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Historic Trail Agreement Signed By B.C. Community Groups

Published online: May 01, 2013 News The Boundary Sentinel
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Fifteen regional groups came together Monday to sign a momentous agreement that will help protect, build and sustain trails in southern British Columbia. This agreement involved organizations that take part in cycling, snowmobiling, horseback riding, ATVing, wilderness activities and mountain biking plus municipalities and other groups.

Everyone involved agreed they want to work together to protect and maintain the trails. While they don't plan on making every trail usable by every group, they recognize that there are enough trails for everyone to enjoy, whether they are skiing or horseback riding.

"The group hopes to foster goodwill between all users and the community," according to a press release that was submitted to the Boundary Sentinel after the signing.

Their goal is to create sustainable and environmentally sensitive trail networks for everyone with the understanding that all the parties will need to work together to reach this goal. Their philosophy is "Trails for everyone, but not every trail for everyone."

In order to make their goals come to fruition, they have agreed to openly share key information to the collective membership and identify the needs for each type of recreation. Some groups are more active in either the summer or winter. Others operate motorized vehicles while still others prefer non-motorized trails.

They believe enhancing trails will encourage locals to use them and that it will increase tourism and therefore bring in increased revenue to the communities.

Trail safety, etiquette, sustainability and management are all covered in the agreement. Protocols will be enacted to make sure everyone is careful when using the trails and that First Nations are consulted when planning and developing recreational trail opportunities.

All clubs and organizations will keep records of their meetings that can be shared among the collective if needed.

Only 15 of the Boundary Country Trails Agreement Working Group were able to attend the signing but the other five members are expected to sign in the next week. The agreement includes the Boundary Horse Association, Boundary Area All Nations Aboriginal Council, Christina Lake Fire Rescue, Grand Forks ATV Club, Grand Forks Community Trails Society, Grand Forks Cycling Club, Grand Forks Search and Rescue, Granby Wilderness Society, Kettle River Mountain Bikers Association, Metis Community Association, Phoenix Mountain Alpine Ski Society, Phoenix Cross Country Ski Society, Snowmobile Club - Christina Lake, Snowmobile Club -Grand Forks, North Fork Trails Maintenance, Christina Lake Parks and Recreation, Corporation of the City of Grand Forks, Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, Area C Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, Area D and Government of British Columbia Recreation Sites and Trails.