The Federation of Mountain Clubs of British Columbia



Welcome Skaha Bluffs Park Watch Society!

This spring, the FMCBC welcomed two new clubs: The Powell River Parks and Wilderness Society (PR-PAWS) and the Skaha Bluffs Park Watch Society (SBPWS). We introduced PR-PAWS in our May E-News, and this month we’re going to travel east to the sunny Okanagan to tell you about the SBPWS.

Established just this past September by a coalition of climbers, cyclists and outdoor user groups, SBPWS’ mandate is to deter auto crime at western Canada’s most popular sport climbing destination—Skaha Bluffs Provincial Park near Penticton. To accomplish this, they maintain a presence in the parking lots, educate the public about safety, and make patrons aware of the ecological importance of the park.

The organization has hired two park monitors through the Penticton & Area Cooperative Enterprises, an organization that offers employment to individuals with mild mental health issues. “We’ve had an incredibly positive response from park users regarding the monitors,” says SBPWS Director Rolf Ryback. “They are ambassadors for the park, outgoing, knowledgeable and personable.”

Climbing season is now in full swing at the Bluffs and Rolf says park monitors are being kept busy. “We’re also working with BC Parks staff to develop a best practices guide for the area. Currently, we are working to ensure that outdoor user groups have input on in the Skaha Bluffs Park Management Plan.”

To learn more about SBPWS and all that they do, visit their website and Facebook page. Then head to Penticton to see the Bluffs for yourself!

Our 2016 Annual General Meeting

The FMCBC held its Annual General Meeting May 27-29 in Vancouver with representatives attending from as far away as Prince George and Smithers. The BC Mountaineering Club (BCMC) hosted the weekend, coordinating billets for our out-of-town members and providing plenty of opportunities to learn, socialize, and of course get outdoors.

If you missed the AGM  (or just want to relive the fun) you can read the full report on our blog or review the meeting minutes here
Thank you to everyone who worked so hard to make our 2016 AGM a success, but especially Norma Charles, Chris Ludwig, Dave Scanlon, and our unexpected, but much appreciated volunteer, Judith Robertson. Next year's AGM has been set for May 27, 2017, location and host club to be confirmed, but we're eyeing the South Okanagan!

2016 Member Club Grant Recipients

During the FMCBC’s AGM in Vancouver on May 28th, the Member Club Grant Committee presented awards to this year’s grant recipients. Congratulations to the following FMCBC Member Clubs who will be using these funds to further their trail projects this year:

The Vancouver Rock Climbing Group was awarded $800 towards their Climb and Conquer Summer Leadership Camp (read more about it here).

The BC Mountaineering Club was awarded $1,200 towards their Watersprite Lake Hut Project.

The Fraser Headwater Alliance was awarded $1,700 towards improvements to the Goat River Trail.

The Mount Remo Backcountry Society was awarded $820 towards their Larsen Ridge Outhouse Upgrade.

We look forward to hearing updates from our grant recipients later this summer and will post their stories and photos here.

If your club is interested in applying for next year’s Member Club Grants, applications will open April 1, 2017. Talk to your club’s FMCBC director or send us an email for more information.

The FMCBC Presents its First Ever Film Festival

The FMCBC hosted its first ever film screening earlier this month in Victoria. More than 170 people came out to UVic's Cinecenta Theatre to watch a selection of outdoor adventure and mountain culture films taken from the Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival.

Our program included short and medium length films and spanned everything from mountain biking to backcountry skiing to rock climbing. The event was also a great opportunity for the outdoor community in Victoria to mix and mingle, and of course learn a little about the FMCBC. Many attendees stopped by our booth before the show and during intermission to say hi, learn about our work, and enter the draw for some always-appreciated MEC gift certificates. Overall, a great success, and we look forward to doing it again next year!


Farewell from Alanna

Hello everyone! Many of you have probably heard by now that I have decided to resign from my position as Communications Coordinator with the FMCBC, effective June 30th. It has been an incredibly rewarding year-and-a-half and I have enjoyed working with many of you on everything from committee work to outreach opportunities to Cloudburst articles. I have been truly inspired by the work of so many individuals within this organization, as well as by everything we have accomplished together.

For the curious, I am leaving the FMCBC to focus on a full-time job in Victoria’s booming tech sector, where I’ve been employed since September. If there were more hours in a day, I would happily continue to balance my time between writing about ecommerce and writing about the backcountry, but as is, I’ve had to let one go. On the bright side, rather than continuing to write about the backcountry, I’ll have more time to spend out in it, beginning with a group trip to Flores Island to Walk the Wildside Trail this weekend!

Thank you to everyone who has ever responded to my desperate requests for photos, or indulged me in an explanation of a complex issue I failed to understand. You have made me feel so welcome and have given me great examples of what it means to be an active and engaged global citizen. I won’t forget the lessons learned or encouragement received during my time at the FMCBC, and who knows, maybe our paths will cross again at some point. Until then!

The FMCBC is seeking a new Communications Coordinator

With Alanna leaving, the FMCBC is accepting applications for a part-time Communications Coordinator, responsible for coordinating the FMCBC’s external and internal communications. The ideal candidate will be self-motivated and creative, have experience in blogging, social media and website management, and have some outdoor recreation experience.

