Users of Alberta recreational trails get boost from Government of Canada

Alberta’s recreational trail users are in for a smoother ride.

Outdoors enthusiasts along the eastern slopes will see much-needed trail improvements in the near future, thanks to a $255,000 federal grant announced Saturday by Wild Rose MP Blake Richards.

“It’s both an investment and initiative to protect, preserve and promote the great outdoors, and all the different ways that people utilize it,” he said.

The money, handed out in a presentation at the Calgary Boat and Sportsmen’s Show, will benefit three projects northwest of Calgary.

The Rocky Mountain Dirt Riders Association received $33,000 to rehabilitate and build dirt bike trails around the McLean Creek and South Ghost recreation areas.

The Eastern Slopes ATV Society got $120,000 to build a staging area in the South Ghost, as well as fund trail improvements in the Fallen Timber and Hunter Valley areas.

Another $94,000 will benefit the Rig Street Pilot Project, a recreational trail management plan centred near Caroline, Alta.

Garry Salekin, president of the Eastern Slopes ATV Society, said the funding will ensure a sustainable and economically important trail system for all users — not only for Albertans, but out-of-province visitors as well.

“Our trails bring big revenue into the province,” he said.

“This funding promotes responsible trail use and safety for all.”

Recreational trail tourism brings an estimated $1.3 billion annually into the province, Salbkin said.

Saturday’s donation was part of a $10 million deal between the National Trails Coalition and Ottawa to promote recreational trail use, benefiting between 150 and 200 trail projects across Canada.

On Twitter: @SUNBryanPass​

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