The backside of Jessie Lake Trail has been closed since last summer when high water levels flooded and destroyed the path, making it impassible. The Town has closed the south side of the trail from the second observation tower to Gurneyville Road.
Mayor of Bonnyville, Gene Sobolewski informs that the Town is working on opening the trail, but it won’t be a quick process.
“The way Alberta Environment regulations work, because it’s habitat, we can’t just put material down. There’s nesting and wildlife. We can’t just willy-nilly go ahead and do it,” he explained that proper precautions and procedures need to take place.
“We’re going to work with Environment, LICA, and probably Ducks Unlimited, because they are very experienced individuals. With them we’ll come up with a plan to rebuild that back end of the trail,” the mayor says there are other areas of the trail that need upgrades and would fall under the same status with Alberta Environment.
“Approximately, 90 percent of the people who use the trail are from the town,” Bonnyville will take lead on the project, but will look into grant funding or if there are any cost-sharing opportunities with the Municipal District (MD) of Bonnyville to have the trail upgraded.
“We have to do it right, we have to cover off all the regulatory approvals that we will need in order to make that happen.”
Unfortunately, last year’s high water levels really took a toll on the path. The mayor does not foresee this project being completed in the summer. He anticipates at the earliest work could begin in the fall.