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Southwest BC / Lower Mainland Regional Issues

bcregion mainland
With 2.8 million people, this dynamic metropolitan area is B.C.’s most populous region. It is home to one of the most ethnically diverse regions in Canada. It offers economic opportunities, a mild climate, an active lifestyle and all the amenities of a vibrant urban centre. Major industry sectors include trade and financial services, transportation, education, secondary manufacturing, tourism and agriculture.

Issue Lead Advocate - Monika Bittel

Once again, the BC Government and BC Parks has sided with Commercial Interests in a Provincial Park by restricting access to the backcountry and the historic Howe Sound Crest Trail.  

In January 2016, Cypress Mountain ski area unilaterally implemented a policy preventing public access between 11 PM and 9 AM to the Backcountry Access Corridor leading to Howe Sound Crest, Black Mountain and Bowen Lookout Trails in Cypress Provincial Park. The BCMC board researched the issue in conjunction with the FMCBC Recreation and Conservation committee. What we found is that there was no public consultation as required and that the policy is in direct conflict with provisions protecting public access in the park master plan.

We are working to restore 7 x 24 hour access to this important corridor as required in the Park Use Permit.

  The Cypress Backcountry Access Corridor can now be accessed from 7AM. Note however, that the Cypress Bowl Road continues to be gated until 7AM at Chippendale Drive. In contravention to their park use permit, Cypress resorts has been preventing access to the corridor from 11PM to 9AM and this continues to be their official position. While discussions between BC Parks and Cypress continues, the new manager Russell Chamberlain will allow public access through the BAC once the road is...

Scott Donker, Senior Park Ranger - Vancouver, BC Parks, Ministry of Environment, South Coast Region, North Vancouver released a new version of the Cypress Provincial Park Winter Trails Map showing the Backcountry Access Corridor (BAC) through the controlled recreation area managed by Cypress Resort Ltd. Winter trails are marked with red dotted lines. The BAC is a green circle with a striding hiker atop the acronym BAC. The BAC is a corridor through the controlled recreation area that...

Once again, the BC Government and BC Parks has sided with Commercial Interests in a Provincial Park by restricting access to the backcountry and the historic Howe Sound Crest Trail.  Although Cypress Provincial Park is considerably south of Garibaldi Provincial Park, we feel duty bound to also stand up for non-mechanized backcountry users at Cypress.  It seems a pattern has emerged. In January 2016, Cypress Mountain ski area unilaterally implemented a policy preventing public access...

December 9, 2016 The B.C. Mountaineering Club with more than 800 members has cited the actions of Cypress Mountain Resort in closing the backcountry access corridor to Howe Sound Crest Trail as harmful to public safety. Meanwhile, BC Parks has stood by doing nothing to prevent it but has endorsed the resort's backcountry access policy by reportedly stationing park rangers to help enforce it. Here is the text of the letter the BCMC recently wrote to Mr. Jim Standen, Assistant Deputy Minister,...

November 29, 2016 Cypress Mountain backcountry access closure not sanctioned in master plan BC Parks is failing to follow their own master plan by preventing access to the Howe Sound Crest Trail between the hours of 10 PM to 9 AM during the winter months. The concern with public safety expressed by Mr. Jim Standen, Assistant Deputy Minister is a sham. For further information on the closure read here: Cypress winter road closure next steps The flag person that is currently preventing...

May 28, 2016 Cypress Mountain backcountry access closure due to parking not public safety The wintertime enforcement of Cypress Mountain Resorts' backcountry access policy is parking related. Quite simply, early snowshoers are taking up parking spots meant for paying customers. How this works is that there is a short section in the controlled recreation area that snowshoers and other backcountry users must cross to reach Black Mountain, Yew Lake, Bowen Lookout and Howe Sound Crest...

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