New Date – July 16th
It started in 2003 when residents of Upper Lynn Valley started complaining about mountain bikers parking in front of their houses and disrupting the nieghbourhood. Before you start calling Nimby, you too would not appreciate it if people who park in front of your house change, drink beer or play loud music when they start or finish their ride. The District implemented parking restrictions in the area to give them some time to come up with a solution to accomodate the large number of people who are accessing the trails on Mt. Fromme.
Between 2005 and 2007 the District also created a drop off and turn around area and placed outhouses at the water tower at the top of Mountain Highway, implemented major upgrades in Mountain View Park and developed the Fromme Mountain Trail Classification Plan with Consultants, DNV Staff, User Groups and the Community.
In 2007/2008 A Final Draft of the Fromme Mountain Sustainable Trail Use and Classification plan was created. See this document for more details of the maps below.
This 174 page document described the process used to manage recreation and mitigate environmental impacts.
Before the trails could be assessed, the environment had to be studied: (Italics are text from the plan)
Through consultations with DNV staff and stakeholders, four key Valued Ecosystem
Components (VECs) were identified and used as criteria to assess the study area.
The VECs include:
1. Riparian corridors – this includes all watercourse areas;
2. Species at risk/ red and blue listed species;
3. Old growth forest, and
4. Structural diversity – High, Moderate and Low ratings for species numbers and composition.
Results of the evaluation were produced in a map format ( p. 13 ). It was determined that:
• Many riparian corridors exist in the study area;
• Old growth areas exist in smaller patches, mostly away from existing trails, and
• High structural diversity tends to be located in higher-use areas.
In attempting to rank Low to High value areas on Fromme, overlapping VECs were
used. In areas where two or more VECs overlapped, a designation of Very High
habitat value was applied. Where there was one VEC only, a High habitat value was
assigned. Those labeled Moderate and Low were designated as such based on their
The results of the Ecological Evaluation were used to guide management decisions
with respect to trail upgrades and closures, and most importantly, to inform Best
The study identified sensitive areas and implemented measures to protect these areas by restricting access or better delineating trails through areas that could not be avoided. It should be noted that most of the trails are within the areas of Very Low Diversity. There are trails below the first switchback which are in areas of Medium Diversity.
The Recreation Management Zones guide the present and future recreational uses of the area to ensure
ecological and community values are protected. There are four Recreation Management Zones – pg 58:
1. Park Amenity and Infrastructure Zone (White)
2. Multiple Purpose Recreation Zone (Green)
3. Limited Mountain (Light Green)
4. Preservation Zone ( Dark Green)
The plan went over each trail and made recommendations for each trail.
The plan preserves sensitive environmental areas and creates a sustainable trail network.
Each trail was assessed based on:
1. User Experience
2. Ecological Impact
3. Trail Degradation
4. Management Considerations
These are just recommendations by consultants for now and not yet adopted by Council – pg. 19 – 56
The recommendations are worth repeating here:
Priority 1 (Years 1 and 2)
1. Finalize the Trail Classification Plan – a number of areas need routing
consultations including equestrian users.
2. A dedicated staging and parking area is urgently required. Its location will
greatly affect subsequent trail management and development. The obvious
location (from the perspective of geography, trail users and vehicle
management) is on a large, flat bench in the forest, north and the east pullout
on the north side of East Braemar Road. Following the construction of
the staging area, the development of new trails to allow uphill access for
cyclists will facilitate utilization of the trail network from this location. This
will distribute trail use and mitigate vehicle and staging impacts within the
3. An additional parking area should be established at the top of St. Mary’s
beneath the Powerline trail.
4. Formalize and provide signage for the trail network, including signage for
the Community Access Nodes.
5. Provide training. DNV staff and NSMBA volunteers should be trained in the
principles and practice of sustainable trail design prior to implementation of
trail level recommendations and BMPs.
6. Focus trail maintenance on riparian areas. Locations where trails cross
creeks and infringe on riparian zones are of major concern from the
perspective of both user safety and environmental impact. These locations
present a fast, achievable opportunity for significant improvement. An
inventory and assessment of all significant trail crossings of creeks should
be completed and a priority plan developed and resourced to install safe, low
impact bridges at each location.
7. Trail management framework including funding strategy should be
developed and formalized. The strategy should include a full time trail crew
to carry out Classification Plan recommendations as well as organization
and enhancement of volunteer efforts.
8. Develop sustainability targets, including metrics to track progress.
Ecological, social and economic metrics are required. Examples include:
o Creek crossing upgrades
o Meters of trail re-routed/upgraded from riparian zones
o Number of habitat enhancement projects completed
o Trail maintenance hours performed
o Outside funding dollars acquired
Fromme Mountain Sustainable Trail Use and Classification Plan 53
o User satisfaction
o Neighbourhood satisfaction
o Continued biodiversity monitoring and evaluation
9. Formalize trail access agreements with Grouse Mountain Resort and GVRD.
10. Conduct trail closures – begin with signage and passive decommissioning
protocol for trails slated for both active and passive decommission. Conduct
active decommissioning protocols as required, dependant on available
11. Develop an Ecological Enhancement Plan in conjunction with a forest
Priority 2 (Years 3 and 4)
12. Apply BMPs to ongoing trail maintenance and recommended trail re-routes
13. Formalize trail access agreements with individual private land owners.
14. Consolidate trails recommended for consolidation.
Priority 3 (Years 5+)
15. Measure and assess progress based on user needs and established
sustainability indicators. Adapt management practices appropriately.
16. Consider trail upgrades pending user needs. This includes:
a) Potential expansion of beginner MTB trails between 1st, 2nd and 3rd
b) Potential for intermediate XC Mountain biking loop(s) using informal
trails above the Baden Powell between Pipeline and Crippler.
The following two maps – Recommendations for Trail Network Management and
Recommended Trail Network – provide a graphic summary of information that has been
expressed in text form in Chapter 1.
Overall this can be accepted by the mountain bike community. The priorities in the first two years are very ambitious. It would make more sense to move the trail closures into years 3 and 4 to coincide with trail consolidation and reroutes.
Note that night riding was not studied by the consultants and was not a part of this plan. Any reference to night riding was brought up outside the recommendations of the consultants.
The amount of work creating this document was formidable. The implementation of the recommendations, if they are accepted by council, will require considerable cooperation with the users, as well as a financial commitment by the District.
Staff will be presenting this document before council on Monday July 7th. We’d like as many mountain bikers who can to come to these meeting to hear the presentation and hear what council has to say about it. This will be the start of some significant changes to the trails on Mt. Fromme. We need to let Council know how important these trails are to us!
Are you coming out? invite all your friends using the phone, email, Facebook or extortion. Let’s have a fantastic turnout to show council who the voters really are. Anything to say about this or the proposed trail closures? Say it here.