The North Columbia Environmental Society wants to protect Mt. Begbie from development.
Though there are no current Crown land applications in the area according to the province’s website, the society wants to ensure Mt. Begbie stays untouched.
“I don’t know anyone who doesn’t look up at that mountain and love that we have a glacier in our viewscape from everywhere in town,” said Sarah Newton, director of fundraising for the society. “It is very, very special.”
They have sent a letter to David Brooks-Hill, Area B director, enlisting his help in asking the Columbia Shuswap Regional District to make Mt. Begbie a regional district park.
“The CSRD has numerous regional parks in all electoral areas with the exception of Area B, and our parks plan is being worked on right now,” the letter reads. “The North Columbia Environmental Society strongly suggests adding Mount Begbie as Area B’s first regional park.”
Ryan Nitchie, team leader for community services and operations management for the CSRD said that there is no current parks plan for Area B and no substantial function or budget for the area.
“However, if the Area Director and Board wish to develop a parks plan and establish a budget, and that is their direction, we would move forward,” he said in an email.
The society’s letter outlined the importance of Mt. Begbie as “more than the home of local glaciers.”
“It is habitat for wolverines, mountain caribou, grizzly bears, black bears, beaver, cougar, moose, to name just a few of the signature mammals of our region,” the letter says. “More study is needed of this area in order to know what flora and fauna need to be protected from future development.”
Current recreational access to the mountain is what Newton called “healthy”-it is accessible to everyone, not just those who can pay and it is a place people have to enjoy under their own steam.
“Let’s keep the fossil-fuel-free recreation as the goal,” Newton said.
Newton also brought forward a motion to the City of Revelstoke’s Environmental Advisory Committee on April 18 asking that they request that city council work with the regional district to develop a management and protection plan for Mt. Begbie.
“While neither the City nor the CSRD has the power to directly manage these issues, if both the City and CSRD put Expressions of Interest forward to the province on the need to manage this area for its iconic values then hopefully this will be the start of protecting this area,” the motion read.
The society hopes to meet with Brooks-Hill to further discuss this issue before summer.