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Agassiz Mountain Development Group Mountain Bike Trail and

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					     Agassiz Mountain Development Group




     Mountain Bike Trail and Facility
             Business Plan
                           Revised December 2009




AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY       Page 1
                                         Introduction

In the beginning there was the frustrated mountain bike enthusiast, involved in a sport and
recreation that had no local facilities, and basically non-standard trail development for safe and
enjoyable experiences. The mountain biker sought out the cycling communities to inquire why,
having spent nearly $2000.00 on a new bike, did he have to drive a day to the mountains of
Western Canada to find any decent purpose built single-track trails and facilities when he lived
so near to some of the best family-friendly and varied terrain in the prairies?

It was determined it would take experience, effort, research, and proactive management to find
time to provide the concerted effort necessary to develop any sustainable mountain bike trails in
Manitoba. The area conceived to be ideal to offer such, in addition to numerous other “such-like”
activities to make for a sustainable operation; the Agassiz Ski Area site, now being advocated by
Parks Canada for alternative activities to revitalize the economies and tourism to it‟s East
Escarpment communities.

Thus, over the summers of 2006 and 2007, generic research began into a mountain bike trail
system and facility development program based upon purpose built single-track trails at the
Agassiz Ski Area site. Early in this process (and on-going even at present), meetings,
discussions, and familiarization rides at Riding Mountain National Park (RMNP) took place
between the AMDG, local mountain bike shops, the International Mountain Bicycling
Association (IMBA) representatives, the Manitoba Cycling Association (MCA), enthusiasts in
the local mountain bike community, and officials of Parks Canada - Riding Mountain National
Park.

Familiarization gatherings, having taken place at both the East Escarpment Trails of RMNP and
the Agassiz Ski Area site, garnered clear agreement on the potential of the Agassiz Ski Area site
as a mountain bike trail and facility venue, taking into account access and use constraints. These
meetings informed the need for both multi-group interaction and a phasing of any development
process.

There is, in Canada, a well documented history on where, with whom, and how the expertise in
other regions has been achieved, the lessons that have been learned, the expertise that has been
acquired, and the proven benefits that such projects bring. In essence, the development of
purpose built mountain bike trails across ski area sites has been led by a number of mountain
bike enthusiasts who were, and in some cases still are, local advocates.

They utilized volunteer expertise, participant‟s comments and responses, opportunistic
commercial sponsorship, and project advancement revenue from the noticeably increased visitor
spend at their facilities.

A successful model began to evolve, across a variety of ski areas over a number of years, where
mountain bike single-track trails, now designed to recognize national and international standards,
were being constructed to allow mountain bikers of varying standards and abilities to co-exist

AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                 Page 2
safely with other users of the area without adversely affecting each other‟s activities, enjoyment,
safety, or the environment. The economic and social diversity, through retail to service, that this
attracted to deeply rural locations has created new businesses and stimulated many economically
stagnant communities. This regenerative function is now the leading driver of recent mountain
bike development programs across North America as it most closely ties the three elements of
sustainability together. Monies are now, in some regions, being made available for strategic
intervention projects using mountain bike trails by some rural and regional Development
Agencies.

Wishing to benefit from these experiences, AMDG has examined all facets and utilized
experienced and proven resources so that an in-depth examination for multi-activity development
could be made to map a combination of mountain bike and “other-use” trails and facility, in
addition to a variety of alternatives in activity and experiences in which to offer a sustainable
facility that would satisfy all design and constraint requirements.

The viability of creating a socially, economically, and environmentally sustainable mountain
bike trail and facility development program requires to be designed around securing the
appropriate levels of investment to support the following elements:

• A Users Forum for participation, consultation, and support,
• Sustainable single-track trails, skills loop, and free-ride sections,
• Facilities at the ski area with bike shed, bike rental, spares, changing facilities, first aid and
communications, Café, as well as extensive interpretation and instructional programs / activities.

Considerations to the specific design requirements of a series of potential mountain bike trails of
varying standards between 1km & 14 km in length:

• environmental impact of such trails,
• traffic management options,
• potential economic implications, and;
• identification of all technical detail necessary to support planning, funding,
  construction, water extraction and disposal applications.

