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Clearwater organizations receive funding

Wells Gray Outdoors Club and District of Clearwater among recipients of recovery strategy funds
The Wells Gray Outdoors Club trail crew gets a chainsaw operators course to help remove danger trees on its mountain bike trail network. The course was paid for with funds from the B.C. government to promote recreational opportunities in the province. (L-r) Dave Biggin-Pound, Seth Cooperman, instructor Stephan Leger, Olin Coates, Pierce Huser and Nelson Kleer. Photo submitted

Some local organizations are benefiting from recent funding handed out by the provincial government to help economic development and recreational opportunities.

The District of Clearwater (DOC) is receiving $170,000 for its Community Transition and Recovery Strategy to help ease the impacts from Vavenby sawmill closure, which will go into the district’s Economic Development Plan.

Leslie Groulx, CAO for the district, said the plan has to be completed by September and while the district won’t know exactly where the funds will go until then, it seems a chunk of it will go to help with improving broadband and cellular services in the area.

“One of the things the ministry was interested in was the broadband side of it. We’ve been working quite extensively with Mascon and Telus,” said Groulx.

“Last summer they upgraded the Strawberry Flats. Then in January, they upgraded the Greer subdivision area and now we’re working with them on boosting the Raft River area.”

The Wells Gray Outdoors Club (WGOC) is receiving $50,000 to complete the second phase of its mountain bike trail network

The trail is for multi-use including hiking, biking, and snowshoeing, and will be easy enough to navigate for beginner riders.

The project gained approval for the funding because it was shovel ready and could be finished with current physical distancing requirements due to COVID-19.

The WGOC also partnered with Rec Sites Trails BC (RSTBC) to develop a simple campground at the Raft Rim viewpoint and local contractor Traub Contracting is completing the project.

Work for the project started in May, and is expected to finish up by July 15.

Local contractor Mac River Enterprise was hired for danger tree removal along the trail corridor and some of the funding was used to provide a chainsaw operators’ course for the trail crew.

The second phase also features a black rated shuttle descent from Road 90 to be completed by July 20, which is funded by the Wells Gray Community Forest (WGCF).

The WGOC is a volunteer-run organization and provides 30 km of groomed cross country skiing trails in the winter and 22 km — will be 27 km this summer — of biking and hiking trails the rest of the year.

Biking trails are maintained by users and volunteers rake and clear debris off the trails in the spring.

Annual weeding and brushing of bike trails are funded through memberships and sponsorships and businesses or individuals can buy sponsorships online at

It should also be noted half of the funding for the mountain bike trail network has been from the WGCF. Additional funding was also funded by the Thompson-Nicola Regional District, RSTBC, Kamloops Blazers, and the Rural Dividends Fund in partnership with the District of Clearwater Trails Task Force.

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