The FMCBC Southwest BC Recreation and Conservation Committee submitted a letter this month to Chris Hamilton, Executive Project Director for the Environmental Assessment Office to express concerns regarding the proposed Garibaldi at Squamish Resort and its potential impact on non-motorized backcountry recreation.
In brief, the following four main concerns were addressed in the letter:
- Garibaldi provides one of the few large intact areas of land remaining in the lower mainland which is valuable for non-motorized backcountry winter recreation. Small strips of undisturbed land between the resort and the park will not protect the park and its wilderness values against the numerous human, aesthetic, and noise intrusions.
- The winter backcountry sharing accord (which was adopted by the Sea-to-Sky LRMP and accepted by government) zoned land for different types of backcountry recreation uses. If the resort goes through, snowmobilers would be displaced from Brohm Ridge and would likely be given another area as compensation for displacement. This would inevitably result in the loss of a non-motorized recreation area, disrupting the accord and the LRMP zoning, resulting in a further loss of non-motorized winter recreation opportunities.
- The GAS resort might want to expand their tenure area into Garibaldi Park in the future. Expansions of Whistler Blackcomb might be used as a precedent for GAS to expand into the Park, and this thin end of the wedge approach must be clearly blocked in perpetuity should the GAS project proceed
- Summer recreation around Brohm and Cat Lakes will be severely limited by the proposed golf course which will surround the lakes. This area supports many family summer activities such as swimming, hiking and camping which would be seriously restricted by the golf course. The resort would improve summer access as well as winter access to the western side of Garibaldi Park, and consequently there would be a large increase in summer visitors to this presently undeveloped area of the park which has no facilities to handle this increase.
The public comment period has now closed.