A group called Friends of the Campaign for BC (British Columbia) Parks has organized a petition to try to stop the Canadian province from allowing commercial resort developments in class A provincial parks, according to a report in Kamloops This Week.
“They may range from cabins to hundred-room hotels with restaurants, shops, marinas,” said Sharon Glynn of Esquimalt, one of the petition organizers. “These are not just places that are going to sit beside a campground – many of these are in the prime locations.”
For instance, she pointed out that the province wants to allow a resort to be developed close to Mt. Robson near a glacier. She said plans also are in the works to build a resort and marina at one of the lakes in Wells Gray Provincial Park.
So far, Glynn and other members of the campaign have collected 650 signatures.
“We’re trying to contact more tourism operators as well because the ones we have heard from are opposed to it,” Glynn said. “People feel very strongly about this issue.”
Environment Minister Barry Penner said opponents may have misconceptions about the project, which envisions “fixed-roof accommodation” in 12 of the province’s 600 parks.
Penner disputed the idea that the proposed developments would compete with resort communities near parks.
“I don’t think that’s been the case with existing lodges that operate in parks today,” Penner said. “In fact I think they create a tourism draw to bring more people to our province. A good example is Manning Provincial Park, with a lodge that’s been there for more than 50 years.”