This Business Plan presents the data and processes required for the development of the proposed
mountain bike trails and multi-use facility at the Agassiz Ski Area site.

Sustainable development is characterized by suitably detailed planning, an inclusive
consultation process that welcomes and values contributions from all interested parties,
realistic impact assessments, adequate management, and risk minimization.




AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                  Page 3
Rational

There is no purpose built mountain bike site in RMNP, as a result of which mountain bike riding
occurs in the area on wild trails, hiking and horse trails, and circa 1930‟s constructed back-
country vehicle access routes. These routes were, to their purpose at the time, built with no
technical standards and / or appropriate safety requirements in relation to the present mountain
bike trail standards. This produces three particularly adverse features:

   1. a low level of coordinated mountain bike activity which leaves many visitors unsure or
      unaware of their options when they are not staying long enough to be motivated to
      acquire the necessary skills or knowledge to ride „wild‟ trails.

   2. a consequential increase in unmonitored riding of which, either through ignorance or
      frustration, can produce disproportionately high levels of public-use disruption, erosion,
      and injury.

   3. an inability to introduce adequate managerial procedures to lessen the majority of these
      difficulties and increase the levels of social inclusion.

Also, it may be demonstrated, that the market need is so great that it amounts to a continuing
missed revitalization opportunity for the “not being utilized” Agassiz Ski Area site as a
sustainable tourism offer.

The vast majority of outdoor enthusiasts, in addition to mountain bikers, are
simply unaware of the area‟s opportunities and venturing visits / experiences elsewhere, thus
depriving these rural communities vital revenue.

This need to have a purpose built single-track mountain trail network and facility in such as the
Agassiz Ski Area site, where mountain bikes can be ridden to an approved challenging standard
while not endangering the safety of other area users or the natural habitat is now widely accepted
as a major consideration in revitalization function across most rural areas.

AMDG understands our government encourages and sets out a vision for rural areas
which incorporates a living countryside with thriving rural communities, access to high quality
services, combining to create a working countryside with a diverse economy giving high and
stable levels of employment.

The RMNP eastside communities in particular were devastated by the BSE crisis and on-going
TB disease discoveries and the effect these have had on the past, present, and future agricultural
sectors which continue to play havoc with rural communities and their economies. Any form of a
recovery program must seek, among other things to renew and strengthen tourism; encourage
development of a rural region‟s target resources in these rural service areas and their surrounding
region. To decrease the degenerative impact, measures need be introduced to:

• Assist the economic repositioning of rural businesses, including their diversification,


AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                Page 4
• Build on the independence of the rural economy by increasing the contribution to tourism in the
rural economy,
• Stimulate the economy of rural market towns, enabling the engagement of rural communities
with the regeneration process.

Phased development and activity at the Agassiz Ski Area site would enable the rebuilding and
revitalization for a dynamic rural economy, which is financially, socially, and environmentally
sustainable. Diversification in the area‟s use can increase the contribution which tourism can
make to the area‟s rural economy, jobs & income, as well as stimulate active community
involvement in the development and management of rural development initiatives.

These are direct & in-direct benefits to the rural economy from creation of this new and unique
tourism product that will promote repeat visits, open up a new untapped visitor group, and
operate throughout the entire year with diverse activities.

It is hoped this would foster an independence of the rural economy, by increasing the
contribution of tourism in the rural economy while at the same time enhancing the area‟s natural
heritage. This can be developed in the offering of new forms of cultural, heritage and
environmentally based tourism within the local rural communities, which respects
and enhances the existing environment for which Riding Mountain National Park is justifiably
world renown.

In addition, the AMDG Business Plan identifies the current trend to focus on „high energy‟
tourism focusing on outdoor activities and adventure sports.

Mission

To sustainably manage the Agassiz Ski Area Mountain Bike Trail and Facility site to maximize
public benefit and achieve a balance between social, environmental, and economic objectives.

Aims

Overall the aim is to achieve a balance between objectives, working in partnership where
appropriate.

• Recreation – high quality visitor experiences, wide ranging opportunities for the public to
  enjoy healthy outdoor pursuits in an attractive, sustainable and safe environment.

• Education – high quality environmental education programs for individuals and groups of all
ages and abilities.

• Recapitalization of derelict land – through creation of new, diverse, and unique
  recreational and educational activities.

