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Spring has officially sprung and March saw plenty of new activity at the FMCBC. This month's newsletter contains news about our Member Club Grants, details about a mountaineering presentation we're hosting, and an update on an access issue we've been working on for years. Don't forget to sign up for our AGM—the link is in the newsletter!
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The Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia

MARCH 2016 NEWSLETTER

FMCBC News

Member Club Grants: Now accepting applications


Does your club have an idea for a trail or community project but lack the funds to make it happen? The FMCBC can help! We are now accepting applications for our 2016 Member Club Grants, which will be awarded at our AGM in Vancouver in May. You can find the online application form on our website (click here to be taken directly to the form), as well as some general information and tips on how to complete the form. The deadline to submit grant applications is Saturday, April 30th.

Since 2012, FMCBC’s Member Club Grants have funded numerous club-initiated projects including trail upgrades, bridge installations, hut constructions, tool purchases, and community events. You can learn more about past projects on our website, as well as make a donation to next year’s fund through our Canada Helps page

Thank you to Dave Wharton, Judy Carlson, Dave King, Sherry Durnford, and Mack Skinner for volunteering to sit on this year’s grant committee. If you have any questions, please email us at grants@mountainclubs.org. We look forward to your submissions!
 

In Some Lost Place: The FMCBC Presents Sandy Allan at Langara College

The FMCBC is proud to host a presentation by prolific Scottish mountaineer and author Sandy Allan next week in Vancouver.

In 2014, Sandy and his team set out to climb what was then regarded as “the last great climb” of the Himalaya—the giant Mazeno Ridge on Nanga Parbat, the world’s ninth highest mountain. The ascent took 18 days, the last four of which were endured without food or water.

We hope you’ll join us to listen to Sandy describe his epic journey to the top and find out what's next on his list.

Event Details:

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 
Doors at 7:00 p.m. Presentation begins at 7:30 p.m. 
Langara College - 100 W49th Ave, Vancouver, BC, Room A136a* 
Admission by donation (Suggested donation is $5) 

Sandy will also have some copies of his book—In Some Lost Place: The first ascent of Nanga Parbat’s Mazeno Ridge—available for purchase.

*The A Building is the main building located near the corner of W49th and Manitoba Street. There is free parking on the south side of 49th as well as west of Cambie and north of 49th if you're up for a short hike! You can find a campus map here and more information about parking and transportation here.

 

Singing Pass Access Issue

The FMCBC has submitted a letter to the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations requesting improved public access to the Singing Pass Trail in Garibaldi Provincial Park. This follows another letter that was sent to (and responded by) Land Officer Tori Meeks last fall.

The most recent letter outlines some of the history of the Garibaldi/Whistler/Blackcomb area that has been uncovered by the FMCBC’s Recreation and Conservation Committee in the intervening months. They found that between 1970 and 2003, approximately 1,350 hectares of public park land were transferred to Whistler Mountain, and an additional 1,700 hectares to Backcomb Mountain. These land transfers have resulted in public access to the Spearhead range part of Garibaldi Park becoming severely restricted.

In the case of the Singing Pass Trail, the old mining road that had been used by hikers for years to drive to the trailhead 5 kilometres above Whistler was blocked by a landslide and subsequently transformed into a mountain bike park. Consequently, hikers wanting to access the Singing Pass Trail are now forced to walk the distance on a poorly-maintained trail from Whistler Village, increasing the total round trip distance substantially.

You can read our post on the Singing Pass access issue here, and the letter we submitted here. Last week, we received this response from Norman Lee, the Executive Director of the Mountain Resorts Branch.

FMCBC 2016 AGM in Vancouver

This year, our Annual General Meeting is being hosted by the BC Mountaineering Club in Vancouver over the May 27 - 29th weekend. If you're interested in attending, please register by April 30th. The BCMC has some great activities planned, including a Friday night Meet & Greet at Locarno Beach, dinner at Mahony & Sons pub on Saturday, some presentations and discussion about commercial operations in provincial parks on Saturday evening and some hiking opportunities including a longer hike at Golden Ears Provincial Park planned for Sunday.

