A report from District of Barriere Mayor Virginia Smith was presented at the Apr. 18 council meeting.
Mayor smith reported that there was a geopark meeting on Apr.7, at the TNRD, with the following people attending: Tina Donald, John Ranta, Mayor Harwood, Carol Schaffer, Willow McDonald, Colleen Hannigan, Sukh Gill, Myles Bruns, Leslie Groulx and Ron Storie.
Smith noted, “There are three major components to a geopark: geological, cultural and historical features.
“The discussion was focused on next steps and what the participants felt about continuing on with the project. The first issue would be to have a feasibility study completed which requires a lot of work and expense,” reported Smith, “There is a need to determine marketing strategies, product development and is there infrastructure (such as cabins, signage) in place for this major tourism draw.”
What things are currently happening in the North Thompson that can be incorporated into the geopark?
“An example of this is the fact that Simpcw is currently doing a wildlife strategy and there are discussions occurring in Barriere around an interpretive tourism centre,” stated Smith, “The biggest issue for the participants is around funding. Some of the sources of possible funding are Southern Interior Development Initiative Trust, Northern Development Initiative Trust, Rural Dividend Fund, Thompson Okanagan Tourism Association and Fraser Fort George Regional District.”
The boundary being discussed for the proposed geopark is Mt. Robson to Barriere.