A new gate blocks access to Vedder Mountain from Majuba Hill Road.

A new gate blocks access to Vedder Mountain from Majuba Hill Road.

New gate goes up on Vedder Mountain

In an effort to limit activities on Vedder Mountain, a new gate now blocks access from Majuba Hill Road.

In the latest effort to limit partying and dumping on Vedder Mountain, the owner of the forest access road starting at Majuba Hill Road has put up a heavy-duty gate on May 18 to block all traffic.

There is no longer any access to Majuba Hill Road from Cultus Lake Parmenter Forest Service Road.

The traffic limit is a relief to local residents who frequently hear partying and shooting on the mountain.

“It was so peaceful,” said resident Kelly Hawes of the Saturday night that the gate went up. “Just really peaceful and quiet compared to the previous weekend. I’m much happier, I feel better. I feel something is being done.”

Anthony Penner, who owns the road leading up the mountain from Majuba Hill Road, has previously built three gates over five years. They were torn down within weeks.

He has built this newest barrier much stronger. The gate blocks the entire road, edge to edge, with large concrete blocks and a heavy steel frame.

Within a few of days of the installation, a group of people who accessed the mountain from the Cultus Lake side broke the lock when they came to the gate, stating to a local resident that they didn’t know this was private property. Penner has also received threats from people that they will break down the gate.

Responding to local concerns about security on the mountain, the Abbotsford police department has greatly increased its presence in the area.

“The police have been actively involved now. Hopefully, that, along with the community being vigilant about what happens there, we’ll curb the problems that we’ve been having,” said Penner. “The police have encouraged anyone that sees anything that’s going on, on the property or at the entrance of the property, to call.”

Other than recreation, logging operations sometimes use the access road. However, Penner doesn’t expect logging in the near future, because the company that held the cut lot lease hasn’t renewed it. Even if logging resumes, the companies provide ample advance warning to Penner.

The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is considering decommissioning a portion of the Crown road heading down the west side of Vedder Mountain in order to prevent people from driving down the road, only to be stuck at the locked gate.

Allan Johnsrude, manager for the ministry’s Chilliwack district, confirms that this won’t happen without the consent of residents who live on the mountain, who access the road from Majuba Hill in order to prevent a long detour around the Cultus Lake side.

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