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Flash Back Fridays

Flash Back Fridays (#FBF): Foundation Brouchure

Flash Back Fridays (#FBF)

Flash Back Fridays (#FBF)

Flash Back Fridays (#FBF)

Flash Back Fridays (#FBF)

Flash Back Friday

RENDEZVOUS CANADA –1985
A story by David Boulding

Jim and Myrna at a Rendez-vous tradeshow.

Jim and Myrna at a Rendez-vous tradeshow.

Some 25 years ago, maybe longer, Jim and Myrna were invited to the second year of Rendezvous Canada. This is a federally funded high profile project that connects the best international buyers and sellers of quality tourism products from around the world to the finest Canadian tourist operators.

Strathcona was a unique Canadian product, in a picture perfect place, with a special focus on children and families, because of this S.P.L. was in on the ground floor. While the Lodge started as a trout and salmon fishing place in the summer and did not directly focus on children in the early years, by 1970, the focus was all children and then in a few years the focus broadened to include families. This approach Read more

Flash Back Fridays

PATRICK FULLER

Jim had electric lines, water lines, septic pipes and propane all in the same trenches. One day Patrick came upon an outdoor electric socket with water pouring out of the plug. He found out that a join in a nearby water line had separated. Because the electric line had been threaded through cheap pipe, the water got into that pipe. The circuit breaker had shut the power off and the plug coming out of the ground was done properly. Patrick repaired the leaking water line and all was well

The main office building in the foreground the Outdoor Centre in the background.

The main office building in the foreground the Outdoor Centre in the background.

A more serious event happened and Patrick almost got electrocuted. The furnace in the Annex had frozen pipes. He walked up the hill with a propane torch to thaw the pipes. Because he didn’t want to go back down to get Read more

Flash Back Fridays

Hilary Stewart (1924-2014)

Hilary Steward (left) with Joy Inglis.

Hilary Steward (left) with Joy Inglis.

It is with sadness we must note the passing on June 5 of the renowned BC artist and author Hilary Stewart, author of more than ten titles including Cedar: Tree of Life of the North West Coast Indians and the perennial bestseller Looking at Totem Poles. Long a resident of Quadra Island, Stewart was an important authority on Northwest Indian art and culture with numerous titles directly concerned with Aboriginal cultures starting with Artifacts of the Northwest Coast (1973) and Indian Fishing: Early Methods on the Northwest Coast (1977). Cedar (1984), an examination of the various ways Aboriginal cultures utilized cedar, received one of the first four B.C. Book Prizes that were presented in 1985. Stewart’s reiusse of the journal kept by English sailor at Nootka Sound in 1803, John R. Jewitt, Captive of Maquinna (1987), also received a B.C. Book Prize. Other titles Read more

Flash Back Fridays

“Wilderness in jeopardy: see it before it’s gone”
By Myrna Boulding, the Campbell River Courier, Thursday, September 25, 1986

The former minister of Lands, Parks and Housing, Jack Kempf, spoke to the Gold River Chamber of Commerce on Sept. 16, not on Strathcona Park as he was originally scheduled to do but on forestry, his new portfolio.

He will make a good forests minister. That is where his heart lies. My concern is with parks, particularly Strathcona Park, now in the hands of Austin Pelton along with environment.

If Mr. Pelton has ideas very different from Mr. Kempf it will invalidate much of what I have to say, but I expect consensus within the Social Credit Party has pretty well been established regarding the future of Strathcona Park.

At the 75th birthday celebration of Strathcona Park on Aug. 4, Mr. Kempf promised a detailed review of plans for this park with public hearings to be held in Campbell River and Courtenay sometime this fall.

His stated objective was to make sure of the continued orderly development of our parks system, with a first step toward meeting this goal being to implement the conclusions of the Wilderness Advisory Committee.

He said that this process was now well under way. The question is, what constitutes orderly development?

Strathcona Park has approximately 300 of the 650 mining claims presently stakes in B.C.’s 365 provincial parks. Many were staked in the mid-60s, about the time that the designation of Strathcona as a Class A park was changed to three “nature conservancies” and 127,206 acres of Class B park.

Most of the acreage is now recommended for deletion by the Wilderness Advi- sory Committee. I think that definite areas were set aside back in ’65 and ’66 for mining and logging.

Mr. Kempf has stated that he is a firm believer in multiple use, including development in park areas. He is against resource areas being used for single purpose. Multiple use may work for mining and forestry, but tourism with its dependence on wilderness, scenery and wildlife – forget it! Multiple use means industrial use.

After listening to Mr. Kempf talk to forest interests, I’ve realized that large sections of Strathcona Park are slated for logging.

Tourist and recreation interests, not to mention wilderness values, are going to be further compromised. One young man from Gold River tells me that logging on the west side has already extended into Strathcona Park and is clearly visible from a helicopter.

