National Trails Roundtable
NATIONAL TRAILS ROUNDTABLE BACKGROUNDER
In November 2010 trail leaders from across Canada participated in a two day National Trails Roundtable workshop in Banff Alberta. This workshop was attended by delegates from all provinces and territories Most of them are volunteers. The non-profit organizations and government agencies with which they are affiliated undertake advocacy for or the promotion, development, funding, building or maintenance of trails.
This Roundtable Conference was initiated and organized by TransCanada Trail and Parks Canada, both of which also provided funding for certain events during the conference.
The objective of the conference was to determine if there is a need for and support for greater collaboration at the national level between the different groups of stakeholders concerned with trails. Participants in the workshop concluded that collaboration between stakeholder groups must become a high priority.
Over the two days delegates developed their vision for trails throughout Canada and agreed on the many values they share. These include their passion for trails, the importance of safety and education, respect for diversity and accessibility, the need for cooperation, collaboration and inclusiveness, the importance of volunteer and community involvement, the importance of health, and active living and respect for nature and sustainability.
The delegates agreed in principle that the following are essential: collaboration between trail stakeholders, the need for trails to have a higher profile with the public and governments, increased funding and resources, respectful conduct on trails, sharing of information and knowledge and interaction with governments.
The delegates identified ten areas with major challenges which impact on achievement of their vision. These include government involvement, funding, fragmentation of the trails sector, user group conflict, land use, marketing, trail building and maintenance, education and engagement, risk management and environmental stewardship.
The Roundtable has published a comprehensive Report with the results of the workshop. A working group has been formed to engage trail stakeholders and follow up on the issues identified during the workshop. A Summary Report has also been prepared and a Trail User Survey has been structured to solicit input from as many trail groups and users as possible across Canada.
The Summary Report and the full Report can be accessed on the websites to the following organizations: Canadian Council of Snowmobile Organizations, Canadian Off-Highway Vehicle Distributors Council, Canadian Trails Federation, National Trails Coalition, Trans Canada Trail.
The Roundtable Workshop ended on a high note with unanimous agreement on the need for more collaboration on virtually all issues concerning trails throughout Canada.
If you have questions about this initiative or wish to contribute please contact the Roundtable's contact person listed in the News Release for your Organization, Province or Territory.