LETTER: Objection to trail

I agree with Gord and Cheryl Olson that the proposed bike trail bridge connecting Kimberley and Bootleg should be open to public comments. In 2014 I went to the MFLNRO with my concerns of several unauthorised trails I had noticed. Bootleg being one of them. I was assured that

1.Unauthorised trails would be eliminated

2.Trails would be kept to a minimum

3.Public would be kept informed

Also they were going to keep the illegal Pinch and Roll trail so about 25 local riders would have somewhere to ride. As this was in the Marysville watershed I was concerned that there was a good chance tenures would be applied for to hold events involving hundreds of riders. I felt it would be hard on wildlife especially grizzly bears and elk. The public was allowed to comment on a company wanting a tenure up there and the result was mainly negative. They were denied. Fast forward to now and an article said 40 vehicles a day could be seen using the trails. Chatter on social media wants people to thank the original unauthorised builders! They also felt it was ok to cut illegal trails in the Nature Park. The precedent has been set at Bootleg they argue. Local events are now being held up there. I was told these should be held before Sept. to avoid conflicts between hunters and bikers. Instead of hundreds of riders, there are now thousands using Bootleg.

Now they want a bridge so more people can access our watershed. People want it they say, but anyone I talk to in Marysville says enough is enough. There is tremendous pressure on this area, and all of our backcountry. People from out of province are using trails, cutting firewood, using atv’s, and camping on crown land for nothing. There has been several hundred thousand dollars spent on Bootleg trails without any dollars coming in from users .I’m seeing another 50K for the bridge. As one person told me that money should be used to fix the Bootleg road that got trashed with all the extra biker traffic.

This is our watershed, and the public should be allowed to comment either yay or nay on this bridge that will be very close to our water source. In my mind this whole Bootleg development is just a scaled down version of the Retallack application. At least we got to comment on that application.

With all the new development in Marysville we have to protect our watershed.

Randy Wallach

Kimberley

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