McKee Peak Public Hearing – March 6, 2023

Trail Update – March 2023
March 1, 2023
Summer 2023 Trail Crew Job Posting
March 16, 2023
Trail Update – March 2023
March 1, 2023
Summer 2023 Trail Crew Job Posting
March 16, 2023

A big thank you to all who attended the McKee Peak public hearing Monday evening. The Matsqui Cenntennial Auditorium was packed, with an estimated 400 people in attendance, over 4 hours of speakers, and a regular (but short) council meeting. After all of the presentations from the community, council posed questions to staff. If you missed it, you can watch the entirety of the meeting here. Voting by council will take place at the March 27th council meeting.

It was an informative evening with comments and presentations from local First Nations, the Fraser Valley Conservancy, representatives from the land owners and developers, and many community members. Yoshi Burton (President of FVMBA and the Abbotsford Trail Development Society) and Mark Sawatzky (FVMBA Treasurer) presented on behalf of the FVMBA along with Mike Thomas (Vice President, Abbotsford Trail Running Club).

The FVMBA acknowledges that the trails at McKee Peak are on the unceded territories of the Sumas (Sema:th), Leq’a:mel, and Matsqui First Nations of the Sto:lo Peoples. The colonial land titles are privately owned and we are grateful to the private owners who allow the recreational use of their properties.

We strongly believe that preserving and enhancing the existing singletrack trails on McKee Peak is crucial for the community’s outdoor recreation potential and environmental preservation. The FVMBA supports the spirit of creating an outdoor adventure zone and collaborating with the city and developers to maximize the trail and nature preservation. As the development is proposed to take place over the next 20-50 years, we seek to preserve the trails and natural environment for future generations.


The FVMBA recommends the following:

  • Preserve – we urge the City to save the existing singletrack dirt trails on McKee Peak
  • Consult – we encourage the City to work closely with trail users, trail associations, and developers to ensure the existing trails are preserved, and new ones are relocated as needed. Create a trail association (as Chilliwack has) to ensure invested groups are represented.
  • Replace in McKee – we recommend replacing lost singletrack dirt trails with new singletrack dirt trails in the McKee Neighbourhood in the Open Space and Green Network.
  • Relocate – if trails must be lost, we suggest compensating by adding more singletrack dirt trails throughout Abbotsford to create a more comprehensive network for all users. The goal here is a net zero loss of single track – meaning that for every kilometer of trail that is lost, another kilometer is added to either an existing network in Abbotsford or in a new network.
  • Trail Endowment Fund – we recommend and have been diligently working to establish a $2 million Abbotsford Trail Endowment fund in partnership with the City and developers to finance singletrack trail construction and maintenance in the Abbotsford region.

Click here for all of the slides from the FVMBA’s presentation to council.
Click here for the letter FVMBA sent to Mayor Ross Siemens and the City of Abbotsford council.

 

 

We are grateful to everyone who attended the meeting, either in person or online, and thank all those who spoke to council.

In my conversations with Councilor Tuttle I was informed that there was no consultation with Sumas First Nation. They were simply informed. I also saw that you listed the Sto:lo First Nation in your list of Nations consulted and there was no record of that consultation and no record of this proposal in the People of the Rivers Referral’s Office.

Sasha Tuttle, Sto:lo Research & Resource Management Centre

 

Let me make it very clear tonight, Auguston and Abbotsford Tech District support preserving, maintaining, and enhancing trails. … our mid-90s development agreement included a $1.17 million dollar contribution exclusively for the City to build trails on our lands…for reasons neither party is entirely sure of, the City’s obligation has not yet been met. No trails have been built with that money.

Gavin Dew, Auguston & Abbotsford Tech District

 

For all information on the McKee Peak plans, including background research reports, project timelines, staff presentations to council, council reports, and more please see Let’s Talk Abbotsford.

To learn more about how the proposed development will affect will affect wildlife, habitats, and wildlife corridors, the Fraser Valley Conservancy provides an overview as well as more details on their website.

 

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