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OCTOBER 2014

FMCBC NEWS


Jumbo News
Jodi Appleton

We submitted a letter on October 7th to Premier Christy Clark and several ministers urging the government to deny renewal of Jumbo Glacier Resort’s environmental assessment certificate and to dissolve the Jumbo Resort Municipality.

The FMCBC’s letter focused on two areas which would directly impact non-motorized, backcountry recreation if the ski resort is built:

Quality Wilderness Areas for Recreation:  Development of a commercial ski resort would permanently damage the ecology of the Jumbo Valley resulting in a significant reduction in the quality of the area for non-motorized, backcountry recreation.

Public Access:  The proposed resort would take currently public lands and designate them as a Controlled Recreation Area (CRA) which would be available only to a few, paying users.

You can read more about the current situation in Robyn Duncan's recent blog post for Wildsight: Jumbo: No Substance.  If you would like to help, write your own letter to the premier, the ministers and your MLA and let them know why you'd like this project stopped.  Follow Wildsight and Jumbo Wild for the latest updates.

Washington State Trails Conference Report
Jodi Appleton

I had the opportunity, along with three other representatives from the FMCBC (Bob St. John, Carol Hunter and Dave Wharton) to attend the Washington State Trails Conference in Bellingham this month.  This biennial conference is organized by the Washington State Trails Coalition and brings together trail professionals and volunteers from across Washington State.  Over 300 people participated and we helped to make it an international conference this year.

The conference was extremely well organized and included a good variety of interesting breakout sessions each day covering a wide range of topics.  To get an idea of what was available you can view their conference program which shows how the topics were broken down into 5 streams:  Changing Terrain, Adaptive Solutions, Transforming Communities, Active Transportation and Trail Showcase.  I focused most of my time on Changing Terrain and Adaptive Solutions which covered topics such as building community relationships, working with volunteers, fundraising, trail collaboration and encouraging youth participation in trail stewardship.  Read More.

Using Online Waivers
Jodi Appleton

We have recently been discussing the use of online waivers with several of our member clubs.  Some clubs have already implemented their own internal systems while others are currently considering a switch from paper to online waivers. Because online waivers are a relatively new concept, our Insurance Committee held a couple meetings this month to discuss their pros and cons and the best practices for using them. 

We were fortunate to have Robert Kennedy, a lawyer who is an expert in the field of waivers, volunteer some of his time to participate in our first meeting.  We asked Kennedy how we can ensure that our online waivers are going to be enforceable in court.  His response was that the online waiver system will need to be able to show the courts that reasonable steps were taken to ensure that the signer’s attention was drawn to the conditions of the waiver and the fact that he/she was signing a legal contract.  Paper waivers that have been able to show this have upheld in court.  Because online waivers are so new, they have not yet been tested in the courts which means that we need to take extra steps to ensure that they will be as enforceable as possible.
 
With this in mind, the Insurance Committee will be drafting a set of guidelines for online waivers.  These guidelines will be used by the committee to review several commercial waiver providers.  If a commercial system is found that meets the guidelines and is affordable, the FMCBC may offer it as an option to clubs who want to switch to online waivers.  We may also decide to develop our own system if we are not satisfied with any of the commercial providers or we find that their systems are too cost prohibitive to use.  If a club has already developed its own online waiver system which meets the guidelines they will be able to continue using that system.  If their system does not already meet the guidelines we will work with them on ways to improve it.

Contact us if your club is thinking about switching from paper to online waivers and you'd like to learn more.

IN THE NEWS

Work on Jumbo resort on hold pending decision - Columbia Valley Pioneer, October 24, 2014

Avalanche Risk At Proposed Jumbo Ski Resort Site Raises Red Flags for Famed Mountaineer Pat Morrow – DeSmog Canada, October 20, 2014

Introducing Avalanche Canada; new name and logo for the Canadian Avalanche Centre - October 2, 2014, Avalanche Canada

Autumn camping rewards hardy B.C. hikers - Georgia Straight, October 1, 2014

MOUNTAIN MATTERS

This month, the research into the economic contribution of non-motorized backcountry recreation (funded by the FMCBC and through MEC grant funding) is highlighted in Steve Kux's article in Snoeshoe Magazine: The Price of Adventure: Measuring Outdoor Recreation in British Columbia

Have you heard about the Chilliwack Recreation Advisory Group (aka CRAG)?  By bringing different trail users together, this group is working to solve access issues and user conflicts in the Chilliwack Region.  If you're encountering similar issues in your region, think about inviting those other user groups to the table to discuss possible solutions.  It seems to be working well in Chilliwack.

Installing boardwalk for the Ancient Forest Trail near Prince George is no easy task. Check out this short video showing how they get the materials up there. Kudos to the UNBC students and all Caledonia Ramblers volunteers who have been helping out on this project!  

ANNOUNCEMENTS

Give back to your trails next summer by making a donation to the FMCBC on Giving Tuesday on December 2nd!  All donations go to our Member Club Grant Program which supports club initiated trail projects across BC.

Now until November 14 is your chance to provide comments on the Pinecone Burke Park Management PlanHelp us let BC Parks know that we do not want to see snowmobiles in the park.

The UBC Varsity Outdoor Club is hosting a fundraiser movie night for Avalanche Canada on November 17th.  They'll be showing the Teton Gravity ski movie Almost Ablaze at the Norm Theatre at UBC.  All profits will be donated to Avalanche Canada.  Click here for more info or visit their Facebook page.

Check out South Okanagan Trail Alliance's most recent newsletter.  Lots of good trail work happening in their region.

Want to know what's been happening at Jasper National Park?  You can check out there 2014 Annual Report here.

The Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour is making its way around BC over the next several months.  Check out when they'll be in your community here

Connect to the FMCBC on Facebook or Twitter to catch the latest news throughout the month. 


Click here to view the Spring/Summer 2014 issue of Cloudburst! Visit the Canadian Avalanche Centre for current conditions and bulletins
 
Visit Bivouac via the FMCBC website to report Off Road Vehicle infractions
 
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.

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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, mountaineering, 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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