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Singing Pass in a Nutshell

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Creature of the Black Tusk

BC Parks Legacy of Failures

It is our position that BC Parks and the BC Provincial Government have failed Garibaldi Park and the non-mechanized user in a most spectacular fashion.  The following list supports this view (supporting Documentation available to download on this site).

When BC Parks was silent:

  • Six boundary adjustment "giveaways" for Whistler Blackcomb (3100 Hectares, or an astonishing 31 Square Km).  These giveaways occurred under ALL types of elected governments including Social Credit, NDP and BC Liberals.  The one constant was the lack of objection and presence from BC Parks.  Most of these adjustments occurred with little to no public consultation.
  • When the Singing Pass Trail Road experienced a slump in approximately 2000, BC Parks remained silent in the face of efforts to restore access to this historic trail that predates Whistler Blackcomb.  As industry and Whistler Blackcomb have thrown continuous excuses as to why access should not be restored, BC Parks has provided no resistance.  While Whistler Blackcomb continues to benefit from a decade of lift ticket sales, the loser has been the self-propelled backcountry user.  Conveniently, the original agreement allowing backcountry skiers to access the lifts for $17.00 was "lost", so now only full price applies.  How many more decades will pass while BC Parks silently sides with the profits of Whistler Blackcomb on the issue of access to the historic Singing Pass Trail?
  • The Spearhead Hut Proposal:  While on the surface appearing to support the Spearhead Hut Proposal, BC Parks took longer to approve the use permits (six years) than it took for the nations of the world to fight World War 2.  This is true a bureaucratic marvel of the 21st century, where approving a few pieces of paper took longer than the largest war ever to occur on the planet.  The Spearhead Amendment to the Garibaldi Park Master plan, while seemingly meant to support this worthy project, was also well suited to the renewal of heli-ski permits in the range despite overwhelming public opposition.
  • Independent Power Projects nipping at the park boundary:

   - The Wedgemount Creek IPP:  Industrial Activities claw their way to within 100 meters Garibaldi Park Boundary.  It is fascinating how BC Parks has been silent on this issue, yet held screaming hysterics over the Darling Lake Trail volunteer trail builders, who didn't even come as close to the Park Boundary as the bulldozers at Wedgemount Creek.

   - The Fitzsimmons Creek IPP:  - BC Parks was fine with the Fitzsimmons Creek IPP Dam near the Garibaldi Park Boundary.  Too bad BC Parks doesn't also support restoring access to the traditional Singing Pass Trail just nearby. The typical response from BC Parks on the issue has been silence.

   - Culliton Creek IPP:  - While only in the proximity of the Garibaldi Park Boundary, the Culliton Creek IPP does infringe upon important wildlife areas.  Again, silence has been the only response by the Ministry of Forests and Lands.

   - Skookum Creek IPP - The only concern BC Parks expressed over this project is that the non-mechanized user might use the industrial access roads to access the Park (not the blasting away of the working forest).  According to BC Parks, they preferred the area of the Skookum and that section of Garibaldi Park to be reserved for bulldozers and dams only (see Darling Lake Trail).

  • Vehicle Break-in Epidemic at Garibaldi Park - Every summer dozens and dozens of cars (including the BC Parks Truck) have been broken into, vandalized and ransacked.  BC Parks and the Squamish RCMP have refused to act or place cameras to monitor the situation (lack of resources?).  In the summer of 2015, there did seem to be plenty of "Resources" to place wildlife cameras in order to press charges against volunteer trail builders on the Darling Lake Trail, as well as to have numerous and repeated site visits by enforcement officers and Park Rangers.
  • Garibaldi At Squamish Proposal (The most recent and spectacular example) - BC Parks was silent once again in the face of a massive new Ski Development to be built in Winter Mountain Goat Ungulate Range on Brohm Ridge in Squamish BC.  They also didn't seem the slightest bit concerned about Condo Developments proposed to be built within 75 meters of the Park Boundary.  Ironic considering their strong reaction against the volunteer Darling Lake trail crew which did not even come within 300 meters of the Park Boundary.
  • Television Production in the Conservation Zone:  BC Parks supports filming in the wilderness conservation zone for a recent gold prospecting show on the Terrossa Glacier.  Perhaps Park Use Permit revenue greased the wheels.

When BC Parks Spoke:

  • BC Parks was a vocal supporter regarding the renewal of the heli-skiing permit for the Spearhead Range "Although 68 percent of online respondents opposed permitting heli-skiing to continue in the park—compared to 32 percent in favour of this—B.C. Parks is proposing keeping this activity in the Spearhead area. The parks branch argues that the presence of a privately operated heli-skiing outfit supports Whistler’s economy as well as public safety in the mountains." http://www.straight.com/news/bc-parks-endorses-spearhead-huts-proposal-garibaldi-provincial-park  The Spearhead Range was once home to a Winter Mountain Goat Ungulate Range (documented on maps on this Website rendered from Government data and research), but unfortunately, BC Parks ignored their own research and policy on Mountain Goat Ungulate Ranges; reasearch that states that helicopters are one of the most disturbing activities to Mountain Goats.  Now that industrial operations endorsed by BC Parks have driven all but a few goats out of the Spearhead (or led to their demise), commerical operations in the park now have one less roadbloack in their way from full endorsement.
  • The Sea to Sky Gondola:  with the stroke of a magic pen the Stawamas Chief Park boundary was changed by BC Parks with no public consultation, and a gondola along with multiple new trails was approved.  It seems money talks. 
  • BC Parks has been very vocal regarding how it does not respect nor take into consideration public input.  In fact, in the following article, a senior BC Parks official makes it abundantly clear that the only opinion that matters is their own:  http://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/bc-parks-garibaldi-decisions-not-based-on-popularity/Content?oid=2443904 while trying to give the impression they are actually listening.
  • BC Parks has made a multi-decadal documented effort to limit and restrict public access to BC Parks (ref. Darling Lake Trail and Cypress Bowl Ski Hours).  In Cypress Park, they currently using their one ranger to deny public entry to the Cypress Provincial Park during hours that conflict with the interest of the commercial ski operator.
  • Ignoring the Garibaldi Provincial Park Master Plan:  while the original Garibaldi Park Master Plan stated that new trails was vital goal for the future, BC Parks Management has made it their mission to limit access in Garibaldi Park to the traditional five trailheads, even though it was never sanctioned in the master plan.
  • Willfully ignoring and acting against the Sea to Sky LRMP:  the Sea to Sky LRMP is clear that supporting self-propelled wilderness activities (hiking, skiing, etc.) on crown land and in BC Parks is an important goal.  BC Parks has taken the very opposite approach by actively obstructing access to this very user group in multiple areas of the park (this website provides ample documentation of this action by officials).
  • BC Parks has demonstrated a strong preference for keeping high priced administrators in offices as opposed to rangers and trail building crews in working in the field.
  • BC Parks wanted to shut down the restoration of the historical Darling Lake Trail.  Despite all of the above activities that BC Parks has either endorsed or willfully ignored, BC Parks chose to throw the entire force of the law down on the volunteer trail builders (threatening prison terms and hundreds of thousands of dollars in fines).   Enforcement officers combed the trail and planted cameras throughout the trail.  Probably, if the trailbuilders had proposed a new Gondola or Ski Resort or Golf Course, they would have received a rubber stamp of approval and the key to the city instead.

Update 2016 - It is ironic that BC Parks is making a plea for more funding, when they seem to have more than enough resources to harass volunteer trail building crews (see the Article on the Ministry of Forest and Lands for more information).

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