The Federation of Mountain Clubs
of British Columbia

January 2018


Sea to Sky backcountry access issues

We’re very concerned that many areas in the Sea to Sky corridor are difficult for backcountry users to access, and that they have conflicts with snowmobile users in the winter. So, we put together a list of the priority areas we want to work with the province to resolve. You’ll find more details on specific seasonal access issues after the list.

As well, about 10 years ago we participated in a LRMP process that resulted in some non-motorized areas being “designated.” However, many issues remain since motorized users (mostly snowmobilers) don’t tend to respect the areas set as “non-motorized.” Our report also describes some of the long-standing issues and the short-term priorities that we suggest may be the easiest to resolve.

Feb 3rd - Day of Action to #StandUpForParks

With British Columbia’s Budget 2018 just around the corner, it’s once again time to put our provincial parks in the spotlight. That’s why the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society - BC Chapter (CPAWS BC) is organizing a province-wide day of action to stand up for BC Parks. On Feb 3rd, join CPAWS and countless others from around the province and call on the government to:

  1. Increase base funding for BC Parks to $60 million per year
  2. Continue annual increases to eventually match levels of leading Canadian parks agencies, like Parks Canada and Alberta Parks
  3. Increase the number of Park Rangers to match pre-2000 staffing levels, at a minimum

There are many ways to get involved:

  • Sign the online petition - Show your support for increased funding with just a few clicks
  • Spread the word - Whether you’re sharing photos, videos, or words of support, don’t forget to tag your posts with #StandUpForParks
  • Join or host an event - Join the #StandUpForParks Facebook page to learn about planned events around the province, or create one of your own. If you’re in the Vancouver area, you can join the CPAWS BC team in Cypress Provincial Park.
  • Get in touch with your local government representative or other key decision makers - Call, tweet, or write them a letter that shows why you support BC’s Parks (and why they should too!)

For more details on how to help #StandUpForParks, check out CPAWS BC’s handy toolkit. Thanks for your support!

Pinecone Burke Provincial Park management planning process

On the evening of January 29, 2018, representatives from the FMCBC, Valley Outdoor Association, BCMC, Varsity Outdoors Club (UBC) and Alpine Club of Canada - Whistler section met with Vicki Haberl, Planning Section Head, BC Parks, South Coast Region, and Jim DeHart, planning consultant from Katzie First Nation, regarding the draft management plan for Pinecone Burke Provincial Park.

BC Parks has a Memorandum of Understanding with Katzie to work collaboratively on the management plan. The meeting was an opportunity for the club representatives to provide input and comments about potential trails, routes, huts, zoning and issues to be addressed in the management plan. BC Parks and Katzie plan to complete the draft plan by the end of March for review and approval by other First Nations and government. The draft plan will then be made public for review and comment on the BC Parks website. BC Parks will also likely host some public open houses where people can ask questions and provide comments. The public open houses will likely occur in early fall 2018.

Our most recent letters of support

We recently wrote letters of support for two important issues:

  • The Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society and their Sunshine Coast Trail
    • We strongly believe the trail--named by Explore magazine as one of the top 50 hiking trails in the world--should remain a hiking trail, and not be designated a multi-use system. Read the letter.
  • The Coquihalla Summit Proposal
    • It is our view that the proposed expansion would strengthen the objectives of the Coquihalla Summit Recreation Area (CSRA), which was established to conserve the Coast-Cascade Dry Belt Landscape and to protect significant recreational opportunities such as hiking, rock climbing, and backcountry skiing. Read the letter.

The Wild Postcard Project

We recently joined the “pack” of supporters for the Wild Postcard Project, which aims to increase awareness of biodiversity through artwork competitions for kids and teens in locations across the world. The project had a fantastic response to their first two competitions, held in Ireland (2016) and the Philippines (2017), and now it’s landed right here in BC! Budding young artists can paint, draw, etch, or use whatever medium they like to depict biodiversity in our beautiful province. Then, a judging panel will select the top 10 artworks, which will be turned into postcards so that BC’s biodiversity can go global!

You can read all about the Wild Postcard Project competition on their website.


Mountain Matters

Squamish estuary pedestrian crossing to west side of Squamish River

The District of Squamish is in the process of finalizing its Official Community Plan for 2040. A backcountry access issue raised in the Trail Networks Section of the draft community plan is the possibility of a pedestrian crossing to the west side of the Squamish River to access Echo Lake, Tantalus Provincial Park and other climbing areas and trails.

In 1998 the District commissioned a study from Frank Baumann on possible options for a pedestrian crossing. He noted specifically that the Fries Creek valley offers a good alternative south entry point to the Tantalus Provincial Park. Though the language in the draft Official Community Plan is tentative and non-committal, there is some opposition to the proposal, particularly because of potential impacts to the winter bald eagle population on the river.

Squamish Access Society and others would like to see the possibility of a pedestrian river crossing at least remain a future option for consideration. Any proposal will be subject to studies and environmental assessment to identify potential impacts and mitigations. The draft Official Community Plan is still open for comment and can be accessed for review and comments here.


In the News


The Outdoor Recreation Council of BC (ORC) is now accepting nominations for their 2018 Endangered Rivers List, which it will publish in spring 2018. ORC’s member organizations and any other individuals active in outdoor recreation are invited to nominate. The deadline is March 12, 2018. Click here for more info on the List and how to nominate your choice for BC’s most threatened river.

Featuring 40 shows in 8 venues across Metro Vancouver, and 83 films and 44 guest speakers, the 2018 Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival (VIMFF) is set to be the biggest yet! The festival runs from Feb 9th–17th. You can view the full program and purchase tickets online.

The Banff Mountain Film + Book Festival is currently accepting submissions for several of their competitions, including the photo essay competition and signature image competition. The book competition opens in February, and the Film Competition will open in the spring.

Check out this video from Mike Nash of the Caledonia Ramblers, featuring the new West Driscoll Trail in winter. Says Mike, "This westerly part of the lower slopes of Driscoll Ridge (now part of the Ancient Forest - Chun T’oh Whudujut Provincial Park) has long concealed some of the best examples of ancient inland forest, but until recently was little visited as it was well off the trail. Now, thanks to Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Club members Dave King, Darren Adams, Nancy Jilg and others who worked on re-routing the West Driscoll Trail in 2017 as part of the park establishment, the new route winds through some of these magnificent groves of ancient western red cedar as it climbs to a ridgeline above a prominent western gully. The ridgeline has several nice overlooks of the Rocky Mountain Trench that are accessible to a half-day hike without climbing all the way to the main ridgetop."


Feature photo credit

Thanks to Dean Pollack of the Backroads Outdoor Club for this month’s feature photo (pictured: Jeff Vanderwall). Said Dean, “Three of us went to Pitt Lake and paddled up Widgeon Creek on December 20th, 2017. You couldn’t have asked for a more perfect day. There was no one else paddling that day so the creek was like glass. We got a lot of great reflection shots."

Click here to view our Fall/Winter 2017 issue of Cloudburst.

Use our online form to report motorized recreation observed within BC Park boundaries.
Visit Canada Helps to make a donation to the FMCBC . All donations go towards our Member Club Grant Program
The FMCBC is always looking for volunteers. Click here to find out how you can get involved.

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As always, the FMCBC would like to thank Mountain Equipment Co-op for supporting the FMCBC through their generous contribution of office space from which to base our administration.

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