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Plan being formulated to protect Cumberland forest

THIS AGING ARCHWAY was part of a power plant that operated in Cumberland in the early 20th century. A bike jump that had been constructed at the site was recently deactivated. - Photo submitted
THIS AGING ARCHWAY was part of a power plant that operated in Cumberland in the early 20th century. A bike jump that had been constructed at the site was recently deactivated.
— image credit: Photo submitted

A management plan is being finalized as part of a conservation covenant to protect the Cumberland Community Forest, which consists of two parcels totaling 71 hectares owned by the Village.
The woods contain remnants of mines and logging roads dating back to the 19th century. They also contain a vast multi-use trail network used by hikers and mountain bikers. The challenge is to balance ecosystem protection with the enjoyment of park users.
The covenant precludes the building of new trails and man-made structures such as bridges but does not prevent mountain biking on the trail network.
A recent work party deactivated a jump that utilized the old Cumberland Electric Lighting Company power plant behind Chinatown across Perseverance Creek. The plant was constructed in 1901 and ceased to exist around 1912.
"This is part of our early utility infrastructure and it actually belongs to the Village of Cumberland because it's on the lands deeded," said Coun. Gwyn Sproule, a local historian and outdoors enthusiast.
Members of the Cumberland Community Forest Society gave the land to the Village in 2005. According to the management plan, trails and jumps constructed since that time need to be dismantled.
The covenant is at www.cumberlandbc.net or www.cumberlandforest.com.
Anyone who notices misuse of the park is asked to contact the Village office at 250-336-2291.
reporter@comoxvalleyrecord.com

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