Curious about the new signs posted in the Cumberland Community Forest? Following is some history of the Forest and how to care for this community resource!
The Cumberland Community Forest consists of two parcels of land totalling 71 hectares and is owned by the Village of Cumberland. The first coal mining in the Comox Valley occurred in these woods in 1888, and many artifacts remain including the remnants of mines and the original logging roads. In addition, local mountain bikers have put in hours of work to build and maintain the significant trail network.
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 two covenant holders are The Land Conservancy of BC and the Comox Valley Land Trust. These conservation organizations are tasked with monitoring activities and the management of the park to ensure the terms of the covenant are met. The terms include restrictions on activities and use in the park; such as motorized vehicles are not permitted, 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. Currently a management plan is being finalized as part of the covenant and includes the management of vegetation, wildlife, sensitive habitats, signage, fencing, roads and trails.
These restrictions are to balance the ability of people to enjoy activities in the park with the protection of the park so that it can continue to be enjoyed by many people and to be a home for many plants and animals. The forest provides an enormous benefit to the community through the trees ability to provide oxygen, filter pollutants, improve water quality and more – much of the covenant’s language protects these natural processes of such a living landscape.
This balancing act requires the community to love the park but not to love it to death. 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.
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 this treasure. A copy of the covenant is available at the Village office or an excerpt online at www.cumberlandbc.net. 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!
Over 150 Acres of Forest Preserved…
…but our work has only just begun. The Cumberland Community Forest Society, and their friends and supporters, have accomplished an amazing feat over the past 5 years. They have ensured the protection of over 150 acres of beautiful forest lands surrounding the Village of Cumberland.
New monthly donors are needed to meet monthly fundraising targets. Make monthly donations (pdf 190 Kb) of $10 or more towards the forest, or give a one-time donation (pdf 112 Kb). The CCFS now has charitable status, allowing us to give tax receipts for all donations over $10.