A group consisting of trail users and other interested parties met on March 11 at the RKDB office in Grand Forks to discuss the Grand Forks – Christina Lake integrated recreational trail plan.
The afternoon began with a presentation from mapper and presenter Gord Nichols highlighting the plans for best managing the trails as well as some of the challenges.
After the presentation, each attendee was given the opportunity to speak to the proposal.
The proposed area is from Grand Forks east to Christina Lake and Highway 3 north to the Sand Creek Forest Service Road.
The area is approximately 17 kilometres from west to east and 12 kilometres south to north. The total area is about 134 square kilometres.
“This meeting was put together to try and capture all the comments from the many people who are affected by this proposal,” said Doug Zorn, vice-president of the Grand Forks ATV Club. “This proposal covers 134 square kilometres of land that is used currently for ATV and recreational uses. What we would like to do is be out front and try and organize this to help reduce the problems caused by people using the outdoors.”
Zorn said the ATV Club came together last spring with about 24 different groups to sign the Boundary Country Trails Agreement.
“This agreement tries to promote cooperation and collaboration between users of our recreation areas,” he said. “What is tries to do is communicate with all these groups and reduce conflicts.”
Groups represented at the meeting were Grand Forks ATV Club, RDKB Area C, Ministry of Forestry, Lands and Natural Resources, Ministry of Environment protected areas, Interfor, Mehmal ranch, Boundary habitat stewards, and more.
“We had a lot of people who were able to come here and listen to the proposal and sit and listen to everyone’s concerns about it,” said Zorn. “So everyone was able to sit in the same room and hear everyone’s concerns. Things were brought up today that were all workable such as signage and educating the public. That is what the club sees as the most important part of this: education of the public.”
Also in the proposal are the plans to develop three staging areas at separate locations on the trail which would include bathrooms, picnic tables, kiosks and loading and unloading ramps.
“This would allow the public to have access to the immediate area,” said Zorn. “People would be able to use these facilities to safely to get off the highway and unload their machines. The signs on the kiosk would inform people of what to expect.”