Leave Mt. Richards without bike trails
I am concerned about the recent proposal from the Cowichan Trails Stewardship Society to authorize mountain biking on Mt. Richards. According to the 2017 North Cowichan Parks and Trails Master Plan it is stated that no sanctioned mountain biking is planned for Mt. Richards. At present the trails are for the use of hikers and equestrians.
“The Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society asserts that Mount Richards should be developed as a world-class location for mixed use outdoor recreation; Crofton should be the gateway for recreational use of the mountain.” Are you ready Crofton?
According to the North Cowichan Trail Maps, on Maple Mountain there are 16 trails, 10 of which are available for mountain biking; on Mt. Tzouhalem there are 33 trails, 31 of which are available for mountain biking. Mt. Prevost has several mountain biking trails. Extending the currently approved recreational activities on Mt. Richards to include mountain biking would likely change the peaceful nature of the mountain. As is unfortunately evident on Mt. Tzouhalem, bikers do not only use the approved trails, but have constructed rogue trails. No monitoring of this trail construction is apparent. Many trails exist already on Mt. Richards, adding more would probably cause environmental damage.
The present community plan visualizes Mt. Richards as a mountain bike free forest area. Could it not be left that way?