Petition: Create Semaphore Lakes Provincial Park - ClubTread Community

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post #1 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 02:12 PM Thread Starter
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post #2 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 10:13 PM
Luc
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Have to say looking at this my original thought was that'd be great.

After a moment I was left with some very mixed thoughts and was wondering if I was the only one.

Semaphore lakes is a beautiful place and making it a provincial park with tent pads and outhouses are first thought seems to be a great way to minimize damage to the area.

Then I started to think about Garibaldi park, Joffre, Chilliwack lake area and how many people show up there on the average weekend and start to wonder if this would just make it much worse much faster.
Preventing motorized activity in the winter also sounds good but given you can't get near it by car in the winter how likely would it be that such restrictions would make any difference?

Maybe it's a great idea, maybe the lesser of two evils maybe neither.
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post #3 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 10:22 PM
Ryl
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With it being so far up the Hurley, and the deteriorating condition of that road in the absence of maintenance, semaphore should be pretty safe from the weekend warrior crowd.

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post #4 of (permalink) Old 09-14-2016, 11:20 PM Thread Starter
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Hi Luc:
You aren't the only one. There are certainly pros and cons of every option. A few years ago, I would have opted for not doing anything in hopes that it would remain a relatively unknown location. However, I don't think that is a reasonable plan anymore. Semaphore Lakes is widely known. It is the 5th hike in the book: 103 Hikes in Southwestern British Columbia. It is also in the Scrambles book. With social media and internet sites (this one included,) the cat is entirely out of the bag. I have a datapoint for one weekend this summer: there were over 30 cars parked at Semaphore Lakes trailhead! I also think it will get worse. In response to the Joffre Lake overcrowding, no-parking signs have been installed in the last week or two along the highway. That will push people to other destinations including Semaphore Lakes. It means that some investment is now required (trail improvements, outhouses at a minimum). The government has taken a number of steps this year to limit access in response to increased demand (backcountry camping reservations, limiting parking, etc.) Although those may protect one area, it just moves the problem to the next. Because Semaphore Lakes has no status (it is not a rec site, a conservancy or a park,) it is particularly vulnerable. Unless the increase in demand is matched with an investment in trails/facilities in one location or another, the problem is not actually being dealt with.

Of course, I also want to emphasize that this "problem" is actually a reflection of a positive opportunity. There are a lot of good reasons (economic, social, environmental) why we want people to be coming to BC, staying in BC and enjoying our outdoor areas. We spend a lot of money promoting these activities so we need to match that with a small investment to make sure people can actually engage in those activities.

Re motorized activity in the winter. The area is actively used in the winter by snowmobilers and commercial ski operation(s). There is a land and resource management plan in place already and that would be used to provide guidance on those activities once the land becomes a park. Trying to re-open all of that would be a much larger change that is unrelated to the summer issues and would likely face a lot of opposition.


Hi Ryl:
The road is often rough but I would hesitate to suggest it is deteriorating year over year. Because it is an important link to a number of communities, it is continually maintained. I have even seen a newer model Mercedes sedan on the road (not recommended during a lot of the year!)

You can see the updates here and note that there is a lot of active work happening (grading, signage, brushing, etc.)
http://isurvivedthehurley.com/

As mentioned above, I've heard of over 30 cars at that trailhead this summer so I think it's safe to say that the weekend warriors have arrived.
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post #5 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 12:05 AM
Ryl
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Jeeze, I recall the MoH declining to further maintain the Hurley any longer a few years ago, suggesting that the stragglers in Bralorne & Gold Bridge take the low road out to Lillooet instead. I guess they must have reversed that position. Taking a mercedes sedan up that road would be insane either way, people are dumb.

I'm pretty sure those no parking signs were already up at Joffre, certainly they were present in the brake check (because it's a f'in break check, not a parking lot). Unless they bother towing large volumes of cars, or dropping major fines, I doubt they'll keep many people away.

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post #6 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 02:30 PM
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Realistically, it may not happen as there appears to be cut backs in funding for BC Parks. http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion...stem-1.2188324 They can't even maintain the existing parks which is why the FMCBC has started a page detailing the state of disrepair of our parks and a campaign to increase funding. http://mountainclubs.org/how-to-help-fund-bc-parks/
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post #7 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 07:11 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by solo75 View Post
Realistically, it may not happen as there appears to be cut backs in funding for BC Parks. http://www.timescolonist.com/opinion...stem-1.2188324 They can't even maintain the existing parks which is why the FMCBC has started a page detailing the state of disrepair of our parks and a campaign to increase funding. http://mountainclubs.org/how-to-help-fund-bc-parks/
The province is running a surplus. Government research has shown that investments in parks increase GDP ($8.42 in spending for every $1 invested.) Deferring maintenance will only result in larger costs down the road. I think that the time is right for the spending situation to turn around.
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post #8 of (permalink) Old 09-15-2016, 07:32 PM
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I guess the more parks the better, but the govt certainly hasn't shown interest in upgrading and maintaining many of them. You certainly won't see any rangers at Semaphore if it was a park.

I sort of think a more realistic proposal would be to petition the govt for funding to build infrastructure at Semaphore. Maybe some kind of grant.... What difference is there if it's a park or not but there is nobody around to enforce park rules or maintain services?
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post #9 of (permalink) Old 09-16-2016, 11:43 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Candy Sack View Post
I guess the more parks the better, but the govt certainly hasn't shown interest in upgrading and maintaining many of them. You certainly won't see any rangers at Semaphore if it was a park.

I sort of think a more realistic proposal would be to petition the govt for funding to build infrastructure at Semaphore. Maybe some kind of grant.... What difference is there if it's a park or not but there is nobody around to enforce park rules or maintain services?
Yes, agreed. The powers in our government are so-short-sighted, it smells very bad. "cut back in funding "??? now that is poor.

K

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