What started as an idea between five Vancouver Island all terrain-vehicle (ATV) clubs in March 2019, has finally come to fruition. Private land access agreements have now been signed between the five clubs and Mosaic Forest Management for recreational access to areas of its private managed forest lands.
The agreements allow weekend access to designated roads and trails within Mosaic’s private managed forest lands to those ATV club members who are authorized by their individual clubs. Access was to start following the BC Day long weekend; the backcountry was to be closed over the weekend due to the high-to-extreme fire danger conditions on Vancouver Island.
“Our club is excited to be working with Mosaic through our new land access agreement which encourages healthy and safe off-road recreation,” said Kimi Hashimoto, president of the Alberni Hill Climbers ATV Club.
“Alberni Valley Hill Climbers will work to build, maintain and preserve the places (where) we love to play.”
The new club agreement for recreational ATV access on Mosaic’s designated private forest lands is something members greatly appreciate, said Len Cherry of the Hill Climbers club in a statement.
“We’ve always advocated for responsible and safe ATV riding through education, and this agreement means trained members will be able to enjoy better access to roads and trails in our area.”
The access agreements come as a result of several pilot projects run over the past few years and aimed at expanding recreational ATV access, said Jeff Zweig, president and CEO of Mosaic.
Each club that has signed the agreement has a specific area of the Island that their clubs will manage access to on behalf of their membership. Riders must receive access authorization from the club which will include meeting the safety and environmental standards and insurance requirements of the Mosaic agreement.
The following Island ATV clubs have recently signed this agreement: Alberni Valley Hillclimbers, Sooke ATV Club, Mid-Island ATV Club, Comox Valley ATV Club and Cowichan ATV Club.
“The ATVBC is proud of the hard work and dedication of our members to see this agreement through many stages, setbacks and challenges to arrive at what it is today,” said Chris D’Silva, ATVBC president. “This is a great example of industry working together with user groups to find solutions that meet everyone’s needs and continue to allow fair access to our beautiful lands for recreational purposes.”
Club volunteers and Mosaic staff worked together to identify the needs of Mosaic and the value of bringing recreational ATV access to the public in a safe and environmentally sustainable manner.
For more information on recreational access to Mosaic’s private forest lands and ATV access agreements, go online to mosaicforests.com/access. There is a link for ATVs on the page.