If you've ridden the lower mainland and are familiar with the area, you are sure to have enjoyed the likes of Bear Mountain and neighbouring Red Mountain for their spectacular, race-worthy single track trails. These networks of trails in Mission BC, date back into the '90s and have both been staples in the BC provincial cup downhill and cross country circuits.
In recent times these trail networks have extended their reach into other recreational users, welcoming the likes of hikers, horseback riders, foragers and other wilderness enthusiasts. These mountains have long provided a space for jovial activities and have had a positive co-existence with local industry operations. Operations such as hydro facilities, forestry operations and gravel mining.
Though the community understands these relationships and have a realistic view of industries involved in the area, the future of the recreational corridor is now facing its biggest threat. There is a proposed asphalt plant - which are known to be some of the biggest culprits of air pollution and carcinogenic debris - that will be within 1 km of Bear mountain and across the street from Red mountain.
The area which is on the traditional territory of the Stó:lō Nation, is known for its environmental purity which can be felt in the local community of Steelhead and even further north at the Canal Lake watershed. The is due to the regions proximity to Stave Lake and the glaciers which feed the lake (which is also frequented by a plethora of outdoor goers in the boating, 4x4, fishing and other recreational communities). This asphalt plant uses the dirtiest of oil for processing and this would be trapped in the unique ecosystem. The concern is for the damage it would cause to streams, animals, insects, forest as well as human life in the area. The air gets trapped in the valley between these 2 mountains.
FVMBA along with District of Mission and forestry have created some world-class trails. We have many recreational trails, lakes and the main water source for Abbotsford is 4 km from this proposed site. We are not against asphalt plants but they should be in industrial areas not by recreation and residential properties. This area has gravel pits and tree farms and that is a way of life here.
There was a peaceful protest January 20th, at Mission City Hall to show support for the community and trails. As mountain bikers and general outdoor enthusiasts, these areas are our sanctuary. This gives us an escape from the rut of the daily grind and provides us with our much-needed bond to nature. Please sign the petition below and share via social media, email and wherever else you can think of.
Thanks all! See you on the trails.Petition via Change.org