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Trails BC is expressing concern about a recent petition and a letter writing campaign by the provincial motor sports sectors, lobbying the provincial government for authorized motorized access to the Kettle Valley Trail (KVR) trails which are the backbone to BC’s portion of the national Trans Canada Trail as well as the province’s Spirit of 2010 Trail Network.
Spearheaded by the provincial ATV organization, the Quad Riders of BC, this campaign threatens to turn the KVR/Trans Canada Trail into an official motorized trail with major negative implications for non-motorized users.
Over the last two years there has been resurfacing of sections of the KVR trail between Summerland and Faulder. In an attempt to maintain the integrity of these newly surfaced sections as well as to address other concerns impacting non-motorized users, the government of British Columbia Recreation, Sites and Trails posted official non-motorized signs on these sections just before the May long weekend. These non-motorized signs were immediately removed by unauthorized individuals. As a result, motorized users are still using these sections and the newly resurfaced sections are already degraded from motorized use. Such degradation discourages cyclists, the main intended user, from using the trail.
The KVR is largest component of the Spirit of 2010 Trail and the Trans Canada Trail in BC.
The Spirit of 2010 Trail is the first segment in the creation of world class recreational rails to trails product that will stimulate the development of incremental tourism infrastructure and incremental tourism visits across a significant portion of British Columbia. The Spirit of 2010 Trail is 750 kilometres in length and there is the potential to convert over 2000 kilometres of rail trails in total. The rails to trails movement has become an accepted model in North America for sustainable economic development in rural and urban areas. It is the conversion of former railway corridors into world-class recreational trails for use by cyclists, hikers, equestrians and Nordic skiers. It has enabled primarily rural communities to develop a sustainable business case for economic development using rail trails.Marlene Gregory of Summerland reports:
Clear signs indicate that motorized vehicles are not allowed yet many of the cement blockades have been removed. Some refused to slow down, causing undue dust and one dirt bike rider narrowly missed hitting a cyclist in our group.
Parts of the trail are so soft that cycling and even walking are difficult.
Please write Premier Clark, Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations and your MLA encouraging them to protect the KVR and other trails from motorized vehicles.
Premier Christy Clark
cc your MLA