the same as the old process, it just seems that now the agencies are on board for facilitating the process. At the moment there is no funding in place to help clubs with the process, so don[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;t expect this to be a cash grab.

So my big concern after leaving the meeting: If my club doesn[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;t adopt our trails, does that mean someone else can? i.e. ATV club?

River City Cycle Club - www.rivercitycycle.ca

Comox Valley Mountain Biking - www.cvmtb.com

Nov. 19, 2008, 12:34 p.m.
Posts: 66
Joined: Aug. 30, 2004

^Thanks for posting that.
I thought it odd that there are no open houses in either Victoria or Vancouver.

Nov. 19, 2008, 3:10 p.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Aug. 9, 2003

I thought it odd that there are no open houses in either Victoria or Vancouver.

Nanaimo is more central on Vancouver Island than Victoria. I know I wouldn't have driven 3.5 hrs to attend the meeting. 2 hours was far enough.

Langley is fairly central when you consider that the trails in the Lower Mainland are spread out from Vancouver to Chilliwack.

River City Cycle Club - www.rivercitycycle.ca

Comox Valley Mountain Biking - www.cvmtb.com

Nov. 19, 2008, 3:57 p.m.
Posts: 1404
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

can't get enough of that sodium benzoate…

Nov. 19, 2008, 6:55 p.m.
Posts: 66
Joined: Aug. 30, 2004

Nanaimo is more central on Vancouver Island than Victoria…

Good points.

Nov. 20, 2008, 8:01 a.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

Langley is fairly central when you consider that the trails in the Lower Mainland are spread out from Vancouver to Chilliwack.

sea to sky'ers get screwed though…..3+ hour drive from whist in the middle of january? unlikely…..

Nov. 20, 2008, 8:43 a.m.
Posts: 0
Joined: Aug. 9, 2003

sea to sky'ers get screwed though…..3+ hour drive from whist in the middle of january? unlikely…..

yep thats a good point.

On the plus side, one of the main guys involved in this, John Hawkings, is in Squamish. If you contacted him he might be able to set up an informal session at his office in Squamish.

River City Cycle Club - www.rivercitycycle.ca

Comox Valley Mountain Biking - www.cvmtb.com

Nov. 20, 2008, 10:07 a.m.
Posts: 133
Joined: Nov. 19, 2002

yep thats a good point.

On the plus side, one of the main guys involved in this, John Hawkings, is in Squamish. If you contacted him he might be able to set up an informal session at his office in Squamish.

I know John well, we worked together for a time…..I've heard from a few folks around that are frustrated that the sea to sky corridor plays a pretty important role in the tourism side of this strategy, yet it's been made rather hard to get to these meetings….yes, there's sending in feedback, but it isn't the same as attending these meetings….will have to talk to some people and maybe see what we can work out with John….

Nov. 20, 2008, 10:43 a.m.
Posts: 3634
Joined: Feb. 22, 2003

The meetings have three sessions on each day with different groups. Nanaimo for example was Tourism, First Nations, Local government and then the evening session with the general public.

Play : Comox Valley Mountain Biking - www.cvmtb.com

Nov. 20, 2008, 11:04 a.m.
Posts: 3634
Joined: Feb. 22, 2003

The concern I have now that I didn't have before the meeting. We're probably outnumbered financially by the motorized offroad groups who quite quickly can overpower a trail area or forested location. It's quite hard to ride in a place taken over by the motorized crowd…

In many ways I don't really see how the motorized crowd can be or should be accommodated other than with roadbed maintenance or stream crossing options. Other than that they don't promote environmental benefits or all round multiple group enjoyment of the forest. Bikers hikers and horses can all exist in a same patch of forest without any issue. 1 motorbike or atv will affect ever other user within a km or more…

I hope the mountain bike trails are not "lumped in" with the atv or other trails, motors and muscle don't mix.

Play : Comox Valley Mountain Biking - www.cvmtb.com

Dec. 7, 2008, 1:44 a.m.
Posts: 8
Joined: May 7, 2008

Here in Penticton we are just starting up a cycling club and trails are, obviously, a huge concern to everyone involved. We too have recently witnessed the government trails consultation process pass through town; and as with the fellows in Nanaimo, we saw a huge turnout from the motorized trail users. As expected [HTML_REMOVED]#8211; it turned out to be a simmering pot of contempt between the two user groups[HTML_REMOVED]#8230; I secretly thought it was interesting to finally see a situation where the mountain bikers were the [HTML_REMOVED]#8216;good guys[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;, and the evil eye of Sauron was cast upon some other user group :-)

In Penticton we have three hiking associations [HTML_REMOVED]#8211; and to my amazement; they are all bike-friendly, helpful in mapping trails, offering helpful hints on new trail locations, trail flagging and maintenance. As a side note; I[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;m writing the valley[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s first trails book and the hiking clubs have been one of my greatest allays. So too have the dirt-bike clubs (!). The only thing that they are worried about is that mountain bikers and hiker will [HTML_REMOVED]#8216;happen upon[HTML_REMOVED]#8217; their established trails, claim them as hiking / biking trails and attempt to kick dirt-bike riders off their own trails (what transpired on "The Stupid Trail" between Summerland [HTML_REMOVED] Peachland).

