We love your passion!
In fact, your passion, is in part what motivates us. The passion you have for trails, bikes, nature, and adventure is, in part, what fuels us to advocate for the mountain biking community in the Fraser Valley. We share your passion and it drives us to volunteer our time to work toward our collective goal of providing open access to a legal, sustainable, safe, and well-maintained trail network for everyone in our communities.
But we need to talk.
Sometimes that passion means we get carried away and inadvertently create challenges for the larger community. These challenges can have a detrimental impact on the FVMBA’s ability to advocate on behalf of our community. As well as having potentially severe consequences for the individual responsible.
One of the more longstanding challenges we have as an organization is rogue trail building, and in recent weeks has become a very prominent issue.
Some small number of our passionate community have taken it upon themselves to lay down some new lines and build some new stunts. And while we respect your passion and enthusiasm, rogue trail building has an enormous negative impact on the process of bringing land managers to the table in an effort to fully legitimize our trail systems.
It is true rogue trails created the foundation of mountain biking; however, we must recognize that we have a social, and environmental responsibility to ensure that our actions are not impacting our environment in an undesirable manner. We must also ensure that we are operating within the rules and regulations set forth by local Indigenous groups, the Provincial Government, and/or local Land Managers.
The FVMBA recognizes that trail builders operate with passion and the best intentions; trail builders are enthusiastic, dedicated, well intentioned, and generally not destructive in building a trail. The FVMBA seeks to work with these builders, to help them develop and build trails following the appropriate measures.
Rogue trail building is strongly discouraged by the FVMBA and only serves to undermine all the effort and work undertaken to date to preserve our trail system for everyone to enjoy. The FVMBA asks all rogue builders to cease what they are doing immediately. If anyone is at all uncertain of their trail building status please contact the FVMBA and we can confirm the land use agreements in your area.
The FVMBA will make effort to connect with rogue builders to educate them on these issues, and hopefully assist them with legitimizing their efforts. The FVMBA firmly believes a rogue trail builder can become a very powerful, and dedicated volunteer and FVMBA trail builder. We believe you will be a valuable asset in our efforts for strengthening our communities ability to preserve and build our trail network into the future.
The FVMBA seeks to achieve a positive outcome with a rogue builder; however, if rogue builders continue to operate against the direction of the FVMBA, Indigenous groups, Land Managers or compliance directives, they will be held accountable to the penalties associated with rouge trail construction under the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) – specifically pertaining to public lands, or what is known legally as “Crown Land”. The first order of business must be to reach agreements with land managers on oversight, standards, and accountability to ensure that public land remains accessible.
There are many stakeholders in the process of negotiating land use agreements, and getting our trail work sanctioned. The process can be slow and, at times, opaque. We acknowledge the challenges involved and are working with our land managers and IMBA Canada at the Provincial level to advocate for more resources and changes to those processes so builders can build sustainable and legal trails for all to enjoy.
We love your passion. We only ask that you remember your community.
Please work with us!
Fantastic letter and it is nice to see FVMBA seemingly willing to work cooperatively with all the builders. As a trail builder in the tri city area I wish Torca, our local organization, had the same attitude and willingness. It would be so much better for all involved it they did. On the surface they pretend to work with everyone but any person with “skin in the game” knows the executive are absolutely impossible to deal with. Lots of builders in this area would welcome FVMBA with open arms! You folks realize the importance of a good working relationship with builders. Keep up the good work Rocky and company!