A trail that locals in Squamish and on the Sunshine Coast have been working on for sometime to link the two communities has been rejected by the province.

The Squamish to Sunshine Coast Trail Society announced on November 20th that their Section 57 application, which formally requests authority to construct, rehabilitate or maintain a trail or facility on Crown land has been denied due to encroachment into grizzly bear habitat.

The group had submitted an application for a 12 km segment of the trail that is in the Pakosha Creek and Clowholm River drainages (beginning in the Ashlu Valley, over Pokosha Pass and ending at an old spur road off of the Clowhom Forest Service Road) with the intention of creating a hiking/biking light wilderness trail. The proposed route winds around the north-western side of Tantalus Park with a substantial buffer between the park and the trail route.

In a letter to the society the ministry says that any recreational use in the area would result in significant negative impacts on a critically endangered grizzly bear population, and that authorizing the trail would create a conflict with the mandate of the Ministry’s Sea to Sky District Grizzly Bear Recovery.

The Squamish to Sunshine Coast trail has been partially constructed by volunteers over several years, however other segments on the Sechelt side still need a lot of work, and the Society says the trail that would run from Sechelt to Squamish is far from complete. The handful of people who have managed to hike the route spent many kilometres bushwhacking, and attempting it is not recommended.

The group says they have requested additional information from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development. They are hoping they can plan an alternate route to avoid the habitat.


Filed under: Bear, Grizzly Bear, Hiking, Sechelt, Squamish, Squamish to Sunshine Coast Trail Society, Sunshine Coast, Trails