The FMCBC covers the travel costs for each member club to send their FMCBC director or a club representative.  The BCMC will be billeting us with their club members so that there is no cost for accommodation.  The only costs not covered are the Saturday evening dinner.

It’s always a fun weekend and a great chance to get to know some of the other people involved in the FMCBC.  Contact us if you’d like some more info.

 
In the News

Environment Minister seeks to boost Parks Canada after nearly $30 million in Tory budget cuts - The National Post, March 2, 2016

Alberta shows it is serious about protecting natural areas - The Edmonton Journal, March 13, 2016

Ancient Forest to be made a provincial park - The Prince George Citizen, March 15, 2016


Open house reveals changes to resort plans - The Rocky Mountain Goat News, March 2016


Mountain Matters

A new provincial park for British Columbia

Following years of hard work and lobbying by conservationists and recreationists in the Prince George area, the provincial government introduced a bill earlier this month to designate the Ancient Forest as a Class A provincial park. Also known as Chun T’oh Wudujut in the local Lheidli language, it is located roughly 120 km east of Prince George, and is home to the planet’s only known inland temperate rainforest. Some of the province's oldest (about 1,000 years old) and largest (up to 16 metres around) stand there. The total geographical area of the park will be 112 square kilometres—roughly the size of Greater Vancouver.

The announcement was made in Prince George and attended by FMCBC members and Caledonia Ramblers Nowell Senior and Dave King. They recognized the more than 14,000 hours of labour the 200 volunteers donated to establishing the Ancient Forest Trail, which also received funding from the FMCBC’s Member Club Grant Program. The next day, they flew to Victoria to witness the introduction of the legislation. The Class A park designation ensures the Ancient Forest will be excluded from timber harvesting and other commercial activity forever. Premier Christy Clark also promised that work to get area named a UNESCO world heritage site will begin “the day after the legislation is passed.”

 

Announcements

The Island Mountain Ramblers are once again hosting the Vancouver International Film Festival Best of the Fest Tour, this time at Malaspina Theatre, at Vancouver Island University's Nanaimo campus on Monday, April 11th. Funds raised from the event are used to buy equipment for the club, and offset costs for education courses. You can get your tickets at the door the night of the show, or purchase them in advance online.

You're invited to FEAT Canada's 2016 show! FEAT is an annual evening of time-limited presentations about an expedition, adventure or feat. Each presenter speaks for seven minutes; no more, no less, with images. This year's event is happening at the Centennial Theatre in North Vancouver on Tuesday, April 12th and tickets are now available at www.featcanada.ca.

Earlier this month, BC Parks posted a draft Public Notification and Engagement Policy for park use permits to its website and is now asking for the public’s input on this proposed policy. It will be available to view on BC Parks’ website for 90 days, with feedback being requested by Wednesday, June 22nd. BC Parks says it will consider all input received when drafting the final policy.

Special thanks to Mike Nash from the Caledonia Ramblers, whose photo from the Ancient Forest is featured in the header of this month's newsletter. Earlier this month, the B.C. provincial government announced a new park that will protect the area, including some of B.C.'s largest and oldest cedar trees.

Click here to view our Fall/Winter 2015 issue of Cloudburst, and stay tuned for our Spring/Summer issue, coming in May!

Use our online form to report motorized recreation observed within BC Park boundaries.
 
Visit Canada Helps to make a donation to the FMCBC - All donations go towards our Member Club Grant Program
 
The FMCBC is always looking for volunteers. Click here to find out how you can get involved.

 
The FMCBC is a proud member of:
As always, the FMCBC would like to thank Mountain Equipment Co-op for supporting the FMCBC through their generous contribution of office space from which to base our administration.
The mission of the FMCBC is to advocate for safe self-propelled activities (such as hiking, backcountry skiing, snowshoeing, trail running and other backcountry activities) and the protection of BC's backcountry for current and future generations to experience.
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