Revelstoke has seen a recreation infrastructure boom in recent years

Stakeholders fear government will cut Revelstoke recreation officer

Impending retirement of recreation officer Ken Gibson has local groups worried position will be shifted outside of Revelstoke

There’s no more conservation officer in Revelstoke. Now, local outdoor recreation groups are worried that Revelstoke could lose its recreation officer too, as Ken Gibson prepares for retirement later this year.

“The stuff he’s done, who’s going to do that for us?” said Dave Kaegi, the president of the Revelstoke Nordic Ski Club. “To have that direct local link of support has been huge. For the mountain bike club, the Nordic ski club, the dirt bike club, he’s there to help make things work.”

Gibson’s retirement is still not entirely certain. In a response to an e-mail from the Times Review he wrote, “It is a little too early to say – likely March 31.”

The question of who, if anyone will replace him, has user groups worried. A spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations gave a positive but non-committal response.

“The Recreation Sites and Trails branch has expressed a desire to retain this position in Revelstoke,” said Brennan Clarke. “However, since Mr. Gibson is not due to retire for another three months, it’s too soon to speculate on his replacement.”

Gibson was praised by the people we spoke to for his work to help develop Revelstoke’s recreation infrastructure. Kaegi called him a “monstrous asset for all clubs in the community,” saying he provided great support in getting applications through government bureaucracy.

Chris Pawlitsky, the president of the Revy Riders dirt bike club, said Gibson was “invaluable to the success of our club and probably all the other clubs in town.” He said Gibson was a stickler for the rules and made sure everything was done properly, which he believes has paid off for everyone. Gibson also made sure all the local user groups cooperated and got along, said Pawlitsky.

“It’s going to ensure continued success of all the recreational groups in the valley because he wanted everything done so properly,” he said.

Mayor David Raven said he was concerned about the possible loss of Gibson’s position and that it would be a blow to the community, both because it would mean losing a well-paying, full-time job, and also because it would impact the community’s connection to the land base.

“Because the community has a sense of ownership of the resource that surrounds it, the land base that surrounds it, then it will have a corresponding loss of management and control on that land base,” he said.

Both Kaegi and Pawlitsky pointed to the fact that Gibson is out skiing on the Nordic trails or riding and jogging on the mountain bike and dirt bike trails, and that he has firsthand knowledge of what is happening here.

There is fear that if his post is moved out of town, whoever takes it over won’t have the same local knowledge of what is happening in Revelstoke in the area of recreation infrastructure.

“Say we wanted to get a trail built, if it went to somebody out of town, it wouldn’t even be a blip on the radar on some bureaucrats desk in Victoria. It wouldn’t mean anything to them,” said Pawlitsky.

Revelstoke has seen a boom in recreation infrastructure in recent years, with many new trails and facilities being built thanks to the work of local recreation groups and funding from the tourism infrastructure fund.

 

Just Posted

Stoked on science: Resolve for your resolutions

Jade Harvey Guest columnist As we progress further into January and the… Continue reading

Super blood wolf moon fills Okanagan skies, to photographers’ delight

Photographers had a rare chance Sunday to capture a rare lunar eclipse

2019 Budget: Revelstoke city staff recommending a five per cent property tax increase

Additional options that would expand services total another six per cent

Revelstoke Secondary School enthralls the audience with Trap

With a twist ending that had audience members laughing, perhaps uncomfortably, the… Continue reading

Okanagan Military Tattoo returns

Performances July 28 and July 28

UPDATE: B.C. legislature managers accused of excessive travel, personal expense claims

Clerk Craig James, security chief Gary Lenz call allegations ‘completely false’

B.C. man fined $10,000 after leaving moose to suffer before death

Surrey man was convicted last week on three Wildlife Act charges

Man charged in 7-Eleven fire in Shuswap granted bail

Accused facing arson charges released with 23 conditions including a 7 p.m. curfew

‘Blue Monday’ isn’t real, but depression can be

CMHA encourages people to prioritize their mental health

Anti-pipeline group wants NEB to consider impact of emissions, climate change

Stand.earth filed NEB motion asking to apply same standard to the project as it did with Energy East pipeline

Parole granted for drunk driver who killed B.C. RCMP officer

Kenneth Jacob Fenton will be able to attend alcohol abuse treatment, nearly three years after crash that killed Const. Sarah Beckett

B.C. man charged in 2014 snake venom death of toddler

Henry Thomas was taking care of the North Vancouver girl the day before she died

B.C.’s largest public-sector union wants inquiry into money laundering, drugs

Union officials say Premier John Horgan and Attorney General David Eby have not ruled out the possibility of a public inquiry

Teen in confrontation with Native American: I didn’t provoke

Nick Sandmann of Covington Catholic High School said he was trying to defuse the situation

Most Read