Submitted by Summit Trail Makers Society
Summit Trail Makers Society (STMS) has installed sign-in kiosks at all our maintained trailheads this summer, except the road to Jumbo Pass is still closed, so that has yet to be done.
With a grant from Columbia Valley Community Foundation (CVCF) and support from Recreation Sites and Trails BC (RSTBC), STMS will be able to monitor the number of hikers on our maintained trails. While there are many more trails besides the eleven trails, STMS maintains, the logbooks at each of our trailheads should give us an indication of the overall activity on local trails.
With these numbers, STMS will be able to allocate our resources more efficiently by knowing which trails have more traffic and how heavy it is. Another consideration is that while money may be available for trail maintenance, there are no funds available for roads leading to these trails. Hikers know how fragile our backcountry road system is, and our local officials may have an understanding of the problem, but to impart the seriousness of the gradual and unrelenting erosion of our access roads to those who can do something about it, is a challenge: numbers and money talk.
While maintaining reliable access to our hiking trails is an ongoing challenge for STMS, the maintenance of access roads is expensive and beyond our mandate and budget. Local logging and mining companies often help when they have equipment in the area of need, but that help will not cover all our access roads. Last week Canfor fixed two washouts on the road to Lake of the Hanging Glacier, and CertainTeed Mines has made road improvement for the Swansea Recreation Site.
Despite this assistance, we are in constant danger of losing access to local hikes due to erosion caused by spring run-off. Numbers, and the money associated with these numbers, is the information we need to demonstrate to the ‘powers that be’ that money needs to be spent on roads infrastructure so that people, locals and tourists alike, can continue to enjoy “Supernatural BC.”
Please help STMS advocate for our local hikes and trail access by signing the logbook at each trailhead. It is a quick and simple process of putting in the date, where you are from, the number of hikers (and the number of STMS members in your group) and any short comment. We are asking all hikers to sign in each and every time they hike one of STMS’s trails. Look for the green metal box with the yellow sticker on the side.
If you’d like to take a further step to help, please contact our MLA, Doug Clovechok at Doug.Clovechok.MLA@leg.bc.ca or on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/doug.clovechok and let him know how important our trails are to you.
You can find out more about the STMS at www.summittrailmakers.ca or on Facebook under Summit Trail Makers Society.