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Letter to Editor

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Many cyclists and motorcyclists from Whistler and Squamish head up to Pemberton to "trail-ride". Unfortunately some of the maps, such as the one recently handed out at Whistler which shows the "Lillooet River-Pemberton Bike Loop", show trails which go through my private property and direct riders to illegally ride across the BC Rail bridge over the Lillooet River. This map shows a "parking lot" on Old Pemberton Farm Road at the railway tracks and various routes up the mountain then down through my property, DL-5546, along the railway grade, over the railway bridge and into Pemberton. The BCR Police are aware of this map and the growing problem it has created and will be charging those that use the bridge with trespassing.

I have today chosen to formally close our property to all cyclists and motorcyclists. Last Saturday 37 cyclists and 22 motorcyclists came through three trails that have been illegally cut on my land. We were insulted and threatened with assault when we politely asked cyclists to stop trespassing. We don’t run cycles through their yards and couldn’t believe the violent responses!

My father, who is 82, and I were planting potatoes on our place on Saturday and were twice told to get off our own property by cyclists. This after years of sharing with friends and neighbours a rare and beautiful place.

May locals stopped to chat as I put up a six-strand barbed wire fence yesterday at the railway bridge trail. We are grateful that they too agree the volume of traffic and damage is no longer acceptable. All trails must be closed and are closed permanently.

Our property extends from the railway bridge along the Lillooet (upstream) half a mile and up the mountainside 1,000 feet.

We are genuinely sorry that some locals are no longer going to have access to our property. However, no one is going to accept 59 trespassers in one day on their own property, along with threats.

I suppose the time has come for the province and the regional district to survey and map good trails for hikers, mountain bikers, motorcyclists and snowmobilers – on Crown land. Private property is private.

Jim Fulton

Pemberton

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