RE: Mid-term PUP renewal for Canadian Mountain Holidays
Dear Mr. Vander Steen,
As the voice of tourism for the province, the Tourism Industry Association of British Columbia (TIABC) advocates for the best interests of our members and stakeholders, particularly on issues such as government policies and regulations that impact operators.
In this case, we are writing on behalf of valued member, Canadian Mountain Holidays LP (CMH), who were recently informed that BC Parks has recommended their park use permit for Goat Range and Monashee Provincial Parks not be extended due to unspecified wildlife concerns.
On the surface, this unilateral decision appears to be heavy-handed and unnecessary given that CMH has consistently shown its deep commitment to stewardship, sustainability, and the recovery of species at risk for decades. In fact, TIABC and multiple adventure tourism operators, including CMH, have been in regular dialogue with the province to address wildlife issues and find innovative ways for the tourism industry to champion wildlife protection and management while continuing operations. The recommendation by BC Parks based on wildlife concerns caught CMH and many in the heli-ski sector by surprise given there were no apparent issues prior to the notice.
As you are likely aware, CMH’s tenure predates the creation of the park. Over the course of several decades, they have been an integral part of the local economy in Nakusp and the surrounding region. Recently, CMH invested in the Lodge at Arrow Lakes creating more employment and economic impact for the area. Losing access to half of their ski terrain would have a dramatic impact on the community, as well as CMH and its employees.
TIABC strongly urges BC Parks to collaborate with CMH to define objectives and measures of success vis-a-vis wildlife management, then jointly develop actions to meet those objectives.
At a time when many sub-sectors of the tourism industry, including Heli-skiing, are still recovering from the devastating impacts of the pandemic, it is vital that the province find ways to support and work with companies like CMH to ensure satisfactory outcomes and benefits for all parties.
Ben, TIABC would be pleased to discuss this issue further at your convenience. In the meantime, we strongly urge BC Parks to approve CMH’s mid-term PUP renewal.