The campground at Pinkut Lake

The campground at Pinkut Lake

Local trail upkeep to be reduced

Maintenance of seven trails to be suspended by the outdoor society due to lack of funding.

Last week the Lakes Outdoor Recreation Society voted to sign a contract that will see the maintenance of 28 recreation sites and two provincial parks continue.

The contract is with Recreation Sites and Trails B.C., and it will see that the maintenance of Ethel M. Wilson Pendleton Bay provincial parks are continued, along with the 28 other recreational sites.

However, the deal will not include the maintenance of seven other recreational trails that were formerly contracted to the outdoor society.

Due to a lack of funding the supervision of trail maintenance for the Nourse/Allin Creek, Old Babine Road, Nellian Lake, Bear Dens, Guyishton Lake, Opal Beds and Walkadabe Trails will now fall under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Recreation Sites and Trails B.C.

Lynn Synotte, president of the Lakes Outdoor Recreation Society says that the society just doesn’t have the capacity to continue with the maintenance of those seven trails.

“Although the directors feel very responsible to see the trail maintenance continue for the benefit of this community and tourists, the Lakes Outdoor Recreation Society has no had the capacity for a number of years to maintain the trails,” Synotte said, “the reality was that any trail work was still largely done by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations. We just don’t have the capacity or funding to continue with the maintenance of these trails.”

The Lakes Outdoor Recreational Society received $30,000 in funding from Comfor Management Services Limited this year, which will help maintain the previously mentioned 28 recreation sites and two provincial parks.

However, they have yet to receive the approximately $5000 in funding that the outdoor society usually receives from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources, which helps to pay for supplies that maintain the trails and recreation sites that are contracted to the outdoor society.

The Lakes Outdoor Recreation Society applies yearly for funding that they have received in the past.

As of now the outdoor society will oversee the maintenance of the 28 recreation sites and the two provincial parks, while the maintenance of the other seven trails that formerly was overseen by the outdoor society will now be under the supervision of the Ministry of Recreation Sites and Trails B.C.

Synotte says that a recreation connect group, consisting of many different trail users, hopes to come up with a trail strategy that looks at the bigger picture within the Lakes community, including setting priorities, especially given the lack of funding and volunteer resources needed to maintain all of the trails in the area.

However, according to Synotte, the flexibility in the contract with the Ministry of Recreation Sites and Trails B.C., the maintenance of the parks and trails is assured.

“The contract flexibility provided by the Ministry of Recreation Sites and Trails B.C., and by the financial contributions from our community, we are very thankful the maintenance of our local recreation sites and parks is assured for 2014,” Synotte said.

Donations for the site maintenance came from Comfor Management Services Ltd., Lakes District Maintenance, NAPA Auto Parts, Bulkley Valley Credit Union, Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako district areas B and E, Babine Forests Products, Overwaitea, Starland Supply, Tire Tech and Curly Temple.