ACCESS NEWS - January 21st, 2008
A. SKAHA PURCHASE COMPLETE!
SUBLOT 18 PURCHASED
The Land Conservancy of B.C. announced recently that the purchase of sublot 18 at Skaha was complete. This 304 hectare property, which is southeast of the climbing area, will provide permanent public access to and parking for Skaha. It will also protect the area's high recreation and conservation values. The entire area, including sublot 18, is to be managed as a Class A provincial park.
Key partners and donors in the $5.25 million purchase included Mountain Equipment Co-op, the B.C. Ministry of Environment, the Nature Conservancy of Canada, the Government of Canada Natural Areas Conservation Program, the Habitat Conservation Trust Fund, the B.C. Trust for Public Lands, the B.C. Ministry of Transportation Environmental Enhancement Fund, the Nature Trust of British Columbia, a generous donation from the former owner under Environment Canada's Ecological Gifts Program, the Guide Outfitters Association of British Columbia, the Wild Sheep Society of British Columbia, the Foundation for North American Wild Sheep - Wyoming Chapter, and others.
The Access Society thanks all the partners and donors for their generous help with the Skaha purchase, on behalf of the climbing community. We particularly thank The Land Conservancy of B.C. and Mountain Equipment Co-op.
BRAESYDE PARKING CLOSED
Braesyde parking lot closed on November 4th. It has been used for public and climbers' parking since 1992, thanks to the kindness of the Dunlop family. There is no current alternate access to Skaha that does not involve illegal parking, crossing private land, or both.
NEW PARKING & ACCESS (Spring 2008)
It will take time to plan and fundraise to create an access road, parking, and other facilities at sublot 18. The Land Conservancy, the Skaha climbing community, and other partners, are working on an interim solution for spring 2008. We'll publish news about this as soon as it's available.
The Access Society also thanks all those in the climbing community and industry that contributed to fundraising for Skaha. As well as Mountain Equipment Co-op, corporate donors include Arc'Teryx, Black Diamond, The Edge Climbing Centre, Cliffhanger (Vancouver and Coquitlam), Skaha Rock Adventures, several sections of the Alpine Club of Canada, and others. They were very generous.
The Access Society itself donated $10,000. We also put a great deal of effort into Skaha communications, and soliciting donations from individuals and corporations. Perhaps we were sometimes leaning on doors that were already ajar, but it seemed to help. Also, MEC committed $100,000 to match donations from its members, over and above its other contributions, and it wasn't too hard to generate enough donations to use up all $100,000.
We also thank the families and friends of Caroline Cheung, Colin Wooldridge and Rita Ourom for donations in their memory to The Land Conservancy, and the Skaha climbers for all their work on access to the area over the last 15 years.
B. LIGHTHOUSE PARK - WEST VANCOUVER
West Vancouver Parks & Recreation was informed in November by an environmental group that there had been recent vegetation removal on a cliff called "Arbutus Alley", at the Juniper Point climbing area, and that bolts had been added to it. Human impacts on Lighthouse Park are a sensitive subject. West Vancouver contacted the Access Society, and a member familiar with the area visited the area on our behalf, took photos, and reported. As West Vancouver initially intended to remove the bolts, the Access Society agreed to interim removal of the hangers only, as a good will gesture, while more information is gathered. A sign was posted at the cliff. It is unclear whether any vegetation removal actually occurred, or whether any bolts were added.
The Access Society is gathering information on the pre-2007 status of "Arbutus Alley", and plans to discuss this with West Vancouver in the near future. If you have information, particularly photos, or news about any changes over the last year, please contact us. Especially if you removed vegetation from, or added bolts to, the cliff. We would like to get this resolved as soon as possible, certainly before the spring climbing season. We know that there have been at least some bolts there for some years, and there may have been vegetation removal in the distant past. Whether there has been any recent activity is another matter. The cliff is naturally quite clean, and climbing has occurred there since at least the 1960s.
West Vancouver's and North Vancouver's parks are under pressure from developers, neighbours, and users. Lighthouse Park is one of the few remaining pockets of old growth forest in the lower mainland, and it is particularly vulnerable. See the Lighthouse Park management plan - http://www.westvancouver.ca/article.asp?a=2947&c=853 There are also vigilant neighbours and environmental groups, e.g. the Lighthouse Park Preservation Society - http://www.westvancouver.ca/article.asp?a=4518&c=929
All climbers on the north shore should be attentive to these issues. Thanks to John Brodie for help with this.
C. ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING GENERAL
The Access Society's 2007 Annual General Meeting was on November 15th. About 25 members were present. We did all the usual business - reports, financial statements, etc. Plus we had a very useful discussion about goals for the Access Society. The Access Society was founded in 1995, and we've created a sound organization, with a solid track record. Several major issues that have required a lot of work over the last few years seem to be under control, and so we discussed what's next. It is important that all the climbers of B.C. continue to be represented by an inclusive organization, and there's no shortage of challenges. Public access to and conservation of the cliffs and mountains of B.C. are large goals.
Thanks to MEC for providing us with a meeting room, and to various donors for prizes.
DIRECTORS & OFFICERS 2007 - 08
Colin Dionne (Powell River) firstname.lastname@example.org
Gary Foster (Burnaby) email@example.com
Drew Fullerton (Okanagan Falls) firstname.lastname@example.org
Eric Goodwin (Victoria) email@example.com
Jason Kruk (North Vancouver) firstname.lastname@example.org
Jan McPhee (Vancouver) email@example.com
Mandoline Masse-Clark (Vancouver) firstname.lastname@example.org
Greg Sorensen (Nanaimo) email@example.com
Jeff Thomson (Vancouver) firstname.lastname@example.org
Peter Winter (Squamish) email@example.com
(The above e-mail addresses should be working soon. firstname.lastname@example.org is also an option.) The new officers are Peter Winter (President), Gary Foster (Vice-President), Jan McPhee (Secretary), and Jason Kruk (Treasurer).
There is still room for one, or perhaps more, other directors. If you are interested, energetic, and can contribute, contact Peter Winter at (604) 892-3201 or (604) 815-8879. There are two or three in-person meetings each year, and two or three telephone meetings. Directors also have organizational and advocacy responsibilities.
Rolf Rybak, Luisa Giles, Allen Agopsowicz, Lisa Rae, and Dan Mack retired as directors at the AGM, or earlier. Special thanks to all of them for their steady efforts on behalf of the Access Society! Allen was one of the founding directors of the Access Society - twelve years total. Dan also was one of the founding directors, and was a director for most of the time since 1995. Rolf has served as President for the last two years, and made a big contribution.
Executive Director Anders Ourom is stepping down from an active role in the Access Society. He was one of the founding directors, and President from 1995 - 2004. There may be transitional challenges - please bear with us.
D. MEMBERSHIP MATTERS
PAYPAL - MEMBERSHIPS, RENEWALS, DONATIONS
It is now possible again to go on-line to join or renew your membership, or make a donation.
Go to http://www.access-society.ca/getinvolve ... rship.aspx complete the form, and pay via PayPal. (Credit card needed.) If it doesn't work, please let us know. Thanks to Eric Goodwin and Gary Foster for fixing this!
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