Efforts to protect the historic Baldy Trail received a boost last week, when the Mayor and Council of Mackenzie wrote to support the initiative.
A delegation appeared before Fort St. James Council on May 27, 2015, asking its support in lobbying for protection for the trail by having a management reserve put in place over the trail’s entire length. Craig Houghton, a member of that delegation, said that there is already a considerable amount of logging in the area, and that in some places the trees immediately adjacent to the Baldy Trail have already been cut down. The aim is to get a 100 metre corridor designated on both sides of the trail, in order to preserve wildlife, as well as the historic and cultural worth of the trail. A long-term goal is to have the Baldy Trail declared a heritage site by the provincial government.
The trail, which is used by runners and hikers in summer and by dog mushers and snowmobilers in winter, was created during the Omineca Gold Rush in 1872, and replaced an earlier water route up Stuart and Takla Lakes. The delegation seeking to protect the Baldy Trail has asked for letters of support from various regional bodies, and feels that a discussion between the District of Mackenzie, the Regional District of Bulkley-Nechako, the Fraser-Fort George Regional District, the Ministry of Forests, Land, and Natural Resource Operations, and the District of Fort St. James is warranted, to try to preserve the historic trail and keep it as natural as possible.