From our Executive Director, Barry Janyk:

I was invited to the “Share the Trails” workshop in Nanaimo and Dave suggested I attend.  The event was organised by Jeremy McCall of ORC and Nancy Spratt of the Horse Council of BC.

Snuneymuxw Nation leader Lolly Good welcomed the 50 invited attendees to Snuneymuxw traditional territory.  She inspired us to “use our voices and to be heard, in a good way.” Doing things and making decisions in “a good way” means ensuring that all community initiatives are undertaken with a strong focus on process, prioritizing inclusivity, equality, and honesty.  Leonard Krog the Nanaimo MLA also provided a warm welcome.

Everyone shared their thoughts, asked questions, and contributed to an engaging dialogue throughout the day.

Presenters and panelists helped explain the three main topics: e-bikes, mixed-use trails, and public access to private forest lands for recreation. E-bikes are coming, and Daniel Scott is working on regulating their use on Crown lands – trails especially.  Interesting fact: only 35 of 1,033 provincial parks and protected areas allow bikes on trails.

ORC is very much involved in their own “right to roam” efforts – on the Island especially. They have prepared a discussion paper that I have shared with our own team. In addition, Scott Fraser will soon be releasing a report on the conclusions and recommendations from the public consultation meetings he conducted in the winter and spring in Port Alberni. I was encouraged by the comments of Megan Hanacek, the CEO of the Private Forest Landowners Association, regarding their interest in discussing access to their lands.

Those contributing were:

  • Richard Campbell, Executive Director, BC Cycling Coalition
  • Sarah Fennell, Recreation Business Specialist, BC Parks
  • Megan Hanacek, CEO, Private Forest Landowners Association
  • Jeremy McCall, Executive Director, ORC
  • Sharon Pickthorne, Director, Backcountry Horsemen of BC & ORC Access Committee
  • Kim Reeves, Chair of ORC’s Access Committee
  • Tim Ryan, former Chair of BC’s Forest Practices Board, Forest Consultant
  • Daniel Scott, Trails Specialist, Recreation Sites and Trails BC
  • Orville Smith, Director, Tabor Mountain Recreation Society
  • Kirby Villeneuve, Section Head, Recreation – Provincial Services Branch, BC Parks

For those who wish to know more about event, just let me know. I got a lot out of the day and came away with some helpful information – especially related to assisting our Right to Roam initiative.