Tuesday, December 15, 2009  
   Volume 79 - Issue 50 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“There’s not a piece of land in this Pass that’s not worth $500.”
- Councillor Ian MacLeod  
- on implementing a   
minimum property tax   


Cross-country skiers in the Crowsnest Pass will now have a little bit more room to stretch their legs at the Allison-Chinook ski area northwest of Coleman.
The Crowsnest Pass Cross Country Ski Association, in partnership with the South West Alberta Trails (SWAT) Advisory Council, officially opened three kilometres of new trails at the ski area on Friday, December 4. The new system includes two runs, named Jack Rabbit and Elk. They help form a loop near the entrance to the trail system, creating an ideal beginner run, and can also be used as part of the larger trail system, now more than 30 km long in total.
"We're delighted to see these new runs opened for the start of ski season," says Neil Chalmers, President of the Cross Country Ski Association. "These new trails enhance the venue. They provide needed links to existing trails in the region."
The new trails also bypass existing trails that are suffering from erosion, he says, which the association will now work to fix up.
Funds for the new trail, along with other projects in the ski area, wee made available through the Trails Improvement Grant, a joint federal-provincial program. SWAT, which represents numerous trail user groups in the area, received a grant of $800,000 over three years.
Glen French, chairperson of SWAT, says that it's taken five years of work to get to where the group is now, able to put money into the trail system in southwest Alberta. He says that a great deal of man hours and equipment goes into these projects, bringing economic benefit to the area both during the work and then forever afterward through use of the trails.
"We've accomplished a lot in the past year," he says. "Our volunteers are practical people who are used to heavy work, and we've employed local contractors and purchased local goods whenever possible, a definite boon to our economy up here."
French says that the bulk of SWAT's work is focused on fixing up existing multi-use trails, including the installation of bridges and other structures in order to bolster access and safety for all trail users.
He thanked Livingstone-Macleod MLA Evan Berger, who was on hand at the official opening, for his support and for helping SWAT secure the funding.
Berger said that the big push came from the trail user groups themselves, and added that he will continue to help wherever he can. He cut the ribbon to ceremonially open the new trails, and local skier Tim Grier was the first to cross through on cross-country skis.
More information on the Allison-Chinook ski area can be found online at www.Allisonwonderlands.ca.
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   Volume 79 - Issue 50 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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