By Dan Walton

Pioneer Staff

Mountain bikers might be one step closer to having a new trail network near Radium Hot Springs.

The Village of Radium Hot Springs has approved $4,000 in funding to tackle a large portion of a $5,500 ecological study, positive results from which will allow for the Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance to begin the approval process of the Deja Vu trail an unpaved trail to be located on Crown land south of the village.

The study is needed to begin the sanctioning process for the Deja Vu trail, said Columbia Valley Greenways Trail Alliance chair Mark Halwa. We respect the environmental values; certain species need to be taken into account before construction can begin.

But the study is just a prerequisite it doesnt guarantee that ground will be broken, he said.

Well identify species or other items of ecological significance that will be at risk, and hopefully be able to mitigate the risk and open up more crown land for the benefit of [outdoor recreation.]

The remainder of the funding needed for the study will be relied upon by other stakeholders, Mr. Halwa said, such as Greenways.

Well have to do a bit of work to fundraise to allow the trail development to go ahead.