Saturday, 9 September 2017

A Wetland Treasure

"Photography is a weapon against what's wrong out there. It's bearing witness to the truth." ~ Brent Stirton,(National Geographic)

* * *
Mountain View Park (wetland and upland)
Photos taken around Mountain View Park, North Vancouver, BC Canada
The wetland jewel -- It needs protection and restoration, as there has been too much mountain biking, mtn.bike trail and structure building activities adjacent to and above it. There has been too much overall habitat degradation, silting and fragmentation from these activities. 

(to start the "FB slideshow",  please click on the bottom right hand corner of the first photo)


Photo: A newly metamorphosed Northern Red-Legged Froglet in Mtn.View Park's frog pond

Mountain View Mushrooms and Fungi
(to start the "FB slideshow",  please click on the bottom right hand corner of the first photo)

Mountain View Wetland (through the seasons, 2013)
(This set was taken by members of the NSWetland Partners who are monitoring the wetland.)

 Local Boy (and Girl) Scouts Planted Trees in Mountain View Park, April 5,2014. Take care not to step/ride on these saplings. Please stay on the trails. Thank you.

Mountain biking is harmful to the natural environment in nature parks
Mountain bikes exert an enormous amount of pressure on the natural environment and contribute to its destruction. Leaving the trails creates ridges, destroys vegetation and leads to erosion and soil compression.
Observe the signs along official pathways to conserve the natural environment and to enhance the pleasure of strollers! 
(Excellent statement from the City of Montreal/Ville de Montréal website, 'Parks Regulations')
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------
On the other side of the fence...
According to mountain bikers, "erosion" is a "positive force" for their sport--
"syncro" states:
"...some spots got good due to eroision (sic), but then they go past the good point to where they have to be replaced or re-routed. intersting side note, personally i feel erosion can be a positive force in forming a trail. this is very much a double edged sword though as often these section are on intermediate trails and as they become more eroded or challenging then the majority of riders (who have often helped create the erosion) will now braid that section and look for something easier. i can think of a few spots on fromme."

-----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------


The District of North Vancouver refuses to close/decommission the Lower Griffen Switchback Trail, as recommended back in 2008, because mountain bikers like to ride the eroded trail which silts Mountain View Park's frog pond. Erosion is a "positive force" for mountain bikers... and it is detrimental to everything else of value...This what DNV has to say about this black diamond rated trail: 

"Thank you for your E-mail. The Griffin Switch back Trail  is largely popular with walkers and dog walkers. It does have some minor  use by younger children learning to bike.   Most bikers now tend to use the Lower Griffin Trail which encourages riders to exit via the water towers at McNair, away from Mountain View Park.  Within the adaptive management framework, the Lower Griffin Switchback trail does provide a role in the trail system, especially for hikers. Due to the existing use of the trail,  closure is not justified at this point. Hikers would continue to use and walk over barriers as it provides a linkage to the Baden Powell Trail. The existing trail is receiving some minor drainage improvements for erosion and water control, in order to keep the trail safe for all users."

(Are you kidding us, DNV.... ??!)

It is clear from the video, below, and this recommendation makes it very clear "minor drainage improvements" is not going to work very well, and trail closure is very highly recommended in order to prevent unnecessary silting of a viable amphibian breeding pond. This makes far more sense than the never-ending appeasement of destructive mountain bikers....

3. Switchback Trail / “Lower Griffen”
 Groundwater seepage issues on switchbacks and adjacent to ephemeral creek.

• Low harmony (switchbacks, crosses flat boggy area).

RECOMMENDATION: Close – active decommissioning... 

Griffen Switchback Torrent

The science of trails... 
The North Shore is a rain forest and we get over 4000mm of rain some years (Seymour River Valley). Here you see how water gains erosive force when following the fall line on Lower Griffen Switchbacks. By the time it gets to the bottom, it's a torrent.

The Fromme Mountain Environmental Assessment Report (2015) by Diamondhead Consulting provides us with baseline information about the state of the trails from a scientific and environmental perspective: 
Non-stop new trail building and MTB riding activities is clearly taking its toll on and off the trails. "Staying on (authorized) trails" doesn't help alleviate any ecological problems Fromme Mtn faces, while far too many authorized and non-authorized MTB trails continue being built on our fragile mountain slopes (Fromme, Seymour, etc.) Plus, mountain bikers don't listen to the rules and scoff at signage. Borrow pits, compaction, and erosion is taking a clear toll on our forests, four seasons a year, rain or shine... 

What can we trust, if the District of North Vancouver land managers don't even consider a trail that turns into a creek during heavy rains as clear enough justification for closing/decommissioning that trail?

UPDATE!  
https://www.dnv.org/notices/lower-griffen-switchbacks-trail-permanently-closed 

Lower Griffen Switchbacks trail 

permanently closed

Friday, Mar 1, 2019
Lower Griffen Switchbacks on Fromme Mountain has been permanently closed due to a number of environmental and safety related concerns, including:
  • erosion and drainage issues
  • habitat and wetland protection
  • loose rocks and slope stability
  • broken features and hazard trees
Please respect decommissioning and restoration efforts by staying out of the area.
More Mountain Biking Damage in and around Mtn View Park
Photo taken around Mountain View Park, North Vancouver, BC Canada
Damage from mountain biking, in and around the Mountain View Park wetland, within the 'Upper Lynn Valley' neighbourhood catchment. Several mountain bike trails need to be decommissioned, etc.

