Ground-Breaking News: Great Time to Join and Support Our Trail-Building Efforts

Ground-Breaking News: Great Time to Join and Support Our Trail-Building Efforts

Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society and Mosaic Forest Management Partnering to Provide Recreational Trails

Lake Cowichan, BC – Mosaic Forest Management is providing access to more than 1,000 hectares of private forest land in the Cowichan Lake area for non-motorized recreational use in a new agreement with the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society.

“We are proud to see this partnership begin,” said Trail Blazers’ President Bob Day. “To be able to work with Mosaic to provide first-class biking and hiking opportunities make this an especially exciting opportunity for our club and the Cowichan Lake area. We also appreciate the support of the Ts’uubaa astx people since the trails will showcase the beauty of their unceded territory.”

For the past two years, the Trail Blazers, Community Futures Cowichan and Mosaic have been working together on a master trail plan to construct and maintain non-motorized trails in the Fair Service area just outside Lake Cowichan.

“We gratefully acknowledge the financial support of the Province of British Columbia”, said Community Futures Cowichan General Manager Cathy Robertson. “With the support of the BC Rural Dividend Program, this project is meeting industry-recognized standards for safety and infrastructure for the trail network, including developing new trails, improvements to existing trails, trail ratings, standardized signage and mapping to enhance safety along with the recreational user experience.”

“The new trail plan on Mosaic-managed private forest land in the Cowichan Lake area will be a popular addition to the town and surrounding area, said Mosaic’s Director of Sustainability, Molly Hudson. “This partnership will enable investment in a safe trail network and supports a shared vision to the coexistence of the working forest and recreational access opportunities to benefit communities and the economy by creating value for local recreationalists and tourists alike.”

To learn more about Mosaic’s access agreements and recreation opportunities on its managed private forest lands, visit www.mosaicforests.com/access.

About Mosaic Forest Management Corp.
Mosaic Forest Management is the timberlands manager for TimberWest and Island Timberlands– two affiliated companies that have operated on Vancouver Island for over a century, delivering sustainable forest management within their private forest lands and Crown tenure areas. Mosaic employs several thousand people directly and indirectly striving to achieve the positive economic, social and sustainability outcomes from the working forest. For more information, visit mosaicforests.com.

About Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society
Above the headwaters of the Heritage Cowichan River lies Cowichan Lake and the communities of Lake Cowichan, Youbou, Mesachie, and Honeymoon Bay. The lake has long been known for forestry and outdoor recreation, but more access to our natural assets is key. That’s why the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society is planning to enhance and develop trails for hiking and biking. With the help of provincial funding, a group of local citizens were able to hire consultants in 2017 to help determine what activities might expand the local tourist season. Trails for hiking and biking were suggested, a detailed action plan was presented, and the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society was formed.
To learn more about the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers visit https://cowichanlaketrailblazers.com

Media Inquiries
Mosaic Forest Management
Evelina Lamu
Manager, Communications
media@mosaicforests.com

Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society
Bob Day
President, Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society
bobkday@live.ca

Join or Renew for 2021

Join or Renew for 2021

Trail lovers: Now is the time to renew or join the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society. Our dues are due March 1 every year and remain in effect for a year. Joining gives you a voice at our upcoming April 21 Annual General Meeting, plus lets you in on all the latest about the exciting new trails we’re building in the Cowichan Lake area. Joining also nets you a membership card such as the downloadable card above or a wallet card you can pick up at Ed’s Coffee Shop in Lake Cowichan. Show the card at Carmanah Pizza for the TrailBlazer discount. Thanks for joining us.

Good-bye 2020, Hello 2021!

Good-bye 2020, Hello 2021!

The message that we have gained from this year is “Patience.” The Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society has been patiently awaiting a land-use agreement from our stakeholder partner, Mosaic Forest Management. We happy to report that we have received the second draft of an agreement specific to our project and the lands Mosaic have offered for the development of world class hiking and cycling trails.

Inch by inch, we are getting closer and our potential agreement has made it to the top of the pile to be finalized. Mosaic has been working with their legal team on renewing several agreements on Vancouver Island and we applaud the dedication of their group as they work with other societies to allow legal access to their lands for various recreational activities.

Over this past year, the Society has not been idle. We have had many Zoom meetings to keep the project moving forward. This project was born with the funding assistance of the Province as well as Island Coastal Economic Trust. Most notably, we have recently received our Trail Development Master Plan which was completed by Mark Woods of Trail Holistics. From this plan, we were able to identify the starting point of a trail network with some estimated costs so that we can go about raising funds to start building the network.

We were recently awarded a generous grant from Mid Island Co-op that enabled us to purchase and outfit a small cargo trailer to store and move our trail building tools around. We are truly grateful for their community support. See the accompanying story for more details.

