On May 12, 2021, the Capital Regional District (CRD) Regional Parks Mountain Biking Guidelines and short-term actions to support the Mountain Biking Advisory Committee Advice and Guidance Report were passed by the CRD Board. In addition, the Board directed that the CRD Regional Parks Mountain Biking Guidelines be reviewed in the context of the Regional Parks Strategic Plan update.
The Mountain Biking Guidelines will play an important role in the enhancement and growth of sustainable quality mountain biking experiences in the regional parks system where deemed appropriate. Implementation of the guidelines is forward-looking.
The Mountain Biking Guidelines apply to all mountain biking activities taking place within the CRD regional parks system. This includes mountain biking as an activity as well as the construction and maintenance of mountain biking trails and related facilities and infrastructure.
The guidelines are forward-looking and intended to be applied by CRD staff, Committees and the Board during:
• Strategic planning
• Park management planning
• Land acquisition
• Capital planning
• Sustainable service delivery
• Operations and facility maintenance
• Compliance and enforcement
• Collaboration and partnership opportunities
The guidelines serve as a tool for standardized language and common understanding as we work with stakeholders. These guidelines are to be implemented in a manner consistent with overarching legal requirements and strategic policies applicable to CRD Regional Parks.
Visitation to regional parks is growing yearly, with an increase from 5.2 million in 2010 to 8.6 million in 2020. The increase in park users and uses has resulted in more demand for outdoor recreation opportunities for a range of experiences and activities, including mountain biking. As of 2020, CRD Regional Parks has 239 kilometres of trails, although not necessarily optimized or rated for mountain biking, that offer some form of mountain biking or cycling. Out of these trails, 67 kilometres have been assessed and given a difficulty rating for mountain biking.
Mountain Biking Advisory Committee
The Mountain Biking Advisory Committee (MBAC) is comprised of people in the capital region with an interest in recreation and a knowledge of the regional park system. The members of the advisory committee represent a diversity of backgrounds, interests and geographical locations representing a balance between technical and non-technical members. They will provide advice and guidance to the CRD Regional Parks Committee for use in the development of mountain biking guidelines for regional parks.
The CRD Regional Parks mountain bike guidelines will assist with the planning of sustainable mountain biking activities within regional parks, giving consideration to all regional park values.
The MBAC is an advisory committee and therefore does not have decision-making powers. The MBAC will formulate recommendations to present to the Regional Parks Committee and will serve until the final mountain bike guidelines are approved by the Board.
A Notice of Motion was introduced at the October 23, 2019 Parks & Environment Committee (PEC) meeting recommending that the CRD Board approve a budget, provide staffing and request that staff develop a Terms of Reference (TOR) for an advisory committee with the goal of developing a Mountain Biking policy for CRD Regional Parks within a defined timeframe.
On October 30, 2019, the CRD Board, at a special meeting, approved $40,000 in the 2020 Financial Plan to support the creation of an advisory committee to support the development of a Mountain Biking policy. The Notice of Motion was approved by the CRD Board on November 13, 2019.
In response to the Notice of Motion, staff developed a draft TOR for an Advisory Committee to help in the preparation of Mountain Biking Guidelines. The TOR identifies the Advisory Committee structure, function and timelines. On May 27, 2020 the Terms of Reference (TOR) for a Mountain Biking Advisory Committee was approved by the CRD Board.