The Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia
AUGUST 2016 NEWSLETTER
Taking action to #fundbcparks
With the 2017 provincial budget just around the corner, we need to take a stand and let the government know just how underfunded our parks are. So, we’re encouraging people to send letters of support to their local MLA, the Minister of Environment, and the Premier before September 30th, 2016.
To make it easy to get started (and to help you get your letters in before the government starts working on the budget), we’ve drafted a sample letter (MS Word) for you to download and edit. Or, you can use our petition letter, which will be sent directly to the Minister of Environment. Here are some writing tips to help you get your message across.
If you’re not sure what to include in your letters, here are some ideas:
Increased funding to BC Parks means...
Additional resources committed to preserving our parks and protected areas
Additional funding for maintaining and upgrading infrastructure
More rangers available to help maintain trails, ensure stewardship of our parks, and provide enforcement of restrictions which are in place to protect our parks
More opportunities for volunteers to work with rangers to help maintain trails within our parks
And of course, you can continue to help us tell the story of why more funding is needed for BC Parks by grabbing your camera, heading out to your favourite provincial park, and showing us what you find. Tag your photos on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram with #fundbcparks, or send them to firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you want to do a little armchair reconnaissance beforehand and see what others have sent in, check out our #fundbcparks Facebook album or search for #fundbcparks on Facebook or Twitter.
Our Fall/Winter issue of Cloudburst Magazine hits the printers in a few short months, so now’s the time to get creative.
We’re looking for photos, stories, articles, trip reports, and general backcountry musings, as well as a wintry shot to grace the cover. Please send your submissions directly to our communications coordinator, Stacey Santos, no later than Oct 1st.
Here are some submission guidelines we ask you to consider before submitting:
Cloudburst articles should not exceed 1,000 words
Photos should be at least 4x6 inches at a 150-300 DPI resolution
For photos, please include photographer, location, names, and a brief description
For articles, please include the author and a title or club membership
If you want to get a better feel for the types of submissions we’re looking for, take a look at our Cloudburst archives. And if you have any questions or need a little guidance, don’t hesitate to shoot Stacey an email.
Introducing our new Communications Coordinator
The FMCBC is pleased to welcome our new Communications Coordinator, Stacey Santos. Stacey grew up canoeing and camping in the wilds of northern Saskatchewan, but swapped her ski pants for a rain jacket to pursue a writing degree at the University of Victoria. She's been a professional wordsmith ever since, with her work being published in magazines, newspapers, and online.
When she’s not typing away, you can find her paddleboarding, swimming, sailing, and spending exorbitant amounts of time at East Sooke Park with her family. Stacey is excited to be working with such a passionate organization and couldn't have asked for a warmer welcome.
Another successful summer for VRCG's Climb and Conquer Project
The third annual Climb and Conquer Project wrapped up in July, and thanks to a FMCBC Member Club Grant and generous community donations, this year was the biggest ever. Thirty-five youth and 18 volunteers came together in Squamish for a weekend of climbing, camping, and camaraderie. Congrats to this amazing charity for yet another successful event!
Look for us at HikeFest 2016
We’re heading to Squamish next month for the 3rd annual HikeFest at the Sea to Sky Gondola. Jodi will be manning the FMCBC booth, so be sure to stop by and say hi! The event runs Sunday, Sept. 18th from 11 am to 4 pm and features everything from free guided hikes to backcountry education to fun family activities.
Group size restriction in Glacier National Park due to bear activity
As of August 6, 2016, a group sizing restriction is in place in Glacier National Park of Canada. This mandatory restriction affects the majority of trails in the Illecillewaet and Asulkan valleys, including the access trail to Mount Sir Donald. By law, visitors may access the trails only if they are in a group of four or more adults (adult defined as 12 years old and over), and remain within 3 metres of each other. Non-compliance is subject to a fine.
This restriction allows for bears and hikers to coexist in key habitat areas while reducing the chance of human-wildlife contact. The summer of 2016 has seen a tremendous berry crop, and when bears are focused on feeding on berries they can easily be surprised by hikers at close range. On at least two occasions, this family group of bears was surprised by hikers at close range resulting in defensive displays by the female. The group of four restriction reduces the likelihood of surprising the bears and thereby protects both the park visitors and the bears.
Understaffing poses a serious challenge for BC Parks
Did you know that one area supervisor, one full time senior ranger, and two seasonal auxiliary rangers are responsible for supervising and managing Cypress, Seymour, Indian Arm, Pinecone-Burke, Peace Arch, Porteau Cove, and Apodaca (including Bowen Ecological Reserve)? And that these park rangers, who are already stretched thin, must supervise all trail improvements within these parks? No matter how hard they try, it’s impossible for such limited staff to provide sufficient park supervision and management.
The Friends of Cypress Provincial Park Society (FCPP) wrote about this extreme lack of resources in their recent summer newsletter. Their concern is that with increasing use of Vancouver area parks and trails, matters will only get worse unless the provincial government also increases BC Parks’ budget in 2017. Currently, BC Parks’ operating budget is only around $31 million/year. The BC Director of the Canadian Parks & Wilderness Society, Peter Wood, has recommended that funding be restored to the pre-2000 level of $60 million/year, representing an increase of about 0.5% of the overall provincial budget.
DIRTBAG: THE LEGEND OF FRED BECKEY is an exclusive documentary film that tells the story of Fred Beckey, the original American “Dirtbag” climber whose name has evoked mystery, adulation and vitriol since the 1940s.
For a sneak peek of DIRTBAG, check out the extended trailer. And if you’d like to help raise the production value of DIRTBAG and honor Fred Beckey’s incredible legacy, head over to their Kickstarter page before the campaign ends on August 25th, 2016. Your exclusive Backer Rewards await!
The Fall General Meeting of BC Nature is being held in Prince George from Sept 22–25, 2016. All BC naturalists are invited to join the FGM and participate in field trips, listen to speakers from throughout northern BC, and help guide BC Nature’s objective to support conservation, education, and outdoor recreation. Spaces are filling up quickly, so register now! If you're thinking of flying to Prince George for the FGM, Pacific Coastal Airlines is offering a 15% discount to participants of the conference.
Since the inception of the program earlier this year, no vehicle break-ins have been reported at the park! That, combined with the fact that all donor funds go directly back into the community, make the program win-win for everyone.
When: Sat, Sept 3 (Labour Day Weekend)
Where: Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park parking lot (Smythe Drive, Penticton)
Special thanks to Matt Casselman for providing the #fundbcparks photo of Cathedral Provincial Park (featuring one of the 130+ uncleared trees on the trail).
When describing the photo, Matt said, "For a trail in the provincial park to not have been cleared when the trail was 99% free of snow is, to me, unaccceptable. The lone park operator had actually cleared the bottom 3-4 km of the trail. I can't imagine what the hike would have been like without that section clear. We probably would have turned back."
Another special thanks to Mike Nash of the Caledonia Ramblers, whose photo of alpine flowers in Pine Le Moray Provincial Park was featured in this month's newsletter.
Background info, courtesy of Mike: "The Mount Murray trail in what later became Pine Le Moray Provincial Park was developed by the Caledonia Ramblers Hiking Club in 1983. The flowers there are always nice, with an unusual range of colours in the paintbrush plant from yellow to red because of the genetic variation and/or minerals in the soil. This year was the best flower display that I've seen there thanks to a very early spring and snowmelt, likely aided by early summer rains."
Click here to view our Spring/Summer 2016 issue of Cloudburst. It's not too early to submit your stories and photos to our next issue! The deadline is October 1, 2016.
Use our online form to report motorized recreation observed within BC Park boundaries.
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-opfor 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.