The Regional District of Central Kootenay announced Tuesday that the Nelson Salmo Great Northern Trail has been closed from the Stanley Street entrance until further notice.
The trail closure is attributed to dangerous areas caused by a slide as well as to prevent encounters with bears that are known to be in the area this time of year.
The RDCK said in a press release that the slide in the area created an increased likelihood of additional slides or debris flows.
“Once there is a slide there’s always an increased likelihood of it [occurring again]. Through our consultation with the Ministry of Transportation, we felt that it’s best to just keep people out of that area for the time being,” said Joe Chirico, general manager of community services for the RDCK.
When asked if the slide was related to a nearby logging operation, Chirico said: “I’m not going to say that [it is caused by logging]… I do not know, I cannot comment on that,” he said.
“At this time I haven’t heard anything that this [slide] is related to logging.”
As for the bears, Chirico said this is the time of year when trail users need to be cautious.
“This is the traditional time that we do have high bear activity, particularly from grizzly bears,” said Chirico.
Chirico says while there haven’t been any encounters with bears in the area reported yet this year, there have been in the past.
“If we remember last year, they were sighted in the cemetery and area… Essentially we’re just trying to ensure there is no bear/human contact for the safety of the bears and the safety of the people using the trail,” he said.
Chirico said he’s expecting the trail to re-open some time in late May or June.
Galena Trail also closed
A portion of the Galena Trail between Rosebery and Three Forks is also closed around Capella Creek until further notice due to a washout.
Chirico says the closure is a precaution while they determine the extent of damage and to protect trail users from potential dangers of the unstable area.