From our Executive Director, Barry Janyk:
Over the past three weeks, a number of FMCBC representatives and member clubs have met individually and/or as a group with BC Parks and Cypress Mountain reps, following up on the December 20th meeting and trying to resolve the longstanding backcountry access corridor (BAC) dispute in Cypress Provincial Park.
There are a few key issues here. BC Parks (BCP) and Cypress Mountain Resort (CMR) are choosing to interpret the Park Act, the Park Use Permit issued to CMR, and the findings and recommendations of the 1995 Williams Commission in a specious manner.
The FMCBC’s position is clear. Based on our accurate interpretation of these documents, the public should—and must—have free and unfettered access to the provincial park. The corridor is the means to access the backcountry of the park and the FMCBC expects it to be accessible to the public at a time convenient for those seeking to maximize the daylights hours. It is not included—deliberately—in the Controlled Recreation Area (CRA) and thus is the responsibility and liability of the province, not CMR.
The FMCBC fully recognizes the necessity for safety and obviously understands potential liabilities. However, the Fed also believes these should not preclude safe access through the designated corridor at times that are currently outside the opening hours of CMR. We are working to provide resolution on these matters so an arrangement can be struck with CMR— one supported by BC Parks—to allow individuals to transit the BAC.
In the meantime, BC Parks is improving signage and maps with our input, which is a big and welcome step. We hope to have a mutually satisfactory solution in place by start of the season. You may be aware these access matters are also subject of a legal review, which we are hoping to complete by year end.