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BC Marine Trails: Preserving BC coastal access for small craft users.

The BC Marine Trails has worked with Recreation Sites and Trails BC for a number of years. In the last two years, in particular, we have managed to establish a number of recreation and reserve sites.

In the past, the process of applying for recreation and reserve sites involved extensive work with our partner, Recreation Sites and Trails BC. We went through a fairly rigorous process of site assessment and identification. Next, we contacted or consulted with First Nations, Government and communities regarding the recreation sites. Finally, we submitted Section 56 applications through Front Counter BC. The paperwork eventually landed on the desk of a District Recreation Officer, who completed further discussions with First Nations, logging companies and other parties.

We have signficantly changed our approach to marine trails development in the past year and a half to include a much broader view of values assessment and the importance of asking First Nations and communities early in the process about building a marine trail within their traditional territories or near communities. We gained significant experience building our first two trails: Salish Sea Marine Trail and Sea to Sky Marine Trail.

We have created 15 recreation sites to date (officially recognized and signed off by the provincial government) and expect another 6 sites on the Cape Scott trail to come online later this year. We also have created an equal number of reserve sites (this is essentially a map notation on Recreation Sites and Trails BC land map; we receive notification if someone wants to develop or use the same recreation reserve (usually a beach)). This is a signficant contribution to the creation of the BC Marine Trails network of campsites. In the case of the six recreation sites in Howe Sound these are maintained by the Sea Kayak Association of BC in a partnership agreement with Recreation Sites and Trails BC. Currently, the BCMNTA is developing or improving the other sites.

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