By Gagandeep Ghuman
Published: June 8, 2012
The District of Squamish is giving $40,000 to the Squamish Off-Road Cycling Association (SORCA) for trail maintenance.
SORCA has formed a steering committee, along with representatives from the Squamish Trails Society and the Squamish Dirt Bike Association, to determine how these funds should be utilized, said Christie Smith, the district communications officer.
Smith said the investment will support volunteers in retaining the town’s world class trail network.
SORCA president Cliff Miller welcomed the news, and said the district funding would give a much-needed boost to volunteers work on trails.
“I think this is a step in the right direction,” Miller said.
Ed Alder of Squamish Dirt Bike Association said the allotted time spent on trails is divvied up between three different groups, and each group has agreed to have a shared portion of the trail crew time focus on the priorities of their choice.
The individual user groups (STS, SORCA, SDBA) have also contributed funds towards the project, and there could possibly be other funding becoming available, both federally and provincially.
Alder called the funding a “positive development.”
Meanwhile, communications manager Smith said four university students have been hired for a 12 week period to begin work on a triathlon trail. The work will include gravel distribution, vegetation cleanup and other enhancements.
Mike Nelson from SORCA said the organization is thrilled to announce the hiring of the first ever paid trail crew.
This summer, for 12 weeks, with funding from the District of Squamish and contributions from SORCA’s Trail Pass and the other clubs, the trail crew will be out upgrading trails around Squamish.
The trail crew will be working on maintaining approved trails around Squamish, and will rotate between mountain bike, motorbike, and hiking trails in the community, he said.
The trail crew will not be working on building new trails in the area. This week the crew is up working on the climb from Darwin’s Bridge to the Plunge and the end of Fool’s Gold.
If you run into the Trail Crew on the trails say hello and thank them for all their hard work, he added.
Nelson said SORCA would also like to thank the district for funding the trail crew.
“This investment in Squamish trail infrastructure is vital to the recreational and economic resources that are our trails,” he said.