Tree removal is complete at the new campground at the Begbie Falls Recreation Site, just off of Highway 23 south of Revelstoke.
The contractor has broken ground, said Dawn Makarowski, spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development.
“Tree removal was completed by removing only select trees, rather than clear cutting,” she said.
The project was announced in April and work began Sept. 18.
The main campground will be 1.3 km down the Begbie Falls Main FSR. There will be 19 drive-in sites, including a host site. Approximately 150 metres further down the road, there will be an additional eight sites, for a total of 26.
According to the Notification of Development distributed to residents in the area, Recreation Sites and Trails BC reached out to pertinent stakeholders prior to moving forward on the project.
“Referral packages were sent to the regional ecosystem specialist, district manager, Stella-Jones (local forest licensee) and the Columbia Shuswap Regional District. A newspaper advertisement was also placed in the Revelstoke Review newspaper to reach out to the local community,” the notification said.
A notice was also posted a the trailhead on Aug. 16.
But Revelstoke resident Mindy Burgman is not happy with the project, or the amount of public consultation that was done.
“I want to support the forest service all I can but its dismissive approach is wrong,” she said in an email to the Review.
Burgman said she is concerned with the impact the campground will have on wildlife and traffic in the area, as well as saddened by the removal of the trees.
“Why can’t we just leave these few, precious local places alone?” she said in a Facebook post.
The project was originally proposed to address the increasing number of people using the pullouts on the Forest Service Road for overnight stays.
“The new sites will accommodate this increasing demand and focus use in a specific area. This will address and better manage public health, wildfire and wildlife concerns,” the notification said.
In response to Burgman’s social media post there were both supporters of the project and naysayers.
“I want a better solution and better results for everyone,” Burgman said.