Reply To: Province is looking for feedback on draft trails strategy

Nick Heath

Please be aware of some underlying factors here.

1) Within BC, there is a strong lobby for motorized trail use – ATV, dirt bike, 4×4, ORV and to a lesser extent snowmobile. Various of these groups now have access to the approx. $250,000 p.a. to be spent (most likely exclusively) on motorized used trails, derived from the ORV Trail Fund revenue from licence fees. No similar source is available for non-motorized trails. Some trails targeted for ‘improvement,’ including some sections of BCs new rail trails and parts of the Trans Canada Trail (Great Trail) are currently maintained by volunteers and others for cycling/hiking use only.

2) If a trail is supported for “transportation”, please distinguish between “active transportation” and mechanized transportation – the motorized lobby wants use of some walking/cycling trails to get around their area on ATVs etc that are not allow on the roads (although they can surely travel fast enough!).

3) Please treat with caution terms such as “all users”, “diverse users’ needs” -these could include sectors of the public who wish to roar through alpine meadows on dirt bikes…

4) Although SKABC had input to the Trails Strategy at public meetings about 8 years ago, we did not really succeed in getting proper acknowledgement of water trails, so here is another opportunity to correct that.

5) Vision statement
May I suggest something along these lines ? :
Trails on water as well as on land should be acknowledged in the vision.
Trails should neither permit nor encourage motorized use.

6) To the question:Please name one trail or trail network within British Columbia that you think is world class and explain why:

I took the opportunity to blow BCMT’s horn slightly:

Gulf lslands Marine Trail is quite easy, v accessible for paddlers of all ability, relatively safe, yet gives access to beautiful and diverse places with excellent camping or fixed-roof accommodation in a near-unique, relatively natural environment.

You might disagree, and I am by no means trying to put words into anyone’s mouth.

However, this is important stuff and so please spread the word and get others (club members, family etc ) to complete this tedious questionnaire. You can be sure that other groups are getting as many as possible to do so, but their interests are likely different from ours.

The questionnaire is horribly long and quite vague in parts. Just please watch out forĀ  numerous weasel words thatĀ  allow it to be interpreted very differently by different people.

Due date is end of February.