Between 2004 and 2007, his council worked with CASBC (including its Squamish representatives), the FMCBC and the other groups to formalise a Smoke Bluffs Park, comprising the FMCBC parcels and the District lands above.
A fresh management plan was drafted between 2015 and 2017. Subsequently the Bluffs bylaw came before council for change on two separate occasions in 2017 and 2019. These events and their significance are described in section 6, below.
Unconnected to any Smoke Bluffs issues, the FMCBC’s largest component club, the BC Mountaineering Club (“BCMC”) resigned from the federation in 2018.
For example, in the 2020 report of one of the FMCBC’s remaining large mountaineering clubs, ACC Vancouver, director Jay MacArthur writes:
The District recently paid $650,000 for the Drenka lands, close to the FMCBC parcels.
The FMCBC’s 2019 annual report itemizes the Smoke Bluffs land holdings as having a combined book value of $69,184 and also notes that the assessed value is $156,600
For comparison, The Mountaineers in Washington state (admittedly an organization whose objectives go beyond access) lists remuneration around US$3 million in its 2019 990 IRS filing and has a lengthy staff list on its website.
The BMC in the UK, advocating on behalf of climbers and mountaineers in England and Wales has more than thirty employees.
However, a recent BC Supreme Court ruling on a similar case indicates that it is not possible for these type of covenants to constrain municipalities in the long term.
However, the amount is trivial in context: $869 in 2019 (see page ten in the District’s annual report).
However developers shamelessly employ these kinds of tactics; in fact there is a current example elsewhere in Squamish of the District being pressured in this way.
Fortunately, SAS and others lobbied the council successfully such that two council members spoke out against the change and that item was not adopted.
Squamish Climbing Magazine recorded the responses from the successful candidates here. For example, the successful mayoral candidate responded as follows:
Council’s response was to change the Park establishment bylaw to add another member-at-large position.