Fact of the matter is that a good number of local trails in this area were built by dirt-bike riders [HTML_REMOVED]#8211; especially dirt-riders who are also mountain-bikers; and there are a lot of them in these parts, some of them are friends of mine and great guys, dedicated to trail building and maintenance. We often use their handiwork for mountain biking and I appreciate their efforts. Keep in mind that we[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;ve only been trail riding for the past 25 years; they[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;ve been at it for at least 40; equestrians [HTML_REMOVED] hikers - a lot longer than that. Just this evening I had a long sit-down with a couple of leading members of the Southern Okanagan Dirt Bike Club and heard once again how they have no problem with other trail user groups; with the exception of quad riders; who I suspect we[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;ll all agree are not to be allowed on single-track trails simply because they need dual-tracks to run on.

I kinda' enjoy dirt-bikes; I don't have one, but have ridden on occation in the past - they are one of the coolest toys under the sun; it[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s just that they have to be used respectfully [HTML_REMOVED]#8211; and there are a few boneheads in every crowd who give the rest a bad rep[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;, and it[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s those motor bike riders who stand out in our minds as we curse dirt-bikers. In our group however, we have dudes who drag skidding rear tires around every bloody corner, build ill-conceived, un-armored, nearly vertical trail sections that are sure as shit stinks, going to erode in a year or less, meatheads who go screaming past hikers and equestrians like Satan is on their asses, not to mention folks who wouldn[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;t lift a finger to do any trail maintenance if it were the last option on earth (lots of em[HTML_REMOVED]#8217; out there!). So it[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s not like mountain bikers, collectively speaking, are innocent angels of the forest either[HTML_REMOVED]#8230;

With regards to the document under consideration; I read it quite differently. I saw it as a crack in the dam that, if slightly manipulated via serious feedback from us and other user groups, would give mountain bike riders a lot more freedom from concern with regards to being kicked off of the lands we enjoy riding / building on. Hell, I[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;ve read it top to bottom more than once and I personally think it[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s a good thing, just in need of slight modification here and there [HTML_REMOVED]#8211; like any DRAFT document.

We might want to bitch and moan about the fact that we have, in a roundabout way, had a lot of responsibility foisted upon us, but that[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s life; it aint easy. I do know however, that I[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;d much prefer to volunteer my time doing something that I absolutely love than hate. I dig [HTML_REMOVED]#8216;digging[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;, if I could find some way to pay the bills without working my [HTML_REMOVED]#8216;real job[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;, hell, I[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;d be out in the bush 16 hours a day clearing trails. So what if the government wants us to do a little bit of paperwork now and again; I run a business where I wade through mounds of the stuff every day anyway. Again, that[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;s life [HTML_REMOVED]#8211; no one said it was going to be easy [HTML_REMOVED]#8211; but if it means that I work for myself and not answer to a boss every day; I[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;ll continue to do it. The side-effect is that it allows me to hike, ride and be a trail-clearing bush-rat a lot more than if I had to punch the clock for [HTML_REMOVED]#8216;the man' :-)

Finally; I think that we should collectively throw our support behind dirt-bike and quad groups who seek to secure land-tenure agreements on areas for [HTML_REMOVED]#8216;motorized parks[HTML_REMOVED]#8217; usage. Ya[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;, I did say that[HTML_REMOVED]#8230; we should support them because if we can assist in any way, in securing them a place to call their own, it[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;ll take some of the dirt-bike usage (not all, but some), off our hike / bike trail systems. The concept has worked well in Kelowna for the Bear Creek / Blue-Grouse Mt. area, and I believe that it can work well just about anywhere in the continent where land is available; and in these parts, Crown land is available in spades! As much as we[HTML_REMOVED]#8217;d like to have every bit of crown Land for ourselves, that just aint the way the world works; we have to keep an open, fair-minded outlook on fellow trail user-groups.

Andrew D.
www.bikepenticton.com

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