Spring 2019 Newsletter

We are happy to welcome spring after a winter which had some great days but not enough

consistent snow to optimize conditions. We appreciate the contributions of over a dozen people

who helped maintain the trails and complete administrative requirements. Memberships have

increased with total paid standing at 94. In addition, donations through the pay box during the

winter season totaled over $1400, representing possibly another 50 memberships. We

appreciate the support of all.

Of immediate interest to trail users is that the haul road is to be opened again in approximately

mid-May to allow chipping of the slash piles by the pulp mill for hog fuel. This will take place

during the month of June and will, I am told, be noisy. The usual warnings to stay away from

big machines apply. The road is to be closed by mid July. All of this is weather and fire

conditions dependent. We have asked for some sort of gating or access control to prevent

intrusion into the recreation site tenure.

We are creating a new trail to allow equestrians to reach the power line without impacting the

dog trail. This project is still in its initial stages, but a tentative date of June 8 has been

designated a potential “work bee” to accomplish a number of tasks. In addition to a few folks as

“throwers” to clear the new trail of brush and trees (chainsaw will accompany), there is a need to

clear the Wapiti side of the dog trail of stumps and other obstructions which catch the grader in

early season. A chainsaw will accompany along with some rakers and potential stone removers.

In addition to these rather high energy tasks there is a need to police the parking lot and

surrounding area for the dreaded dog poop. I want to avoid the situation last year when it

required an entire day from one volunteer to clean it all up, 8 big garbage bags. Depending on

the people who show up, cleanup on the Kinnikinnick snowshoe trail where it goes through the

recent logging would also be beneficial. I think those tasks should keep some volunteers busy.

I will let you know if the date changes, but otherwise please consider coming at 10 AM,

Saturday June 8 at the South Star parking lot. I know it’s Wasa weekend, but various factors

made us choose this. Sorry for the overlap.

Historically, the Board has had members and presidents staying for up to 10 years. It is clear

with the increasing demands of the job and the inevitable ageing of board members a

succession plan is needed. Accordingly, we are looking for a “Vice President” who would work

for a year or two to understand the job and then take over as president. This person should be

someone who uses and is passionate about the trails and is able to commit up to 15 hours per

month. The time is really not that much, but the issues can require a lot of thought and

consultation. The ability to work with the board and the ministry to coordinate plans is also

essential. The Society has a contract with the ministry running until 2024, and I am sure there

will be challenges along the way. Historically I think we have always found the ministry to be a

supportive partner, with challenges coming from other issues.

Also needed are two additional board members. One will be responsible for signage, which

requires planning and thought. Labour can be arranged, but what we need is a good

assessment of the area and recommendations about signage, particularly on boundaries.

Familiarity with GPS would be helpful.

A third board member is required to coordinate publicity and promotion along with some minor

web site management. I have spoken with one fellow who has expressed interest, but no taker

thus far. Our website is now minimally managed and has not progressed much beyond it’s

original concept. It appears clear that a better strategy of presenting the area publically is

required. We have had Cranbrook Tourism visit us and highlight the area in their promotional

literature, and I have had enquiries from as far off as Ontario asking about conditions, so clearly

we need to consider this development and try to find someone who is able to devote time and

thought to our best path going forward.

If you or anyone you know is interested in these positions do not hesitate to email

southstartrails@gmail.com.

Rocke Robertson, President

South Star Recreation Society

Alexander Robertson