Parking now free (again) in BC Parks

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by Jurfie, May 3, 2011.

  1. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

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    Good news!

    http://news.ca.msn.com/local/britishcolumbia/article.aspx?cp-documentid=28602819

     
  2. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    All we have to do now is convince BC Parks and the Environment Minister to not allow recreation industry infrastructure to be built in our parks.
     
  3. greg0rn

    greg0rn Paddler

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    The fee for parking in provincial parks was a horrible government experiment that lasted about ten years. It created reduction in park visits, many cases of civil disobedience and vandalism. In true sense, many people felt like criminals when not paying, but then like suckers by following rules. Many residents used chains and p/u trucks to be more direct about their rights. The cost of designing the scheme and implementing it was enormous. All in all it was a prime example of our government being terribly wrong.

    I'm sure that the park visits will increase. That is good news. The question is: how long the government will last before trying again to find a source of income in our own parks?
     
  4. WaterMark

    WaterMark Paddler

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    Woohoo!!

    Is this an indication that we now have a premier who may actually be sane?
     
  5. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

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    Baby steps. Hopefully this is a good sign of a change in attitudes; these are our Parks, free for anyone to use, exclusive to no one.

    Quit being a pessimist! :wink:

    Quit being an optimist! :wink:
     
  6. Rrdstarr

    Rrdstarr Paddler

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    I wish the CRD parks were free too! :twisted:
     
  7. Andy_Ferguson

    Andy_Ferguson Paddler

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    Parks are free? So the people that work there aren't getting paid? All the infrastructure was and will be free?

    This move is nothing but vote buying.
     
  8. Jurfie

    Jurfie Paddler

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    Where did I say parks are free? I said "these are our Parks, free for anyone to use". Of course they cost money, rangers need to be paid, roads/toilets/trail access/etc. need maintaining. We pay enough in taxes to cover these. I just paid another $3500 (bye-bye new kayak) a few days back, on top of what was already deducted from my paycheque.


    Pay parking was nothing but a cash grab.

    We should be encouraging people to get off the couch and get out into the parks (as cheap entertainment). If I had kids, I'd rather take them out on a hike (for free, once they have proper footwear etc.) than spend $50+ at a crappy movie theatre (as an example).
     
  9. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Unfortunately there is no time for baby steps. There is a request for a Park Use Permit that includes exclusive use infrastructure (tent pads which you can use when the company does not (yeah right)).

    Have a look at Clayoquot Wilderness Resort before you decide what constitutes a tent pad. http://www.wildretreat.com/

    The PUP has been approved in principle by BC Parks and the Environment Minister; all thats left is to work out the engineering detail of the horse trail (where horses have not been allowed before).
     
  10. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Source?
     
  11. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Source:

    Announced at SPPAC Meeting 25 Feb 2011

    See the letter from Terry Lake, the current environment minister:
    http://www.tidechange.ca/go2150a/Minist ... a_Park_use

    Process to change Park Master Plan to open the way:
    http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/planni ... ation.html

    Clayoquot Wilderness Resort
    http://www.wildretreat.com/About_Clayoq ... /index.asp

    Clayoquot Wilderness Resort PUP application
    http://wildretreat.typepad.com/files/pa ... dment1.pdf
    ( I cannot currently get this link to open. Perhaps you will have better luck going thru their Blog: http://www.cwrblog.com/ )
     
  12. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Interesting stuff, Ken but don't we already have a Strathcona Park thread somewhere?
     
  13. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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  14. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Ken, is that resort located within the boundaries of the park?

    Interesting article in the Saturday issue of the Vancouver Sun...

    http://www.vancouversun.com/directions+ ... story.html


    New directions needed for parks for second century

    Vancouver Sun May 6, 2011


    Pulling the parking meters from B.C. Parks was a smart move for Premier Christy Clark. The fees were an irritant for park users to a degree that far exceeded the benefit of the revenue they brought in.

    At the same time, even though the provincial budget is measured in billions and $1 million a year is less than a rounding error, it is still significant in terms of the dwindling funds available to run B.C.'s provincial park system, now celebrating its 100th anniversary.

    There is much to celebrate. British Columbia is blessed with a diverse natural landscape wonderfully suited to a range of recreational activities, with spectacular scenery and rich wilderness values.

    In the past 20 years, the portion of the province now under some form of protection has more than doubled to 14 per cent, including federally protected land.

    At the same time, however, the budget available to manage and watch over those protected lands has gone down, from about $40 million in 1991 to $30 million today.

    The result has been a deterioration of facilities, limited ability to stop vandalism and to protect natural features and wildlife, and a failure to capitalize on what should be one of B.C.'s most valuable assets.

    Clark says the forgone revenue from parking fees won't come out of the parks budget but with revenue for all services already tight, it will be hard to replace. The shrinking budget for parks is a reflection of the shrinking budget for almost all government services in the face of continuing pressure to service increasing health care needs, which quite reasonably are seen as a priority.

    That budget pressure is only going to get worse. So parks need to become more self-financing, but without restricting access for British Columbians, for whom increased fees for use would be a barrier.

    The key is to attract new tourists who are willing to pay more for enhanced facilities and programs that take advantage of the natural features of parks, while at the same not diminishing the enjoyment of current users.

    The government has taken baby steps toward such facilities with calls for accommodation proposals that recognize that not everyone who wants to experience our parks is able to camp or is interested in roughing it.

