chalk road access to Dagmar is now closed permanently !- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    chalk road access to Dagmar is now closed permanently !

    Hi guys
    I want to inform you of the news about closing chalk road access to Dagmar trail. It is closed permanently because it cost $6000/year. I copied the letter from DMBA here:

    Title: Chalk Lake Road access to the Dagmar Trails

    Author: (UserID: Dan Little)

    Categories: Trail Building & Maintenance



    *Hello everyone,*



    *Please take a few moments to read this important message about the closing

    of the Chalk Lake Road access to the Dagmar trails.*



    Over the last few months your Durham Mountain Biking Association Board of

    Directors have been working on a challenge that we know is very important to

    our members. There are many pieces to this puzzle and the purpose of this

    communication is to provide you the facts, and explain the actions your Board

    is taking as we work to find a solution.



    *Background*



    Through the spring and summer of 2015, our members invested a vast amount of

    time, labour, and love, in building the Dagmar North trail system. When these

    trails opened officially in September, it was a pinnacle moment for our

    Association and members to have access to this fantastic trail system. Since

    opening, the Dagmar trails have become hugely popular not just with our

    membership, but they also draw riders from far and wide. Up until now, we

    have enjoyed two user access trails into Dagmar (Chalk Lake Rd Access Trail

    and 7th Concession Access Trail), and one emergency access from Lakeridge Rd.



    A fundamental planning principle in the Dagmar project was ensuring ready

    access to this largely property-locked forest. The landowner, the Toronto

    Regional Conservation Authority (TRCA) wanted two access points into the

    Dagmar Trails. The Northern Access off Chalk Lake Road was established by

    means of a 5-year lease between the TRCA and a neighbouring landowner,

    starting July 1, 2012 (i.e. expiring June 30, 2017). It was agreed the cost

    would be $6,000 per year with an escalation of 4% per year, i.e. in 2016 the

    cost was $7,000. The Green Durham Association (GDA) helped the TRCA work

    out the lease details to establish this access. The preferred second access

    was going to be from the 3 Rocks parking lot through the Dagmar Ski Resort,

    if the TRCA could reach an agreement with the Ski Resort owner. If they

    could not come to an agreement, then the 7th Concession access trail would be

    built. Talks between the TRCA and the Ski Resort failed reach an agreement by

    the end of our construction of Dagmar trails, so the 7th Concession Access

    Trail was built.



    In 2017, the TRCA decided at the end of the 5-year lease agreement not to

    renew it. This lease ended June 30, 2017. To keep the northern access, open

    from July 1, 2017 to November 30, 2017 (5 months) the TRCA with the help of

    GDA, negotiated a new 5-month lease with the landowner for $3,000. The GDA

    approached the DMBA, asking us to share the cost of the lease and keep the

    Chalk Lake Road access open through the 2017 riding season, otherwise this

    access to the Dagmar trails would close on July 1st, right at the peak of the

    season.



    This presented the Board with a very difficult and contentious decision. A

    fundamental principle of the DMBA from the very earliest days of this club is

    that building and maintaining trails, and being good stewards of this

    precious resource, is our currency. Paying for access is totally in conflict

    with this founding position, and it creates a potentially damaging precedent

    not just for the DMBA, but other groups as well who rely on relationships

    with landowners for access. Whether or not to contribute DMBA funds to this

    lease was hotly debated, and ultimately the Board resolved to join the GDA in

    supporting the lease through the 2017 season, only. Our concern was the

    importance of these trails to our members, the impact of an abrupt closing of

    the access point mid season, and the potential risk to our relationship with

    the landowner resulting from riders ignoring the closure and trespassing.



    *Today*



    As it stands, there is no commitment from any parties to support the $6,000

    lease of the northern access trail. Without a new lease, this access point

    will not open for the spring. The landowner has agreed to charge $6,000 per

    year with no escalation going forward. Also, there has been no further

    progress in securing a southern access trail from the 3 Rocks parking lot.

    Therefore, right now it appears that the 2018 riding season will open with

    only the access point to the Dagmar trails being from the 7th Concession.



    *DMBA’s Position*



    The temporary financial support of the Chalk Lake Road access in 2017 was a

    hard decision, made under exceptional circumstances. Today the DMBA Board’s

    unanimous position is that Association funds will not be spent on leasing

    access to trails. Paying for access is not only a short term, unsustainable

    solution, but it also creates a precedent that puts at risk our relationships

    with many landowners who today share access across their lands with us in

    return for our good care and stewardship. This precedent would not just

    impact the DMBA, but it would have implications for other clubs as well. Not

    just resting on this belief, we recently reached out to mountain biking

    groups across Canada and the US, to validate this position. Without

    exception, we found groups like ours share a core principle of not leasing

    access. We also learned from groups such as Kingdom Trails, the Bruce Trails

    Association, that there are creative means of providing access using tools

    such as property easements and tax incentives that could help the solution.



    *Next Steps & Where We Need Your help*



    This topic is easily the DMBA’s highest priority as we approach the new

    season. We have formed a subcommittee of the Board to dig into the question

    and work on creative solutions to finding a 2nd access point to the Dagmar

    Trails. So far, ideas we are pursuing include approaching other landowners

    surrounding the Dagmar Trails to possibly provide access, renewed discussions

    with the TRCA on the importance of more access, and the use of property

    easements and tax incentives to make supporting access attractive to

    landowners.



    Like you, we are all riders too, and ensuring ready access to this trail

    system is vitally important to all of us. This is a complicated puzzle, but

    there is an answer, and we will find it. In the meantime, if you have an

    idea, some special knowledge in property or legal matters, or just energy you

    want to lend to the cause, we want to hear from you.



    Thank you for your support and understanding, and please contact any of us on

    the Dagmar Trails Access Committee with your ideas.

  2. #2
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    This is really unfortunate.
    I just discovered Dagmar last year (after about a decade of mountain biking in the GTA!) and really enjoyed the couple rides I had there. A super fun, varied trail system, and the work that the builders put in was fantastic.
    Hope a solution can be found. I hate to be pessimistic but I'm doubtful the other landowners will be open to providing access.
    Good luck with this.

  3. #3
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    Quote Originally Posted by jon123 View Post
    This is really unfortunate.
    I just discovered Dagmar last year (after about a decade of mountain biking in the GTA!) and really enjoyed the couple rides I had there. A super fun, varied trail system, and the work that the builders put in was fantastic.
    Hope a solution can be found. I hate to be pessimistic but I'm doubtful the other landowners will be open to providing access.
    Good luck with this.
    Just to let everyone know that Dagmar will still be accessible from the 7th Concession entrance.

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