Will this be the end of private (non-commercial) camping in the Broken Group?

Discussion in 'General Paddling Discussions' started by JohnAbercrombie, Dec 28, 2017.

  1. Astoriadave

    Astoriadave Paddler

    May 31, 2005
    Astoria, Oregon, USA
    Early days, both as a climber in the 1960s and 1970s and as a sea kayaker in 1991, my attitude towards regulation of wilderness access was 100 per cent in opposition. As the hordes descended on my favorite areas/campsites, I just moved on, exploiting well-honed route finding skills and elementary mapwork or chartwork to find fresher, unspoiled peaks and waterways. Staying below the radar and obfuscating where I went worked very well for a long time, augmented by a willingness to drive slap-happy-long, BFD distances.

    No more, and in Barkley Sound, the hordes were ruining the experience by 1995, for sure, when Parks instituted daily fees and completed composting toilets at eight campsites, effing-only!, banning commando camping. The Deers, with no regulation to speak of, and a laissez-faire attitude from First Nations, remained desirable alternatives a while longer, until the failure of the intertidal flush began turning up too much fresh evidence of human visitation.

    For Barkley Sound, my stance reversed completely in the face of the success of the relatively well managed system Parks had in place, through about 2010 (last visit to the BGI). Way, way too many people and far too much poop for anything but intensive, well-managed oversight. It is time for Bowron Lakes-style management, with different campsites for the commercial groups versus truly "private" groups. [Clubs either private or public have been abusing their status as "non-commercial" from my first visit to the BGI to my last.]

    With Parks basically abdicating on-the-ground oversight to First Nations "reserve" status management, my brief, pre-2011 exposure suggests that a three-way management system similar to that in Haida Gwaii might be much more effective. [Yes, I have extensive exposure to its limitations.]

    I drag this out in the open because everybody is pussy-footing around it.

    If jurisdiction and management have fuzzy boundaries and fuzzy, poorly-enforced management, nobody, nobody wins. As a guy with strong emotional ties to Barkley Sound, but, as a US citizen, absolutely no say in what comes next, I respect the difficult situation those islands occupy, and the concerns of conflicting groups wrassling over them

    Both from the standpoint of enhanced economic return to the shareholders, especially First Nations groups, and from the effect on protection of the scenic and recreational values of the BGI, it is past time to congeal efforts to work out a structure which can effectively oversee them.

    Hiding and waiting, now. PS: I live in Arkansas, really. ;)
    Last edited: Jan 1, 2018
    Dan_Millsip and AM like this.
  2. jefffski

    jefffski Paddler

    Jan 2, 2014
    I agree with the idea of limited management and that commercial and large (more than 3 tents) groups should follow pre booked itineraries on sites that have enough room (i.e. group sites a la Bowron Lakes). At the same time, there should be some opportunities for single tent groups to check in at the last minute. Ross Lake works quite well in this regard.

    My recent experience in the Broughtons in August 2016 was not all positive as some campsites were for the exclusive use of commercial groups (mainly on south Hanson) and other public ones (Cedar Island, Fox Group and White Cliffs) were overrun with commercial groups. As a single tent group, we squeezed in, but it would have been nice to know in advance which campsites to avoid when.