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Tenquille Lake Area

Old but relevant news.

I have expressed concerns pertaining to the large quantity of recent heli-tenure applications (in this case Blackcomb Helicopter's Heli-biking tenure being just one of many).
While on one hand I do believe that commercial tenures and operators are very often beneficial for both recreation, employment and the economy, it is important to still be mindful of their long term environmental impacts.
While I did not oppose this tenure outright, I did have several questions in terms of how local wildlife, vegetation and water would be affected in the Tenquille Lake area. I asked the government for data on these ecological elements to help guide my thinking on this tenure, and their response was that there wasn't any.
As a result of feedback from public stakeholders such as the Pemberton Wildlife Association (and perhaps myself), Blackcomb Helicopters has voluntarily withdrawn their trail proposals for the Tenquille Lake area.
I could have supported this proposal had there been answers to my basic questions and a plan for long term management. MFLNRO simply didn't have the resources and data in place.
Again, as in my position with BC Parks, land use decisions should be made in the context of balancing the needs of both recreation and conservation. In this case, I think the outcome was reasonable given the broader context, resources and information available.
Hopefully if and when an application like this comes around again I will receive the answers to my questions and will be able to enthusiastically support it.


Blackcomb Helicopters has taken the Tenquille to Owl Lake Recreation Area (TOLRA) out of its heli-biking tenure application.

BLACKCOMB HELICOPTERS is altering a contentious heli-biking tenure application for the Pemberton Valley after significant public and stakeholder opposition.

The company—which has been offering heli-biking in the Pemberton Valley for more than a decade—has decided to axe an element of its application that would have seen it build three trails in the Tenquille to Owl Lake Recreation Area (TOLRA).

"We opted to remove the TOLRA from our application in the interest of the public," explained Andy Meeker, base manager for Blackcomb Helicopters.

"It seemed like the right thing to do from the input we received."

Reference:  https://www.piquenewsmagazine.com/sea-to-sky/blackcomb-helicopters-axes-controversial-element-of-heli-biking-application-2507997

In light of the land grab feeding frenzy by Blackcomb Helicopters Ltd., Whistler Mountain Bike Groups, and Sun-shine Coast Mountain Adventures Limited (SCMA) we are beginning to investigate and ask more detailed questions.  We may also begin a campaign and/or petition for a moritorium on these commercial recreation applications in the coming weeks should answers not be adequate or forthcoming.
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Dear Mr. Standen, Mr. Vanderzalm and Mr. McCrone
We are deeply concerned about the recent quantity and proliferation of heli-biking tenure applications in Southwestern BC.  We are concerned that the long term and wide spread impact on Wildlife and our wilderness areas by these mechanized commercial operators is not being fully studied and addressed, and is not fully understood.
As Conservation and Backcountry Recreation Advocates, it has been a struggle to keep on top of the sheer number and large scope of these tenure applications.  This is alarming to us.
While we in principal do not oppose of commercial recreation and commercial operators, we have serious reservations about both Sun-shine Coast Mountain Adventures Limited's Land Use Application (larger in size than Gambier Island), as well as Blackcomb Helicopters Ltd. Heli-Bike Application at Tenquille Lake.  These are of course just two of many such recent applications.
Such large scale helicopter operations and downhill mountain bike activities have strong potential to be highly disruptive to Wildlife, bio-diversity, and to compromise and undermine the wilderness values and integrity of these areas.
We subsequently request all wildlife, water and vegetation data and impact assessments/studies pertaining to these two application areas (mountain goat range shape files and mountain goat studies, deer, moose, grizzly bear, vegetation, soil, old growth management, etc.).  Of extreme import and timeliness for us is to obtain and review all research and data pertaining to the Tenquille Lake Area.
We ask that these tenures not be approved until we the public can better and fully understand the scope and long term impacts of these major, large impacting commercial tenure applications.
Chris Ludwig
Backcountry BC co-founder and BCMC Vice-President

Another day, another wilderness commercial land grab.


Client: Blackcomb Helicopters Ltd
Region: Lower Mainland, Surrey
Agency: Crown Land Allocation
File: #2411936

Location: Pemberton 
Area (Hectares): 2,531.91 +- 
BCGS Mapsheet: 92J025 92J026 

Blackcomb Helicopters has identified 6 potential areas that could be developed for heli-biking activities (Mt Barbour, Mt Barbour South, Ogre-Owl, Mackenzie Ridge, Ipsoot Mt and Rutherford Ridge). The proponent has requested authorization to build these particular trails located on the attached map. There is currently one existing trail located in the Mt Barbour area that has already been established.  
Blackcomb Helicopters is applying for a 30 year License of Occupation to add heli-biking activities to its existing Crown Land Tenure.

Too many issues, not enough advocates, too many hungry hippos. Blackcomb Helicopters has applied for a heli-biking tenure in the Tenquille Lake Area (Comments close July 19th). Thank you to Steve Jones for raising this issue with us.

From the change.org petition (sign by clicking below):


Generations have enjoyed hiking and camping in this beautiful alpine. The flora and fauna is sensitive in this alpine environment and needs protecting. The Pemberton wildlife Association is urging the public’s help in preserving the Tenquille to Owl Lake Recreation Area. Blackcomb Helicopters is applying for a Commercial Heli-biking Tenure in this area. Currently Blackcomb Helicopters use the Tenquille Lake and Mt Barbour trails and by 2020 they propose to increase traffic on these by 240%. This would mean 2400 rider days which equates to nearly 400 Helicopters flights per season. Let’s let the Forest Lands and Natural Resources know that we do not support this commercial tenure in this beautiful alpine valley.

Referencing materials:  

Tenure Application: https://arfd.gov.bc.ca/ApplicationPosting/viewpost.jsp?PostID=55367&fbclid=IwAR0DzTxc56b9CMx-0OiEMkePY8fq7VoyjaKSh1NlEgR0EXgl-cezVvfjJOQ

Article from Mountain Life: