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2020 in the Media

August 22, 2016

Journalist Jennifer Thuncher of The Squamish Chief newspaper interviews 2020 co-founder Chris Ludwig about the perception there is a double standard employed by the Ministry of Environment. The one for commercial interests allows trespass by mechanized park users into the wilderness conservation zone, the trammelling of park values and the extirpation of mountain goats from their ungulate winter range.

Read the Squamish Chief article here: http://www.squamishchief.com/news/local-news/double-standard-in-the-sea-to-sky-corridor-group-says-1.2326819

The article relies on research conducted by 2020. See the Spearhead heli-skiing custom map here: http://garibaldipark2020.com/maps/custom-maps/spearhead-heli-skiing-custom-map

2020 Commentary

Ministry of Environment staff continue to deny that the heli-ski permit trespasses into Garibaldi Park's wilderness conservation zone. Yet, 2020 used the park zoning map in the government's own 1990 master plan for Garibaldi Park as the basis for the zone's boundary. It used the Spearhead heli-skiing permit boundary from the park use permit, the contents of which 2020 won from the government through a freedom of information request.

2020 overlayed the zone boundary and the permit area in Google Earth. Using Google Earth's sophisticated overlay technology, the overlays were stretched and oriented to ground reference points and the result is the custom map posted in the article and referenced above.

2020 is confident in the accuracy of its map but the Ministry of Environment continues to say the heli-ski permit area is entirely outside the wilderness conservation zone. We at 2020 challenge the Ministry of Environment to produce the map that proves it.

We suspect such a map does not exist. It leads us to one of two conclusions. Ministry of Environment never overlayed the heli-skiing permit area on the zoning boundary map so were unaware that the permit area trespasses into the wilderness conservation zone. Or, they were aware but approved the trespass anyway. The first suggests due diligence was never done, the second they willfully ignored their own zoning for the benefit of commercial interests.

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August 9, 2016

Legal research by 2020 has found compelling evidence that Whistler Blackcomb is in violation of the Land Act by restricting public vehicle access up Fitzsimmons Creek to the Singing Pass trail head adjacent the Garibaldi Provincial Park boundary.

The 1982 Master Development Agreement between Whistler Mountain and the Province of British Columbia clearly shows the Fitzsimmons Creek road as "public access road" and "park access right-of-way". See Schedule A pages 1 and 2.

Article 14.06 of the MDA states:

An instrument conveying Crown Land to Whistler under this Article shall be subject to any statutory right-of-way that burdens the Crown Land.

It is our opinion that Fitzsimmons Creek road is such a statutory right-of-way. Under the Land Title Act, the public are the dominant tenement and Whistler Blackcomb are the servient tenement.

What this means is that Whistler Blackcomb is in violation of the Land Act as it is restricting public vehicle access up Fitzsimmons Creek. Moreover, Whistler Blackcomb is failing to live up to its responsibility under the 1982 MDA to restore and maintain the Fitzsimmons Creek road and parking lot.

For more information on this issue see http://garibaldipark2020.com/all-about-garibaldi-park/documents/singing-pass-trail

Schedule A page 1 is found here: http://garibaldipark2020.com/images/documents/Whistler-Blackcomb/ScheduleA-annotated.jpg

Schedule A page 2 is found here: http://garibaldipark2020.com/images/documents/Whistler-Blackcomb/ScheduleA-Page2-annotated.png

2020 has written to Honourable Steve Thomson, Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations requesting him to immediately instruct Whistler Blackcomb to comply with its legal obligations under the Land Act and the master development agreement. Restore and maintain the public road and facilitate public vehicle access and parking at the trail head.

July 11, 2016

Via the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC list server and originally from the Vancouver Island Climbing and Mountaineering Group comes this information on the Crest Creek Crags climbing routes in Crest Creek Crags Provincial Park on Vancouver Island maintained by The Heathens club.

On January 26, 2016, the Parks branch issued a stop work order to the Heathens Club regarding their maintenance projects at Crest Creek. The club has officially maintained the trail network at the crags since 1993, but now the ministry is demanding that the club volunteers enter a new agreement before work can continue. The club refuses to sign the new agreement proposed for multiple reasons.
 
Repeated attempts by The Heathens to contact BC parks failed. BC Parks is now handing out $1,500 fines. According to The Heathens, it is one of the most disgusting things ever seen in our parks. The Heathens are staging a sit in and are asking for the public's support. It is occurring all the week of July 11th and up coming weekend. They characterize what BC parks is doing as uncalled for and cowardly.
 
 
The following are images of armed officers handing out hefty fines to members of the Heathens Outdoor Club.  The Heathens refused to sign an unconsititional gag order that forbid them to speak with the media about their volunteerism within Strathcona Park.  Since they already have a signed agreement with BC Parks which is still valid, the Heathens felt it unreasonable to sign this new onerous and anti-democratic agreement.  This was how BC Parks responded to their refusal to relinquish their constutional rights.  The Heathens are fighting this action.
 
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June 23, 2016

Mapping by 2020 reveals for the first time that a commercial recreation park use permit for helicopter landing zones inside Garibaldi Park's wilderness conservation zone was granted to Whistler Heli Skiing Ltd. by BC Parks.

The map is on the 2020 web site here: Helicopter landing zones in Wilderness Conservation Zone of Garibaldi Provincial Park

If that is not bad enough, harmful noise from Decker, Trorey and Tremor landing zones (LZ) blankets virtually the entire ungulate winter range on the south side of the Spearhead Range, an area of approximately 12 km2.

2020 combined the boundaries of the Whistler Heli Skiing park use permit that was acquired by its FOI request, the wilderness conservation zone from the 1990 Garibaldi Park master plan and the 2 km radii around the LZ, which is the accepted closest limit for harmful helicopter noise that can be tolerated by mountain goats.

According to the government's own research:

Mountain goats appear to react to human disturbance to a higher degree than most ungulates, and appear to react strongly to helicopters. Recommended distances that helicopters should not approach mountain goats vary. Côté (1996) and Festa-Bianchet and Côté (2008) recommended a 2000-m buffer zone around alpine areas and cliffs known to support mountain goat populations, and that during any infringement on this zone, helicopters should maintain > 300 m above ground level.

See section 4.4.3 Disturbance Management Recommendations in this document: Mountain Goat Management Plan, May 28, 2010 

For the Wilderness Conservation Zone boundary, see the Zoning Map on page 10 of the 1990 Garibaldi Park Master Plan: Garibaldi Park Master Plan 1990

Even 2020 was shocked when we overlayed the park use permit boundary and landing zones over the wilderness conservation zone. BC Parks has conveyed to both B.C. Mountaineering Club and Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations that the wilderness conservation zone, in their opinion, cannot support a wilderness trail such as Darling Lake Heritage Trail. But, apparently, commercial recreation is permitted and so is destruction of mountain goat winter range, as long as it benefits commercial recreation.

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