As we move into 2021, our focus will now turn to raising funds through grants, sponsorships, donations and memberships. We are thankful to our membership and hope that many more visit our website and sign-up or donate. At a cost of $200 per metre, trail building is not an endeavour that comes at no cost.

Unveiling our Artful  New Equipment Trailer

Unveiling our Artful New Equipment Trailer

Our new equipment trailer sponsored by Mid Island Co-op has arrived. When it is not in use, it will be parked at Mid Island Co-op in Lake Cowichan. You’ll enjoy looking at the graphics designed by Deborah Price and wrap produced and applied by Sign Fast in Nanaimo. Photo (Left – Right): Leona Skills, Manager Mid Island Co-op, and Lynn Klein, CLTBS Director at Large.

One of the most important aspects of trail building and maintenance, is the use of proper tools. The other important component is where to keep tools and the challenge of how tools will be transported to the area where they are required. To this end, CLTBS Directors investigated a few options and it was decided what would best serve the needs was a covered utility trailer, and the search was on.

There was another obstacle to acquiring such a conveyance:  MONEY. Cara Smith, CLTBS Treasurer, applied, and was awarded funding from Mid Island Co-op to purchase a trailer and to cover the cost of the design, production and application of a trailer wrap. “On behalf of all of our members, Mid Island Co-op thanks you for this opportunity to give back to our community through supporting your organization,” states Ian Anderson, Chief Executive Officer, and Iris Taylor, Funds Allocation Committee Chair.

After weeks of searching, the group decided on a trailer from Maverick Marine and Trailer Sales in Campbell River that provided the organization with the best price on a brand new 2021 covered utility trailer. We were even more pleased to learn that the trailer had been manufactured in Lethbridge Alberta, making this an even better purchase, as we were supporting Canadian jobs.

The next step was to have the custom graphics designed. These graphics needed to be anything other than normal. The graphics had to reflect the community the CLTBS had planned on developing trails in and it also had to be something that would be eye-catching. We engaged the talents of Deborah Price, of Debora Price Photography.  Ms. Price is a photo artist who specializes in a dynamic method of photo magic she calls TWISTOGRAPHY. As you will see from the photo above, the graphics are unique.

The final step in the process was having the custom design wrapped to the trailer. This wrap was produced and applied by Sign Fast (a company in Nanaimo). Ms. Price says, “The owner of the company was a joy to work with and provided me with great directions on how to lay out my graphics so they would fit exactly.”  The trailer is now in Lake Cowichan and is an eye-catching rolling CLTBS billboard.

2021 Annual General Meeting set for April 21 at 6:30 pm

2021 Annual General Meeting set for April 21 at 6:30 pm

The 2021 Annual General Meeting for the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers society will be held on April 21, 2021, at 6:30 pm. The location will be announced closer to the date, but will most likely be online through zoom. Members in good standing will receive an email a couple of days prior to the meeting with a link to the meeting. Make sure your membership is up to date so you get the invitation and can vote on any important matters that come up at the meeting. On the agenda will be an update on our new trail system and the election of the 2021 board. If you are interested in serving on the board, email us at cowichanlaketrailblazers@gmail.com. Until then, see you on the trails!

Welcome to fall everyone!

Welcome to fall everyone!

This is my favourite time of year to be on the trail. The colours are changing, small streams are starting to flow again and it’s a lot cooler for “Hyckling.”

With the permission of TimberWest Forest Company, Mark Woods from Trail Holistics has been out on the land mapping out our proposed new trail network. We should have his final report in about a month. Mark is known around the province for his approach to the development of sustainable trail networks  and working with government and trail societies.

Mark is also partnered with the Cowichan Trail Stewardship Society, teaching and certifying a group of young people in the process of building good trails. Mark will also be offering a weekend trail building workshop in Lake Cowichan in the new year sponsored by the Cowichan Lake Trail Blazers Society.

As we inch closer to a land use agreement, we hope to capitalize on some major grant funding to hire some of those young trail builders. Our short term goal is to complete two world-class trails in the next 12 months.

For now, we ask you to visit our website and consider becoming a member or making a donation. All membership funds are put towards the construction and maintenance of trails. Fact: it costs approx. $200 to build one meter of trail.

Bob K. Day, (Call/text   250-710-0742)

“Every Forest Deserves a Trail”
Good News! CLTBS is very pleased to share with you that their application to the Mid Island Co-op’s Community Sponsorship & Funding Program has been approved to purchase a much-needed cargo trailer. THANK YOU Mid Island Co-op! More details will follow in a subsequent newsletter. Our team is presently seeking quotes for a new 6′ X 10′, single-axel cargo trailer that will house all of our tools and will be utilized when trail building.