Our membership is growing again, and we couldn’t be more pleased to welcome two new clubs to the FMCBC this spring: The Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society (PR-PAWS) and the Skaha Bluffs Park Watch Society. We’re going to focus on the former for now, but you’ll hear more about the latter soon!
Established in 1992 to protect threatened old growth forests on the Upper Sunshine Coast, PR-PAWS’ list of accomplishments is long. From building trails to connect the remaining stands of old growth forests in the region to the construction of 13 (soon to be 14!) huts along the 180-kilometre Sunshine Coast Trail (SCT) to tirelessly advocating for things like a wider minimum buffer zone and new management principles within the section 56 regime, it’s clear that the people of PR-PAWS keep busy.
But they know how to have fun too—if your idea of fun is a 29-kilometre hike or run through ancient temperate forests, up hills and past magnificent vistas that is! A few weeks ago they hosted their 23rd annual Marathon Shuffle, attracting more than 400 runners and hikers to the magnificent single-track route. The event even made the front page of the local paper!
In fact, the trail has been getting all kinds of recognition and accolades recently, including from renowned international adventure magazine Explore, who included the SCT in their list of the 50 best hikes in the world (along with the Grand Canyon Rim to Rim in the U.S. and the Inca Trail in Peru). Little wonder for the volunteers of PR-PAWS who hike and work on the trail regularly. According to co-founder and president Eagle Walz, “The 180-kilometre trail covers a variety of ecosystems, old growth, lake shores, riparian creek and river zones, mountain vistas, and waterfalls.” The area’s temperate climate also means it can be hiked year-round, not to mention the canoeing, kayaking and climbing opportunities that abound in the region.
With a wealth of experience and an enthusiasm for trail work and conservation, we couldn’t be happier to have PR-PAWS on board. We look forward to working with you, sharing knowledge, and swapping stories.