After public outcry due to EcoOasis implementing a trail fee for hiking and biking at Bear Mountain, Langford councillors are now putting forward a motion to explore potential solutions.
Starting on June 1, EcoOasis, the company that owns the extensive volunteer-built bike trails and roughly 50 metres of land connecting to Goldstream Provincial Park, implemented a $45 per day fee to hike or bike on trails on Bear Mountain.
“I sympathize with those who have made this a part of their routine,” said Dan Matthews, president and CEO of EcoOasis, which owns the Activity Centre to CHEK News on May 30.
“The world of insurance has changed dramatically since COVID, and we’re simply following best practices that have been required of us by our insurance company.”
On Twitter, Coun. Keith Yacucha said he and Coun. Kimberley Guiry tabled a notice of motion to ask staff to look into all legal options to secure public access to the lands.
“Heard clear from the community that what was happening around access to the provincial park was unacceptable,” the tweet says. “This allows us to explore options to restore public access.”
It was great to work with @kimberleyguiry on crafting this notice of motion.
Heard clear from the community that what was happening around access to the provincial park was unacceptable. This allows us to explore options to restore public access. pic.twitter.com/VBnZaKGiVz
— Keith Yacucha (@KeithYacucha) June 6, 2023
The notice of motion says expropriation, or the act of a government taking property from its owner for public use, is one of the options that the city would like staff to explore.
Additionally, the city will work with the District of Highlands to see if it would be willing to secure access over the portions within the neighbouring municipality.
The motion will be debated by Langford council on June 19.