Operation Save Sumas – Update

I wanted to push an update on the Save Sumas effort.  From our initial outreach two weeks ago, we have had over 3,500 signatures on the petition, an addition of 40 new members, and also several key people who have joined the team to add their time and energy to the effort.

Stephen (Steve) Bennett has taken the reigns onthe political campaign.  He has drafted and sent a letter of opposition to a local MLA who has committed to hand-delivering it to the Minister of Energy, Mines and Petroleum Resources, Michelle Mungall.  The effort to put together a thoughtful and comprehensive response was supported by a few others as well – thanks Sara and crew!

Steve has also confirmed the formal opposition of this proposal from FVRD, Metro Van, City of Abby, Sumas First Nation and Abbotsford/Mission MLA Simon Gibson.  Our voice is in harmony with these groups and we are working closely with them to coordinate our effort.

An outreach campaign is underway to all walks of fellow non-motorized trail users – hikers and trail runners – to ensure their voice is heard as well.  The FVMBA is setting up a tent at the upcoming Valley Vertikiller race on Sumas to share the message and garner support.

Steve and Chris Friesen are working together to publicize this threat to as wide an audience as possible – stay tuned for updates as more develops from those efforts.  Thanks (a ton) Steve and Chris.

Crystal Lambert has stepped up to fill the role of interim Area Rep in Abbotsford.  She will be heading up the administrative projects we have queued up to complete in order to ensure the stewardship agreement we have in place at Sumas is in good standing by the end of the year.  Keep an eye out for her need for volunteer support in the near future.  Thanks Crystal!

I’m very buoyed by the show of support in all those important areas.  One area I continue to focus my effort on – memberships.  As part of identifying the number of users that would be displaced by this project, we estimate that 3,000 people will ride Squidline in 2017 – 35% of which (or 1,000) are local riders.  Our job at FVMBA heading into 2018 will be to paint the value-case for membership but to those 1,000 locals (and many users beyond), your investment in FVMBA goes far beyond protection of the trails for efforts like this.  The club needs your support now more than ever to push forward with the many activities we have underway in Maple Ridge, Mission, Abbotsford, Chilliwack and beyond.  Membership support is the foundation our entire organization is built on.  If you love mountain biking as much as I do, then I recommend investing in our club.

Thanks again to all the supporters – the fight to Save Sumas is much like the climb – long and sustained.  We’re going to need all the help we can get.

Regards,

Rocky Blondin

Director – Mission

7 Comments

  1. Kevin Boese says:

    I sure am thankful for all the work being done on this. I’m making sure my family membership is up to date, and spreading the word as best I can!

    • Rocky Blondin says:

      Thanks Kevin for both your membership and goodwill in spreading the word! As we’re saying internally, we’re in a dogfight on this one so we need all the help we can get! – FVMBA

  2. So glad MLA Simon Gibson is on board to help. He has run in the Run for Water Ultra and is a supporter of R4W. Thank you to all who have signed the petition and stepped up to help! As you know R4W is right beside you.

  3. Gerald Froese says:

    As much as I have personally enjoyed hiking and biking the trails, I disagree with this campaign. There is plenty of space on the mountain to accommodate a quarry. I’m sure when it’s done they will reclaim the area. Meanwhile, build some trails elsewhere. Vedder Mountain has a quarry and it poses no problem! Thank you

    • Rocky Blondin says:

      Thanks for your input Gerald. While we don’t agree, we do like to hear all sides on a topic like this. Your perspective regarding space is fair – the mountain is large. However it is also home to sensitive environmental areas where we can’t (nor shouldn’t) build trails due to the biodiversity and a desire to preserve it. Our perspective for opposition comes from several points: the mine is slated to operate until 2068 so reclaimed or not, the trails that it does take away will not be back for generations. These trails each took hundreds of volunteer hours to build, dozens more each per year to maintain and a large effort just to ensure they were legal trails with the province. It is very easy to type ‘build some trails elsewhere’ but the truth is that the volunteer and financial resources as well as space to do that in Abbotsford (and the Fraser Valley as a whole) is limited. We do build trails in areas where quarries exist – in Mission, BTLC travels directly next to a quarry for quite a distance. However we don’t build trails through a quarry and we hope that quarries aren’t built through trails as the two cannot coexist.

      We encourage constructive dialogue on topics like these and like to hear from all sides so thanks again. We hope that rounds out the perspective a little more. – Rocky @ FVMBA

  4. Sarah White says:

    Hi – what can I do to help stop the quarry?
    Thanks for all of your efforts it is greatly appreciated.

    • Rocky Blondin says:

      Hi Sarah – thank you for reaching out and on behalf of the team working on it – you are welcome! The campaign is over so the fate of the application is in the hands of the government. We are optimistic and will update the site with any news.

      We continue to advocate for people who love the trails to invest in membership with our club and share that message. Membership is the foundation on which we are building the organization that can maintain existing trails, and work to legally construct new ones in the areas we are permitted. Also keep an eye out for volunteering opportunities to help do some of the work needed along that journey. We will post them here and to our social media feeds.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *