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North Cowichan troubled by senseless spray painting on Maple Mountain trails

North Cowichan’s parks and recreation director says he is disappointed that someone has taken it upon themself to spray paint numerous trees to needlessly mark the blue and yellow trails on Maple Mountain in the Municipal Forest Reserve.

“I don’t know why people feel they have to sign a trail to that degree,” Don Stewart Stewart said in an interview Friday. “It doesn’t make sense to me.” contacted Stewart to report dozens of trees recently defaced with spray paint as well as numerous rocks on the blue and yellow trails.


The pervasive spray painting detracts from the natural experience of hiking the forested trail and is unnecessary since there is already municipal signage in place and the trail is generally very easy to follow. “When you’re on a trail and you find it confusing…look for where other people have walked,” Stewart advised.

He said if anyone has a problem with route finding on any trail in the forest reserve they should contact the Municipality and not simply go out with a can of spray paint. “Let us know. We have a trails crew for the summer.”

The spray painting on Maple Mountain will be visible for many years. Spray painting over the yellow and blue with a neutral colour such as grey might be an imperfect option.

Stewart noted that spray painting in the forest reserve is unique to Maple Mountain and is likely related to the fact that the trails are named after colours. earlier reported on spray painting on the orange trail on Maple Mountain.

If you have information on anyone spray painting in the forest reserve, please contact Stewart at 250-746-3193.

Council recently increased the fines for unlawful activity in the forest reserve. Anyone damaging a tree could receive a municipal ticket of up to $1,000.

— Larry Pynn, June 25, 2021

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