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August 8, 2006
For immediate release
Trail Patrol Welcome Addition on Confederation Trail
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Vance Keough and Ivan McGuigan are patrolling the trail this summer as part of a pilot project aimed at preventing violations. It’s an initiative of the Departments of Transportation and Public Works; Environment, Energy and Forestry; and Tourism PEI.
Mr. McGuigan covers the trail from Fredericton to Elmira and Mr. Keough travels from Fredericton west to Tignish. John Clements, head of the Province’s Investigation and Enforcement Section, said the patrol is getting a positive reaction from those who use the trail.
“Overall, people are very happy to see an enforcement presence on the trail. It creates a sense of safety and security for trail users,” Mr. Clements said.
The trail patrol staff use all-terrain vehicles which allow them to cover a lot of ground in one day. They record and report any violations of the Trail Act and the Environmental Protection Act such as vandalism and use of motorized vehicles on the trail. Being on the Confederation Trail every day, they are also able to help in other ways.
“They help keep the trail in good shape by reporting damage to maintenance staff and picking up litter around rest areas. They also assist trail users – providing directions and trail maps, giving warnings to bikers who aren’t wearing a helmet, and even providing first aid on occasion,” said Mr. Clements.
The trail patrol works in partnership with the Volunteer Provincial Trail Officers Program which sees volunteers spend a minimum of three hours a week patrolling the Confederation Trail. The volunteer trail officers have the authority to issue tickets under the Trails Act. Mr. Keough and Mr. McGuigan attend trail events and carry out patrols with the volunteer trail officers.
Trail patrol staff have been hearing lots of positive comments about the Confederation Trail. They talk with dozens of trail users each week including Islanders, visitors from other parts of Canada, the United States and as far away as Japan. People are very impressed with how clean and well-maintained the trail is and comment about how much they enjoy it.
Mr. Keough and Mr. McGuigan will continue to patrol the Confederation Trail for the next several weeks. The pilot project will be evaluated at the end of the season.
The Confederation Trail boasts close to 400 kilometres of groomed trails that take you through a wide variety of scenic Island landscapes, offering unlimited opportunities for Islanders and visitors to enjoy PEI’s natural environment.