Unresolved areas in the Sea-to-Sky LRMP a concern

Posted on Posted in Advocacy, Blog, Rec&Con

Despite several stakeholder initiatives to resolve the zoning of a large area in the vicinity of Cloudburst Mountain, Tricouni Mountain, Cypress Mountain, Seagram’s Lake, and Brew Mountain, the “unresolved” designation put forward in 2009 by the Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) persists. So long as this remains the case, the zoning of the area will effectively occur on the basis of individual tenure and access management applications.

We have already seen this “unresolved” area used for motorized access — in 2012, a “Snowmobile Access Management Trail” was put in place along the Roe Creek Forest Service Road despite overwhelming opposition from the backcountry ski touring community, and there is currently an application to dramatically expand cat skiing in the area under review by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Management.

It is the position of the FMCBC that the zoning of this “unresolved” area under the LRMP must be resolved prior to the approval of any further tenure agreements, access management plans, or land use designations.

You can read our May 16th letter to the Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations here, as well as the letter we sent previously regarding the cat skiing tenure expansion. We also encourage those concerned about this issue to send us your comments and/or send your own letter directly to the Ministry (see our letter for contact details).

A response to our May 16th letter can be read below.  Unfortunately, at this time because the zoning is unresolved, it has defaulted to multiple use.

June 11, 2015

Bryce Leigh
Recreation & Conservation Committee
Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia

Dear Bryce Leigh:

Thank you for your letter of May 16, 2015 to Honourable Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, regarding the Sea-to-Sky Land and Resource Management Plan’s (LRMP) unresolved recreation zoning near Tricouni Mountain.  I have been asked to respond on behalf of the Minister.

Your letter expresses concern that a large area in the vicinity of Cloudburst Mountain, Tricouni Mountain, Cypress Mountain, Seagram’s Lake and Brew Mountain is designated as unresolved in the Sea-to-Sky LRMP non-commercial winter recreation zones, and that the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia is concerned that the province is making decisions on tenure applications based on individual applications.

On January 24, 2012, an email was sent from Peter Verschoor, former Land and Resource Specialist for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, to various recreation stakeholders, including the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia, which provided an update on the Tricouni unresolved area.  The email outlined the ministry’s position that the recreation zoning in this area would be designated as multiple use and that the province would be accepting and reviewing new Crown land recreation tenure applications within this zone as per the standard Crown land authorization application, referral and review processes, including an analysis of any specific Squamish Nation interests.

The email also included an attached letter to the Squamish Nation, which provided a detailed description on the zoning proposal that was under discussion.  The letter confirmed the ministry’s position that applying non-motorized zoning across all identified cultural sites would block all possible motorized recreation access routes through the Tricouni Lakes Buffer zones and would leave no other options for the motorized commercial and non­-commercial user groups to access Crown lands beyond these areas; therefore, the ministry was not prepared to support the proposed zoning.

As stated in the letter to Squamish Nation that was shared with the recreation user groups in 2012, the province remains open to exploring alternative options for the Tricouni Lakes Buffer zone, but by default it will remain a multiple use area outside of any areas already zoned for other uses.

I encourage the Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia to participate in ongoing tenure consultation processes to ensure that the organization’s comments are considered as part of the decision-making process.

Thank you for your interest in this matter.  If you have any further questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to contact Frank DeGagne, Land and Resource Specialist, Sea-to-Sky Natural Resource District, by phone at 604 898-2131 or by email at Frank.DeGagne@gov.bc.ca .

Sincerely,

Craig Sutherland
Assistant Deputy Minister
Coast Area

 

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