Mountain biking project moves forward in region

Coun.Tom Eustache. (Screengrab, Simpcw Nation video)

Coun.Tom Eustache. (Screengrab, Simpcw Nation video)

A labour market study on mountain biking in the TNRD has prompted the Simpcw Nation to create B.C.’s first-ever trail maintenance company owned and operated by Aboriginals.

When the company is up and running it will travel throughout the region to enhance tourism opportunities and economic development.

The Simpcw McBride to Barriere Corridor Trails and Mountain Bike Recreation and Tourism Initiative received $50,000 in provincial government funding for the study.

The resulting 91-page report, released Saturday, June 4, concluded that the McBride to Barriere Corridor offers major opportunities for outdoor recreation and adventure tourism and has the potential to become one of the top mountain biking destinations in the province.

“Mountain bike tourism can generate significant economic benefits and is a growing and lucrative market,” the report says.

One of its key recommendations is to establish a professionally trained trail and maintenance crew to support local volunteer groups.

Simpcw First Nation councilor Tom Eustache said the initiative is a “great opportunity” for Simpcw Nation members and youth to learn about mountain bike recreation and tourism.

“Our members and youth have learned advanced skills in trail building and maintenance and we look forward to working with all of the communities of the North Thompson Valley to support sustainable trails and community development.”

Kamloops-North Thompson MLA Terry Lake said the North Thompson area “is ripe for eco-tourism.”

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