— Submitted by sitting IMR President Ken Rodonets
The 2014 Vancouver Island Spine Trail Network Conference was held on May 31st. in Royston at the Kingfisher Inn.
The day started at 8:30 am with an introduction by Andrew Pape-Salmon for the first half hour. Keynote Addresses were made by Philip Stone ( Vancouver Island Adventurer and guidebook author) and Trisha Kaplan ( Trail Development Manager, Western & Northern Canada, Trans Canada Trail ) Both talked about trails and showed slides.
10:30 am Success Stories
Reports (speeches) were made by:
- Tom Cameron from Gabriola Land & Trails Trust & formerly with Alberta Trailnet & TransCanada Trail Foundation
- Amanda Ridgway, Founder & Managing Director of Drift Mt. Biking & Director of the Mt. Bike Tourism Association
- Martin Littlejohn, Executive Director of Western Canada Mt. bike Tourism Association)
11:30 am Workshops
There were 2 workshops to choose from. I sat in the Private Land Issues.
- Robert Gunn from th e Alberni Valley Outdoor Club talk on the private land owners and how VISTA is slowly working with them to get an agreement.
- Scott Glaspey from Sunshine Coast Trail & Powell River Parks & wilderness Society, Gave a talk with slides.
- Rachel Forbes, Principal at Sharp Six Services, former local government, Aboriginal & environmental lawyer, gave a talk along with slides.
After Lunch… More Workshops
We carried on with another workshop. I picked out the Land Issues : Public Focus. Our speakers for this were:
- John Hawkings, Manager of Trails, Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations)
- Kevin McPhedran of Parks and Outdoors Recreation Coordinator, for the Village of Cumberland
3 pm Guest Speakers
We had 2 other guest speaker talking about the Partnerships and Development : Tying together social, community and economic success.
- Dr. Nicole Vaugeois from BC Regional Innovation Chair in Tourism & Sustainable Rural Development, Dept. of Recreation and Tourism Management at Vancouver Island University
- Ken Melamed from Sustainability Champion, former Mayor of Whistler, former board member of Tourism Whistler, Whistler Chamber of Commerce and more.
4 pm, the Closing Remarks
All agreed that it was a great day to “network” with everyone. Questions were: What is next ? What do you want out of today ? What can we do ? Further discussion necessary. How ? How to stay best informed ? We need some form of information, Divying up some of the roles/effort. Rep. from each group to be on VITN ? Straight facts on the web site.
- On June 1st, People taking part in the support ride, run or hike for the Spine Trail met in Cumberland at 11 am at the Cumberland Rec. Hall. People who were mtn. biking left to do their ride around the trails.
- There was around 6 mtn. bikers. Seem to be around 30 to 40 people who took part in the running part of the trails. I did the hiking part with around 25 to 30 people. We hiked along an easy trail and made our way out to Comox Lake to enjoy the sunshine and then back to the rec. center were everyone enjoyed some refreshments, bananas, muffins, cookies.
All in all it was a great weekend. To bad that I had to sit inside on the Sat.! That is it for now, from your President Ken R.