The Wolverine Nordic and Mountain Society held its AGM in the Library on 3 October, attended by 25 members. WNMS membership was a record 154 in 2005-06.
Outgoing President Crys White summarized the many WNMS activities and achievements that characterized her year in office, thanked all the volunteers who had given so much of their time, and stressed the ongoing commitment of WNMS to work effectively and reasonably with government and industry. She singled out the co-operation between WNMS and NEMI regarding the Emperor?s Challenge and the trails close to the NEMI mine, and the support of the District of Tumbler Ridge in helping to preserve and protect the Boulder Gardens area.
Outgoing Treasurer Barry Blackman reported on another fiscally responsible year, with successful fund-raising initiatives and considerable support from sponsors. The result is a financial situation which allows WNMS to pursue new and exciting projects and maintain the trail system.
Larry White reported on the maintenance of the Lost Haven cabin, where eavestroughs and a water tank have been installed. Arnold Kaun reported on the ?New Shed? project ? a shed will be built that will house the WNMS snowmobile and tracksetter and other items. Up to $2000 expenditure was approved.
Charles Helm reported on the Monkman Pass Memorial Trail project which is well ahead of schedule ? the driving tour section has been officially opened and the six-day hiking trail section may be completed by 2007. Tour brochures have been published and roadside signage installed. On the negative side, these signs are so attractive that some have already been stolen. The result will be a tourism product that links BC and Alberta and diversifies the economy, promotes physical fitness and rekindles awareness of local history, in some of the finest scenery in North America. Industry support for this project has been remarkable; hopefully there will be a Grand Opening ceremony at Kinuseo Falls by the fall of 2007.
Charles Helm also reported on the hiking trail program. The Boulder Gardens circular route was established as WNMS?s contribution to the Tumbler Ridge 25th anniversary and has proven extremely popular. Trailhead parking lots were built by NEMI, Hillsborough and Burlington, enabling safe access to new or rerouted trails. Five new trails were built in 2006. Motion was carried to approach District of Tumbler Ridge regarding partnering in a comprehensive new hiking trail brochure and the installation of consistent roadside signage for the hiking trails.
Linda Helm delivered the coaches? report, focusing on the kids? ski program, track and field program and cross country running. All were very successful in 2005-06, both in terms of numbers and enjoyment and in terms of athletes making it to the provincial level of competition.
The 2005-06 WNMS events were reviewed. The Emperor?s Challenge enjoyed another outstanding year, with great weather, a field of 190 and an exciting new Gully route. Large posters will soon be produced promoting the Challenge, and it was agreed that WNMS would approach District of Tumbler Ridge regarding greater involvement in this flagship community event in future. Linda Helm reviewed the successful Ridge Ramble Biathlon and the Cross Country Run, only the Cross Country Ski Race had to be cancelled due to lack of snow.
Birgit Sharman reported on the Flatbed Loops fitness runs/walks, which are held on Monday evenings in spring and summer. There was a record total of 147 participants this year, with an amazing 73 people showing up on one evening. A new, safer route was developed this year, avoiding the highway crossing. Crys White reported on the WNMS Outings, which enjoyed another successful season ? outings to various destinations were held almost every two weeks throughout the summer. These allow hikers the safety of enjoying the magnificent trail system in groups.
Other items reviewed were the Itchy Feet program, the Trails and Attractions Passport, the Banff Festival of Mountain Films, and the WNMS website and trail brochures which are maintained and regularly updated by Kevin Sharman. An article celebrating Tumbler Ridge?s 25th anniversary and its status as a new wilderness destination was featured in the Canadian Alpine Journal, with chapters by Charles Helm, Kevin Sharman and Larry White.
A note of caution was sounded regarding the proposed athletics track, and the fact that WNMS had proposed a low budget plan to the District of Tumbler Ridge that simply allowed a facility for kids and adults to train on and enjoy, without large scale expenditures or a high-tech product. Enough funds have already been secured for this, including the $10000 True Sport donation. It was doubtful if a volunteer base and trained officials would ever exist in Tumbler Ridge to host competitive events on a high-grade track facility. It was agreed that District of Tumbler Ridge would be approached to discuss what was being done with the WNMS athletics track proposal.
The meeting then proceeded to election of the new executive. With Crys White and Barry Blackman stepping down from their positions as President and Treasurer, and outgoing Vice President Jack McNeill having moved to Edmonton recently. The new Executive was elected by acclamation, with Fred Booker taking over the presidential reins, Crys White taking on the vice president position, Charles Helm staying on as secretary, and Dan Wilde coming on board as treasurer. Finally, the numerous portfolio positions were assigned, with a healthy spread of volunteers agreeing to take on the many functions that together make WNMS what it is.
After an interesting two hour meeting the members could enjoy the tea and snacks provided by the Library, and reflect on another successful year, and the exciting opportunities that 2007 will bring. WNMS membership forms are available at the Doctors? Office or online at www.pris.bc.ca/wnms . The website has many more details on WNMS and includes photo galleries of the Tumbler Ridge area?s numerous outdoor attractions and superb scenery and destinations.