Feelin’ Gratitude

Since its inception in 2008, the Fernie Trails Alliance has depended on selfless volunteers, who graciously share their time, expertise and passion building and maintaining a trail system that provides recreational access to our magnificent Fernie surroundings.

With well organized membership clubs of the Fernie Mountain Bike Club, Fernie Nordic Society, Island Lake Lodge and the Fernie Trails and Ski Touring Association, and our contributing corporate members the Super 8 and Parastone, the Fernie Trails Alliance is bolstered on all sides by groups who share this common goal.

These goals are achieved through cooperation with land owners, on whose land most of our trails reside. We all need to thank our government partners BC Crown Lands, BC Parks, and the City of Fernie and business sector partners Jemi Fibre, Island Lake Resort Group, Fernie Alpine Resort. Please say a special thanks to individuals such as Chuck Shoesmith (Lower Red Sonja), Pat Cherak (Swine Flu access), Phil Daks - CRE Brickers LP (Fairy Creek and Dairy Run Trail), Bud Nelson - Galloway Lumber (Nordic and Summer Trails), Simon Howse (Montane Trails). Yes, you can actually say a personal Thank You to any of these individuals next time you see them for their the support of your trails.

The Fernie Trails Alliance is, of course, also dependent upon, and much appreciative of our many funding partners. Significant financial contributions come from the Resort Municipality Fund (City of Fernie), Columbia Basin Trust, TECK, Bike BC, Fernie Brewing Company, Park Place Pub, Claris Media, Western Financial Group, RDEK, Snow Valley Industries, Fernie Hotel, Province of BC, Zinc Ventures, Western Mine Maintenance Association as well as major contributions and support from our Member Clubs.

Other complementary participants in the FTA’s funding strategy are the trail users themselves, whether dropping some cash in our trailside collection boxes, or making donations on our website; this element adds to the “thanks bank” operating capital.

Fundraising has taken on a happy new face, in the form of the recently conceived Trail Razor, a silent auction social organized by Troy and Tara Nixon. This event was made possible with the support of many local and Calgary businesses and, of course, the attending trail supporters. The next smile is shared with the Thunder Ridge group of friends who held a fundraiser party up at the ski hill to show their appreciation for the FTA’s efforts. (We’ll get that trail to the ski hill built eventually.)

Event organization and participation are also an integral component required to raise the funds and fun necessary to keep the FTA functioning. Longstanding traditional events like Porky Blue Ride and Roast, The High Roller, Dirt Diggler, TransRockies, Tears & Gears and relative newcomers such as BC Enduro, the Fernie 3 and the upcoming SingleTrack 6 all provide sustenance to our massive diet, and build community around our trail culture.

Volunteers, who give countless hours for trail construction projects, and/or organizing the  growing crew of trail maintenance workers, must be thanked for their hard work and dedication to the cause. Primary dirt and paper movers are Pat Gilmar, Bob (Mitchy), Mitchell, Megan Lohmann, Ian Stokie, Johnny Shaw, and Angela Etheridge. A sincere thankful salute goes out to this crew, and to all of those like them for their ongoing efforts.

As trail users we all appreciate Fernie’s Rocky Mountain surroundings that provide fulfilling days of exercise, solace, exploration, vistas and exhilaration, and shapes the supportive community, that makes it all happen.

Lots to be grateful for indeed. Keep sharing the trails, and the gratitude.