Press Release

For release on May 15, 2013

IMG_5621Village of Cumberland to work with the local trails community and the International Mountain Bike Association to remove illegally built trail in Cumberland Community Forest Cumberland, BC

The Village of Cumberland along with a trail specialist from the International Mountain Bike Association (IMBA), local park stakeholders, the United Riders of Cumberland and the Cumberland Community Forest Society will be decommissioning the lower section of the Shock Therapy trail in the Cumberland Community Forest later this month. Shock Therapy, located in the western section of the park adjacent to the Dodge City Down Hill trail, was built in violation of the conservation covenant on the park and has negatively impacted the ecology and historic values of the area.

This cooperative approach to trail management reflects the multi-use nature of the Village’s extensive trail network. “There are a lot of different groups that use and have an interest in our trail network,” said Kevin McPhedran, Parks and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator with the Village of Cumberland. “By working together with the various stakeholders we are able to move toward our goal of effective park management and stewardship.”

Trail users are asked to avoid this trail and allow the site to rehabilitate.  As a result of the construction of this trail, significant soil erosion has occurred and vegetation damaged.  The trail has also led to the misuse of an important historic structure in the park, a steam powered electric generating plant that was operated by the Cumberland Electric Lighting Company from 1901 to 1912.

The upper section of Shock Therapy is located outside of the park and will not be affected.

On behalf of the Village of Cumberland, the Cumberland Community Forest Society, the Comox Valley Land Trust and the United Riders of Cumberland we thank you for your support, your understanding and your help in enjoying and protecting the Cumberland Community Forest.

The Cumberland Community Forest is a 71 hectare nature park located to the south of the Village and is owned by the Village of Cumberland. This land was given to the Village by the members of the Cumberland Community Forest Society (CCFS) in 2005 to be an accessible wilderness park for all people, for all time.  To protect that vision of the park, a conservation covenant is registered on title.  This is a legal document and is a commitment by the Village of Cumberland to honour the terms of the covenant.  The terms include restrictions on activities and use in the park: no new trails are to be constructed, and no man-made structures are to be built.  However, the covenant does permit mountain biking on the existing trail network.

These restrictions are to balance the interests of recreation with conservation. Overuse leads to braided trails and erosion.  Building new trails eliminates needed vegetative cover and built jumps can limit the use of the area for the greater community.  We ask that all of us respect the terms of the covenant so that the park can provide joy and respite for generations to come.

A copy of the conservation covenant is available at the Village office or an excerpt online at Cumberland.ca.  To become a member of the CCFS or view the entire covenant online please check their website at www.cumberlandforest.com.

If you notice misuse of the park, please contact The Village office at 250-336-2291.
Thank you and enjoy your park experience!

For more information:  cumberland.ca

Media Contacts:

Kevin McPhedran, Parks and Outdoor Recreation Coordinator
250-336-2291