Grand Opening of the Eastman and Little Bigfoot Trails! Posted on: Friday June 24, 2016 – 11:48 am CDT
ATVMB was pleased to host a grand opening of the Eastman Trail, built and maintained by the Eastman ATV Association Inc., and the Little Bigfoot Trail, built and maintained by the Woodridge ATV Sandhogs Inc., on Friday, June 3, 2016. In attendance for our celebration were:
Ted Falk, MP Provencher, who provided congratulations to ATVMB, affiliated clubs and the many volunteers who gave countless hours of their time to complete these trail projects.
“In 2014 our Conservative Government provided $10 million toward expanding and improving multi-purpose trails for walking, running, crosscountry skiing, biking, and for ATV and snowmobile use. I was pleased to join with representatives from the All Terrain Vehicle Association of Manitoba and other organizations for the grand opening of the Eastman and Little Bigfoot trails. They, along with all the clubs and volunteers across the province, can be proud of the excellent work they’ve accomplished keeping trails groomed and meeting the constant demand for more trails.” – MP Ted Falk
Dennis Smook, MLA, brought greetings on behalf of Minister Cox, Sustainable Development and Minister Pedersen, Infrastructure, congratulating ATVMB and member clubs on their accomplishments.
“This pilot project represents an effort on the part of the Province and these parties to continue to allow access to Crown land for recreational ATV use. I understand that a considerable amount of volunteer time was dedicated to getting this trail system to this point and I would like to commend not only ATV MB but also members of the Eastman ATV Association and the Sandhogs ATV Association for all their countless hours required to get the trail to this stage.
Manitoba recognizes that ATV use is a growing recreational activity and a designated ATV trail system serves to provide an enjoyable activity for the user, while balancing the interests of other Crown land users and encourage responsible and safe riding.
Designated and maintained trails are proven to be safer for riders and help to decrease any impact this activity may have on the surrounding environment. Riders are encouraged to adhere to ATV MB association guidelines when riding and to stay-the-trail. This ensures all Crown land users have a place on the landscape. We recognize that there are land users, such as berry pickers, horseback riders, cyclists and walkers that like to use this area too, and have to be considered when plans are made.
There have been concerns in this part of Manitoba regarding safety at times of high fire risk. The Rural Municipalities and this group of stakeholders have discussed efficiencies regarding notification and safety in cases when the risk of fire is high. I trust that this trail system will increase public safety while reducing the risk of wildfires.”
Jill Ruth, President, Mid-Canada Marine and Powersports Dealers Association (MMPDA), brought greetings, on behalf of the Association. Jill noted that designated trails are much needed and an essential part of bringing safety to the off road vehicle rider and important to the preservation of the environment that is an integral part of the off road vehicle experience.
“I bring congratulations and thanks from all of the dealers in our organization. We want you to know that we appreciate the hard work of ATVMB and the volunteers who have made this trail possible. We are proud to have been able to work with ATVMB by providing a $25,000 grant towards the development and improvement of ATV trails in Manitoba.
Today is a testament to what can be done with the cooperation of consumers, industry and government.”
Oksana Buhel, of the Canadian Off Highway Vehicle Distributors Council, the organization that provides the sustainable funding that enables ATVMB to be able to advocate on behalf of the recreational ATV/UTV rider in Manitoba. Without the annual funding received, ATVMB would not exist. Ms. Buhel cited the dedication of the many volunteers who make up ATVMB and member clubs, without whom none of this would be possible.
“COHV has been working with ATVMB since its inception in 2009 to support trail development on public land. Through hard work, persistence and a strong focus on building partnerships, ATVMB has been able to achieve this goal. COHV is pleased to continue supporting the federation’s work and extends congratulations on this noteworthy accomplishment.”
Kim Wozniak, formerly the National Program Administrator for the National Trails Coalition, brought greetings and congratulations on behalf of the Board of Directors of the NTC. It was noted that good things happen when volunteers, landowners and supportive businesses work together with government. The NTC in partnership with the federal government has demonstrated that building and enhancing a strong network of trails in Canada is an excellent way to provide safe places for people to enjoy the outdoors, promote healthy lifestyles and create jobs, both in the near term through construction and in the long term through enhanced tourism opportunities.
The official opening of these two designated ATV/multi-use trails is a milestone for ATV Manitoba and brings the total number of trails officially designated for ATV use to four – the Eastman and Little Bigfoot trails in southeastern Manitoba; the Interlake Pioneer Trail, maintained by the South Interlake ATV Club; and an ATV Park near Portage la Prairie, managed and maintained by the Portage Off Road Vehicle Club (PORVC). The park is located on municipal land and PORVC has been given permission to use and maintain the trails in this area through a land use agreement that they hold with the RM of Portage la Prairie. PORVC received funding through the National Trails Coalition with matching funding provided by the provincial government, a private funder and club funds to build two picnic shelters to enhance the park for all users.
ATVMB is extremely proud of their accomplishments and believes that the future is bright for ATV enthusiasts in our province.
Maintained and signed trails are critical to rider safety and it has been proven that organized riding on designated trails will reduce the risk of rider injury.
A system of designated ATV/multi-use trails also enhances tourism opportunities in rural areas of our province attracting riders from other areas of Manitoba, neighboring provinces and from the U.S. Manitoba has so much to offer and designated ATV trails are just one more tourism opportunity! The reclamation of these two trails was due to a number of reasons. First and foremost is the funding opportunity offered by the federal government through the National Trails Coalition; secondly, matching funding from the provincial government, the Mid-Canada Marine and Powersports Dealers Association, local clubs and private funders, which was a requirement of the NTC grant; through the dedication of ATVMB clubs and their members who volunteered countless hours to work on the trails; and finally, through support and guidance provided by the Department of Sustainable Development and Blair McTavish in particular.
We also must thank the small group of dedicated ATV enthusiasts who got things rolling back in 2009, Chris Fox-Decent, who served as President, Gary Greenaway, Vice-President, Shawn Zeighers and Tracy Wahlberg. Others joined along the way but it is these four people who started this journey.
Guest speakers at the grand opening all agree that without the dedication of volunteers, recreational trails would not be available for all of us to enjoy. Volunteerism in Manitoba is alive and well and we are very proud of all ATVMB volunteers.
For information on ATVMB club activities and to find out more about designated ATV trails in Manitoba, please visit the ATVMB website, www.atvmb.ca, where you will find links to all ATVMB affiliated club websites.
Also, check out the rest of the pictures from the opening by clicking here to visit our Facebook page!