VICTORIA -- The Capital Regional District (CRD) Board has approved new guidelines for mountain biking at regional parks, as the sport continues to grow in popularity.

The CRD says its new guidelines will help mountain bikers enjoy the sport while balancing conservation and environmental concerns.

"Positive relationships with the mountain biking community are an important part of moving forward with this recreation in the region," said CRD Board chair Colin Plant in a release Thursday.

The guidelines are mainly for CRD staff to refer to when working with mountain bikers and planning potential new trails.

The CRD says it will also dedicate more staff time and resources to support mountain biking groups while making sure park management plans are being followed.

"The mountain biking guidelines will provide the CRD the additional tools that it needs to establish quality mountain biking opportunities while ensuring adequate and ongoing protection of cultural and environmental values," said Plant.

The guidelines come in response to a growing number of mountain bikers calling for more trails, and in some cases, going against parks rules and building their own.