Saturday, 9 September 2017

Bones of Contention...

Bones of Contention...

Posted on September 10, 2013 at 2:00 PM

The Lower Griffen Switchback Trail, has been a "bone of contention" for many years, as it is the main cause of heavy silting inside Mountain View Park's "Frog Pond".

Since 2003, we have been asking for this trail to be closed, and no further trail building activities above it... Since 2008, when the District of North Vancouver's  Final Draft of the Fromme Mountain Sustainable Trail Use and Classification plan  was completed, and "passed in principle" by District Council, we have yet to see this trail decommissioned.

Instead of decommissioning it, the District approved(?) of another reroute! This does not bode well for the long term viability of the pond, below. 

(pg 21)
3. Switchback Trail / “Lower Griffen”
• MTB descent (multiple TTFs).
• Single-track.
• High level of use.
• Multi-use trail (youth/beginner MTB trail for study area).
• Rated intermediate.
• High level of volunteer stewardship (rock armouring and TTF
maintenance).
• Good condition.
 Groundwater seepage issues on switchbacks and adjacent to ephemeral creek.
• Low harmony (switchbacks, crosses flat boggy area).
RECOMMENDATION: Close – active decommissioning...

But, instead of decommissioning/closing this trail, DNV approved of the following new trail reroute, for mountain bikers, on the aquifer zone, ignoring its own recommendations for the area (above)…

Griffen Switchbacks Reports

Date
Info

10 May,2012
a new trail reroute has been finished around the washed out creek line. The diagonal log drop near the start of the trail has also been cut open with a easy ride through now.


4 Apr, 2012
trail has seen some water damage over winter it seems. Near bottom creek has flown through the trail and ladder bridge is down. Some of the rooty sections are deeper now due to water flow, which is fine for advanced riders, but it makes the trail more of a "black" than a blue.

Also, just prior to the critical trail assessment and classification work (2006), the District had given permission for the mountain bikers to open up another little used trail "going back to nature", Natural High Trail, in the upland area, exiting onto the Lower Griffen Switchback Trail. How does one deal with such issues? We complained, to no avail.  What is this kind of thing doing inside a wetland, anyhow. The following is typical of mountain biking trail building "master plans" http://bb.nsmb.com/showthread.php?t=73020



After the ecological and trail assessment was completed, instead of closing more trails, the District allowed the NSMBA to open up another unused trail that was also going nicely back to nature: Immonator Trail (which has been turned into a roller-coaster amusement trail for mountain bikers, only, crossing many vernal streams, and also "exits" into the Mountain View Park area.)

How can we best begin to address this kind of anti-environmental decision-making by our public land managers and politicians? It is clear that mountain biking comes first in their plans,  before conservation needs, which is why we need your support for conservation, restoration, and education about  this much beleaguered wetland and upland area, being run over by off road recreational over-use, and abuse. 

New mountain bike trails (called multi-use trails) have been opened and eroded even more --- on the Lower Griffen Trail(s), just north and south of the Baden Powell Trail. There is nothing redeeming about braided and eroded trails, sliced and diced like pizza cutters from mountain bike tires. Is Mountain View Park wetland and upland area an "abusement park for wreckreational activities", or is it an ecological jewel which should have protection from such activities?

The public will have to decide, once again, for better or worse: "Is Mountain View Park wetland and upland area to remain a mountain bike amusement park, or become a wetland conservation area, to be protected for its high ecological value assessments." (to be turned into a Limited Mountain Recreation Zone, effectively banning mountain bikes from it, altogether.)

“We don’t have that many wetlands. That’s for sure, we just don’t have them.”

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