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Nakusp Council reviews trails masterplan

July’s council meeting was focused on an update on the Trails Masterplan.
FILE — Dakota Fizzard looks for plants and various species on his checklist during a scavenger hunt on the Galena Bay Trail during a nature hike. (Arrow Lakes News file)

July’s council meeting was focused on an update on the Trails Masterplan (TMP) by Brent Harley, the president of Brent Harley and Associates, Inc. (BHA) from Whistler, B.C., along with the TMP coordinator, Alix MacKay.

BHA has projects all over North America, as well as some in Europe, Asia, and Australia. Provincially, they have worked on other trails systems, including those around the Sea to Sky Gondola in Squamish, B.C., those around the Whistler Olympic Park, as well as several other mountain resorts.

The phone presentation ran alongside a live PowerPoint to an audience composed of the local trails stakeholders, such as Paul Peterson from the Regional District of Central Kootenay, Lynda LaFleur from the Columbia Basin Trust, and members of the Nakusp and Area Community Trail Society, among others.

Harley and MacKay ran over the project process, from the public and stakeholder consultation to connecting the Nakusp trails management to the provincial strategy, arriving at the final project deliverables. They pointed to the individual and community well-being, as well as the sustainable economic opportunities as the key points in the overall vision for the TMP.

Some of the objectives of the TMP are attracting and retaining families, and encouraging healthy living practices, while supporting the recreational, social, and cultural goals of the local community.

One of the key issues considered is how the local trails networks would support the diverse range of uses, from walking or hiking, to mountain or dirt biking and ATVing, and even cross-country or backcountry skiing, snowshoeing or ATVing.

BHA hopes that a local umbrella group can be formed to represent the interests of the various stakeholder groups and take over the operations part of the TMP, while allowing member groups to continue to function autonomously. As well, standardized terminology will be implemented per the Recreation Sites and Trails BC Trail Classification and Standards.

Updated geo-referenced maps and a database will be coming soon, and further updates to the local trails network are in the works. Further negotiations are required to secure rights of way for those trails that cross private property.

The detailed Nakusp and Arrow Lakes TMP document is available for those interested, complete with the sources of funding for this comprehensive project.