The Racehorse Pass trail between B.C. and Alberta in the Elk Valley and Crowsnest Pass area has been saved by spirited public engagement. (Image courtesy of Fernie Snowmobile Association).

The Racehorse Pass trail between B.C. and Alberta in the Elk Valley and Crowsnest Pass area has been saved by spirited public engagement. (Image courtesy of Fernie Snowmobile Association).

Elk Valley stakeholders successfully campaign to keep Racehorse Pass trail open

The Racehorse Pass trail had been considered for decommissioning to reduce habitat fragmentation

The Racehorse Pass trail between B.C. and Alberta has been removed from a list of candidate roads to be decommissioned.

In a release, the Fernie Snowmobile Association (FSA) described the decision by the government to strike the trail from a list of roads to be decomissioned as a great win for recreation groups in the Elk Valley and Crowsnest Pass.

“This is the result of the diligent work of the Elkford ATV Club, the Elkford Snowmobile Association, the Fernie Snowmobile Association, and many other clubs and individuals who took the time to follow due process and provide their feedback,” said Justin Boehm of the FSA, who added it was also a credit to the government “for sitting down and listening to that feedback and looking at options to keep the public trail open while also meeting their environmental targets”.

The Racehorse Pass is a 14km trail between B.C. and Alberta that is east of Sparwood. It’s popular with hikers, mountain bikers and adventurers during warmer months, yielding stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

The FSA was also part of a succesful collective effort to retain two other trails in the Corbin area they described as being of high-value for recreation.

The trails had been considered for decommissioning by the Cumulative Effects Management Framework project, which seeks to reduce habitat fragmentation by decommissioning several km of roads and trails each summer. The project is lead by the provincial government. Roads that are deemed to be of significant value to stakeholders through an engagement process are retained, and maintained in usable condition with the surrounding area reforested.

READ MORE: Backcountry road deactivation results in public disappointment



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