Fernie trail users have been warned to expect signage in the Ridgemont area as a seven-month closure looms.
The popular trails network will be closed from mid-October 2018 through to April 2019 to allow for harvesting activities.
Vast Resource Solutions Ltd has been contracted by Ridgemont Holdings Ltd to conduct the work, which will involve harvesting, road building, hauling, slash disposal and road reclamation.
During this time, the Ridgemont area will be closed to the public due to the safety risk posed by the mechanized operations.
According to City of Fernie documents, the goal is to re-open the trails and properties to public use in May 2019.
The closure will limit fall and winter activities in Fernie as the Ridgemont area is a popular location for cross country skiing, snowshoeing and fat biking during the colder months.
The contractor has outlined a number of objectives for the project, including using selective harvesting techniques to make the properties Firesmart.
It will also leave “a mosaic of intact reserves” around sensitive areas, such as high value wildlife areas, and maintain the integrity of the existing trail network by means of machine free zones and minimal designated crossings.
Trails will be cleared and re-established post harvest and the company plans to use local harvesting contractors.
On Wednesday, Fernie Trails Alliance issued a Facebook post warning users of the upcoming closure with signs now being erected on Ridgemont trails.
The Free Press has reached out to local user groups for comment.
More to come.