FMCBC meeting with West Van/Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy

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On April 5th, 2017, Barry Janyk (FMCBC Executive Director) and Dave Wharton (FMCBC President) met with Jordan Sturdy, who was the West Vancouver/Sea to Sky riding MLA and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment. The purpose of the meeting was to introduce themselves to Sturdy prior to the election and get his thoughts on the FMCBC’s immediate issues.

You can read Barry’s notes below, or view them as a PDF.

 

Notes following meeting with West Van/Sea to Sky MLA Jordan Sturdy

 

Meeting held at MLA’s office in Horseshoe Bay from 1000-1105 Wednesday, April 5th, 2017.

Attending: Dave Wharton, President, FMCBC; Barry Janyk, ED, FMCBC; Jordan Sturdy, MLA

 

The purpose of meeting was to introduce ourselves to Jordan prior to the election and get his thoughts on our immediate issues. Mr. Sturdy was the West Vancouver/Sea to Sky riding MLA and Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of the Environment—thus a key person.  I say “was” because as of April 11th he is now simply “candidate” Sturdy.  The intent is to try and ask thoughts of the other candidates in the riding as well.

 

I asked three individuals for their top issues and they were provided independently by Steve Jones, Brian Wood and Monika Bittel.  I then chose the chief three identified.  I was pleasantly surprised to see they were all pretty much on the same proverbial page.  Please refer to “agenda” below.

 

The main reasons for meeting were to introduce FMCBC issues to the MLA prior to the election.  Sturdy stated that he was a former BCMC member and strong supporter of the efforts of the Federation.

 

At the onset, Mr. Sturdy explained he was aware of the Federation’s position related to Joffre Lake parking and made it clear that Wharton’s comments on CBC a week before were heard.  That said, he was not so happy about the criticism Dave had leveled but recognized communications between parties is an area that needs work. He did state that the trail counter at Joffre clocked 2,500 visits in a single day last summer!  (As a post script: I confirmed this with BC Parks.  Date was August 4th.  Between June to September there were 120,000 visits!)

 

He too was uncertain about the directions of the funding allocations that were announced by BC Parks in February and appreciated the fact the Fed has written ADM Jim Standen to clarify.  He couldn’t comment on how many “new” campsites there were planned and where they might be although he did mention Helm Creek and Cheakamus.

 

He commented that the over commercialization and many of the issues BCP is dealing with has come not only from provincial promotions but also from users’ social media accounts.  Certainly Destination BC has played a role in driving tourism and visitors in the S2S corridor.  This needs to be addressed in the future as Sturdy agrees that alternative lower mainland recreation areas should be promoted.  We suggested that the Pinecone Burke Master Plan needs to be completed and works undertaken as just one measure to help alleviate pressures in the S2S corridor.

 

Mr. Sturdy claimed the “stakeholder” meetings that were held in Squamish and Pemberton last year were very helpful and he was thinking of creating a Recreation Synopsis—like the traditional hunting and fishing guide.  He did comment on the rapidly growing population of Squamish and thus the need for more planning.

 

To close he is interested in Master Park Planning in the future and following up on the S2S LRMP including groups like the Fed/IMBA/PORCA/SORCA, etc. and mentioned his Recreation Opportunities Analysis as possible next steps.

 

Meeting ended at 1105.

 

The following are FMCBC’s primary topics for discussion with MLA Jordan Sturdy

 

1.)  Tenure and access issues – relationships with private operators & motorized users adjacent to, or operating in, the backcountry—especially parks—must improve

  • Whistler Blackcomb – tenure issues – heli-skiing trespass?
  • Singing Pass, Garibaldi Provincial Park – road access addressed
  • Joffre Lake parking – planning before upgrades & promotion
  • 21 Mile Lake/Rainbow Lake – parking/enforcement issues…
  • BAC agreement @ Cypress Provincial Park – FMCBC will provide its input to ensure an amenable agreement

 

2.)  Wise allocation of new funding and resources – need to alleviate pressure in the most heavily used – and publicized – area of the province. FMCBC can assist with that.  As you know, this is a key aspect of the Federation’s mandate.

  • Can FMCBC be provided a clear set of the new resources being provided to BC Parks in this riding – ie amounts, to whom, for what?  Will there be operations funding to match capital spending?
  • What new campsites?  Where? What are the priorities – and why?
  • Relieve current pressures by diverting and developing other corridor attributes, ie Callaghan Provincial Park, Semaphore Lakes, etc.  Park Management Planning is needed & FMC will help with that
  • Does the corridor have a carrying capacity?  Is there such a thing as “over promotion”?  Maybe it’s time to promote other LM areas?

 

3.)  Follow up from the S2S LRMP – Recreation Opportunities Analysis, Park Master Planning, trail building, marketing alternative rec areas in region, rebuild the cross-sector relationships – perhaps with resources from BC Parks Foundation

  • We suggest collaboration to resolve the issues everyone recognizes will only become more acute without action – no one wants to market disappointment…
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