        Local economy and jobs – through tourism, service and hospitality operators, outfitters,
        and others.


AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                 Page 5
 • Community – involve local community organizations, governments, businesses,
  Farmers and local resources.

• Heritage – safeguard archaeological and heritage interest. Promote AMDG and their
  management as an example of good practice.


                                            Summary

Cycling is an important activity on Provincial and National Park land with way-marked routes on
forest roads and trails available to the public across Canada. An increasing number of sport
routes including, downhill, BMX and skills areas have developed over the last five years and
continue to expand.

                                    Logistic Introduction

Since the introduction of mountain bikes in the late 1970‟s, our Parks have provided access for a
multitude of users. In response to the demand for off road access, and to offer additional activity
in the Park, RMNP has long provided way-marked routes along old forest roads, hiking, and
horseback trails. This in turn has now led to more use and demand for improvements to the
current trail system and facilities.

There has always been a significant ability and adventure level different between the off-road
cycling from the novice family users through to very highly competent down hill cyclists. In
between these two extremes are to be found single-track enthusiasts, BMX style jump users and
the more experienced family riders. More recently these differences have received significant
publicity encouraging a wider range of users to get involved.

Current Position

Due to its wide geographical spread, the Agassiz Ski Area site can facilitate virtually the full
spectrum of bike users in a variety of ways. However, the greatest proportion of trails currently
at RNMP, being way-marked routes along an ad hoc arrangement of combining forest roads,
public rights of way and other permissive routes are neither adequate, safe, or constructed in a
manner that is self-sustaining. In a number of instances, the inappropriateness of these types of
trails for the mountain bike enthusiast has led to users either losing interest due to a lack of
maintenance, lack of variety in offering progression to a wide spectrum of abilities, or safety
concerns. Due to the nature of many of these trails, conflict and deterioration between users, be
they hikers, horseback riders, or mountain bikers are unavoidable. Trails must be built with due
consideration to their appropriate use.

The situation at RMNP is not conducive to a safe and enjoyment experience when any of the
above trail use alternatives come into conflict, be it collision or deterioration on the trails.



AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                  Page 6
Policy

It need not be noted as unmanaged mountain biking can cause significant environmental damage,
and conflict with other Park users can be a major health and safety risk issue. Thus our policy
will continue to encourage responsible cycling in appropriate areas of RMNP.

Positive management is an important tool in ensuring a balanced approach is maintained between
all interests. The creation of the AMDG proposed mountain bike trails and facility; being the
concentration of cycling within the designated area on purpose built trails with monitoring,
maintenance, and education, allows for active and healthy development of the activity. This is
imperative to separate users groups to minimize conflict, draw usage away from important
conservation sites and ensure that cycling is safe and sustainable.
It is anticipated that the trails and facility will need to develop, quite proactively and in
anticipation, in response to future trends in the cycling, recreation, and tourism markets.
Consultation with partners and stakeholders will be an integral part of this process.
The Agassiz Ski Area site will be developed to create „honey pots‟ to allow for focus and
opportunity for rapid changes of resources and to concentrate on the sport and facility
development.
Management

Three main cycling areas can be identified although they will obviously overlap:

• Family Cycle routes for less experienced cyclists and families. These should generally have
limited gradients (up and down) and be restricted to solid-pack surfaces with few loose stones.

• Sports and technical routes and areas include downhill, BMX, technical single-track and trail-
quest. These will generally be more challenging although trail-quest may be designed for family
groups. Conflict with other users may be high so zoning and warning signs need to be in place. It
is critical that the family group does not accidentally wander onto these specialist areas.

• Trail bikers will stick to longer descent trails within the Agassiz Ski Area site, as well as
optioning to connect to the present East Escarpment trails. Rights of way and access are a main
consideration. They will be able to use a map so way-marked routes are less important. Many of
these routes may be part of wider cross-county or East Escarpment wide network. AMDG will
seek to incorporate these into access plans such as sustainable and convenient transport links
wherever possible.

Local cycle groups and enthusiasts will be used wherever possible to assist with development
and maintenance of routes. They can also help with informal inspection and act as “voluntary
wardens” as they will often be riding routes on a regular basis.

