Strategy looks at local trail use

  • Jan. 19, 2011 6:00 a.m.

submitted by Karen Church, Coordinator and Researcher, k’yuwaatl’aagee / k’yuwaatl’aagaay / the Haida Gwaii Trails Strategy-Healthy outdoor lifestyle choices and opportunities to connect with the natural environment should be available to the people who live here and visit Haida Gwaii. Working with the people of the islands, our governments and our neighbors, we seek to create a viable local trail strategy that will sustain and respect ecological and cultural features, provide for ongoing trail maintenance, common trail signage and rating, and encourage new interpretive and special interest activities. “k’yuwaatl’aagee or k’yuwaatl’aagaay” means, the path out of concealment or the road out of the woods in the Haida Language. This new islands initiative will create an islands vision for sustainable trail use, maintenance, and future development for all user groups on Haida Gwaii, based on past and current public and stakeholder engagement.When we achieve a trails strategy that is supported by all of the local communities we will be able to access greater funding opportunities and provide a trail system that links our people both on the landscape and in economic terms. With the creation of the recreational sites and trails BC branch in 2007, the provincial government signaled an emphasis on trail development towards growing the tourism sector of the economy. The Misty Isles Economic Development Society, with the generous assistance of the Skeena Queen Charlotte Regional District and the Real Estate Foundation of BC, is pleased to be facilitate this strategic planning process on behalf of all Island residents. Stage one of this process will create a guiding document for implementation of a trails strategy. We are using existing trail inventories and planning documents, in combination with the results of our current consultation process to create the implementation plan. Through public and stakeholder consultations, we will identify a range of opportunities associated with specific trails and user groups, as well as identify other trail issues. What activities do you enjoy on trails? How often do you use trails? What interpretive opportunities would you like to see? What is your vision for bicycling trails and lanes on Haida Gwaii? What cultural activities do you envision being associated with trails? These are the some of the questions we are asking. If you would like to participate, we invite you to fill out a public consultation questionnaire, available on the MIEDS website, www.mieds.ca, or e-mail trails@mieds.ca for more information. Deadline for input is Jan. 31.