Please click here to review the full description of duties, responsibilities and conditions of employment. To apply, please send your cover letter and resume to Jodi Appleton, Executive Director no later than 5:00 p.m. on Monday, July 4, 2016. We would like to thank all applicants, however only those who are shortlisted will be contacted.

Comments on BC Parks' Draft Policy for Public Notification and Engagement 

Earlier this month, the FMCBC submitted a letter to BC Parks outlining our concerns surrounding BC Parks’ Draft Policy for Public Notification and Engagement on Permits under the Park Act and Ecological Reserve Act. The points contained in the letter are summarized here, or you can view the letter in its entirety by clicking here.

  1. We believe that the complete permit should be available for view on the BC Parks website for the duration of the permit rather than the limited information suggested in the draft policy. All duties and responsibilities of the permit holder should be fully disclosed to the public.
  2. It is imperative that the public be able to review and provide comments on applications before a permit is issued. All information about the permit should be posted on BC Parks’ website with an adequate notice period of at least 30 days for extended use permits and 10 days for short-term permits.
  3. We believe that what constitutes “exceptional cases” (eg. permit applications for development or investigative research) should be more clearly described than in the draft policy. The criteria that will guide the Minister or BC Parks in determining whether or not public consultation will be undertaken should also be detailed.
  4. We believe that public notification of a permit application subject to public input should not be limited to regional or local areas. Provincial parks, protected areas, conservancies, and recreational areas are for the benefit of the public generally and the tools or methods used to give the public the opportunity to comment should be province-wide.
The Outdoor Recreation Council also submitted a letter, which can be accessed here. The deadline for public comment has now passed.

In the News

B.C. national park faces opposition as debate continues over land protection - The Globe and Mail, May 30, 2016

B.C. tourism groups partner with Google to map province's top hikes - CBC News, June 6, 2016

Take a hike with those who know the trails - Kamloops This Week, June 9, 2016

Backcountry backlash: Public access to B.C.'s wilderness runs into roadblocks - The Vancouver Sun, June 10, 2016

Forested photogallery documents efforts of North Shore trail builders - The Vancouver Sun, June 19, 2016

Gates block ventures in the wild: Land owners cutting off paths to public land - The Times Colonist, June 26, 2016

Spearhead Huts Project to make Whistler backcountry more accessible - CBC News, June 27, 2016

Mountain Matters

Historic leap for old-growth forests

There's some big, positive news this month for old-growth forests in BC. The BC Chamber of Commerce, the largest business lobby in the province representing some 36,000 businesses and 125 different chambers of commerce, has passed a resolution calling on the BC government to expand protection for the province's old growth forests. It calls on the province to: “Support the increased protection of old-growth forests in areas of the province where they have or can likely have a greater net economic value for communities if they are left standing for the next generation and beyond."

The passage of this resolution marks an historic shift in the politics of old-growth forests in the province, where in years past protection and conservation was often thought to be detrimental to the economy and rural communities by much of the business community. According to the Ancient Forest Alliance, the shift could be due to several factors: "A growth in old-growth forest tourism in the province; the rapid expansion of the “green business” sector (eco-tourism, clean tech, organic agriculture, etc.); the increasing economic dominance of second-growth forests for the logging industry while old-growth forests have become scarce; closer cooperation between the environmental movement and tourism businesses; and a general growth in environmental awareness among consumers and business owners alike." Whatever is behind the change, we're all for it!


Researchers at the University of the Fraser Valley are studying the relationship between serious leisure and paid work. They are currently looking to interview people who have been involved in at least one serious leisure activity for a minimum of six months, and who are also currently involved in some form of paid work (can be related to serious leisure activity or not; can be full-time or not). Interviews will last approximately 30-60 minutes and participants will be entered into a draw for one of four $50 gift cards to a sport supply store of their choice. If you're interested in participating, please contact Research Assistant Arianna Castonguay at

Calling all outdoorsy teens! Wildsight is currently accepting applications for their annual Go Wild! summer program, which will take participants on a 6-day wilderness backpacking trip into the heart of the Height of the Rockies Provincial Park north of Sparwood. This year, the trip will be led by guides Dave Quinn (a wildlife biologist and former FMCBC director) and Leah Evans (a professional skier who was involved in the Jumbo Wild documentary). Participants must be 14-18 to register. Click here to view the application form.

Arc'teryx and Canada West Mountain School are hosting their annual climbing academy again this year in Squamish from July 14 - 17th. The event includes four days of international speakers, educational seminars and clinics on topics related to rock climbing. There will be free open air evening events featuring films and music. Click here to find out more.

After lobbying hard for increased parks funding earlier this year—and the disappointing announcement that it would remain virtually unchanged for 2016—it’s important to keep the pressure on our provincial government. CPAWS is currently asking the public to stand up for parks with a petition calling on decision makers to do right by our world-class landscapes and wildlife and give BC Parks the funding it so desperately needs. Click here to add your name to CPAWS' petition or click here for our guidelines on writing your own letter to your local MLA or Minister.

Special thanks to Rolf Ryback of the Skaha Bluffs Park Watch Society whose photo of Lake Okanagan as seen from the bluffs is featured in this month's newsletter.

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.
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.
Copyright © 2016 Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC, All rights reserved.

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