Staff provide updates on 2019 investments
Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) staff have provided a Committee of the Whole meeting updates on several 2019 trails initiatives ranging from developing a comprehensive Recreation Trails Strategy and Grizzly Bear–Human Conflict Mitigation Strategy to trailhead and parking updates.
Mayor Jack Crompton said, “The initiatives in progress reflect the evolution of the Alpine Trail Program and popularity of the Alpine Trail Network with visitors and residents. The trails provide a unique opportunity for alpine hiking and mountain biking experiences conveniently accessed from the resort.”
He added, “With access to the backcountry by more hikers and bikers, long-term trail planning for the current projects balances protection of wildlife habitat, Whistler’s watershed and the natural environment with the needs of users.”
Key programs and projects underway in 2019 include:
Recreation Trails Strategy – Development of a comprehensive strategy document that establishes policies for the management, development and improvement of new and existing trails. Potential elements will include access; parking and trailhead facilities; environmental and cultural features; trail construction and signage standards; trail closure procedures and more.
Grizzly Bear-Human Conflict Mitigation Strategy – In support of the Province of B.C.’s grizzly bear recovery program and public safety mandate and in response to 2018 trail closures, the RMOW is leading development of a grizzly bear–human conflict mitigation strategy in collaboration with the Conservation Officer Service, Recreation Sites and Trails BC, and the regional Forest, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development ecosystem biologist.
Trailhead and parking updates – The RMOW is exploring options to manage trailhead issues.
Continued trail work – The RMOW will complete the trail to Beverly Lake, rebuild the south Flank trail from Northair Mines Forest Service Road to Function Junction, develop rest areas and outhouses and install additional safety and environmental awareness signs.
Alpine Trail Ranger Program – The RMOW will increase investment in the Alpine Trail Ranger Program on Mount Sproatt and Rainbow Mountain with an additional 500 hours between July and October. The rangers’ duties include trail monitoring and maintenance, public education, wildlife and wildfire observation data collection, first aid, communication with Search and Rescue, Conservation and Forestry Officers and RMOW staff.
Learn more about these initiatives at www.whistler.ca/alpinetrailprogram.
Related planning initiatives include developing an e-bike policy for Whistler, bear risk assessments on additional trails including the Skywalk Trail, wildfire protection, and source water protection in Whistler’s watershed.
About the Alpine Trail Program
The Alpine Trail Program is a multi-year initiative to restore old trails and develop a range of both hiking only and non-motorized multi-use trails on Rainbow Mountain and Mount Sproatt. Once complete, the network will include almost 40 kilometres of alpine trails.
The RMOW-led Trails Planning Working Group was formed in 2012 to coordinate the planning of hiking and mountain biking trails near Whistler.
Funding for the Alpine Trail Program and related planning has been provided through the Province of British Columbia’s Resort Municipality Initiative (RMI).