A truck takes takes a dive in the dirt for the mud drag course on private land in Sooke. This was the last  Island Rock Crawler event to be hosted in Sooke

A truck takes takes a dive in the dirt for the mud drag course on private land in Sooke. This was the last Island Rock Crawler event to be hosted in Sooke

Local off-roader hopes for compromise

Island Rock Crawler member believes in harmony amongst off-roaders, hikers and mountain bikers.

The sounds of 4×4 vehicles roaring  through Sooke’s hillsides have ceased since the Capital Regional District gated the access road to the  Sooke Mountain Provincial Park.

Ron Low, a member of the Island Rock Crawlers, said the prohibition of motorized vehicles along Harbourview Road has killed the sport of 4×4’ing in the local community.

“We have tried to encourage the CRD and other establishments to establish an area where we could follow our sport. And as a result of this we have to go north of Duncan to find any places where we can go off-road or the Mainland.”

The last three-day event in Sooke took place in 2002, where over 175 registrants from around North America attended. It entailed participants driving through old logging and skidder trails, followed by a mud drag on private property. The event had been running for six years before it was cancelled due to lack of 4×4 areas.

The club, which used to be located in Victoria, now operates just north of Duncan, where off-roading is a little more welcomed than in Sooke.

Low stated that he believes hikers, mountain bikers and motorists can all enjoy the Sooke Mountain Provincial Park in harmony, as the different recreational activities do not take place on the same trails.

He also said the presence of motorists on trails could serve as a support system for stranded or injured hikers and cyclists.

A majority of environmental concerns arose from motorists purportedly tearing up the pathways, uprooting vegetation, and pollution of streams or creeks.

But Low states, any damage that exists on the trails was already done beforehand.

“The roads were already there before we got there. They were already established by loggers, all we did was keep them open and useable,”  he said. “ It doesn’t wash them out and if it does then we can adjust that.”

Low also said there are three lakes located at the top of the Sooke Mountain Provincial Park that are of sentimental value to old timers like him. But he said they are now inaccessible because of the 10-hour hike it would take to get there.

“For old guys like me, the places I used to go, I can’t go now because there are gates. People my age simply can’t get there, because we certainly can’t walk there.”

Low said there are other 4×4 events throughout  North America that are embraced by their respective communities. Namely, events in the South Dakota Black Hills, Moab, Utah and the Johnson Valley in California.

“They have the whole community who changes the signs and welcomes the off-roaders to the community.”

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Bill Almond’s observatory in its new home on a Saanich lakeside. (Submitted/Cameron Burton)
Colwood stargazing dome makes a move to Saanich

The backyard structure finds a new home after 30 years

Chris Grzywacz, development agent for cannabis supplier Seed and Stone’s, holds products from the new Songhees Cannabis S + S store on April 20. (Jake Romphf/ News Staff)
First cannabis store opens on Songhees Nation, creates economic opportunity says chief

The Songhees Cannabis S + S had a soft launch at its 1502 Admirals Road location on April 20

B.C. Finance Minister Selina Robinson outlines the province’s three-year budget in Victoria, April 20, 2021. (B.C. government video)
B.C. deficit to grow by $19 billion for COVID-19 recovery spending

Pandemic-year deficit $5 billion lower than forecast

Darrel McLeod won the Governor General’s Literary Award for Non-Fiction in 2018 for his first book, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age. His newly-released memoir, Peyakow: Reclaiming Cree Dignity, follows as a sequel. (Black Press Media file)
Critically acclaimed Sooke author releases new memoir

Peyakow follows as a sequel to Darrel McLeod’s first book, Mamaskatch: A Cree Coming of Age

RCMP have appealed to the public for help identifying the man. (Black Press Media file image)
Police, dog unit called after man exposed himself at West Shore elementary school

West Shore RCMP credits students, aged 11 and 5, for seeking help

FILE – NDP Leader John Horgan, right, and local candidate Mike Farnworth greet one another with an elbow bump during a campaign stop in Coquitlam, B.C., on Friday, September 25, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. won’t be using random individual road stops to enforce travel rules: Safety Minister

Minister Mike Farnworth says travel checks only being considered at major highway junctions, ferry ports

A man pauses at a coffin after carrying it during a memorial march to remember victims of overdose deaths in Vancouver. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. announces historic half-billion-dollar funding for overdose crisis, mental health

Of it, $152 million will be used to address the opioid crisis and see the creation of 195 new substance use treatment beds

Children’s backpacks and shoes are seen at a CEFA (Core Education and Fine Arts) Early Learning daycare franchise, in Langley, B.C., on Tuesday May 29, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
B.C. budget to expand $10-a-day child care, but misses the mark on ‘truly universal’ system

$111 million will be used to fund 3,750 new $10-a-day spaces though 75 additional ChildCareBC universal prototype sites over the next three years.

Mak Parhar speaks at an anti-mask rally outside the Vancouver Art Gallery on Sunday, Nov. 1, 2020. Parhar was arrested on Nov. 2 and charged with allegedly violating the Quarantine Act after returning from a Flat Earth conference held in Geenville, South Carolina on Oct. 24. (Flat Earth Focker/YouTube.com screenshot)
Judge tosses lawsuit of B.C. COVID-denier who broke quarantine after Flat Earth conference

Mak Parhar accused gov, police of trespass, malfeasance, extortion, terrorism, kidnapping and fraud

Ambulance paramedic in full protective gear works outside Lion’s Gate Hospital, March 23, 2020. Hospitals are seeing record numbers of COVID-19 patients more than a year into the pandemic. (The Canadian Press)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate declines, 849 cases Tuesday

Up to 456 people now in hospital, 148 in intensive care

Christy Clark, who was premier from 2011 to 2017, is the first of several present and past politicians to appear this month before the Cullen Commission, which is investigating the causes and impact of B.C.’s money-laundering problem over the past decade. (Darryl Dyck/Canadian Press)
Christy Clark says she first learned of money-laundering spike in 2015

The former B.C. premier testified Tuesday she was concerned the problem was ‘apparently at an all-time high’

Most Read