Intact road sections such as this will need a restoration prescription. Don Hauka photo.

Intact road sections such as this will need a restoration prescription. Don Hauka photo.

Historic Cariboo Wagon Road Restoration Project receives first phase funding

New Pathways to Gold Society receives $54,550 for initial phase of restoration project

The New Pathways to Gold Society has received funding from the BC Rural Dividend Program to rebuild sections of the historic Cariboo Wagon Road.

The society has received a total of $54, 550 for the initial phase of the Cariboo Wagon Road restoration. According to New Pathways to Gold Society co-chair, Terry Raymond, the Cariboo Wagon Road was known as the Eighth Wonder of the World, dating back to the Cariboo gold rush and the fur trade era.

The Cariboo Wagon Road was a marvel of 19th-century engineering and a multicultural mega project that defined modern British Columbia. It stretched from Yale in the south to Barkerville in the north, traversing 650 km of rugged terrain.

“We are tremendously excited to receive these funds and we look forward to working with our project partners to survey and assess sections of the road during its first phase,” said Raymond.

The restoration project is a partnership between NPTGS and the District of 100 Mile House. The first phase will focus on identifying and surveying sections of the Cariboo Wagon Road between Clinton and Lac la Hache. A three-person technical crew will survey the area to determine its authenticity and identify any permitting issues before preparing a detailed restoration prescription for intact road sections.

The mapping will take place in consultation with local First Nations, communities and businesses.

“Consulting First Nations is critical because Indigenous People made a big contribution to the road’s construction,” said NPTGS Indigenous Co-Chair Cheryl Chapman. “Were it not for the contributions made by Indigenous Peoples and the early Chinese arrivals, the Cariboo Wagon Road might never have been completed.”

The BC Rural Dividend Program grants help fund projects that support economic development and diversification in rural communities throughout the province. Administered by the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, the program awarded just under $1 million to projects in the Cariboo region on April 22.

The New Pathways to Gold Society hopes to begin the first phase of the Cariboo Wagon Road restoration project in June.