Posted by: friendsofstrathcona | January 12, 2011

Speak Out Today Before It’s Too Late (by Carol Hunter)

Carol Hunter
591 Kinnikinik Way
Comox, BC V9M 3V8
250-339-2300

Dear Editor,

The provincial government is poised to grant a Park Use Permit (PUP) to Clayoquot Wilderness Resort (CWR) to take their exclusive clients on horse trips into the Bedwell Valley. The Bedwell Valley is one of the few true wilderness valleys left in our parks, free from constant human invasion. Opening the valley to regular influxes of paying adventurers who cannot get there under their own power endangers this, but there are reasons other than the protection of a rare, priceless treasure to speak out against this permit. Strathcona Park is a Class A park and the Park Act states that a park use permit must not be issued unless to do so is necessary to preserve or maintain the recreational values of the park involved. In this case it is not necessary. In return for the PUP, CWR has offered to rebuild a trail that Parks has allowed to fall into disrepair, however a group of volunteers have built a hiking trail into the Bedwell Valley on the opposite side of the river from the original trail which negates the need for building and maintaining the old trail with its costly bridges. The new trail also affords better views than the old trail and most of all is a low impact hiking trail that both preserves and maintains the recreational values of Strathcona Park. Issuing the permit would appear to be in direct violation of the Park Act, but the government seems to be ignoring this fact. Read More…

Posted by: friendsofstrathcona | January 4, 2011

Public trust betrayed, by Ken Van de Burgt

Open Letter – Please give wide dissemination
1 January 2011

Honourable Murray Coell
BC Minister of Environment
PO Box 9047
STN PROV GOVT
Victoria BC
V8W 9E2

Dear Sir

Reference:
A. Your email November 19, 2010
B. My email to BC Minister of Environment, Barry Penner, 30 August 2010 (Reference: 130187)

Thank you for your response to my email as per references A and B. It appears that I just didn’t get my point across in my previous email. I will try again.

The issue about the 2010 amendment to the Strathcona Park Master Plan is as much about horses as it is about the principle of public trust doctrine. Public trust doctrine is the principle that certain resources are preserved for public use, and that the government is required to maintain it for the public’s reasonable use. My understanding is the Government of British Columbia is supposed to manage BC Parks under the principle of public trust doctrine. Read More…

The Strathcona Park Public Advisory Committee (SPPAC) does not want to see a park use permit granted to Clayoquot Wilderness Resort (CWR).  The resort, which operates a high-end “dude” ranch on the west coast of Vancouver Island, has applied for a permit to extend their commercial operations into the park.  SPPAC met in Parksville on November 19, and discussed the permit application after receiving a delegation from the Friends of Strathcona Park (FOSP).

Read More…

Posted by: friendsofstrathcona | November 20, 2010

Karl Stevenson’s address to SPPAC, 19 Nov 2010

Karl Stevenson, Jennifer Pass, and Bob St.John presented the case against Clayoquot Wilderness Resort’s application for exclusive horse use in the Bedwell Valley within Strathcona Park to a SPPAC (Strathcona Park Public Advisory Committee) meeting on Nov 19, 2010. Here is Karl’s address to the meeting…

Thanks for allowing us to make our presentation to you tonight.

It’s hard for me to know what to say, because the issue is so big, and the time is so short. I’ll start by saying what I’d like to happen, which is to see the CWR permit denied, and the Strathcona Park Master Plan brought back, and strengthened enough so that we never have to deal with a situation like this again.

That would be my immediate wish, but I know it would only be a very temporary fix, because Master Plans, as we’ve so recently seen, can be easily changed to suit government desires. Read More…

Dear Minister Coell,

Congratulations on your recent appointment as our new Minister of the Environment. We all look forward to working with you on some very serious issues regarding deregulation in our oldest Provincial Park,Strathcona. Of particular concern to many people on the north end of Vancouver Island, and else where, is B.C.’s first and oldest provincial park Strathcona Provincial Park. This park is about to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2011. It has suffered many indignities throughout its history. From being dammed, flooded, deforested, mined, boundaries changed and so forth. And yet, it still survives. Read More…

Posted by: friendsofstrathcona | November 9, 2010

Permits for Strathcona Park

It is with a sense of urgency that I am voicing my concerns over the governments decision to grant Clayquot Wilderness Resort a permit to operate horse tours in Strathcona Park. I’m sure most would agree that the governments role is to follow the wishes of the people it serves. With this in mind, I’m at a loss as to why this government has chosen to ignore the results of it’s public hearing on the matter of allowing horse tours in a public park. Ninety percent of the public said they did not wish this to happen. The way our legal system works, once such a permit is granted, it becomes difficult to say ‘No’ to future similar permit applications. The Pandora’s Box will be forever opened! By reversing it’s decision on this matter, the government has an opportunity to show us all that it does follow the wishes of the people. Why spend money on holding public hearings if the public’s wishes aren’t upheld? What’s the point?

Sincerely,

Cynthia Schiller

Posted by: friendsofstrathcona | August 31, 2010

2010 Amendment to the Strathcona Park Masterplan, by Ken Van de Burgt

30 August 2010

Barry Penner
Minister of Environment
Province of British Columbia

Dear Sir

References:
A. The Larkin Report “Strathcona Park: Restoring the Balance” 1988
B. Strathcona Park Master Plan 1993
C. Strathcona Park Master Plan Amendment 2001
D. Strathcona Park Master Plan Amendment 2010
E. Clayoquot Wilderness Resort Park Use Permit Application 17 July 2006

I am writing to express my disappointment in your recent action of making ill-advised changes to the Strathcona Park Master Plan in the 2010 amendment.

Your action is undermining more than 20 years of hard work that has gone a long way in restoring public confidence and goodwill in our Parks system and our government since the last time there was an attempt to destroy Strathcona Park. Read More…

VANCOUVER — As BC Parks prepares to celebrate its 100th anniversary in 2011, a report by the auditor-general’s office Monday painted a damning portrait of a fast-expanding yet underfunded system unable to meet its stated commitment to protect ecological integrity.

Parks without management plans. Parks too small or disconnected to be viable, especially for wide-ranging species such as grizzly bears. And parks that do not equitably represent the breadth of biodiversity across the province, including bunchgrass and coastal Douglas fir ecosystems.

Read More…

As the auditor-general has reported, B.C.’s parks and protected areas are in trouble.

They are a victim in part of the tremendous success over the past two decades in adding to the inventory of protected land in B.C. and the miserable failure of the province to match that expansion with the resources needed to oversee the new territory.

Read More…

Posted by: friendsofstrathcona | July 29, 2010

The Keepers of the Park, by Ray Grigg, Sierra Club BC

(Note: the following article first appeared on the Sierra Club BC website.)

The vision has to be kept by someone, maintained as a constant marker for the present and a permanent guide for the future. History cannot be certain exactly when this vision occurred. But July 29, 1910, was a likely moment. This was the day that Price Ellison of the Strathcona Discovery Expedition reached the summit of Crown Mountain in the heart of Vancouver Island. From this elevation, he and his astonished band of explorers could see the vast panorama of peaks and glaciers, of rivers and lakes, of great forests and deep valleys spreading out beyond them. Perhaps this was the moment when Ellison realized this magnificent place must be preserved as a park. Read More…

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