ACCVI has entered into an agreement with Mosaic (the forest management company for most of Vancouver Island’s privately-owned land) which provides the section with keys to the gates at Comox Lake Main and Ash Valley. This gives the section 24/7 access to the east side of Strathcona Park and backcountry destinations from the west side of Comox Lake. Through Ash Valley, access is made to the south end of Strathcona Park via Great Central & Oshinow Lakes at Port Alberni. These areas are adjacent.
The agreement comes with the following terms:
- Insurance through ACC National is essential to the arrangement, which is only valid on officially scheduled trips. Thus, keys can only be used by leaders of trips that have been posted on the schedule at least 3 days before the start time.
- All vehicles passing through the gates mid-week must carry VHF radios. The club has purchased four, which are issued with the key, instructions and paperwork.
- There is absolutely no camping on Mosaic lands.
To help ensure the process runs smoothly, trip leaders are asked to follow the steps below.
Instructions for trip leaders using the Mosaic access agreement
Before the trip
- Post trip on the schedule by emailing . The trip must be posted at least 3 days before the start time. A longer lead time is helpful for everyone. (You cannot plan a trip that uses this access if it overlaps with a previously posted trip to this area.)
- Only after the trip is posted, send an email to or depending on which access you plan to use. The Comox address goes to Valerie Wootton, who is the keeper of the key, radios, etc. in Courtenay. The AshValley address goes to Barb Baker in Port Alberni. The trip leader then is sent a response with:
- address and lock-box combination for pickup
- Mosaic site manager’s phone number and email address
- instructions on radio use and road protocols
- Use the number/email provided to contact the Mosaic site manager and their liaison person at least two business days before the planned trip. You must receive approval from Mosaic before you start your trip, then the gatekeepers will forward instructions to the leader. If you plan to access and/or exit by both areas, then get approval from both site managers and carry permits for both areas.
- All participants must be club members.
- Familiarize yourself with the protocols for the use of active logging roads in Mosaic Agreement Schedule D.
- Watch this video: https://youtu.be/gVIX5NtimDY (10:47) and make use of the resources linked below the video.
- Print and take copies of the Mosaic waiver and ACC waiver from accvi.ca. Get all participants to sign both.
- Only the trip leader can pick up the key, radios, etc. from Valerie or Barb.
During the trip
- On weekends, check first to see that the gate is locked or unlocked. In 2023, Mosaic implemented a system to remotely unlock targeted gates for public access. A sign at the gate should give instructions to leave a gate open if it is found unlocked. If locked, proceed to…
- Follow the instructions for the use of the digital key/Invisible Witness card to open the smart gate at: https://www.ivwit.com/usegate.php You may need to hold the card at the reader for up to 30 seconds to activate the lock.
- Use the key to lock the gate behind you. If found open, leave it open. Only ACC-VI trip vehicles can enter.
- All vehicles on the trip (up to a maximum of two) must carry a radio.
- Follow road protocols and radio use instructions. Park as directed by the site manager.
- No overnight camping on Mosaic property (and no fires).
- Carry the Mosaic key and club radio (turned off) safely on your person rather than leaving them in the vehicle.
After the trip
- At the end of the trip, the trip leader will return the key, radios, etc. to the lockbox in Courtenay or Port Alberni.
- Return waivers to .
- Submit your trip report! This is an expectation for the privilege of using the key, and will help us monitor how the system is working.
The lockboxes contain:
- Two radios with instructions
- Mosaic digital key with instructions
- A copy of the Certificate of Insurance from ACC National
- A copy of the permit from Mosaic (schedule C)
- Information on protocols for active logging road use
- Copy of the map of approved road use
- Copies of the Mosaic release form which must be signed by each trip participant