2018 went out with a bang with a lot of exciting developments for CAMBA and the mountain biking community. One of the things that fell a little under the radar was the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was put in place with Three Sisters Mountain Village. We’ve had a number of questions from folks on social media and in the community about what the MOU really means so we took the liberty of compiling some Frequently Asked Questions.
What does a MOU do?
A Memorandum of Understanding (“MOU”) is a first step toward entering into a formal contract. Although a MOU is not a legally binding document, it does set out the requirements and responsibilities of parties who aim to enter into a legally binding arrangement.
What happens next?
Our next step is to enter into a contract with TSMV to formalize our arrangement so that we can get started on important projects for this area.
Does this mean that you’re building a bunch of trails in the Three Sisters area soon?
Well, no. Our first steps will be to put together an inventory of existing trails in the area, look at re-routing and improving some sections, and getting a strategy in place to install appropriate signage. Responsible trail development is a long and complex process and we want to ensure that we create great trails in appropriate spaces, while considering future development. That means a lot of planning and engagement with various groups. Wildlife is of paramount importance to our community, our membership, and our board. In our narrow Bow Valley we need to be extremely careful and forward-thinking to ensure we get things right, which will take some time.
What does this mean for existing trails on Three Sisters lands?
We know that some very popular trails in the Bow Valley exist on TSMV’s land. And, as we know, TSMV is working toward developing these areas. While we don’t know the specifics of what this looks like, we know that some of these trails will be closed or altered at some point. Having an MOU with TSMV is an opportunity to have ongoing conversations about the evolution of trail development.
It is our goal to preserve, legitimize, and improve existing trails that have never been properly sanctioned, subject to environmental and stakeholder input and review.
Does this mean TSMV is sponsoring CAMBA?
CAMBA is accountable to our membership to advocate for mountain biking and to strive for a vibrant and exciting trail system for all ages and abilities. The support from TSMV in allowing us access to their lands and providing financial assistance helps our overall mission.
TSMV has always envisioned their land as a place to access world-class recreational amenities – mountain biking being one of them.
We view TSMV as a valued supporter in the same light as the Town of Canmore, RMCC, Canmore Brewing Company, and the many other organizations that support CAMBA. This support from TSMV creates wonderful opportunities for us, but will not translate into a shift in our overall focus or cause CAMBA to only be involved in trails in the Three Sisters area.