San Juan Islands National Monument - Signed.

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by The GCW, Mar 25, 2013.

  1. The GCW

    The GCW Paddler

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  2. The GCW

    The GCW Paddler

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    What does this mean for sea kayakers in the San Juan Islands?

    What will be different, better or worse? Do sea kayakers already recreate in the San Juan's in a manner where the new designation will not change much?
     
  3. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Perhaps you could explain to the Canadians on the board what a National Monument is (ie: is it what we would call a National Park?) I know that the creation of the Gulf Islands National Park Reserve has led to improved infrastructure, a publicity campaign to attract visitors (eg: big adverts on BC ferries), and a presence of federal employees making rounds of the park ( which never happened when the land was in the provincial system). On the negative side, there is more red tape: for example, you have to have special permission to run Paddle Canada courses in the Reserve. On the whole, it has been good thing for paddlers, IMHO.

    Do you see the same things happening in the San Juan's?

    Cheers,
    Andrew
     
  4. AM

    AM Paddler

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    One addition: after many years of paddling SW BC, I am embarrassed to say I have never been to the San Juans. I have my first excursion there planned for June. So more of what I listed above would be an enticement for me.
     
  5. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    Fixed that for ya. :wink: :big_thumb
     
  6. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Ha! Well, I guess we'll have to disagree, Dan. :D

    The last three summers in the GI Park Reserve, I have run into federal employees doing actual work (!!!) to improve the camping areas. And Frank (I think that's his name) makes his zodiac run out of Sydney, checking from Darcy up to Prevost twice a week at least. That sort of thing never happened when those islands were part of that shrivelled, desiccated, forlorn rump we call BC Parks.

    Not that I have particularly strong opinions on the subject :wink:

    Andrew
     
  7. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

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    Can't claim a wealth of experience in either set of islands, perhaps 15 kayak camping nights in the GI, a similar number of day trips out of car camps. And, in the SJ, absolutely NO overnight sea kayak trips and only a couple day trips. Guess which area I strongly prefer. :wink:

    The San Juans are crowded, relatively speaking, with a reputation for user conflicts with upland property owners who may also own tidelands in the state of WA. Quite different from the rules in BC. The San Juans are stone beautiful ... and have a McMansion density to prove it. By reputation, in some areas of the SJs kayak camps are sparse.

    So does it make much difference which federal agency oversees the relatively limited areas open for use by kayak campers? I suspect not.

    My guess, emphasis guess, is that the NPS will be somewhat more restrictive than the BLM when it comes to where kayakers can camp ... but it won't materially change the nature of the San Juans experience, inasmuch as the available space for that is already isolated and delineated by residential development and ownership. No federal agency has the funds to buy residential property in the SJs and convert it to public ownership. Rather, the trend is for private conservation entities such as TNC to acquire land and then place it in protected status as a wildlife preserve, sometimes reducing the use by kayakers. Given the degree to which shoreline in the SJ is developed, probably the right thing to do.

    As far as how NPS might run what's already there ... I think they will be better stewards of the resource, which might translate into greater control of overuse of popular areas.

    BTW, while kayaking in the GI, I have seen BC parks personnel rehabbing campsites and resiting pit toilets, on Wallace, N end. With others, I bemoan the loss of some potable water pumping sites in the GI when Parks Canada took over.
     
  8. RobP

    RobP Paddler

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    Well you all need to come up here and paddle, as you can go for days and not see anyone else. Ok, wait, scratch that----don't come. :p
     
  9. Dan_Millsip

    Dan_Millsip Paddler & Admin

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    BC Parks may be rumpled but the Gulf Islands were fine under their management.

    I had no issues with the Gulf Islands when the Province was running them. There was no need for services beyond tent sites and outhouses. As far as I can see, there's not much need beyond that today.

    Not sure how advertising to people to go there is "better" for the park (yeah, yeah, I see the 'other' side of it but I really don't agree with it -- it was better when people had to find out about it on their own without large display advertisements).

    At any rate, I too don't have particularly strong opinions on the subject, but I don't know why something that wasn't broken needed to be fixed.
     
  10. JohnAbercrombie

    JohnAbercrombie Paddler

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    On Rum Is. - Was it BC or Parks Canada that thought it was a good idea to pile brush across most of the 'trails' that led to 'stealth' tentsites (and some not stealth) in an attempt to limit the use of the 'park' to 4 tents - on tent platforms ?

    I heard that the 'overflow' tent sites for Rum Is are in front of the outhouses.......charming.

    Strange logic- advertise to increase traffic, reduce spots to camp .....

    .....(and did I hear that ParksCanada thinks it is a wise use of budget to helicopter in to hand out tickets for camping 'infractions' ? or is that an unfounded rumour?)

    Sorry...drifting off topic......
     
  11. AM

    AM Paddler

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    Do the feds over-manage? Perhaps you could make the argument that they do in some cases.

    Then again, given that BC Parks turns a blind eye to raves on Jedediah, drunken blow-outs on North Thormanby and Sandy, fires that ravage one of the Curmes in Desolation Sound and on and on... Maybe the argument could be made that active management is needed in popular areas, such as the Gulf Islands.

    My step-father hates the fact that Long Beach is in federal hands and remembers fondly the days when it was a free-for-all. I disagree. A limited resource that is so highly sought after and so prone to human depredation needs the long arm of federal authority to save it from its own popularity.