Grading and route assessment is important to ensure that routes are safe and enjoyable for the
visitor. Guidance will be available for the visitor on all official routes. Signage will be used to
highlight the importance of the user making an assessment of whether they have the equipment,
skills and ability to use the area/route. Way-marking of routes will be signed in light of the
development of sports routes and commercial sponsorship.

AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                    Page 7
Marketing of the trails and facility use is important to maximize income and encourage cyclists
(and other user groups) to use the facilities provided.

Charging

The main opportunities for charging will be through additional facilities and services provided.
These would include bike membership, cycle rental and repair, retail opportunities, café,
instruction, guiding, group functions, sponsor and other commercial involvement / support, as
well as other activity usage.

There is little option to charge for access in that the trails are in a National Park, unless lift access
or another form of uphill access is offered.

Organized events

All requests for events will be considered against the objectives for the area chosen. The aim will
be to accommodate the event but not at the expense of the other objectives so in some instances
relocation or refusal may be necessary.

A number of cycling events may span different land ownership beyond the Park. Where this is
the case we will aim to co-operate with our neighbors.

Charges may be made for organized commercial events and competitions on the site for the use
and maintenance of the trails and facilities. Discretion will be used in setting charges dependant
on the nature of the event and the costs incurred. There will be a presumption against charging
for small groups and sponsored charity rides using existing infrastructure, yet making
consideration to the maintenance of the trails for use.



Mountain Bike Project Development Aims

It can be fairly argued that RMNP, and Manitoba as a whole, has lagged some way behind the
development of dedicated technical mountain bike trails and facilities when compared to other
regions of Canada. There has been a history here of rather simple way-marked trails exploiting
existing forest roads, an ad hoc development of some technical loops, and a recognition of the
area‟s network of hike and horse trails which supports a reputation for unregulated trail riding. In
addition, there has grown a number of unauthorized trails utilized by mountain bike enthusiasts.
This has been exacerbated with a growing public resentment of a highly visual minority of
irresponsible mountain bike riders who encroach on hike and horse designated trails, footpaths,
and walkways.

Notwithstanding the detrimental matters referred to above, mountain biking, as a focus for
participation in sport, environmental access, and tourism has matured over recent years into a
distinct activity enjoyed by a cross-section of society. The provision ranges from novice and


AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                      Page 8
family trails to highly technical competition programs at international standard. A lot has been
learned about the variety of rider motivation, the necessity of support services, and the
management of user conflict. In addition to this, construction techniques are now so well refined
that they provide safe riding while contributing to the range of local biodiversity.

Some time ago it was recognized that the strategic management of mountain bike provision was
becoming a necessity. In so doing, it has sought to understand the diverse requirements of the
mountain bike market and the necessity for risk and conflict minimization.

Across the country there is now a coherent strategy for the development of various forest and
park locations to satisfy the requirements of certain user groups. The market definition for this is
better outlined in more detail with an Economic Impact Assessment, but in general, it has the
following aims:

• To provide an opportunity for mountain bike skill development from novice to expert,
• To increase access to the forest environment for new audiences,
• To maximize safety and manage user conflict,
• To introduce educational and training elements of trail construction,
• To contribute to the social, economic, and environmental diversity of the immediate area
  and supporting communities.

The Tourism Goal

The Agassiz Ski area site had been a jewel in the crown of Manitoba tourism for a considerable
period of time (40 years) and now has opportunity to developing and adapting for a wide range
of activities (products) to support demand for further tourism. In doing so, the range of national
and local authorities given responsibility for protection or promotions must work in harmony.
Mountain bike riding, as a particular product, has been systematically less well developed in
Manitoba than in other areas or National Parks.

Any strategic context for tourism, identifies mountain biking and adventure sport as a key focus
for sustainable tourism. The Agassiz Ski Area site can be a major contributor to this overall
tourism goal; simply forming a discreet and well defined offer in the overall goal, as well as the
project being an extension of the existing activities and pursuits within Riding Mountain
National Park.

This tourism goal has the effect of both spreading and extending the tourism attraction of Riding
Mountain National Park and the surrounding communities.




AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                  Page 9
National Park Considerations

In general, National Parks exist to support numerous purposes which require a duty of care; these
are:

• To conserve and enhance the natural beauty, wildlife and cultural heritage of the National
Park.

