Microsoft word - squamish trails society meeting sept 15 2011.doc

Meeting September 15, 2011
Squamish Trails Society
Squamish Arts Council Building
Cleveland Avenue, Squamish BC

Members in Attendance:
Bob Brant, Vic Drought, Matt Parker, Yasmin Jodrey , Don Lawrence, Penny
Wilmot, Nan Tandrup, Stephane Perron, Heather Evans
Guests: David Greenfield (Sea to Sky Gondola Project – Ground Effects)
Meeting was brought to order at 7:12 pm.
STS Gondola Project
-­‐ There are about avg 500,000 visits per year (over the last 3 years) in Shannon Fal s and The Chief (2 to 3 times the visits of other BC Parks). Avg visit is about 20 minutes – very short. There is captured visitation with the natural beauty but what lacks is tourism infrastructure that holds the visitor for a longer period of time that provides something for a lower-intensity (non athlete) visitor when they come to the Outdoor Recreation Capital of Canada. -­‐ The previous Chief proposal for a gondola was a great idea, wrong space, -­‐ A chal enge with finding a site in the Howe Sound area was the high voltage -­‐ The gondola would move people up to a higher alpine location, and have them stay there for a couple of hours that wil leverage more time in Squamish and make it more of a destination than a road stop. -­‐ The upper destination would be Habrich Ridge – higher than the Chief. -­‐ The base terminal would be on a 6-acre pad, zoning is Resource. Contaminant free. The gondola would go thru BC park, and into crown land area (previously logged) that is in SLRD jurisdiction. -­‐ They are looking at two lift alignments and the criteria include least trees taken down, view/vantage point from the Peaks of the Chief Trail. -­‐ The trail opportunities at the top of the gondola would be about 1km loops that give you different vantage points in various directions. Also, the ‘upper terminal zone’ at the top would also present opportunities for backcountry activities like mountain biking, -­‐ Ground Effects has a letter from Squamish Nation that says they are intending to work together. Their objection to the previous proposal was the Chief itself. -­‐ BC Parks encourages them to go through the process because it could enhance the experience at the parks. There are safety issues, lack of parking, funding issues. -­‐ Mayor and Council ors with Squamish and SLRD also appear to be -­‐ Ground Effects have met with 25 groups, 6 public information sessions. Majority of input from the community has been supportive. -­‐ Base area would have mostly parking: 380 parking spaces, buses etc. -­‐ At the top: some food and beverage, a video experience, daylodge for -­‐ It would be a 6 to 8 minute ride to the top. -­‐ Base area would provide opportunity for trail to connect Chief to Shannon -­‐ They may apply to MoT for a southbound left-in. But, most traffic wil come -­‐ 1km grade friendly trail at the top plateau -­‐ They might make a trail connection that would turn off from the Shannon Fal s to Chief trail and fol ow the line of the gondola. -­‐ Trail between the Shannon Fal s and Chief park -­‐ Climbing community wants to preserve and maybe also improve existing climbing opportunities to Habrich and Sky Pilot. -­‐ SDBA is doing some trail work and have plans up in the Habrich and Sky -­‐ There is some mountain biking from Goat Ridge. -­‐ They may also look to some downhil mountain bike trails that would go -­‐ In winter there may be some tracked trail. -­‐ A locals pass program is a possibility -­‐ They are looking to do a bus based shuttle from the base to downtown to adventure centre. They would also like to make better pedestrian connections. -­‐ Other rec opportunities may be rock climbing, wilderness camping, forest walk experience etc. They may get some licenses of occupation for smal er spot areas for these rec areas. -­‐ If local businesses wanted to make use of the backcountry area, they could pay for the gondola. They could also get access via backcountry roads and access points to use the area up there – Ground Effects would not have control over the whole area – not like a ski area. -­‐ Likely an 8 passenger tram. It wil be a similar technology to whistler -­‐ Need to handle about 1000 people per hour -­‐ Search and Rescue: dedicated helicopter area at base and top. -­‐ At Sulphur Mountain they contract out local y for safety and rescue. 1. DoS rezoning at the base – hopefully this fal 2. BC Parks Assessment – one or more years This includes First Nations partnership. Wil be a public process and involve environmental impact assessment. 3. Land Tenure & SLRD – one or more years. This includes First Nations Hope to be open by summer 2013. They wil likely bring in a strategic operating partner that are involved in tourism. David: Request for ideas from the Squamish Trails Society Request for support letter from STS to the District of Squamish. Public hearing is likely in November. What is the future alignment of the sea to sky trail south to Vancouver – need to
accommodate it via a letter.
Equestrian Issues
-­‐ Jasmin has received no communication back from Todd regarding horse
issues that have been raised with Todd. These were safety issues. o Carpenters Sons Bridge o trodden path next to the paved Corridor Trail for horse traffic. o surface of the bridge (removal of metal grate material) -­‐ Bob wil arrange a meeting with Todd.
Brushback Brigade
-­‐ BBB does not usual y take into account equestrian users, but would like to try to do so. Ask Jasmin to find out which members would like to help with the BBB. Also feedback from them about which trails they use. -­‐ 3-4 trails are under consideration for the next BBB jobs – smoke bluffs,
Innovation Challenge
STS was not selected for the Innovaion Chal enge.

Government Road

-­‐ Stephane has documented and reported on lots of the great work that has -­‐ There are also a few trouble areas that are also documented along -­‐ Railway crossings are a real problem for bikes. The angle of road and the bumpers along the track are things that could be mitigated.
Corridor Trail Report

-­‐ District received grant funding that is going to paving of some sections, and -­‐ Clark Drive to Chances wil not happen this year. -­‐ The District is working on land issues north of Garibaldi Way.
Email Distribution List
Heather is helping with email distribution while Doug is away.
Brackendale Fall Fair
Thanks Penny! New member, renewals, maps sold out, new BBB volunteers.
Ayr Drive to Skyline Place
-­‐ Ayr Drive to Skyline Place is a project that we could cost out.
Trail Connections Inventory
-­‐ Heather to find out from Carl what is documented in the Multi-Modal
-­‐ Merrel Park – there should be better access from east and north.

Discovery Trail Replanting
Mary Mitchel sent some correspondence about this area because the new
landscaping is removing some bird habitat. Bob addressed this with Todd
yesterday. Cascade Environmental is supervising the work.

Run of River Power Project

-­‐ We have supported the SORCA position by letter dated March 2011 since the mountain bike trails are the most relevant. MTB and concerns may not have not been addressed in the process. Bob has reconnected with Mike Nelson and awaits a response from him. Treasurers Report
We have received treasurers report via Jennifer.
Balance $6921, plus more coming from Wesbild in September.
Discovery Trail Bridge
Todd has been in contact with Howe Sound Secondary School re participating in
the project via the woodworking class.

Meeting adjourned at 9:15 pm.


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