2006 Annual General Meeting and Trans Canada Trail Presentation

Mr. Al Skucas, the Rockies/East Kootenay Director of Trails BC, will be at the Rosemont Campus of Selkirk College on Saturday, Nov. 25, to present a Powerpoint slide show describing the proposed new route through Nelson for the Trans Canada Trail from Salmo to Cranbrook.  The uncompleted original route would have followed the Dewdney Trail over Kootenay Pass.  However, highways, logging roads, and slides have obliterated this section of the Dewdney Trail.  The mountainous terrain and private property issues also made this route impractical.

Al Skucas and the local trail group in Cranbrook have devised a route concept that incorporates the former Burlington Northern rail corridor, the Kootenay Lake Ferry, Gray Creek Pass, and the abandoned CP railway from Kimberley to Cranbrook.  More communities are present on this route to provide maintenance and stewardship.

When completed, this project will have a beneficial impact on adventure tourism in the Nelson Area.  Find out more and come to enjoy this exciting slide presentation.  The meeting is at Selkirk College, Rosemont Campus, at 3:30pm.  A short N.A.T.S. annual general meeting will follow the presentation.  For more information call 354-4325..

More details regarding this new route have been provided by Al Skucas at these links:  (See page 6) (See page 5)

New Name for Burlington Northern / Salmo-Troup Rail Trail

Although there has not been an official announcement, the City of Nelson and the Regional District of Central Kootenay have been recently referring to the former Burlington Northern Railway corridor as the Nelson-Salmo Great Northern Trail.  Based on resolutions made by the RDCK on Feb. 21, 2004, and the tenure agreement that they reached with the trail's landowner, the Ministry of Transportation, that went into effect Jan.1, 2006, the RDCK resolved at their Oct. 21 meeting "that staff be directed to immediately address signage and barrier requirements for the Nelson-Salmo Great Northern Trail and meet with appropriate community interest groups to facilitate signage and barrier installation with authority granted to expend the funds necessary to complete such installations."  This action has been spurred on by complaints of motorized vehicles riding between Hall Siding and Troup Junction, including a petition circulated by NATS board member Hayward Kirsh and a column in the Sept. 15 Nelson Daily News written by Donna McDonald.  As well, the long promised hiring of a Trail Coordinator has been referred to the next meeting of the Regional Parks Commission.

Other Trail News

The Province of British Columbia announced on Oct. 27 that $40 million would be available over four years as part of a "LocalMotion" program to encourage fitness and recreation by funding bike paths, walkways, and greenways.  Capital projects will be shared on a 50/50 basis with municipal governments.

The Ministry of Tourism, Sport and the Arts, which is now responsible for Recreation Sites, has included trails in the Nelson area in a list of user maintained recreations sites and trails planned for upgrading in 2006/07.  No further details have been given, but Dan Reiben in Castlegar is the Recreation Officer contact person.

The Terrestrial Stewardship Advisor for the Columbia Basin Trust recently contacted NATS to inform us that they can help develop environmental project ideas and create funding proposals to assist in the creation of healthy environments in the region.  No plans have been made, although the installation of an outhouse at the Ward's Ferry Trail campsite may be one possibility.

Another group bicycle trip in conjunction with the Nelson Cycling Club and the Slocan Valley Heritage Trail Society was considered by NATS in October, but has been postponed until spring time.  In the meantime, check out the Nelson Nordic Ski Club!