• To promote opportunities for the understanding and enjoyment of the special qualities of the
National Park by the public.

• provide a visitor attraction that enhances the existing provision.

• attract new audiences to enjoy the special heritage of the National Park.

• create new businesses and sustainable jobs.

• promote education, skill acquisition, and responsible environmental use.

• provide a focus for a re-branding of the tourism objective.

• protect and secure the investment of future initiatives.


This Business Plan has been explicitly researched and constructed to compliment these purposes
and support this duty of care. There is a growing body of evidence that the establishment of
dedicated mountain bike trails and facilities promotes safer riding, greater environmental
understanding, and an enhanced appreciation of access constraints.

The main focus of this project is to maximize visitor appreciation and experiences of the
location‟s unique heritage, in a safe multi-use environment. To this aspect of the Agassiz Ski
Area site proposal, the objective to increase access to new audiences is a prime motivator and
attention has been paid to how educational resources can play a part in this initiative. In this
project, education is taken to be both formal (stage support and interpretation) and informal
(family outings).

Health Driven Market

Mountain biking, as a sporting and healthy activity, is one of the fastest growing participation
sports across the Canada, if not the world. It is taken up by the greater numbers of new cyclists
turning or returning to cycling with 72% of leisure cyclists considering that traffic-free cycling
routes are the most important facility to encourage cycling. (Source - www.cobr.co.uk)
It is estimated that the demand for cycle tourism trips will increase by 10% over the next ten
years and that regular cyclists will enjoy a fitness level equal to that of a person ten years
younger. Also, cycling at least twenty miles a week reduces the risk of heart disease to less than
half that for non-cyclists who take no other exercise. (ibid)


AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                Page 10
The overall objective of this Agassiz Ski Area site development proposal is to enhance the Park
and surrounding communities while reducing any actual or perceived adverse impact in a multi-
use environment. By increasing access to new audiences in a well managed and responsible
manner, the facilities associated with this project are designed to enhance the existing heritage
values of both the Park and the communities, which contribute to the health of the communities
and the user participants.

Dedicated Activity Hub

Of possible locations within RMNP Park, and the province for that matter, it is clear
that a designated mountain bike facility with complementing activity and education could
be located at the Agassiz Ski Area site. This provides a dedicated location that utilizes an
existing road and car park, infrastructure with a hydro link, good access links for several skills
loops, a free ride with instruction location, and a trails network. It minimizes multi-user conflicts
elsewhere in the Park and allows for a facility that will be staged over time and demand led.

Name and location recognition is of utmost advantage to such a facility.

The facilities will include:

 • a designated „trailhead‟ where users can obtain information on the trails, cycling
competency and safety codes, multi-user impact regulations, interpretation materials, and
care notices on use of the environment. This includes access to first-aid services.

A building will be constructed (or reconstructed) to provide:

• an indoor café and a covered outdoor area.

• toilets, changing and showering facilities.

• bike shed for bike rental and storage, spares, on-site repair, and bike wash.

The inclusion of each and all of these elements is now widely recognized at existing mountain
bike sites to be a necessity rather than a luxury. While these facilities do not need to be large or
sophisticated, they do need to be unobtrusive places where the recreationist can meet and be
suitably catered for.

One important additional feature of these facilities is that they provide a valuable source of
information and education on all aspects of mountain biking (as well as that of the other
activities at the site) and the Park environment, early identification of trail problems, and a
central location to report issues of concern or conflict.




AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                  Page 11
Information and education material will appear not only at the “trailhead”, but also at the
entrance to the Skills Area and at the start of the way-marked trails. The information will include
tips on mountain bike riding as well as Codes of Conduct for activities in the site and in the Park.

The design of the trail network will have a number of key principles, and built in accordance to
recognized best practices and with the expertise of qualified and leading trail designers. The
principles of „best practice‟ are:

• construction quality that takes account of environmental impact and maintenance requirements
(sustainable trails) at accepted Whistler Trail standards.

• trained and accredited trail builders and volunteers.

• the zoning of areas (cycling discouraged) to support multi-user diversity.

• trails of increasing technical difficulty with riders needing to travel further, to
more remote areas, as they progress through the grades.

