Trails BC Withdraws from the Canadian Trail Federation

Trails BC Withdraws from the Canadian Trail Federation over concerns in its involvement with the National Trails Coalition.

Effective March 5th, 2009, the Trails Society of British Columbia (Trails BC) has formally withdrawn its membership in the Canadian Trails Federation. We have taken this action because we do not believe that the CTF is fulfilling its mandate to represent the interests of non-motorized trail users in its dealings with the National Trails Coalition.

The NTC is the vehicle through which the Federal Government will allocate $25,000,000 for Canadian trails. There are three partners which make up the NTC: the Canadian Off Highway Vehicle Dealers Council, the Canadian Council of Snowmobiling Organizations, and the Canadian Trails Federation. Clearly, with two of the three partners representing motorized organizations, the NTC is weighted in favour of their interests and Trails BC does not believe that this entity meets the requirements of being a fair and balanced association that will provide an equitable allocation of funds to the various user groups.

The two motorized organizations not only represent summer and winter motorized use, but they also strongly advocate for it. The CTF has not provided a similar advocacy role for non-motorized users. Spokespersons for the NTC have been advocating for multi-use trail systems. The notion is admirable, but the reality is that as soon as motorized vehicles regularly use a trail, that trail becomes alienated from all other users. Without strong support from the CTF the interests of the non-motorized community are lost. We do not see evidence of this necessary support.

In addition to withdrawing their membership from the CTF, Trails BC will also be asking the Federal Government to organize a National Trails Symposium to address the interests of all trail users, and to help find options and solutions for trail systems that will meet the needs, not only of those who choose to drive the trails, but also of the hikers, cyclists and equestrians who wish to enjoy the beauty of the great outdoors.

For further information contact:

Leon Lebrun - Trails BC Vice President
(604) 942-6768
southwest@trailsbc.ca

or Al Skucas - Trails BC President
(250) 489-1083
rockies@trailsbc.ca