Les Amis de la montagne launch an intervention project to manage mountain biking on Mount Royal

    MONTREAL, Oct. 22 /CNW Telbec/ - Mr. Peter A. Howlett, C.M., President of
Les Amis de la montagne, launched an important intervention project to manage
mountain biking on Mount Royal at Smith House today, in the presence of
financial partners, Mr. Peter Robinson, President of Mountain Equipment Co-op
and Mr. Raymond Bachand, Member for Outremont, Minister of Economic
Development, Innovation and Export Trade, Minister of Tourism and Minister
responsible for the Montréal region, on behalf of Ms. Nathalie Normandeau,
Vice-Premier and Minister of Municipal Affairs and Regions.
    Due to its geographic location and its topographic characteristics unique
in Montreal, Mount Royal is the location of choice for the sport of mountain
biking. Unfortunately, in the absence of adequate management, the practice of
this sport on the mountain has significantly damaged the forest undergrowth,
putting the very health of Mount Royal's forest in danger. Moreover, this
activity has the great disadvantage of frequently creating conflicts between
cyclists and other mountain users, especially walkers.
    "We believe that a sustainable solution to the problem of mountain biking
on Mount Royal requires finding sites specific to the practice of this sport,"
said Mr. Peter A. Howlett. "Fifteen years of experience on this issue has
demonstrated that mountain biking is not just a passing interest. The sport is
well established and on the rise on the mountain, and we cannot ignore this
growing trend any longer. The success of this intervention requires
alternative solutions to the actual practice of the sport in the forest of
Mount Royal."

    The project will be carried out in the following stages:
    - Analyse the areas of the mountain where the sport is practiced and
      develop a profile of the clientele on the mountain;
    - Identify and implement specific solutions to the practice of mountain
    - Lead a vast awareness-raising campaign aimed at cyclists and the
      general public; and
    - Restore the damaged sites on Mount Royal.

    This project will be developed and implemented in collaboration with a
working group comprising numerous representatives from the community, namely
the Notre-Dame-des-Neiges Cemetery, Mount Royal Cemetery, Université de
Montréal, Ville de Montréal, cycling associations and citizens.
    "The problems related to mountain biking are not unique to Mount Royal.
They exist in other parks and natural spaces on mountainous terrain,"
concluded Mr. Howlett. "Evidently, the pressure exerted on Mount Royal is more
intense due to the density of the population residing in close proximity. If
we succeed in finding viable solutions for Mount Royal, the model created will
surely be applicable for other sites."
    Note to assignment editors: Following the launch announcement,
journalists, photographers and camera operators are invited to join Les Amis
de la montagne for a site visit. Meeting in the Smith House parking lot at
10:30 a.m. Please wear hiking footwear.

For further information:

For further information: Gabrielle Korn, Director of Communications, Les
Amis de la montagne, (514) 843-8240, ext. 237, gkorn@lemontroyal.qc.ca

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Les amis de la montagne

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