This Activity Hub will complement:

• Promotion & marketing - maintained to support an adequate web presence, leaflet
distribution and facilities location for information and educational purposes.

• Organized events and multi-activity gatherings - organized and managed to limit traffic
intrusion.

• Guiding - licensed guiding franchises regulated by industry standards.

• Club involvement – a local club supported to adopt adequate governance and self-
regulation of irresponsible riding and/or trail building.

• Volunteering – an untapped resource in volunteer assistance on trail build and environmental
monitoring will be harnessed and managed.



Finance, Contracts, & Management

The budget requirements over a two year period will be in accordance between capital and
revenue (operational) processes:

Capital Processes

Trail build & Maintenance
$650,000.



AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                Page 12
The trail build portion will include:

 •Way-marking of routes and Lift Access
• Promotion of trails during build phase
• CCA & IMBA accreditation
• Training of work force/volunteers
• Club development (volunteer help for trail build)
• 3 year trail build & maintenance

Construction /reconstruction of buildings
$800,000.

Services (electricity, phones)
$150,000.

Operational and Promotion
$225,000.

Promotion of trails after trail building complete as well as events and other multi-use activities
(on-site):

• Interpretation & signage
• Skills proficiency instruction/courses/guided rides/corporate events
• Organization

Future Development Research
$40,000.

Work plan

The three year development program has the trail installation and infrastructure construction
front loaded for the first year and future activities and installations phased in over the remaining
two years. This allows for early and required construction to commence prior to an “as soon as
possible” opening, with maintenance, refinement, and increased technical provision to progress
with the project‟s resources increased expertise and research.

It is estimated to take 18 months to create a „critical mass‟ of infrastructure and trails before the
area could be declared fully open and viable.

Options & Risks
There are a number of clear options that had to be taken into account in addressing the decisions
that were made in relation to this Business Plan. As such, these options have been given
careful consideration. The options which were considered were as follows:




AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                  Page 13
-Do nothing. This is taken to be a less than desirable principle for the range of missed
opportunities and problems it can address of sustainability and revitalization in the area.

-Acknowledge the purpose and success of current mountain bike/multi-use developments.
It has become apparent in the recreation industry that unless a holistic approach to multi-use
development projects is taken it is less likely that they will subscribe to any sustainability
principles, whether social, economic or environmental. To achieve such requires the accepted as
manageable procedures for safe multi-use recreation and education, increasing access to new
audiences, and infrastructure management.

There are, however, risks involved in securing the level of resources necessary to embark upon
this Agassiz Ski Area site development. Funding is the major consideration. There are large sums
of money, identified within this Business Plan, that are required to build an attractive, suitable,
and sustainable venue at the Agassiz Ski Area site. The funding is necessary for the
infrastructure capital build of buildings, services, trail network, and additional multi-use
activities with revenue cost maintained by facility charges. So, while the resource allocations are
high for the initial build phase, spread across a fifteen to twenty-five year time frame, there is
projected a significant return on investment.

-Project management. The skills and expertise necessary to see this project through to
completion assumes substantial and varied management requirements. It is important that the
management is suitably experienced, committed and supported. This holds true to the Agassiz
Mountain Development Group resources which are well equip with national expertise.

- Project creep. Often a risk overlooked in recent years, the danger of project creep into
extended time requirements or additional cost has produced much project stress. The need for
adequate planning, costing, and procurement procedures is now well established. These
difficulties can be experienced by funding sources, project management procedures, and
contractors.




AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                  Page 14
  NOTE: The remaining specifics, research studies, and budget specific areas have not been
included in this presentation. As they are lengthy, and instruments of the proposed operation,
                            we find these not pertinent at this time.




Notes from recent Community Conversations (Dauphin & McCreary) - per Mtn. Biking
and related development at East Escarpment…
                                      April 2010

Any notion such may attract 400 new visitors; never-mind 40, 000 (METS – McCreary
gathering) is simply unrealistic, reckless, and self-serving. To offer example to a realistic scope –
a ski area at the Agassiz site would be beyond projections at 40, 000 visitors. Any such estimate
as referenced would be within close proximity to a major center of population well beyond even
the population of our province as a whole. Further, such a facility referenced would be located in
a climate that offers a 12-month operation of Mtn. Bike activity.

