Brief: Bike tour company seeks tenure on Mt. Cartier Trail and Joss Mountain Trail

Ministry of Forests is seeking Revelstoke city council’s input on the request for helicopter access to the trails.

Revelstoke Mountaineer file photo: Mountain biking on the Mt. Cartier trail. Photo by Matthew Timmins

A local guiding company is hoping to gain tenure to two area trails to allow heli-biking tours.

Wandering Wheels has applied to the Ministry of Lands, Forests, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development for access to the Mt. Cartier Trail and the Joss Mountain Trail. The City of Revelstoke received a referral from the Ministry of Forests on March 1, 2018 to review and comment on the application. City staff are recommending council refer the application to the city’s environmental committee and the economic development committee.

“There are potential economic, social and environmental effects of increased summer helicopter activities on the Mt. Cartier Trail and Joss Mountain Trail that need to be considered when reviewing Wandering Wheels application. The potential for increased employment activity, impact on noise levels, impact on community users and effects on local wildlife are just some of the impacts that need to be considered,” city economic development director Nicole Fricot wrote in a report to council.

The Mt. Cartier trail is located outside of Revelstoke city limits south of Mt. Mackenzie. The Joss Mountain Trail is located south of Three Valley Gap off the Wap Creek Forestry Service Road. Wandering Wheels is proposing to access the trails via helicoptor drop-off and other hiking/biking tours.

Wandering Wheels owner Matt Yaki said in his application that both of these trails were part of the company’s original tenure application, but were removed at the request of the Columbia Shuswap Regional District’s recreation officer at the time because the trails were “hiking trails.”

“In actual fact these trails are not hiking trails; they are shared use non-motorized trails, which are open to mountain bikes,” Yaki said in his application. You can read a copy of the application here.

Council will consider the application at its upcoming regular council meeting on Tuesday, March 27.