Back in 2007, I sat on an advisory panel on behalf of IMBA to assist in the creation of a provincial trails strategy for the province of British Columbia. Although the ‘Trails Strategy for British Columbia’ is still waiting to be formally adopted, the final draft of the document has been used to run a pilot project program where government recreation officers work closely with clubs who build and maintain trails. In return, the clubs receive authorization to expand their trail network, enhancing the local experience and attracting some well-needed tourism dollars to their economy.

The pilot has been a great success, yet up until now, the document had not been formalized by the provincial government. But good things do come to those who wait.

The Trails Strategy was recently referenced in a document published by BC’s Ministry of Jobs, Tourism and Innovation this spring, “Gaining The Edge, A Five-year Strategy for Tourism in British Columbia, 2012-2016.” Page 25 of the paper describes the implementation of “A Trails Strategy for British Columbia,” which is described as “an action plan for developing and maintaining a sustainable, world-renowned network of recreation trails for hikers, cyclists, equestrians, cross-country skiers, snowmobilers and summer motorized users.”

It seems as though the government will finally adopt the Strategy, essentially intact as of the final draft in 2009. As a member of the panel, and trail user in BC, I am very happy to see all the hard work done by some special people in the ministries, and all the user groups involved. This should now officially open the door for mountain cycling clubs to embark on partnerships with government throughout the province.