Private Land, Public Interest: Securing Community Access to Private Lands for Mountain Biking and Amenity Migration in Canada
In order to support diversified forms of economic and community development, rural communities are increasingly investing in recreational opportunities on neighbouring lands, including agri-tourism and mountain resort development. However, in communities where significant proportions of peripheral land holdings are privately owned, opportunities for recreational land access and development are restricted or threatened. The Village of Cumberland, located on Vancouver Island, British Columbia, is home to a premier network of mountain biking trails developed by local users on a mix of both public recreational and privately owned industrial land. Without the existence of a formalized land use agreement between local public, private and not-for-profit land interests, the value of Cumberland’s mountain biking trail network cannot be wholly realized. This case study details the collaborative land use management partnership that has been developed in Cumberland in order to support economic and community development through amenity migration and the promotion of recreational mountain biking. Through sharing the costs and benefits of managing private land use, Cumberland’s multi-sector stakeholders have ensured that their individual strengths are utilized and unique interests are addressed.
Vancouver Island University World Leisure Centre of Excellence Main image: Burns Lake bike trails By Britcruise - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0,
© Jeff Wahl and Pete Parker 2015