Tumbler Ridge, March 2006

The Scenario

After a very nice summer, kids and adults were looking forward to another great winter of hockey, figure skating and family night on the ice.

The maintenance crew work their magic and as the last round with the Zamboni is completed the ice in the arena was in perfect condition for the start of the season the next day. But, sometime during the night someone gets into the arena and destroys the ice with pick axes. The games are off as maintenance spends all day repairing the ice. Next day they find the ice destroyed again and the culprits are not found. Everyone is upset; the town enacts a bylaw restricting access to the arena but to no avail. Ignoring the rules in place and the objections from the arena users, somehow, someone continues to sneak in and is able to damage the ice so that it can?t be used. Can you imagine the uproar and the cries of indignation if this were to happen?

The Reality

This is the frustration that the cross country skiers are faced with every year. Snowmobiles and ATVs continue to destroy the trails that take hours to prepare and with limited snow not so easily repaired as an arena would be. In spite of Bylaw 471, which prohibits driving in these areas, people are treating these special areas around town as their own private playground. This is the fifth year in a row that I have submitted a letter to the editor on this matter. Please, off road vehicle owners, consider the impact your are having on the rest of the community. Respect our trails.

PS Three kids were seen racing on the ski trails. Two with black snowmobiles and one with a very distinctive blue one with a yellow under belly. They raced away when approached, so I suspect they knew they were in the wrong.

Larry White