I know someone already posted a link to the petition that is trying to stop the Sovereign Lake trail system from being developed, but I thought it deserved an article of it's own. There is currently a plan to build 26 000 beds worth of condominiums at Silverstar. This would take out up to 30km of the trail network and seriously affect skiing at Sovereign Lake. More information can be found here: http://savesilverstarpark.org/Save-the-Silver-Star---Sovereign-Lake-Trail-System-from-Condominium-Development/341/.
Silverstar and Sovereign Lake are synonymous to cross country skiing both recreationally and competitively in North America. One of the largest, most competitive early season races of the year is held there annually. Teams from around the world train there on early and late snow. The trails are beautiful, challenging, fun and everything else that good skiing should be. Apart from the amazing facilities for skiing, the trails are situated on diverse subalpine terrain rich in plant and animal life. In the summer people use the area for biking, hiking, running and training. In addition to skiing in the winter there is an excellent biathlon range and snowshoe trails.
What happens in the near future at Silverstar will set a precedent for development at nordic areas across North America. If even world-cup race trails can be paved over, what is stopping development from cutting into the trails at your home club? into Nakkertok? into the Gatineau? Mont ste. Anne? Whitehorse? Canmore? Duntroon? Lappe? Which one will be next on the list for condominiums, subdivisions and strip malls? The gems of our communities are not vacation homes, pavement and stores. Our treasures are the green space we enjoy. The trails through the forest. The places we can get lost in the woods.
There is a petition in circulation that is asking for development to be halted. You can find it here: http://www.gopetition.com/petitions/save-the-silver-star.html . Being sympathetic and hoping it won't happen will do nothing. Sign it. We need to act. We need to make our voices heard. Spread the word.
The proposed condo development would affect some of the great lower trails at Silverstar, like this one.