The early park pioneers had their own ideas about orderly development. In 1911 it was hoped that a park similar to Banff or Yosemite with what were termed ‘attractions’ – hotels, trails, etc. – would bring to the province many thousands of visitors year after year, proving eventually to be one of the province’s best resources.

Very little has been done to provide these attractions in Strathcona Park. I had a large group from the Appalachian hiking club stay at Strathcona Park Lodge. They found the trails too steep. They couldn’t get high enough to see the beautiful alpine areas.

This October 160 or more people of 60 years and older are coming to Strathcona Park Lodge through an organization called Elderhostel. I am hard-pressed to find appropriate activities for them. Compare this with Olympic National Park where alpine access allows visitors to view and photography nature at close range.

Not that the beauty isn’t there. Last month through the courtesy of some American guests, I flew for 1 1⁄2 hours by helicopter over the west side of the park.

Even after 25 years of living at the edge of the park and making short trips into its well-known areas, I was overwhelmed by the beauty revealed by the helicopter’s perspective. Della Lake and Nine Peaks are absolutely spectacular. Victoria Peak and the area around Colonel Foster and Volcano Lake area scenery I’d match with anywhere in the world.
Landslide Lake can easily compete with Lake Louise for scenic beauty.

Trouble is, who has seen these areas? Very few. If we are going to have concerned support for Strathcona Park we need access for people who aren’t half mountain goat. Our population is aging. Perhaps we need a road up the Elk Valley to Landslide Lake. (My staff will hate me for suggesting this.)

Why not have Westmin build a properly drained road instead of its present cat road to the alpine areas of Tennant Lake. Donner Lake could also be made accessible if the old logging roads were fixed up.

To those who would say keep the public away from these areas, I would say that either we make some wilderness areas accessible to tourists and increase tourist dollars spent in this area or we are going to lose irreplaceable areas in the name of economic development.

It is hard to know where to go for support. Campbell River has not had to look to Strathcona Park to attract tourists because of the lure of salmon fishing.

It’s hard to get the Tourism Promotion Society (largely funded by Campbell River municipality) to relate to the park. Local people who work in resource-based in- dustries might be excused for seeing the park as a new resource waiting to be harvested.

The Parks Ministry seems to have low status within the provincial government. Parks employees win no brownie points if they speak out in favor of keeping logging and mining out of the parks.

On the contrary you only have to read the proposed boundary changes recommended by the parks division (and for the most part endorsed by the Environmental Advisory Committee) to see what parks people at the top have in mind for Strathcona Park.

Delete 35,000 hectares (87,500 acres). Most of these deletions mirror the parts of Class park that became Class B back in 1965. Obviously the government was responding to pressures of logging and mining interests at that time. The wool was pulled over our eyes by the apparent gain of ‘nature conservancy areas’.

These nature conservancy areas are made up of three mountainous core areas having little or no mineral, forest or hydro potential. We are going to end up with three widely separate relatively inaccessible areas of park, with helicopter fly-in not allowed.

The suggested areas to be added to Strathcona Park include 8,000 hectares (20,000 acres) of mostly logged land some of which no one asked to have included. (They were obviously searching for acreage.)

Rogers Ridge and the land north towards Campbell River from the present park entrance should not, in my opinion, be included in the park. We need a Banff-type four seasons resort village with land development profits going towards a skill hill is Strathcona Park is to be realized.

Without people living nearby to keep an eye on the park, there’s no hope. It’s even been suggested that Strathcona Park be used as a land bank for parks everywhere. The final insult to our intelligence is the proposed designation of the core of the park around Cream Lake (chief among the jewels) as a ‘recreational area for mineral claims zone’. This large area is not included in the proposed deletion of 35,000 hectares (87,500 acres).

It might as well be, because with many of the park’s 300 mining claims located here, what could possible be left of interest to tourists?

Bob Flitton, deputy minister of tourism, once said that one mine in the park at a time is enough. He also said that the provincial government will not allow B.C.’s internationally-acclaimed park system to be eroded by resource extraction.

Certainly park boundaries need revision. My husband Jim Boulding spent most of the last two years of his life trying to save Elk Mountain across from our lodge from logging. BC Forest Products and the Ministry of Tourism tried to effect a trade as the area in question was obviously at the entrance to the park and very scenic.

The view from Strathcona Park Lodge was recently featured in the ‘Times-Colonist’, and last year in the ‘Globe and Mail’. Those were old pictures. Now it is clear-cut half way up. Tourists walk into our office and say, “I didn’t come this far to see that!”

And more logging is planned, not only on Elk Mountain but also in the only remaining nice forest that tourists can get to, near Crest Mountain, which is also slated for removal from the park. Only yesterday a honeymoon couple from Alberta told us, “We are disappointed with the view.” (They left).

There was never any land set aside in this area for tourist facilities. Strath- cona Park Lodge is in the middle of land already logged or slated for logging.

Please drive up and see this area and Strathcona Park.