The Huncity Mountain Bike Club has hit a costly bump in its master plan to add seven new trails at 99 Mile on Ainsworth Road.
President Steve Law said the club recently learned its trails fall within B.C.’s Agricultural Land Reserve. This means that if they want to build any more trails on the site they will have to file a $1,500 application for recreational use or construction with the Agricultural Land Commission before Recreation Sites and Trails B.C. will even consider their plans.
Law said this unexpected stumbling block is frustrating for the club, especially as the application itself is expected to take 60 days.
“There’s no agricultural use up there presently. It’s all land in the District of 100 Mile House’s woodlot, it’s sloped and it’s timbered,” Law said.
Huncity has raised the issue with both the District of 100 Mile House and the Cariboo Regional District. He said he discovered in his research that the CRD had sought in 1978 to have that land in the 99 Mile excluded from the ALR and used for recreation However, only parts of their application were approved.
He’s now hoping that the District, CRD or local First Nation will apply to have the land excluded. The situation also affects the 100 Mile Nordics and the other recreation groups in the area.
“Anyone who wants to build one trail, two trails, or even seven trails up there will have to go through this application process every single time and pay $1,500,” he said.
The 100 Mile Nordics said they have discussed the possibility of adding a dog-friendly Nordic skiing trail to the network. This application would also need to go to the ALC, just as with the mountain biking trails.
“The cost of the application and the likelihood of success would definitely be factors in any decision we would make about going forward with the idea,” said Chris Keam, the Nordics’ communications person.
Law said the club would love to expand its trail network, which currently includes four trails of varying difficulties, from intermediate to advanced.
The master plan, designed by local resident Jonathan Visscher and other Huncity members, would provide more options and connections to the existing routes.
The club would still require funding for the trails and construction wouldn’t be done for at least a year.
Law said it’s a worthwhile investment to develop the South Cariboo, into a mountain-biking destination.
“We’d have a trail area suitable for all levels. It would be a big draw for 100 Mile House,” he said. “We had quite a few visitors over the past few years just with the four trails that we have so it would be a big deal for us.”
The future of the trail project will be discussed at Huncity’s Annual General Meeting, slated for 7 p.m. May 5, at the 100 Mile Snowmobile Club’s clubhouse on Ainsworth Road. All paid-up members are invited to come out and discuss the future of the club.
Those who want to sign up and support the club in building and maintaining trails can do so at huncitymtb.club
Meanwhile, the club will start up its weekly rides, with its first Ladies Night ride at 6 p.m. Monday, May 2 in 108 Mile. Weekly rides for all members will be on Thursday nights this year.
All rides will be held at the 108 Mile Ranch trails until the snow melts at 99 Mile.