All posts by Siegfried Rohdewald

Heli Biking application in the Pemberton area-express your views to the government

Blackcomb Helicopters is applying to increase helicopter traffic up to four times in the Pemberton area to allow for heli biking at Tenquille-Owl lakes.

The government is still receiving comments on the application. Deadline was extended until July 26. Follow this link for more information and make your views known.

For the record, the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC and the Pemberton Wildlife Association (PWA) have formally opposed this Application. PWA provides volunteer management and maintenance of the trails and wilderness camps and cabins in that area.

Voice your opinion, every response counts. Deadline is July 26.

Identifier is Lands file#: 2411936

READ: the short application: https://arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/viewpost.jsp?PostID=55367

Have your say: Near the bottom of the page under ‘End Decisions’ you will see “To Comment on this application please click [ here ].”

Mail in Option: Senior Land Officer/FLNRORD, #200 – 10428 153rd St., Surrey BC V3R 1E1

Or email to same: AuthorizingAgency.Surrey@gov.bc.ca

CC comments to: Nicola Bickerton, FLNRORD Nicola.Bickerton@gov.bc.ca, Jordan Sturdy, MLA – Jordan.Sturdy.MLA@leg.bc.ca

More details and background info

The Pemberton Wildlife Association (PWA) partners with Rec Sites & Trails BC, providing volunteer management and maintenance of the trails and wilderness camps/cabin within Tenquille to Owl Lake Recreation Area (TOLRA).

The goal is to maintain a high-quality (3 season) Wilderness experience for hikers/backpackers and self-propelled mountain-bikers while protecting the flora and fauna that so many enjoy.

PWA needs your input to preserve the peaceful trails, alpine valleys and camping that TOLRA has offered the local community & visitors for generations.

Blackcomb Helicopters (BH) is applying for a Commercial Heli-biking Tenure(license) in the TOLRA. They currently conduct heli-biking, using the main Tenquille Lake historic trail (est.1917) and a connecting artery (Mt Barbour trail) from an alpine landing zone. Their tenure application proposes by 2020, to triple traffic on this trail (over 2016 traffic) and add 3 new trails - swelling overall Descent Days to 2400 - just in TOLRA. A ratio of flights to group numbers would equate to near 400 flights/season - ferrying between 4 alpine trails. This is a significant increase in helicopter over-flights and cargo of downhill velocity riders. It is impossible to not see how this peaceful refuge for humans and animals would be negatively impacted.

TOLRA is an increasingly rare alpine recreation area in the Sea to Sky region. The tsunami of tourism pressure has overwhelmed the carrying capacity of many – think Joffre Lakes! Though not difficult, the effort of hiking/pedaling into TOLRA is its saviour. Taxiing significant numbers of ’Resort Downhill Park riders’ into this sensitive alpine environment is simply incompatible.

The debate about heli-biking in the TOLRA has been going on for over ten years. The PWA has consistently objected to the activity due to environmental impacts and the loss of wilderness values in the area. This application now going through the referral process provides an opportunity to let the government know how you feel about this type of recreation. The responsibility for this new tourism industry lies squarely in their court. We believe that both tenured and unregulated public heli-biking should be put on hold until the Province develops stringent legislation to manage the activity and determine where it is appropriate.

The PWA’s specific interest is within the borders of TOLRA although the application proposes Heli-biking Trails outside this Recreation area as well.

The PWA prefers not to have Heli-biking in TOLRA.

Please keep in mind that Blackcomb Helicopters is a reputable local company whom we have a good working relationship with. This is not “us” against “them”. The PWA acknowledges their helpful support for their current use. Blackcomb Helicopters cannot be blamed for seeking to expand business, although we disagree with the locale.

It is the government that makes the decision and who MUST HEAR FROM YOU.

PWA main concerns with the application are :

  • Tripling of heli-biking decent days (over 2016 numbers) on the main trail with a plan to add 3 more trails bringing total descent days to 2400 just within TOLRA.

  • the above will equate to approx. 400 helicopter overflights between 4 trails - severely impacting the peaceful refuge for humans and animals.

  • degradation of a quality alpine wilderness area enjoyed by generations of (non-winter) self propelled visitors.

  • instant delivery of large groups, overwhelming the threshold of manageable visitation (carrying capacity) appropriate for a sensitive alpine environment.

  • erosion of volunteer support due to perceived aid of a commercial activity they don’t agree with.

  • no Gov’t legislation in place to determine proper locale, guidelines or enforcement specific to this NEW commercial activity.

  • concern that the Govt agency making the decision will be based outside the region and not consider their regional staff or local community’s advice.

North Shore Hikers Metro Vancouver Parks wants to hear from you!

As you may already know Grouse Mountain trails are now part of a Regional Park managed by Metro Vancouver. They recently released a document dealing with the management. Take a couple of minutes and complete the online survey on the plan directions and the future development of the main hiking trails in that area.

The survey can be accessed at http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/parks/learn/projects-and-initiatives/grouse-mountain-park-planning/Pages/default.aspx

Drop by the Grouse Grind trailhead entrance on Sunday July 15 between 9 am to 12 noon to learn more.

Watersprite Lake hiker alert from BCMC (July 13-16)

Hikers on the Watersprite Lake Trail, please be aware that major trail work will be done July 13-16 with BCMC volunteers and FLNRO staff (Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations) on the upper part of the trail and lake area.

 

There will be helicopter operations, chainsaw operations, and construction of tent platforms, boardwalk, outhouse, and boulder work from the cabin to the campsite.
 

 

Please use caution when approaching or travelling through a work zone and establish eye contact with the crew before proceeding. Thank you. 


Posted by Andrew Wong.

Slide Shows and Gear Swap, Thurs Sep 13

Come and enjoy two slide shows on Sep 13 and events  planned in the Fall. Bring your friends. Non-members are encouraged to attend.

Doors open at 7:00 pm and presentations starts at 7:30 pm at the Sunrise Community Centre, 1950 Windermere Street, Vancouver, west of Rupert and south of 1st Avenue.

Refreshments will be served. Bring your own mug.

There will also be a GEAR SWAP the same evening so start cleaning out your closets now !

Cycling in Cuba by Bengul Kurtar and Murat Gungora

Hiking the North Coast Trail, Vancouver Island by Mariken Van Nimwegen

By Anne Leathem.

Slideshow equipment storage

The club executive is looking for a volunteer to store the slide show equipment including bulky screen, and to transport this to/from Sunrise Community Centre, 1950 Windermere and help with setup for all slide show dates. The next date is Sep 13, 2018.

For transport  a van, pickup truck or a large SUV is required as the screen is approx. 8 ft. If you can help out and preferably live close to Sunrise Community Centre please contact the executive.

 

Plan your own trip

Hope for the best, prepare for the worse.
 
On even the simplest hike, things can go accidentally bad in a hurry. Besides carrying the 10-essentials to help keep you safe, having a contact person--someone who will call the authorities if you're overdue--is another crucial link in your safety planning.
 
To help you do that, AdventureSmart has a free, quick and easy online Trip Planning form that you can fill out and send (email) to your contact person. It only takes a minute to complete and it could save you one day.