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BC Parks Covid-19

BC residents are "local" when it comes to the park system—provincial officials
A provincial official informed me today that BC residents can now travel to any provincial park designated as "open" by BC Parks. For example, a Vancouverite may travel to Wells Gray Provincial Park as it opened May 14th.

Sarah Bulford

This should be entertaining to watch unfold. Being as BC Parks doesn't staff enough Rangers in the summer to patrol all parks. And this time of year, all auxillary staff are on lay off.

Article:

"VANCOUVER -- All of B.C.'s provincial parks have been closed as officials continue to take action to stop the spread of COVID-19.

The province announced the immediate closure on Wednesday, saying it's in response to "federal and provincial directives" asking people to stay home."

https://bc.ctvnews.ca/mobile/all-provincial-parks-in-b-c-closed-to-stop-spread-of-novel-coronavirus-1.4888064?fbclid=IwAR0XRpcjJX3lxT-vDWGo5XkIvRBctLg9LAaONRFck1B6g8fDl3kw5bA3snc

With this announcement, the cynic in me immediately imagined that BC Parks management has finally achieved the perfect utopia it has been hoping for since its creation in the 1950's - A provincial park system completely devoid of people and the final triumphant extermination of the "recreation" portion of their dual recreation and conservation mandate.
My active little (and somewhat twisted) imagination envisions champaign bottles being popped open around the BC Parks board room, with many giving jubilant toasts to the glorious Covid-19 virus. Hip hip, Hooray! Maybe engineering the virus was the plan all along (and the Earth is flat, the sun most definitely orbits the Earth, and the moon landings were definitely staged).
As they say, nothing is wrong with an overly active imagination, a good conspiracy theory, combined with a healthy dose of skepticism.
Stay well everyone.

Announcement:
 
BC Parks Response to COVID 19: Full BC Parks System Closure
BC Parks is immediately closing the entire BC Parks system, including all parks, protected areas, conservancies, recreation areas, and ecological reserves. All camping (front and backcountry) is now banned until May 31st, 2020. This action is being taken in response to the call for increased action to address the COVID-19 pandemic.
With the desire of the public to get outdoors, many parks have already experienced peak season levels of use that have resulted in overwhelmed parking lots, trails and trailheads, making physical distancing difficult, if not impossible in some locations. It has also resulted in damage to our facilities and the environment.
This closure is also necessary to ensure the continued health and safety of our visitors, employees, park operators and their staff, volunteers, and park contractors. By taking this action, we align with federal and provincial directives for people to stay home to reduce COVID-19 transmission risk.
This temporary measure means public and vehicle access is prohibited until further notice. All trails, roads, day-use areas, beaches, lakes, boat launches, and backcountry areas are closed to the public. Park closures will be enforced through regular monitoring and patrols and anyone found in a closed park will be evicted and could face a $115 fine.
In addition to the full system closure, the campground closure has been extended to May 31st, 2020. Full refunds will continue to be automatically provided to those with existing reservations during this time. Please do not initiate a request for refund. The Discover Camping reservation system has been suspended for all new reservations. A public notice will be issued once facilities are reopened and the system is able to accept new reservations.
BC Parks continues to monitor the COVID-19 pandemic closely and is following the recommendations set out by the Provincial Health Officer and the Minister of Health for decisions related to closure and reopening of parks and facilities.
Please continue to check the BC Parks website for updates.

For more COVID-19 information, visit the BC Centre for Disease Control: BCCDC: http://covid-19.bccdc.ca/

Provincial Health Officer and Ministry of Health News: https://news.gov.bc.ca/ministries/health
 
BC PARKS RESPONSE TO COVID-19
For the health and safety of BC Parks visitors, employees, park contractors, volunteers and partners, effective immediately, we are temporarily suspending services and closing facilities in most provincial parks.
Day-use services and facilities will remain available at the following provincial parks

http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/