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by Matt Hansen
February 15, 2005 - It's now official - North Shore councillor Ernie Crist has put forth a proposal to ban mountain bike riding in the Fromme Mountain area. Yesterday, the proposal was announced before the North Vancouver Council in British Columbia. Obviously, this could have severe reprecussions on both cyclists and the community which supports, or is supported by, cycling.

The motion is up to be addressed on either February 21st, or the 28th - where Crist will try and have another Council member second his motion so it can be debated. On the date (either 21st or 28th) where Crist does this, individuals can sign up to deliver a 2-minute statement (which is suggested to be prepared in writing ahead of time) during the public input portion of the Council meeting, from 6:30 to 7:00 p.m. Notice of Motion - Mountain Biking. Here is the proposal put forth yesterday:

"Whereas Mountain Biking is a specialised and growing sport which is also drawing a growing international clientele requiring a special environment, and

Whereas Mountain Biking on Fromme Mountain in the District has caused considerable environmental damage which has cost the District taxpayers a great deal of money to rectify without being able to recoup this loss from the Mountain Biking Community, and

Whereas, for mostly environmental reasons, many countries, states and provinces have prohibited and/or have severely restricted Mountain Biking in forested, mountain and other sensitive areas, and

Whereas the District ordered a strategic study including findings as to whether to accommodate this sport on District land is desirable and or should be a GVRD, provincial or private responsibility or a combination of one or more of such elements, and

Whereas the "District Strategic Study" failed to address this crucial issues to the extent necessary, and

Whereas, as a result, this issue continues to affect District taxpayers, especially those most directly affected, and

Whereas the District recently passed a resolution that this item be returned to Council without putting a time limit on it's return for a Council decision, and

Whereas, an attempted amendment to this effect by Councillor Crist was not accepted by the Mayor, and

Whereas, as a result, such a report could take an inordinately long time while the problems remain unresolved,

THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED THAT the District put a moratorium on all Mountain Biking on Fromme Mountain in the District until such time when a full report, including a full and appropriate response from the provincial government and the GVRD, has been obtained which would clarify their willingness or otherwise to accommodate this sport on their lands thus making it their main responsibility."

If you are anywhere near the North Vancouver area, and are concerned for the sport of cycling, be sure to attend the council meeting - 7:00 Feb 21st and/or Februaty 28th.The council is located on 355 West Queens Road, North Vancouver, BC.
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