The municipality will initiate a Recreation Trails Strategy in 2019.
The Recreation Trails Strategy (RTS) project will provide a strategy document establishing policies to address the management, access, development or improvement of new and existing trails and related elements.
Potential elements to be considered in developing the strategy include:
- economic limits to trail investment
- jurisdictional responsibilities
- trail network inventory and optimization
- trailhead access, parking, and trailhead facilities
- environmental, cultural and special features
- ecosystem-based intensity of recreational use or no-use areas
- e-bike use
- trail closure procedures related to season, wildfire and wildlife
- tenured, commercial and event uses
- marketing, messaging and communications
- trail construction and signage standards
- trail ranger, research hut opportunity and other monitoring programs
- preliminary trail master planning
A number of these topics are more immediate in nature and are being considered through other municipal projects and initiatives. Examples include the Grizzly Bear-Human Conflict Mitigation Strategy and e-bikes.
The geographic scope targets trails and related recreational or natural amenities located within municipal boundaries. Particular emphasis will be placed upon the interface between the Whistler Urban Development Containment Area boundary (identified as the WUDCA boundary in the draft OCP) and immediately adjacent lands, as well as assets of municipal interest or investment outside of the municipal boundary.
The alpine trail network located on Mt. Sproatt and Rainbow Mountain and the 21 Mile Watershed would be included in the project. The Whistler Interpretive Forest would also be included within the project subject to discussions with Recreation Sites and Trails BC.
Whistler Blackcomb’s Controlled Recreation Area (CRA) and Garibaldi Provincial Park would be excluded from scope, but engagement would occur with these organizations to best align policies.
The strategy will aim to achieve consistency across jurisdictions with different land managers where possible and feasible.
Timeline and engagement
The anticipated timeline for completion of this project is approximately 12 months. Some components of the strategy are currently in development.
Development of the strategy will involve engagement with:
- Squamish and Lil’wat Nations
- community members
- partner organizations
- Cheakamus Community Forest
- Recreation Sites and Trails BC
- Committees of Council
- other land managers