If you are concerned about Park facilities falling into disrepair, or disagree with the recent government changes to the Strathcona Park Master Plan, here is how you can help:
- Become a member of and/or make a donation to the Friends of Strathcona Park (FOSP). We always need funds, and a larger membership means more political weight. (Membership is $10 per year)
- Write a letter to our politicians with copies to newspapers. (A letter to a politician stops there… while a letter to an editor is seen by many, and is much more bothersome to politicians) Our website: http://www.friendsofstrathcona.org has links to all these contacts on the ‘Letters Help’ page.
- Help us with our trail building projects which have both a practical and a political purpose.
- If you have computer skills we need help with our online presence, and with several online research projects.
- Come to our Annual General Meeting, or sit in and observe an executive meeting. Meet us, talk with us, and see for yourself whether you’d like to join our efforts on behalf of the park.
- Apply for a position on the Strathcona Park Public Advisory Committee. (Ask for details from FOSP, or a parks representative.)
Crest Mountain Trail
The current bridge near the trailhead has been condemned by Parks, and due to severe budget cuts there are no funds available for repairs. The Friends have found an excellent route which avoids the need for a bridge. It travels through beautiful old growth forest, and joins the original trail a few minutes up from the condemned bridge. We invite volunteers to help us build this new section of trail on June 19. We have a stock of tools, but if you can, we ask that you bring your own. (Clippers, mattocks, shovels, etc.) If you wish to walk the proposed trail you can join us at our AGM on June 11 – 13 (see below).
(Update: BC Parks decided to rebuild the bridge by the end of August… costing about $40,000.
Bedwell Valley Trail
Last fall the Friends repaired the Gayle McGee suspension bridge over the Bedwell River. It had fallen into dispair due to the governments lack of funding. This summer the Friends are conducting a trail building camp Aug 14-18 to re-establish the hiking trail up the Bedwell Valley. We will supply water transportation from Tofino to the site and back. We ask that you bring your own camping supplies and food.
Strathcona Park Master Plan
The Master Plan, which has worked so well since 1993, has recently been altered by the government to allow a wealthy resort owner to take horses up the Bedwell Valley into the Park. The government ignored the recommendations of the Strathcona Park Public Advisory Committee, and the advice of their own administrative staff, and pushed the changes through against overwhelming public opinion. The Friends believe this move doesn’t bode well for the future of Strathcona Park, and we are working on many levels to reverse it. Join us, learn about us, help us! Strathcona needs and deserves our help.
Our AGM this year will be at the Driftwood Group Campground on Buttle Lake June 11 – 13. We will be having potluck dinner Saturday night with a salmon BBQ supplied by the Friends. There will be a hike over the proposed Crest Mtn Trail re-route. Please let us know if you would like to attend.
(Update: Extremely fun event… see some photos)
Friends of Strathcona Park
Box 3404, Courtenay, BC, Canada V9N 5N5