If you’ve ridden Binx, Kirkpatrick, or The Saddle trails recently, you may have noticed some pink flagging tape hanging from the trees and are curious to know what’s going on.
Westwood is home to an intricate patchwork of landowners, which includes the City of Nanaimo, Island Timberlands, and Department of National Defence. Many of the trails in the Westwood area are unsanctioned. The pink flagging belongs to Island Timberlands, and is placed there in preparation for harvesting activities which are set to commence in the spring of 2019. The NMBC does not have a land use agreement with Island Timberlands and thus these trails are unauthorized, however, we are actively engaging with them to ensure the best possible outcome for recreationists to retain the trails in that area. During these talks, Island Timberlands has assured us that the affected trails will be catalogued prior to harvesting and, as much as possible, cleared once operations are finished. We would like to remind the community that this is a working forest, and although the trails here are well-established and heavily used, they have never been formally authorized, managed nor had permission for ongoing access.
The NMBC is working diligently to establish good relations with all landowners in our region to legitimize the value these trails have in the community. However, we should stress that even with formal agreements in place, these are still working forests and harvest activities will continue to take place.
We ask that community members please be respectful and not alter or remove the flagging tape as this will only make it more difficult for us to establish a good relationship with the landowner.
If you have additional questions, please reach out to us directly and we’ll be happy to assist where we can.