Smithers-Telkwa bike route achieves major milestone

Right of way agreement with former par 3 golf course clears way for next steps

A group of cycling enthusiasts trying to build a paved path separate from the highway from Smithers to Telkwa has achieved its first major milestone.

Last week, Cycle 16 announced it had signed a right of way (ROW) agreement with the Yuen family, owners of the Bulkley Valley RV Park (formerly the par 3 golf course).

“I can’t begin to tell you how excited I am about it,” said Tony Harris Cycle 16 president. “It’s like we can take a deep breath and say, ‘well, this actually may be a possibility.”

Although this piece is a tangible breakthrough, the project has crossed other significant milestones. Earlier this year, Cycle 16 unveiled an engineering report made possible with funding from the province and the B.C. Alliance for Healthy living.

“We’ve achieved a lot, actually, but this is the first bit we can say is concrete and tangible,” Harris said.

“I’m so grateful to Ellen Hanson of the Kassandra Trust and Dale Perry [who] did most of the [legal] work pro bono,” Harris said.

The Trust provided $22,000 in March 2018 to advance the project.

In a May 23 press release, Harris also noted the generosity of the Yuen family and “countless others who donated numerous hours of volunteer time.”

For Harris, the Smithers-Telkwa cycle route has been decades in the making.

“We tried to do this trail 20 years ago and we ended up with nothing,” he said. “Someone advised me, get the pieces that you can get and future generations can fill it the pieces you can’t get. That’s been a major motivation for me, personally… getting out of Smithers, if we couldn’t get past the par 3 golf course, then we can’t get through the Giddings farm at the other end, we’ve got nothing.”

Having that first ROW is a relief, Harris said, that allows the Cycle 16 board to concentrate on moving forward.

“We’ve got that, we can put that aside, it’s in the safe somewhere, I’m not going to worry about that anymore, now we can totally focus on the next piece,” Harris said.

“Now, getting up the hill, we don’t have an agreement with the next land owner, so we have to figure out how we can get up that hill. The next step after that is the cattle underpass and then after that is the ministry of transportation, the regional district, BC Hydro, [those] are the kind of agreements we have to come up with.”

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

51 health professionals send letter to Trudeau, Horgan panning Coastal GasLink

They point to studies about the health and climate change risks from pipeline

The good, the bad and the odd for Smithers in the provinical budget

Acting Mayor Gladys Atrill and a local financial planner break down the budget

14 arrested at blocked rail line in northern B.C., police say

But a Gitxsan hereditary chief says 14 were arrested, as fight over natural gas pipeline continues

Wet’suwet’en hereditary chiefs call for end of police patrols

Temporary closure of field office not enough to meet demands

VIDEO: Wet’suwet’en supporters vow to keep protesting at B.C. legislature

Supporters say they will continue ongoing action to hold government accountable

VIDEO: Province promotes ‘lifting each other up’ on 13th annual Pink Shirt Day

Students, MLAs, community members gathered at B.C. Parliament Buildings Wednesday

Prepare for new coronavirus like an emergency, health minister advises

About 81,000 people around the world have now become ill with COVID-19

B.C. residents in Wet’suwet’en territory have right to police presence: Public Safety Minister

Nevertheless, Bill Blair said officials remain ‘very anxious’ for the barricades to come down

Winnipeg police investigating graffiti on RCMP and other buildings

Manitoba Justice Minister Cliff Cullen denounced the vandalism

B.C. seniors’ watchdog calls for better oversight after recent problems at Retirement Concepts care homes

‘There is no financial incentive right now to be a good operator’ - Isobel Mackenzie

Trucking company fined $175K for Kootenay creek fuel spill

Decision handed down last Friday in Nelson court

B.C. city rebrands with new logo, cheeky slogan

‘Langford, where it all happens’ is the City’s new slogan

B.C. Liberals call for ban on foreign funds to pipeline protesters

Sierra Club, Wilderness Committee back Coastal GasLink blockades

Most Read