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Williams Lake Cycling Club concerned over rogue tree-cutting

Club wants people to get involved, but hopes they talk to them first before making changes
Shawn Lewis looks at another spot where a sizeable fir tree was removed on the trail Snap on Fox Mountain, changing the speed and flow of the trail. (Ruth Lloyd photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

Williams Lake Cycling Club (WLCC) is hoping people wanting to make changes to mountain bike trails in the area will talk to them first before taking action.

After some trees have been removed on the mountain bike trail Snap on Fox Mountain, concerns were raised about renegade trail modifications.

WLCC is the volunteer organization which maintains and manages the area trail networks, and while they welcome volunteer trail maintenance, removing trees without consulting the club and network director is problematic, explained Shawn Lewis, club president.

Ekai Jorgenson, Fox Mountain trail area network director for the club, said people making changes to trails like this may not realize the many factors going into any updates or changes to trails.

Sometimes trails have strategically narrow points for speed checks where line of sight changes or trails come together, and at times the narrow points help to reduce opportunities for non-motorized trail users to get on the wrong trails, as well as other factors. Trail builders take many different things into consideration when building a trail, and the goal of the club is to try and both maintain the original design of the builder, but also to maintain trail networks with specific overall visions in mind for each one.

The Fox Mountain Trail network is meant to be a modern network and fairly family-friendly, explained Jorgenson.

Snap is a green-rated trail meant to be rideable by all level of riders and provides an important connection between different parts of the network for riders going in either direction. For this reason, some of the changes to the trail could impact intentional points of speed control.

A number of trees along the trail, ranging from small fir trees less than 10 years old, to a couple of larger diameter trees which appear to have been cut with a small electric chainsaw, have been removed, permanently changing the trail.

Trail network directors are responsible for making any changes and maintenance plans on their respective networks and Jorgenson hopes people who want to get involved in trail work reach out before acting on their own.

“We want more people to be involved, it’s a big job,” he said, noting there is a mechanism in place for people to get involved or let the club know what they want to see changed.

Cutting trees on Crown land without permission is also against the law, and is regulated by Rec Sites and Trails BC, which approves trail-building plans, including those for the local club.

Lewis emphasized the importance of this relationship for the club and is concerned unauthorized cutting could put this relationship at risk.

“The only way we’re going to know what people want is if they tell us,” said Jorgenson.

Anyone can email and the email will be forwarded to the relevant network director. They can also reach out via the Williams Lake Cycling Club social media profiles.

READ MORE: Sun sets on final Sunset DH Series race by Williams Lake Cycling Club

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Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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