Media Release - Sicamous to Armstrong Rail Trail partners move planning forward
Media Release: July 29, 2019
Governance partners move planning and technical consultation forward for Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail
The Shuswap – North Okanagan – Splatsin of the Secwepemc Nation, British Columbia – Planning for the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail continues to move forward with adoption of a communications plan and engagement of technical expertise at the recent Rail Trail Governance Advisory meeting on July 19th.
Technical Operational Committee staff members presented a communications plan that will include launch of a dedicated web page to post information updates, establishment of a simple and direct email contact, consultation with stakeholders along the corridor including agriculture, business, and private properties, and a series of public information sessions to be scheduled in the fall.
Advisory chair, Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian spoke to the importance of engaging the public and good communications. “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.”
The fourteen member Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail Governance Advisory is made up of representatives from Splatsin of the Secwepemc Nation, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District, and the Regional Distirct of North Okanagan, and includes the communities of Sicamous, Enderby, Armstrong, Spallumcheen Township, Salmon Arm, Lumby, and Coldstream. It is learning from and building on the success of the new Okanagan Rail Trail between Vernon and Kelowna.
The Technical Operational Committee also reported that the Shuswap Trail Alliance, who are coordinating the day-to-day administration of the project, have entered into a sub-consulting agreement with Urban Systems Limited to engage Thomas Simkins, Engineering Project Manager for the Okanagan Rail Trail. Simkins will act as lead Technical Design Consultant and Engineer-on-Record for the Sicamous-to-Armstrong project.
“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.”
Technical planning for the rail trail includes assessments for First Nations archeological and cultural heritage values, geotechnical, rock scaling, water drainage, erosion, and environmental management, as well as structural, safety, road crossings, and agricultural considerations. Consultation with adjacent agricultural operators will be initiated this fall through the Agricultural Land Commission upon formal submission of an application from the Technical Committee.
Splatsin Kukpi7 (Chief) Wayne Christian, RDNO Chair Mayor Kevin Acton, and CSRD Chair Director Rhona Martin also formally signed the recently adopted Memorandum of Understanding between the Inter-Jurisdictional partners. The MoU outlines the three governments’ commitment to work together, strengthen relationships, and ensure the linear integrity of the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail is preserved.
“We at the RDNO board are very happy to have preserved such an important linear corridor and are extremely excited about how enthusiastic and energetic our partners are to see it being brought online for the further health of our citizens, as well as the health of our economy,” 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 Governance Advisory also updated on fundraising efforts for the capital development. News on results of a major Federal-Provincial infrastructure grant application for the Rail Trail are still pending.
The Inter-Jurisdictional partners gratefully acknowledge the funding support of the Province of British Columbia’s Rural Dividend Program for the planning and design phase of the rail trail project. The grant was also made possible through Economic Opportunity fund investments from CSRD Area E and the District of Sicamous on behalf of the inter-regional partners.
For more information on Shuswap Trails, the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail, or to make a donation, visit www.shuswaptrailalliance.com.
Photo (see attached): Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail Strengthens Relationships and Communication - 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. The MoU outlines the three governments’ commitment to work together, strengthen relationships, and ensure the linear integrity of the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail is preserved. Looking on (l. to r.) are RDNO Area F Director Denis Delisle, CSRD Area C Director Paul Demenok, Sicamous Mayor Terry Rysz, CSRD Area D Director Rene Talbot, Township of Spallumcheen Councilor Todd York, Enderby Councilor Tundra Baird, Armstrong Councilor Shirley Fowler, Coldstream Director Rick Fairbairn, and Splatsin Councilor Shawn Tronson.
For more information contact:
Secretariat for the Sicamous-to-Armstrong Rail Trail Governance Advisory Committee and Technical Operational Committee
c/o The Shuswap Trail Alliance