Can one simply imagine the conflict and possible incidents any increase on these trails will have
in relation to hikers and, especially horseback users. Multi-use trail builds MUST consider the

AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                 Page 15
long-term effects and ramifications that, from experience, will arise. Short-term simply translates
into Small Picture Vision.

A creation of such trails with a hub of various recreational and interpretative activities… safe,
controlled and monitored, certainly translates into Big Picture Vision. Opportunity to utilize a
“driver” of incredible and somewhat already capitalized asset.

Volume of trail use is very relative to factors such as maintenance and ability parameters
(family-friendly per PC objectives). Any increase in use requires an increase in maintenance;
without such the trails lose it‟s attractiveness and become very open to negative review and
sadly, poor experiences and injuries.

            Safety is Paramount to the Promotion of both the Sport and Facilities

The development of wilderness trails on the escarpment is an encouraging and proactive project
of Parks Canada in it‟s forecasting and catering to current trend. Yet, the present trails need be
safe and controlled during a build period, especially with the present encouragement / promotion
of this region for Mtn. Biking.

Further, once a trail is built / created it becomes an incredible liability; not an asset unless
maintained; quickly a liability to both the region, sport and region I.E. Pan Am Games trails at
Roseisle, Manitoba; consistent and costly maintenance by an experienced (accredited) and
assigned crew of 4 persons. As National Park trails can derive no operating income (in the least
for future maintenance) it might be maintained by volunteer sources. Excited and devoted
initially, these sources often become frustrated and “burned-out” leaving the trails to neglect and
deterioration.

U.S. National Parks are currently re-evaluating, putting on hold, or curtailing Mtn. Bike trail
creation / use in many of it‟s Parks. (Exception; Mount Hood proposal presently being studied).
British Columbia does not presently allow for such in it‟s provincial parks.




Relative Concerns:

-tire and horse ruts
-wildlife and alterative user conflicts
-abandoned logging trails vs. animal corridor routes
-non-conforming usage
-uncontrolled and unmonitored
-un-signed / lack of signage
-major safety and medical response concerns
-spill zones and drainage
-non-evasive trail creation
-immediate safety condition / hazard markings / signage


AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                Page 16
-1/4 km. location reference trail markings
-school and group use imperative to sustainability. (present EE trails are NOT conducive to such
opportunities and experiences)
-washroom, communication (telephone) and refuse facilities
-location notoriety (use of Agassiz Trail – Tin Shack Trail)

Dedicated Mtn. Bike facilities at major ski resorts do not rely on day / seasonal use fees to
support trail operating costs. The trails are a loss-leader to encourage food / beverage and
accommodation revenues in a resort‟s off-season. This is very much complemented by group /
school use with attractive factors such as educational opportunities, team-building, and other
alternative activities. (a few major costs beyond trail creation and maintenance include staffing,
liability costs, mechanical equipment used).

For Opinion (notes only for further explanation):

Structure to a Business Plan that ensures a project is financially sustainable in the short term
during the Capital Works and in the long term during the required maintenance and ongoing
development processes.

Tea Houses – (local opinion / reaction to such a notion) trend long passed, equipment related,
demographics, accessibility, marketing, staffing, very seasonal, viability, etc.

Consistency of services

Monitoring and controls

Hostel type accommodation inquiry

McKinnon Creek Warden Station structure / use at East Gate

Impact on Highway 19 (road already very stressed)

Impact on wildlife (attractiveness to H19 is opportunity to see wildlife)

Impact on shale formed Bald Hill and other vista features due to increased accessibility

Present Trail End

AMDG accredited IMBA Mtn. Bike Club – IMBA is business driven

Canadian Cycling Assoc. – Provincial & National sanction / recognition

AMDG Mtn. Bike resources – trail building Pan Am Games, RCR (Fernie, Kimberly)

PC about “good experiences – 2009 survey from participants and other trail users



AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY                                                 Page 17
Present EIA (environmental) status per Reeve‟s Trail

Economic Impact Assessment

Interpretative Value

Feasibility Study – Traffic Impact Assessment

Trail Method and Standards




AGASSIZ MOUNTAIN DEVELOPMENT GROUP…NATURALLY           Page 18

				
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