We sent a letter to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations this week opposing Powder Mountain Catskiing’s tenure expansion application into areas near the Varsity Outdoor Club’s Brew Hut. Similar letters were sent by the UBC Varsity Outdoor Club and the Alpine Club of Canada Whistler Section.
FMCBC’s letter lists several reasons why our members are opposed to this tenure expansion proposal with one of the main points being that land use decisions like this need to be made through proper discussion by all relevant parties.
The zoning for this particular area was left unresolved in the Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan. If the proposed tenure expansion is permitted, it would provide motorized access to the area which would result in the area becoming essentially motorized, although not officially zoned as such. It is the opinion of our members that when zoning areas for non-motorized versus motorized recreation that the areas nearest highways should be preserved for non-motorized recreation users because motorized recreation users have the ability to conduct their operations in areas further from plowed roads than non-motorized recreation users can.
In addition, our research shows that there are many positive health benefits from participating in non-motorized backcountry recreation and that these activities contributed 3.6 billion in direct economic spending to the Province of BC in 2012. Areas for this type of recreation need to be protected and our members feel strongly that this area would be excellent candidate for non-motorized designation.
We encourage others who are concerned about this tenure expansion application to send us their comments and/or send their own letter directly to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations (see our letter for contact details).