CSRD Chair Director Rhona Martin (Area E), Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian, and RDNO Chair Mayor Kevin Acton (Lumby), sign the recently adopted Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail Memorandum of Understanding, with members of the Rail Trail Governance Advisory looking on. Photo: CSRD

Public input sought on Sicamous-Armstrong rail trail

Planners of the Sicamous-Armstrong Rail Trail are turning to the public for input on the project

Planners of the Sicamous-Armstrong Rail Trail are turning to the public for input on the project.

The rail trail’s governance advisory and operations committees met July 19 to discuss a communications plan that will include a dedicated web page for the trail with information, updates and an e-mail contact. The plan is to also consult with farmers, businesses and property owners along the corridor.

Advisory chair, Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian, underscored the importance of good communication.

“Let’s learn from the lessons on the Okanagan Rail Trail related to planning ahead, and let’s get out on the trail so we know what we are talking about with the public.”

A series of public information sessions will be scheduled for the fall.

The Shuswap Trail Alliance – in charge of managing the project – is also looking to engage with Thomas Simkins, the engineering project manager for the Okanagan Rail Trail that runs from Kelowna to Vernon. Simkins will be brought on as the lead design consultant and engineer-on-record for the Sicamous-Armstrong project.

READ MORE: Trail Alliance to oversee Sicamous-to-Armstrong rail trail planning

READ MORE: Popular Coldstream parking spot for rail trail to undergo work

“The efficiencies and cost savings this provides the northern rail trail project is considerable,” said Shuswap Trail Alliance executive director Phil McIntyre-Paul. “Okanagan Rail Trail leadership are providing us with invaluable support and direction.”

At the meeting, chair members also signed the recently adopted Memorandum of Understanding, which underlines a commitment between all levels of government to preserve the linear integrity of the Sicamous-Armstrong trail.

“We at the RDNO board are very happy to have preserved such an important linear corridor,” said Lumby Mayor Kevin Acton, chair of the Regional District of North Okanagan.

“People investing in this amazing opportunity will surely see the benefit in years to come.”

The 14-member advisory committee is made up of representatives from Splatsin of the Secwepemc Nation, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District and the Regional District of North Okanagan. It includes the communities of Sicamous, Enderby, Armstrong, Spallumcheen, Salmon Arm, Lumby and Coldstream.

For more information on Shuswap Trails, the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail, or to make a donation, visit www.shuswaptrailalliance.com.

READ MORE: More than 200 land agreements complicate rail trail effort


Brendan Shykora
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