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Riding club lands tenure



Green River Riding Club hopes to one day bring motocross to Pemberton

Chad Breitenstein is a happy guy. Tired, in over his head at the moment, but happy nevertheless.

For over a year he has spent his free time in a bid to secure official tenure for a dirt motocross track outside of Pemberton. At the beginning of August, the Green Riving Riding Club, of which Breitenstein is president, received that tenure.

"People were pretty excited to hear the news," said Breitenstein. "Now everybody is jazzed about getting a lot of work done this year. A lot of the site has already been built, but now we can go a lot bigger."

Volunteers built the track up over a period of several years, largely by hand but with the help of donated machinery whenever they could get it. It is located on crown land, in an area that is regularly cleared of vegetation for hydro lines.

The site has grown in popularity and size as the course has improved. At the club’s weekly races, called Moto Wednesdays, they are getting up to 30 dirt bike riders. On the August long weekend, 50 riders were using the facility on one day, including dirt bikers from the Lillooet and Lytton area in the north and Squamish and the Lower Mainland in the south.

"That’s probably the busiest day the track has ever seen," said Breitenstein.

A year ago, the track regulars started to worry that one day the government would decide to close the area because of the liability risks or because they had another use in mind for it.

To protect their investment in time and money building the track, they formed the Green River Riding Club last summer and applied for tenure from Land and Water B.C.

Since then, the club’s activities have become more focused, according to Breitenstein.

"The one thing holding us back in the past was the fact that we didn’t own the land," he said. "Now we are in a position to build a real race track that’s up to the CMRC (Canadian Motocross Racing Club) standards."

The club has already gone a long way towards reaching that goal. "People who haven’t been there in a while remember it as a singletrack course. That’s not how it is now, it’s just massive," Breitenstein said.

The club now has until mid-September to make good on various tenure requirements, but has asked for an extension.

At the top of the list, the club also needs to come up with a one-time $3,000 security deposit for their tenure. Annual tenure fees and insurance will cost another $3,000 a year, beginning next season.