Sites disappearing from BCMT map

Nick Heath

Paddler
Joined
Mar 27, 2008
Messages
34
An ongoing issue with the BCMT map is that we (BCMT Board and Trails Dev Cttee) will display only sites that have been well checked. We used to call this 'groundproofing' but rather than invent a new term, we now call it site assessment. There is an online form for this purpose. Photos are an essential part of the site info. Your input on this absolutely necessary and is much appreciated.

More recently, we have made significant efforts to engage with First Nations concerning sites that lie on land that is within their traditional territories, are under land claim or have other cultural, economic or spiritual significance. This means practically all of the sites on our map! This process is complex, difficult and political in all senses of that term - not fun anyhow and not what I wanted to do when I retired! Nonetheless, we feel we must do our best under the circumstances to preserve the public's right to access public places.

shishalh Nation requested - and BCMT is poised to agree - that no Informal sites in their 'swiya' (sites that are almost all on Crown land outside Parks and are not provincial or municipal recreation sites) be removed from map display pending further discussion on which sites are appropriate and how they might be properly managed. This mostly affects sites around Jervis and Sechelt Inlets.

Previously, several FNs within the loose grouping of the Nanwakolas Council gave BCMT feedback on sites in the Broughtons, Johnstone Strait and Discoveries. As a result, some have been removed from display on the map, including some sites in Provincial Parks. In at least one case, an objection from a FN resulted in the loss of status for an established Provincial Recreation Site where BCMT volunteers had performed work to establish a safe site for transiting a difficult tidal passage.

BCMT have developed a safety protocol that depends on a sufficient number of both day use and overnight sites for long or short distance travel by paddlecraft along almost all of our coastline. We have been clear about the absolute need for alternate sites if we receive a request that a particular site be no longer displayed on our map and if a trail gap then becomes apparent.

We are working cooperatively with several other FNs, such as the Quatsino. We offer them some means of directing recreational traffic - away from sites considered too sensitive and towards those that can better sustain recreational use. We try to emphasize good user behaviour through our Code of Conduct. They also sometimes ask for enforcement of various rules, which we are, of course, unable to offer.

This log-winded explanation is merely to ask for some understanding:
- sites have and will continue to disappear from our map - temporarily we hope​
- all First Nations along the BC coast have established (through major government support) Guardian Watchmen programs to better manage their marine areas. Your experiences of contacts with these guardians, who may use fast power boats to visit campers and paddlers in transit, would be of much interest to us, especially if feedback leads to a cooperative dialogue about how these services might be of greater benefit to paddlers.​

Inevitably, these and other changes will affect recreational use to some extent. The coast (like the world) is changing!
For your best input on this topic, join BCMT, if you haven't already!
 

pryaker

Paddler
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
236
Location
Powell River BC
Very good to hear an explanation of this! I hope you're right when you say
sites have and will continue to disappear from our map - temporarily we hope
One that I was wondering about is the site below Estero Peak in Cordero Channel, is that the one that:

In at least one case, an objection from a FN resulted in the loss of status for an established Provincial Recreation Site where BCMT volunteers had performed work to establish a safe site for transiting a difficult tidal passage.
We spent a nice quiet evening there in the forest in 2020 and then recently noticed it was no longer on the map.
 

pryaker

Paddler
Joined
Mar 23, 2010
Messages
236
Location
Powell River BC
Thanks for the confirmation Nick, and also a big thank you for your service to the community! I'm a director of a couple recreational associations and know the work and heartache that go with such doings.

By the way, did you know the log is still in it's pelican box on the beach there? We went by in our power boat a month ago and saw it there.
 
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