Dear Editor:

Once again, the residents of the Toby Benches are being invaded by application of more mountain bike trails (oh yes, multi-use bike trails) all over the Barbour Rock crags and through Neave Creek. Thirty to 40 kilometres of new trails cut zig zag throughout this area will result in total wildlife disruption, especially on the migration route from Jumbo, Toby, Delphoie, and more valleys to the intermediate range here and onto the wetlands for the winter.

Trails cut up to the viewpoints will cause much erosion and disruption of the two Red List species, common Nighthawks and Lewis Woodpeckers (NOT in the Vast environmental report), that live and nest on these crags. Our peaceful hikes up to these viewpoints are in danger as is the environmentally sensitive Neave Creek area.

This is one of the last areas on the Toby Benches that is not totally cut up by bike trails. Currently, the bikers are laying track without permission (see September 16th Pioneer article), which is strictly against the Forest and Range Practices Act, and they should be penalized for it, not rewarded by allowing these rogue trails to become a commercial venture and causing great environmental damage.

There are plenty of Christmas tree roads and existing trails all over our valley that there is no need to cut up every area to cater to more mountain bikers.

Currently all users are using these trails and roads with no conflict and little environmental damage. Articles in the papers say the referral time is over, but actually it is still on until November 12th. Write a letter if you are concerned to Aina.cernenocks@gov.bc.ca or Kevin.eskelin@gov.bc.ca or better yet, both.

Norman Hendricks

Toby Benches (Lake Lillian)