Saturday, 9 September 2017

An Open Letter to DNV Mayor and Council

An Open Letter to DNV Mayor and Council

Posted on November 13, 2013 at 5:45 PM

NSMBA Drowns Out "Loud Voice" for Conservation?

Dear Mayor and Council: As far as I am concerned, the following "message" was unwarranted. The paid program manager of the well-sponsored, well-supported and well-funded North Shore Mountain Bike Association (NSMBA) really didn't have to use my name "in vain" to rally the freewheeling troops to come out to District Hall on Monday November 18th. But he did. It seems that the "war of the woods" has never really ended:

Message from NSMBA.

Do you support Mountain Biking on the Shore?
The answer is YES!
So help us deliver this message to DNV Council on Nov 18.
We want Council to know our voice is loud & strong.
Louder than Monica Craver's!
Our goal is to fill Council chambers for our annual pilgrimage to the house of bureaucracy.
355 W Queens Rd

You have the opportunity to speak for up to 2 minutes prior to the NSMBA key delegation.  Sign up by 6:30pm if you wish to speak.
"My business is/I live in the DNV and we support continued care and development of our trails." 
Delegation begins at 7pm.The NSMBA will be asking for resolution to the long standing parking issue on Fromme (the parking ban was instituted in 2001 as a temporary measure).  The solution needs to include parking, trail access, facilities and staging area.  Presently, Council is looking into potential solutions including staging at Dempsey/Braemar and/or Mtn Hwy.
We will also share our plans to create an All Access trail to be built on Fromme, above Bobsled, to accommodate riders on 3 wheeled bikes like North Vancouver's own Tara Llanes.Finally, we will be asking for continued support and development of our trails.  MTB is not a fringe sport.Please help us spread the word by posting the attached web graphic on social media, print the pdf & post in your lunch room, and tell everyone you know.
We will head to Queen's Cross for beers afterwards.
See you Monday night Nov 18!

Mark Wood
NSMBA Program Manager
604-9-- - ----


Why should the NSMBA fear my "loud voice" crying out for real conservation support from DNV? (Mainly in regards to Mountain View Park wetland and upland area). DNV has not paid heed to this "loud voice". Why would the NSMBA feel threatened, now? Perhaps, I act like a "guilty conscience" for the bikers, who full well know and understand the damage they our doing to our "precious woodslands", but have become too callous to care? But why should the NSMBA feel threatened by this onr lone, "loud voice" (they chose to name), when they have mountain biking Mayor Richard Walton on their "right side"? After all, the NSMBA only have as much "political clout" as the politicians and public land managers are willing to give them -- no more, no less. Is this DNV/NSMBA partnership beginning to form the fragile cracks of over-entitlement? Most likely, not as much as the mountain bikers have cut, hacked, sliced and diced our public woodlands over the past 20 or more years...What is it the NSMBA fears?

After all, Mayor Richard Walton, had stated: "The soul of the District lies in these woodlands, and it is up to all of us to support and protect these precious places." (November 2013 Deep Cove Crier)

Sadly, inside the District of North Vancouver, there is a fine ability to "talk the talk, but not to walk the walk". I have been trying to get DNV to support the protection, conservation and restoration of a precious wetland jewel, Mountain View Park wetland and upland area for over ten years, to no avail. DNV's answer has always been to favour the NSMBA who continue to ride and build roughshod in this area. New trail building continues to fragment and degrade this species at risk habitat, and silts  the "amphibian pond". And the NSMBA continues to demand more and more from DNV, as their overblown sense of entitlement to our public forests grows, each year. And DNV bows to the pressure. Is District able to discern right from wrong, anymore?