    But we need to do much more if we are to put our parks on a more sustainable footing. We need to have an international marketing strategy that will both attract visitors and, through research, inform our decisions on what careful investments we can make to attract tourists.

    We also need to look at the changing nature of our population to see if there are changes we can make to make parks more attractive and useful for people with different cultural expectations.

    Since the purpose of parks is partly to protect our natural landscape and ecosystems for future generations, any changes we make must be approached cautiously.

    We know that any changes in parks are controversial. Some people argue that any development detracts from the natural experience. But doing nothing also risks losing parts of an irreplaceable natural asset, one that will only grow more valuable as the global population continues to grow.
     
  15. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    No. The resort is located at the head of Bedwell Sound and controls access to the Bedwell Valley. The Park boundary is about 5 miles up the river.

    Map at link shows recreation corridor from CWR lands (L693 L694 L451 L517) to park boundary:

    http://www.for.gov.bc.ca/ftp/DSI/extern ... 2_ExhA.pdf

    The resort has a park use permit application to upgrade a washed out old mining/logging road (at least 15% completely gone) to horse trail and build a campsite consisting of tent pads, outhouse and horse rail for their use in the Park. Exclusive in that you may use it only when they are not using it and you are expected to move when they plan to use it. Its foot in the door stuff.

    Those 'new directions' mean we will lose our wilderness if it is allowed to proceed.
     
  16. camshaft

    camshaft Paddler

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    [​IMG]

    http://forestethics.org/img/original/BC Forests/Running_On_Empty5_TC.jpg

    http://www.theprovince.com/travel/Email ... story.html

    The email exchanges would almost be funny if they didn't point to what government critics have been calling the slow death of B.C. parks.

    Park rangers begging for basic supplies. Park rangers without trucks. Park rangers talking about rigging portable showers to outhouses so they can wash themselves. Park rangers talking about buying scooters and dirt bikes so they can get around.

    And, of course, there are the outhouses, the dozens of them, all overflowing from use, with some of them even lacking toilet paper because the park rangers have been spread too thin to get around to cleaning or restocking them.

    While it's nothing new to critics, the 300-plus pages of correspondence obtained through a freedom of information request by the Wilderness Committee offers the public a first-hand look at ground operations inside a B.C. Parks organization that is operating with 50 per cent of the budget it did 10 years ago.

    Within that time, the land managed by B.C. Parks has grown by 14 per cent while the number of year-round park rangers has dropped from 26 to 10, according to data provided by the B.C. New Democratic Party.

    The FOI documents show that, as a result of these cuts, basic services have suffered, patrols have declined to the point where some regions, such as the Sea-to-Sky Corridor, haven't been covered during the busiest times of the year, trails have overgrown, vandalism has increased and the potential for human injury has risen.

    One 2009 correspondence written after Garibaldi Park's ranger staffing was reduced from four to one said:

    "The boat at Garibaldi Lake will not be in use as it takes 2 Ranger to operate . . . The boat is there for public safety [it was used in an incident last year to evacuate a hypothermic person stranded on one of the islands] as well as for accomplishing larger tasks."

    Another correspondence from August 2009 has a parks staffer begging, due to "the budgetary constraints," for basic materials so that he could finish off a couple of "small projects."

    One of the projects was to secure a bumper rail on a bridge so that "users do not slide off the edge." The other was replacing a bridge's rotten planks.

    There's also a November, 2010 email asking for advice on how to get funding for avalanche signage for Stagleap Park, west of Creston; a June 2009 email about a park ranger who could not deal with a problem bear near Pemberton because he had not had firearms retraining; and the June 2009 note advising there was no money to replace the mooring buoys at Princess Louisa Marine Park on the Sunshine Coast.

    Combined, the documents paint a picture of a B.C. Parks system in sharp decline at a time when it is celebrating its 100th anniversary.

    "It confirms what we've been hearing for a long time," said NDP environment critic Rob Fleming. "B.C. parks are in a crisis."

    Gwen Barlee, policy director for the Wilderness Committee, said the documents provide clear proof that the government needs to take action. She called on Premier Christy Clark to restore funding and staffing of the park system to 2001 levels.

    Annual funding is currently $29.9 million a year, down from $40.6 million in 2001.

    "It is time to reverse the decade of decay. We need to invite British Columbians back into our park system."

    In response to a request for comment on the state of B.C. Parks, the Ministry of Environment responded that "British Columbians can be proud of their world-class park system" and that "our parks staff do a great job of looking after our parks for today's users and for future generations."

    colivier@theprovince.com

    twitter.com/cassidyolivier
     
  17. jk

    jk Paddler

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    I just want to emphasize for those going "whoopee" that Christy Clark's magnanimous gesture to do away with the parking fee isn't being funded. In other words, BC Parks simply loses that $1 million in revenue. A typical political move -- give a benefit without dealing with the consequences on the other end. Happy anniversary BC Parks.
     
  18. camshaft

    camshaft Paddler

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    Well JK

    I have no problem paying for a annual pass knowing that 100% of this money goes towards BC Parks. A large portion of my fellow hiking friends refused to pay the parking fee as it was unknown what % went towards BCParks.

    JK where does your 1 Million revenue information come from ?
     
  19. ken_vandeburgt

    ken_vandeburgt Paddler

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    Thats direct from the Environment Minister Terry Lake. As well about $600k went to administration costs so net value of the take (and it went to general revenues) was about $400k.
     
  20. camshaft

    camshaft Paddler

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    Thanks Ken

    600k administration what a joke