Tuesday, March 30, 2010  
   Volume 80 - Issue 12 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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Quote of the Week
“This is just absolutely scary as a result of our linear assessment.”
- Marion Vanoni  
- on the municipality’s new   
budget crisis   


“What we’ve accomplished here is 15 years in the making.”
It's taken years of hard work and growing partnerships, but the successes are now rolling in on a longtime dream to truly grow, develop, and improve a local network of trails that can be enjoyed for generations to come.
Dozens of dignitaries, user groups, and southern Alberta media were at the newly improved York Creek staging area on Friday, March 19, to officially celebrate the success of numerous partnerships and programs that are investing large amounts of money into local trail development and improvement –– with much more to come in future years.
"What we've accomplished here is 15 years in the making," said Glen French, chairperson of the South West Alberta Trails committee (SWAT). Together with the provincial and federal governments, the Quad Squad, the Crow Snow Riders, the Alberta Off Highway Vehicles Association (AOHVA), the Southern Alberta Trail Riders Association, the municipality, and numerous grants and sponsors, local trails are getting a lot of attention.
The results have been impressive, even in just the last year. In 2009, $300,000 was put into area trails through the Community Development Trust –– including such trails as Gardiner Creek, Carbondale to south Lost Creek, Syncline, Southcastle Main, York Creek, Willoughby Ridge, Middle Kootenay Main, Middle Kootenay avalanche safety bypass, and South Lost Main. Bridges were installed, trails were improved, and safety was enhanced. This was the second of three years for the program.
Money from the National Trails Coalition, together with a partnership between the municipality and the Quad Squad, saw a further $250,000 put into local trail projects in 2009. Work was done on the York Creek North Loop, the trail to the plane crash, the York Creek staging area, reclamation and relocation of a trail in Drum Creek, and walking trail bridge installations on the Crowsnest River, Lyons Creek, and at Flumerfelt Park.
A partnership with the Southern Alberta Trail Riders Association saw $45,000 used to build a major non-motorized trail system in the Ruby Lake and Grizzly Lake areas, in the Castle region.
Further partnership between the Crow Snow Riders, the Quad Squad, and the AOHVA put $45,000 into several snowmobile trails in the area.
Several dignitaries spoke about all of these accomplishments at the ceremony. Former MLA and Minister of SRD David Coutts, who worked on this vision's behalf during his time in office, congratulated all involved on the success.
"You shared your dreams with me as a rookie MLA in the 90s," said Coutts. "You have persevered. It's taken a long time. What a legacy you have left, by staying steadfast to your dreams. What an example you have left for a nation."
The groups involved in these partnerships received commendations from the Canadian Off Highway Vehicles Association, Mayor John Irwin of the Municipality of Crowsnest Pass, and Livingstone-Macleod MLA Evan Berger.
"Together we will continue this vision," said Berger, who serves as parliamentary assistant to the Minister of SRD. "This is a landscape we can sell over and over again if we do it right."
Glen French says that in recent years, a growing number of trail user groups, both motorized and non-motorized, have been formalizing their operations and forming partnerships with the Quad Squad and with each other to advance a common vision of trail development and improvement. With everyone working together, he says, far greater amounts of funding have been secured to make this vision a reality, and many more projects are being planned.
The biggest thing, says French, is having all of the users working together instead of working apart. With the Quad Squad's success in expanding and securing funding, many other groups have joined to bring even more money into the area. French says that the key is to always secure matching dollars for any money the groups want to spend, doubling the money available and ensuring projects are successfully completed.
"Partnerships allow for increased investment," says French, "whether it be individual or multi-use trails." He notes that the partnership between the Quad Squad and the Crow Snow Riders is the only successful partnership between an ATV and snowmobile group in the province.
The people in the area are joining together to take control of their own destiny, he says, and he believes that other things needed in the Pass, such as industry, will follow when the Pass establishes a large number of amenities that people desire, including outdoor recreation opportunities.
French hopes to help bring much more funding to trails in the area in coming years, as more partners join, more planning is done, and area trails become an ever-growing success for southwestern Alberta, a great attraction for the Crowsnest Pass, and a joy for locals of all ages for generations to come.
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   Volume 80 - Issue 12 Website:www.passherald.ca   email: passherald@shaw.ca   $1.00   
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