I wanted to push an update on the Save Sumas effort. From our initial outreach two weeks ago, we have had over 3,500 signatures on the petition, an addition of 40 new members, and also several key people who have joined the team to add their time and energy to the effort.
Stephen (Steve) Bennett has taken the reigns onthe political campaign. He has drafted and sent a letter of opposition to a local MLA who has committed to hand-delivering it to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Michelle Mungall. The effort to put together a thoughtful and comprehensive response was supported by a few others as well – thanks Sara and crew!
Steve has also confirmed the formal opposition of this proposal from FVRD, Metro Van, City of Abby, Sumas First Nation and Abbotsford/Mission MLA Simon Gibson. Our voice is in harmony with these groups and we are working closely with them to coordinate our effort.
An outreach campaign is underway to all walks of fellow non-motorized trail users – hikers and trail runners – to ensure their voice is heard as well. The FVMBA is setting up a tent at the upcoming Valley Vertikiller race on Sumas to share the message and garner support.
Steve and Chris Friesen are working together to publicize this threat to as wide an audience as possible – stay tuned for updates as more develops from those efforts. Thanks (a ton) Steve and Chris.
Crystal Lambert has stepped up to fill the role of interim Area Rep in Abbotsford. She will be heading up the administrative projects we have queued up to complete in order to ensure the stewardship agreement we have in place at Sumas is in good standing by the end of the year. Keep an eye out for her need for volunteer support in the near future. Thanks Crystal!
I’m very buoyed by the show of support in all those important areas. One area I continue to focus my effort on – memberships. As part of identifying the number of users that would be displaced by this project, we estimate that 3,000 people will ride Squidline in 2017 – 35% of which (or 1,000) are local riders. Our job at FVMBA heading into 2018 will be to paint the value-case for membership but to those 1,000 locals (and many users beyond), your investment in FVMBA goes far beyond protection of the trails for efforts like this. The club needs your support now more than ever to push forward with the many activities we have underway in Maple Ridge, Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and beyond. Membership support is the foundation our entire organization is built on. If you love mountain biking as much as I do, then I recommend investing in our club.
Thanks again to all the supporters – the fight to Save Sumas is much like the climb – long and sustained. We’re going to need all the help we can get.
Director – Mission