Posted by: friendsofstrathcona | May 30, 2010

AN OPEN LETTER TO THE HON. BARRY PENNER, B.C. MIN. OF ENVIRONMENT

Dear Mr Minister,
I am writing to you regarding STRATHCONA PROVINCIAL WILDERNESS PARK, B.C.’s first, and oldest, Provincial Park.The flag ship of the B.C. Parks system. As a park user I have seen with great dismay the deplorable state of this park first hand. Trails closed, bridges broken & dangerously damaged, lack of staff of any type, many areas badly in need of maintenance!

For a Park just about to celebrate it’s 100 year anniversary, next year, this is just unacceptable, a disgrace to the people of B.C. and, to all the tourists , and park visitors this year as well. Over the years many, many people, groups & clubs have involved themselves with looking after, defending, and caring for Strathcona Park. By volunteering to build and maintaining trails and infrastructures, plus, keeping its wilderness values intact for future generations to come.There is even an Official Master Plan for looking after the park which has worked fine for over 20 years, BUT, has now been “GUTTED” and bypassed by you, Sir, and your government.This is by allowing a privately owned company(John Cayton’s,Clayoquot Wilderness Resort) access to Strathcona Wilderness Park, for their exclusive private horse use.This despite the 20 years of work from the B.C.Government’s Public Advisory Committee saying “No” -HORSES IN THE PARK- Plus an overwhelming majority of the public also saying “NO” to this suggestion.West coast wilderness cannot take horse use, and abuse, at any time. The General Public have said “NO” Minister Penner many, many times over the years.

“LOUD AND CLEAR – NO HORSES IN STRATHCONA PROVINCIAL PARK”
Regarding the process of allowing private commercial horse use in the park.How can one privately owned resort be allowed to bypass and change the public master plan? Over the years many people have stood up to defend Strathcona Provincial Park, the 1988 blockade, the Public Advisory Committee, City councils, hiking, alpine, natural history clubs and other organizations, Let us not have to resort, once again, to civil disobedience, and, public protest, Sir. BUT, if the people have to, they will again !!

I would like to hear your views Sir regarding the lack of maintenance in Strathcona, and why has the Master Plan “NOT” been followed, as recommended by the Public Advisory Committee seeing as it has worked so well over the last 20 years?

Awaiting your reply Sir. And, I looking forward to hearing from you, Sir?

Mrs Adel Routledge,Cumberland,B.C.
Dedicated, lifetime, park supporter and tax payer of B.C.

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Responses

  1. Reference: 126785

    June 25, 2010

    Adel Routledge

    Dear Mrs. Routledge:

    On behalf of the Honourable Barry Penner, Minister of Environment, thank you for your email of May 25, 2010, regarding Strathcona Provincial Park maintenance and the Master Plan for the park.

    Many trails in the park have been closed for public safety issues due to damage caused by severe winter storms and heavy snow and ice build up from previous winters. I am pleased to note that several of those trails are scheduled to reopen this summer, once repairs are made to bridges and structures on Della Falls, Upper Myra Falls and Crest Mountain trails. Our two park contractors, Windy Park Operations and RLC Enterprize Ltd. are responsible for all the trail maintenance within their operating areas which includes Elk River, Bedwell Lake and Forbidden Plateau trails in the backcountry, and all the short trails in the Buttle Corridor. There have been significant improvements in the trail system, particularly the upgrades in Paradise Meadows and the creation of the all access Centennial Trail in Paradise Meadows.

    I would encourage you to visit the BC Parks website under Strathcona Provincial Park (http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/explore/parkpgs/strath/) for updates on the status of these trails.

    Following extensive public and stakeholder consultations and a review of the Strathcona Provincial Park Master Plan, Minister Penner reached the decision to amend the clause within the Master Plan regarding horse use and Minister Penner approved this amendment on March 11, 2010. This amendment more clearly defines where horse use can be considered within the park.

    Both the 1993 Strathcona Provincial Park Master Plan and the 2001 Strathcona Park Master Plan Amendment supported limited horse use in Strathcona Provincial Park. However, neither plan was entirely clear about exactly where horses could be permitted.

    We are aware that not everyone supported amending the Master Plan or allowing horses into many areas of the park. I assure you that the advice received from all the various interest groups and individuals was fully considered in reaching this decision to amend the Master Plan. The decision does confirm the existing Master Plan vision that Strathcona Provincial Park remains largely dedicated to wilderness and wilderness travel on foot and that horse use will be considered within only a very small portion of the park.

    Thank you again for taking the time to share your concerns.

    Yours truly,

    “Original Signed By”

    Doug Konkin

    Deputy Minister

    pc: Honourable Barry Penner, Minister of Environment


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