Topic: British Columbia Marine Trail Association rises again

The British Columbia Marine Trail Association was founded in 1996 by Peter McGee to inventory, preserve and create a string of campsites every 10 to 12 miles from Washington State to Alaska. At one time the Association had 500 members. But in 1998 the BCMTA died due to Ministry of Forests funding cutbacks and a general lack of government support. Ironically, it didn't help that kayakers experienced few access problems and generally camped wherever they wanted.

With increased kayak traffic, the expansion of provincial parks and preserves (which can actually limit access), increasing private property concerns and First Nations land dispute settlements (particularly the Maa-nulth treaty), kayakers have been spurred into rejuvenating the BCMTA. So far, the Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia is carrying the mandate for a border-to-border marine trail, while a consortium of kayak groups is addressing other aspects of the original BCMTA mission.

For more information see the June 2008 issue of Sea Kayaker and log on to the Pacific International Kayak Association's website, www.pikakayak.com ; the Maa-nulth First Nations' website, www.maanulth.ca and the British Columbia Ministry of Forest and Range's website, www.gov.bc/for (search for "Maa-nulth").