Community group agrees to maintain Sprockids bike trail

Sprockids Recreation Area, a mountain bike and hiking trail on top of a landfill in Langdale, is expected to get some maintenance help from a bike-loving community group.

At an April 11 planning committee meeting, Sunshine Coast Regional District (SCRD) directors voted to renew its partnership agreement with the province and to enter into an agreement with Coast Mountain Bike Trail Association (CMBTA) to support the operation and maintenance of Sprockids.

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Since 2003, the 48.3-hectare area, which is owned by the province, was managed by the SCRD through a partnership agreement that is now due for renewal.

But because of an increase in the number of parks and trails under the SCRD’s jurisdiction, it’s been difficult to keep the Sprockids trails up to standard and so the board has been exploring other options for maintaining the recreation area.

Last Thursday after a short discussion, directors voted for the SCRD to renew its partnership agreement with Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC) but with a letter of understanding with CMBTA that would see the local mountain bike group take on the bulk of the on-the-ground maintenance work, while SCRD staff assume a management and oversight role.

The two-year agreement could act as a “stepping stone” for the community group to hold the partnership agreement with RSTBC in the future, according to a staff report.

Roberts Creek director Andreas Tize spoke in favour of the agreement and the association. “I’m familiar with some of the people involved with the Coast Mountain Bike Trail Association and I have confidence they will be able to uphold their side of their bargain,” he said.

“I think they’re a respectful bunch of people, so I’m in full support of this.”

The agreements are expected to be signed in early May.

At the same meeting, directors also reviewed and rejected a provincial referral for a mountain bike tour guide operator to use Sprockids, primarily because the management of the area is still being worked out and because the added use may create more wear and tear that the organizations aren’t yet ready to address.

Before they voted, directors discussed the possibility of the company, Whistler Outback Adventures Ltd., contributing to trail maintenance. “Rather than turning away potential tourism revenue, as well as given potential financial assistance to the maintenance of this area, I think we should make an amendment in that regard,” said Tize.

Directors agreed to amend the recommendation to include a stipulation that if another similar application were made, it would be “strengthened by commitment to a local investment in trail maintenance.”

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