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BIM asks province to reverse decision apparently allowing motorized vehicles on Mt Gardner

Bowen council took a firm stand against any motorized use of the Mount Gardner trails
Sign posts at Mount Gardner Laura Road trailhead
The future of Mount Gardner trails is up in the air.

Bowen Island council has re-iterated its desire to have motor vehicles banned on Mount Gardner at its regular council meeting Nov. 8.

Back in spring 2020, following public outcry, council had passed a resolution requesting the province ban motorized use of the Mount Gardner Crown lands. 

In September, Recreation Sites and Trails BC came down with a decision that appeared to allow some motorized use but councillors criticized it for lack of clarity. 

At least 16 islanders asked council to re-state their position against motorised use of Mount Gardner and ask the province to withdraw its decision.

“I think we made a good decision,” said Coun. Sue Ellen Fast at Monday night’s meeting. “We should find out whether we can actually follow through with our resolution.”

The climate emergency and need to reduce motorized vehicle use was on the mind of Coun. David Hocking since economic development branding of Bowen is leaning toward nature-based, low-impact tourism. “Having visitors come here and want to head up Mount Gardner and finding motorcycles there as well… it completely destroys what we’re looking at from an economic development perspective.”

“This is becoming increasingly annoying and time-wasting,” was Coun. Michael Kaile’s irritated stance with the province. “It’s almost farcical that we’re having to go through this.”

Coun. Alison Morse was the lone councillor to vote against the resolution to request the province rescind its decision. “I think [Robert van der Zalm, RSTBC regional manager] is wanting the community to try and be inclusive and accommodate the needs or wishes or recreational activities of all the residents of Bowen,” said Morse. “[The letter is] talking about groups getting together and trying to work something out.”