The mountain bikers first came onto the mountains to ride and build many trails illegally, at first, and now they are being rewarded for the very same activities, today. It is worse, now, since so much of the NEW trail building is "sanctioned" (called "repair and maintenance", but in reality many of those heavily eroded and damaged trails are beyond repair, so the NSMBA cuts so many NEW trail reroutes, bypasses, realignments, refitting, etc. Actual trail decommissioning/closures are rare, if it happens at all.) How many trails do these extreme freeride mountain bikers need? All of them and more...I believe the riding and trail building damage to our precious woodlands, by off-road mountain (dirt) bikers (NSMBA), has gone beyond its "tipping point". And it is anti-social.

But, I expect, once again on November 18th, I will hear the usual applaud and support, by District Mayor and Council, for the North Shore Mountain Bike Association's ongoing, purposeful ecological vandalism inside our woodlands, methodically wounding "the soul of the District" (as they have done for too many years). The hypocrisy of the District of North Vancouver is too much to bear, especially in light of the fact that one viable wetland park, is among few that we have left in the District:

"... the park is a treasured piece among the district’s natural areas. “We don’t have that many wetlands,” he said.That’s for sure, we just don’t have them. ~DNV's Trails and Habitat Coordinator, Graham Knell, in the North Shore Outlook (DNV polishes Mackay Park Jul-10-2008)

Will my "loud voice" continue to be drowned out by the NSMBA's continual demands for more support and funding for amenities from DNV's public purse, when they should actually be speaking to one or more of our three mountain recreational resorts on the North Shore? Why should mountain biking be treated any differently from any other sport on the North Shore? After all, "MTB is not a fringe sport", NSMBA's Mark Wood states. Plus, these MTBers are effectively "privatizing and commercializing" our public woodlands by their very consumptive activities. And this is the very reason this sport needs to be contained -- time to pay to play.

The NSMBA could even consider buying private acreage to ride and build their assortment of amusement park structures  (Sunshine Coast's "Gravity Park" is built on privately owned land).  What would happen if skiers, snowboarders, golfers, soccer players, etc. demanded the same over-entitlement to the use and abuse of our public woodlands? That would be anarchy. All this four season a year, rain or shine, day and night riding, and endless trail and MTB structure building sprawl  across our public woodlands is acting more like a slow-motion clear cut, than anything remotely "supporting and protecting these precious places".

So, when will my "loud voice" for conservation be heard above the "squeaky wheels and chain rattling" of the NSMBA, Mayor and Council? When will DNV "walk the walk", and support those of us who are trying, in vain, to protect these precious places? When will the voices of conservation and protection be heard"The soul of the District lies in these woodlands, and it is up to all of us to support and protect these precious places." The NSMBA have done a very, very poor job of it. They should be told "NO", and let go... Will DNV Mayor and Council be able to show us the strong leadership to do just that? 

Thank you.

--Monica Craver--

The forest paths of the District article notes:

Trail builder, Todd Fiander, was given a DNV “cease and desist” order to stop building the over 40 trails and 70 “one hit wonders” for his mountain bike film making, without permission (in 2005), only to be applauded for his building a mountain biking “speedway” on the portion of the Baden Powell trail where the hikers and bikers converge, 2013

03-16-2013, 09:56 PM
Also, to those working the BP from “stairs of despair” to gate, good work only problem I see is mtbers are going to be ripping that section now so hikers beware!!

Really? Built for “safety reasons”?

The “dramatic and beautiful (trail) upgrade … carefully hewn from local materials” effectively hides the NSMBA trail builders’ dirty little secret. Dirt pits are dug out, mainly off-trail – out of sight, out of mind -- for rocks and “gold dirt” (the mineral earth) to pack on the trails is very ecologically unsound.  This kind of trail building technique is also accredited to “Digger” Todd Fiander. One cannot take the NSMBA’s activities at face value. (hilighted portion in the article)

Multiply all this dirt pit digging by the never ending NEW trail building activities by the NSMBA and their supporters, combined with the very erosive riding styles on steep slopes, rain or shine throughout the year, there is nothing ecologically sound, nor sustainable about this style of trail building and trail ridingWill this ever end?Only, when common-sense prevails.
There are some very precious places where mountain biking should not be allowed. Mountain View Park wetland and upland area is one of them. 

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