Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations - Part 6

Trail Initiatives

1. Provincial Recreation Trails Strategy

Free Camping

Eagle Bay

The Tourism Action Plan called for the development of a Trails Program for British Columbia. A collaborative, multi-jurisdictional and stakeholder imitative lead by Recreation Sites and Trails has produced a draft Provincial Trails Strategy.

The Strategy lists 17 required actions to achieve a Provincial vision for a world class trail system. Minister Bennett, the Minister of Tourism Culture and Arts, at the time, announced the draft Trails Strategy for BC at the 2008 UBCM meeting in Penticton.

Community information sessions were held in 11 locations across the Province to solicit feedback on the draft Strategy. The Trails Strategy has been presented to and discussed with several of the Natural Resource Ministers prior to the most recent Cabinet realignment however government endorsement has not been confirmed.

Implementation of the strategy will occur in stages, based on resources available and will focus on:

• regional planning in high priority areas such as the Fraser Valley and Okanagan;

• trail inventory work;

• user survey to support marketing efforts; and

• support a Provincial Trail Advisory Committee.

2. Mountain Bike Trails

Free Camping

BIG OK Lake in the Cascades District

Procedures for authorizing and managing mountain bike trails on Crown land has been developed and is being tested at 8 pilot locations in the following Districts:

1. Central Cariboo

2. Chilliwack

3. Kamloops

4. Nadina/Skeena-Stikine

5. North Coast/QCI/Kalum

6. Prince George/Mackenzie

7. Rocky Mountain

8. Sea to Sky

3. Trails for Motorized Use

Motorized riding areas have been established at Bear Creek near Kelowna, Munroe Creek near Summerland and other locations to manage the increasing use in off-road motor cycling and ATV’ing. Recreation Sites and Trails also manages 79 trail areas for snowmobiling, all in partnership with local clubs.

4. Avalanche Safety

In 2010, the large number of avalanche related deaths involving snowmobile operators on Crown land over the past 2 years prompted significant media attention and recommendations from the Coroner’s office. As a result Avalanche Warning signs have been placed at all managed snowmobile trails. Recreation Sites and Trails in collaboration with GeoBC and the Canadian Avalanche Association have embarked on a 3 year program to complete terrain ssessments and avalanche risk ratings at the managed snowmobile areas. This information will enable Avaluator signage to be developed. The Avaluator sign combines the avalanche danger rating for the day and the terrain rating for the area to enable snowmobile user to identify the avalanche risk and make informed decisions concerning avalanche hazards in the area. Avaluator signs will be posted at 8 managed snow mobile areas prior to the 2010/11 snowmobile season.

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