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junglesavage 10-04-2015 08:01 PM

Paranoid Creek Bridge Decommission
Members of the B.C.M.C. and I decommissioned the Paranoid Creek Bridge yesterday in an attempt to appease an impressive B.C. Parks and Ministry of Forests bureaucratic temper tantrum. I would like to personally apologize to the five parties in the area that day who used the bridge to climb Mamquam Mountain, Manic Peak, and camp at Darling Lake only to find the bridge gone upon their return. We had little choice in the matter unfortunately.
I was greatly relieved to hear after the fact that the returning parties had little difficulty in finding natural alternatives to crossing the creek.
The B.C.M.C. and I will continue to work hard towards finding a solution that accommodates the needs of every interested party with regards to this amazing and spectacular area.

adm 10-04-2015 09:43 PM

Unfortunate the bridge could not be left as is, especially for safety reasons considering more parties will be using the area now.

Thanks for all the hard work and effort but into the trail. A special alpine area indeed.


junglesavage 10-05-2015 12:05 AM

Thank you for your words of encouragement. Knowing that the trail we worked so hard on for well over 10 weekends has provided the hiking and climbing community with much enjoyment this summer has made the effort feel worthwhile, and has provided me with the strength to keep advocating for the trail in face of what I would dare to describe as nothing less than civil servant tyranny.

simonc 10-05-2015 12:14 AM

I and others really appreciate the effort put into the trail and bridge work. Build it and they will come certainly applied here as in a short time many hikers and climbers ventured into the area and some of us got to reach a peak that until now was a tough one to attempt. I hope the various government agencies get their shit together at some point and it sucks you guys were threatened with fines and/or legal action.

StevenSong 10-05-2015 01:51 AM

Very sad to hear about that.

I'm very appreciated the effort by BCMC for the work there. I just ascended Mamquam Mountain a couple days ago. (Glad I did it before the bridge was down)...

For others wishing to go in that area, the creek crossing looked to be very doable as for late September. The bridge would greatly simplify things but it's very doable without the bridge (at the right time of a year)...

danielj 10-05-2015 02:32 AM

Thanks for all your hard work. Disappointing it has gone this way.

lsnider 10-05-2015 11:30 AM

I was across the bridge while they took down the cable hand line. I just butt scooted along the log to get back to the other side. Creek was low enough to easily walk across it, I just didn't want to take off my boots.

vdg 10-05-2015 01:46 PM

Sad to hear that so much good work went away because some bureaucrats cannot get their act together!
Thanks to the BCMC trail builders for their hard work to give us easier access to this amazing area...

muskeeto 10-06-2015 09:15 PM

Why not just leave things the way they were? the trail to the creek was mostly on old logging roads. It's OK to bulldoze your way through the forest if your building a hydro plant, i guess!

Steventy 10-06-2015 10:24 PM

Is the controversy explained in more detail somewhere? I don't understand why they wanted the trail to be un-built.

Stoked 10-08-2015 10:36 AM


Originally Posted by Steventy (Post 671946)
Is the controversy explained in more detail somewhere? I don't understand why they wanted the trail to be un-built.

Some elements are supportive of the trail and improvements. Others are obstructionist and against it. Right now, the obstructionists have the upper hand.

As I suggested in another thread, if the BCMC were building a gondola it would stand a better chance of approval.

One theory is that the Ministry of Environment is establishing a price on zoning. For example, when building a gondola you can demonstrate that investment will be made and jobs created. Then you can have the zoning changed to permit the development. If a bunch of dirtbag climbers want to improve a trail that existed for many decades and it is not compliant with existing zoning it is easy to obstruct the trail improvements. Politically, there is no risk to the bureaucracy because the Liberal government doesn't see any new jobs being created. In fact, the mandarins will probably instruct the park managers to be obstructive so that the price of zoning is preserved for corporate interests.

It has been relatively easy for the Sea to Sky gondola and Whistler Blackcomb to get chunks removed from parks or zoning changed. Much harder for volunteers to improve an existing trail and add safety features to a creek crossing.

Another theory is that parks truly believes that some grave environmental damage will occur or a deadly impact on the goat population or the unicorns. This is so unsupportable scientifically I tend to dismiss it but you never know. Their own studies don't show a significant impact on goats from non-hunting pedestrian activities. As for the unicorns, they are very hard to find.

Also, it could just be ego. Perhaps BCMC did not make the appropriate obeisance and someone threw a fit. But then, BCMC was rebuffed on several occasions when discussions were suggested.

TheDude 10-08-2015 11:37 AM

so they made you cut out a log that had fallen naturally over a creek that you were using as a bridge? (among other things, obviously)

gesplin 10-08-2015 05:44 PM

Seems to me that we need a Vancouver Sun reporter to pick up this ball and run with it. We "dirt bag climbers" are tax-payers and a solid component of society. Mountain access is our right. Also, the future of BC is, to a large extent, going to be tourism and free access to the outdoors. I have used the bridge twice to access the Darling and Mamquam peaks and can vouch that the Mamquam ice-field area is an incredible hiking/climbing destination.

msulkers 10-08-2015 07:33 PM

In my experience, the Ministry of Forests, Lands, and Natural Resources and the Ministry of Environment operate on a very different program. That is likely a considerable concern in this regard. It seems that the MoE is much more enforcement oriented and the Recreational Sites and Trails BC component of MFLNR is more into facilitation. It is unfortunate that this issue came under the scrutiny of the MoE, but it is probably also important to understand how it came under that scrutiny.

I've also experienced where within the the MFLNR, different agents took radically different approaches to enforcement and facilitation. Sometimes a very worthy initiative gets shutdown, perhaps for reasons that Stoked has suggested.

I do not think that gesplin's suggestion would actually work in this situation. I don't believe for a moment that the powers that be believe that "free" access to the outdoors is the future, unless of course, one is a corporation with all the bells and whistles...would love to be proven wrong on this account, however...

Dru 10-08-2015 07:43 PM

I have some completely unverified ideas about this.

My thinking has developed from working on environmental assessments, which is my day job.

The Mamquam IPP would likely have gone through one of these EAs. There would have been a section of the EA where the impact of the project on the surrounding environment was considered.

The assessment may have concluded that increased recreational traffic in areas surrounding the project were unlikely to occur.

Now that the project has gone ahead, and suddenly climbers are using the project infrastructure to access the park, we have a much higher amount of use in an area of the park which previously saw significantly less human use. I suspect this may not have been correctly forecast in the EA.

They can't drop the approval for the project at this point. It's already built.

So instead they are scrambling to try and prevent the increased traffic into the park because it was not forecasted to occur. It's after the fact management.

Just a thought. I have no evidence to back any of this up. You might term it idle speculation on my part.

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