Logging trucks have no place in BC’s provincial parks

Camping with my family was a regular part of my summers growing up, and Sasquatch Provincial Park was a favourite destination, as it continues to be for many families in the Lower Mainland. One of my earliest memories involves wading knee-deep in the shallows of one of the park’s lakes, the waters around me black with tadpoles. The safety of the park allowed my parents to relax and give me the freedom to explore the natural world. I have no doubt that those early experiences played a huge role in my development.

Deer Lake, Sasquatch Provincial Park, July 1980. That's me in the centre with the bucket.
Deer Lake, Sasquatch Provincial Park, July 1980. That's me in the centre with the bucket and the Speedos.

Needless to say, I was shocked to hear that the provincial government is considering changing the boundaries of the park to allow logging trucks to pass through it, meters from the campground.

To make matters worse, the province has entrusted the logging company to run the consultation process. I attended the meeting, held in Chilliwack, last Thursday (see Global TV's coverage). The 20 or so locals that attended voiced serious concerns regarding potential impacts to recreational and ecological values.  The proponent himself acknowledged a number of serious impacts that are likely to occur, including rock blasting, noise and dust, and the potential for accidents to occur, due to increased traffic. I was also shocked at how little revenue all of this impact was for- a projected $60,000 a year for 5 years. Considering this would jeopardize the park experience of hundreds of thousands of visitors annually, it hardly seems worth it.

But that is exactly the problem- since there is no cost to industry to propose opening up a park, it will always be worth it, from their standpoint. Due to weaknesses in BC’s Park Act and Boundary Adjustment Policy, we could be seeing many of these proposals coming forward, and the burden will be on British Columbians to react to each and every one of them. The company proposing the boundary change will be in charge of listening to any concerns you may have.

This is unacceptable. CPAWS-BC, along with its allies, is calling on the government to strengthen the Parks Act and associated policies so that the people of BC can trust that their parks are protected forever. I urge you to do the same (click here to write a letter to the Minister of the Environment).