Harbourview Lands to Be Closed to Off-Highway Vehicle Use
Oct 25, 2000
Click on the letter to download a form letter in Word format
The Island Rock Crawlers 4WD Society is in a serious battle to keep the lands in the Harbourview area of Sooke, British Columbia open for multi-users (motorcycles, ATVs, 4WDs,etc). As a fellow off highway enthusiast YOU have the ability to help us with our fight.
Right now several large parcels of private land in the Harbourview area is up for purchase by a group called the BC Land Conservancy. This group is currently fund raising in hopes to raise 5.3 million dollars by February 9, 2001. If this money is raised, the area that has been traditionally used for hunting, fishing, camping and off-highway vehicle use for almost 100 years will be lost forever. How can this happen? The BC Land Conservancy has made it be known that with the purchase of these lands, it will be turned over to the Capital Regional District (CRD) for management. It is CRD policy to not allow motorized vehicles of any description into their parks. The IRC have sat in on negotiations to change that policy, in hopes to create a sustainable and economically beneficial Off Highway Vehicle (OHV) Park in just this ONE area. After many hours of negotiation, the IRC's proposals have been turned down and now meetings regarding the Harbourview lands occur behind closed doors.
With increased land closures in the southern Vancouver Island area, off highway enthusiasts have run out of places to exercise their sport. The only lands that are left available are private lands and forest company leased/owned lands, which are frequently closed due to active logging. With the increased amount of SUVs on the road and people looking for a place to use their motorized vehicles it is only logical for the CRD to consider the potential for creating an OHV park on the Harbourview lands. With the many OHV parks already established throughout North America it has been proven that all users can share and tend an area under a sustainable management plan.
The only way we, as OHV users have a chance to keep lands open for our continued use is to join in the fight by writing letters to the officials that are making the decisions. Our frustrations and anger must be funneled in an appropriate way in order for our officials to know that there are many people out there that are dedicated to maintaining a sustainable OHV park.
What can you do to help?
Here are some points to mention:
- You applaud the saving of "green spaces", however the closure of Harbourview to our sport will greatly affect you. Harbourview is the only public accessible land within the CRD that is not subjected to closure from the forest companies who manage 55% of the CRD's green space.
- You feel that the recreational needs of the hiking and biking community are already met in this area with the Galloping Goose Trail, East Sooke Park and the upcoming trails to be made in the Sooke Hills/Mt. Wells Regional Park. The recreational needs of the OHV community must be met in Harbourview.
- You believe in responsible use of OHV trails and you believe that designating Harbourview as an OHV park can be a viable and environmentally sustainable management option.
Where do I write?
- Capital Regional District Parks
490 Atkins Avenue
Victoria, BC V9B 2Z8
Mayor Ed Macgregor and Council
Municipality of Sooke
2225 Otter Point Road
Sooke, BC V0S 1N0
Keith Martin, MP
Esquimalt- Juan de Fuca
B-2820 Jacklin Rd.
Victoria, BC V9B 3X9
Rick Kasper, MLA
Malahat - Juan de Fuca
Constituency office: 2810 Bryn Maur Rd
Victoria, BC V9B 3T4
Office: 276, Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC V8V 1X4
You can download a form letter in Word format by clicking here. Feel free to modify it so your personal concerns are expressed in your own voice.
I thank you in advance for your efforts,
Island Rock Crawlers Land Use Representative
BC4x4 Editor's Notes:
- The Harbourview Road area contains several excellent trail systems that form a core part of the annual Rock Crawl event, while providing excellent off-highway trails suitable for year-round use. Closure of this area would greatly damage the inventory of challenging off-highway trails in the southwestern British Columbia area.
- If you have any information about the BC Land Conservancy, such as who donates money to them, we would like to hear from you. You can reach us at firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks!
- So far, we know that Mountain Equipment Co-op,
The Bodyshop, and ICOM Canada have donated
money to the Land Conservancy. If you are upset by this, contact them and let them know how
you feel, and how it will affect your shopping habits.
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