(to start the "FB slideshows",  please click on the bottom right hand corner of the first photo)

No way to treat a wetland/lowland

There will always be problems inside an "urban" forest, from illegal dumping, to drinking parties, to squatter's camps leaving a lot of litter, etc. But, today, it is the off-road sport of mountain biking that is doing the most damage inside our forests and wetlands. You cannot take mountain biking activities inside a public forest at "face value". It leaves a heavy footprint behind; mountain biking is a very consumptive type of recreation, akin to motorized dirt biking. Its trail building culture is even more damaging.

The North Shore Mountain Bike Association's (NSMBA) trail building activities are doing a lot of ecological damage to the sensitive habitat, here. Instead of just closing these sensitive trails to mountain biking, the NSMBA's "Trails Adoption Program" (TAP) continues to flog these trails -- called "maintenance and repair". Many of the trails are new trails cut under the mtber terminology: reroutes, bypasses, realignments, refittings, etc. 


This is just some of the damage mountain bikes have done to a few trails that many hikers do not traverse on. They are mainly used as mountain bike trails around the Mtn View Park environs and elsewhere on Mt. Fromme, Seymour and Cypress on the North ShoreFor the purpose of this page, I am  
only recording the mountain bike damage done in Mtn View Park wetland and upland area. 

Mountain View Park can be considered a "microcosm" of what is happening throughout our North Shore via mountain biking activities... 


Some areas need to be made off-limits to mountain biking! Mountain View Park wetland and upland is one such place
.

Lower Griffen Trail

Note the heavy erosion caused by bike tires, water, etc. Their plan, already implemented, did even more damage to these wetland trails: 
http://nsmba.ca/documents/2012%20Assessment%20-%20Lower%20Griffen.pdf (They also added unnecessary "stunt" structures to the trail, in order to enhance the "challenge" on the already challenging trail.)

Upper Griffen Trail:
http://nsmba.ca/content/2011-04_upper-griffen-gets-re-route
"The combination of the trail dropping down a steep slope and water flowing down the trail from above have eroded the previous rock-work that used to keep this section solid." (instead of decommissioning the trail altogether, the mtb trailbuilders cut a new trail "reroute", which entails a lot of digging up 'gold dirt' and rocks from the forest floor. This practice is not sustainable, at all. Take a good look at how invasive all this mtb trailwork is. And there are far too many trails being built inside this sensitive habitat for mountain biking, an area that has been assessed to have high ecological values. Even an aquifer has been damaged above the park, in the upland area, from mountain biking and tampering/reroutes on the trail..

Crinkum Crankum MTB Trail/Cedar Trail, higher up (above "Roadside Attraction" in the Mountain View/Upper Lynn catchment area) experienced some devastating debris flow erosion back in 2006, but mountain biking is still allowed in there! And mountain bikers continue to ride it rain or shine...
"This is one of the more moderate trails on Mount Fromme, described by NSMBA as a cross country trail, and follows an old logging skid road built by Julius Fromme's logging company in the 1920's.
While a short section of the trail is used frequently by mountain bikers, most of the northern section of the trail is really only suitable for hiking.  Further into the trail as the soft ground is very prone to erosion when wet. (Trailpeak.com)

Creek washout in December 2006 --
                                      Cedar Hiking Trail (Crinkum Crankum MTB Trail)

Mountain biker riding the very eroded, soft trail after the 2006 washout.




 "DANGER 
Trail Closed 
due to extreme weather conditions and Land slides 
DNV Parks Department"
Immonator and Natural High Trails were once illegal (mainly natural) mountain bike trails that were falling apart, or going back to nature...They never should have been revived and rebuilt with such heavy modifications, turning them into literal amusement park-like trails with rollercoasters, teeter-totters, etc. Who came up with "plans" like these, and who approved of such foolishness like this? 

Fat Bike Friday, Riding Mt Fromme, Natural High and The Immonator mountain biking



Our forests are not amusement parks, but the mountain bikers have turned the trails into their own personal private playground inside our public forests..Day and night, four seasons a year, rain or shine.... these off-road dirt bikers ride and trail and structure build. Compaction of soil, and  more erosion are the resultsIt is anti-social! (and very anti-nature)

Digging for "gold dirt" (mineral earth) and rocks to pack the mountain bike trails is one of the most anti-environmental activities to come out of mountain biking. This film makes it pretty clear why. Now imagine this going on almost daily, "repairing and maintaining" (or building new) mtn.bike trails inside the public forests. 

More  devastating photos of gold dirt "mining" by the NSMBA TAP and Shore Corps and other supporters...
(to start the "FB slideshows",  please click on the bottom right hand corner of the first photo)




This is the "dirty little secret" the mountain bikers really don't want the general public to know about. "Unrest in the Forest" exposes the "dirt" on anti-social mountain bike trail building. Fact is, mountain biking trails are unsustainable, long-term, inside our steeply-sloped and mainly rain soaked temperate rain forests. Many trails do not seem to last more than six months to a year before needing this invasive work done over and over again, so easily eroded by consumptive mountain biking activities, etc.  And many children and youth are led to believe this is an "okay" thing to do inside our public forests and parks. You can judge for yourself...there is indeed "unrest" in the forest, today. (Like most mountain bike videos, this one is best watched with the sound turned off).

Unrest in the Forest

"There is unrest in the forest, there is trouble with the trees, for the maples want more sunlight, and the oaks ignore their pleas." -The Trees by Rush. https://www.pinkbike.com/video/332059/ 

How can people begin to respect this area, if they encounter full-face helmeted, full-body armour wearing "dirt bikers" ripping through this wetland park?  How can people respect an area where mountain bikers are indiscriminately digging and trail building, without restraint? This is something "Friends of 'Mountain View Park' Wetland" hopes to be able to change. We cannot do it without your support and help. Thank you.
2 Chronicles 7:13-15

No comments:

Post a comment

Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.