Revelstoke City Council wants Mt. Begbie protected.
In a motion at their meeting on Mar. 10, councillors requested that a letter be sent to the regional district and to the province voicing support for the creation of a Mt. Begbie Development Management and Protection Plan.
“This is a crown land area so have a development management and protection plan basically secures that we as a community, including the CSRD, wouldn’t want anything going up there that doesn’t meet what community would like,” said Mayor Gary Sulz. “It adds a little bit of protection but it is crown land and crown has full understanding of how that should be managed.”
According to the report presented by city staff, Mt. Begbie has four recreation sites, two established and two reserves, none of which have a formal management plan.
A management plan wouldn’t necessarily prevent development, rather manage the recreation sites that are currently in the area, said Steve Black, director of engineering for the city.
As the recreation area is close to the city, we don’t want to see environmental degradation from waste or lack of trail maintenance, he added.
However, because the lower part of Mt. Begbie is licensed to BC Timber Sales, the province’s forestry corporation, the management plan would only be for the alpine and sub alpine area.
Sulz said that, as the city’s representative on the CSRD board, he would speak to his fellow directors about the issue. He also noted that this request is a first step and there would be public consultation if the province agreed to make the management plan.
In the meantime, work will be done on the trails by the Alpine Club of Canada who have been granted almost $17,000 in Resort Municipality Initiative funds to to upgrade the existing trail and campground and install an outhouse.
Concern was raised about Mt. Begbie last spring when the North Columbia Environment Society started pushing for the area to be protected.
In Sept. 2019, a developer voiced their intention in applying to use crown land on Mt. Begbie to build a 16 person chalet. Though they haven’t submitted a Crown Land application yet, they had a preliminary community meeting.
A petition was circulated and submitted to the city with more than 2,700 signatures.