Gripped - - FEATURE -

What do van dwellers need to know? They need to un­der­stand that t wo ma­jor trends – grow­ing pres­sure on park­ing space and the an­tipa­thy of many lo­cal res­i­dents to “wild” camp­ing – are not evolv­ing in their favour. BC Parks staff have noted that long-term mo­nop­o­liza­tion of park­ing spa­ces by vans at the Chief lots is re­duc­ing avail­abil­ity for day users. They are likely to act in 2017. Ex­pect overnight park­ing bans en­forced through tick­et­ing and tow­ing. The Mamquam Forest Ser­vice Road (FSR) un­der Sl­haney and the North Walls is an­other sen­si­tive area com­ing un­der scru­tiny. Van dwellers who don’t want to pay to camp should still be able to find spa­ces if they drive much fur­ther from the Chief on the FSRs. Ob­vi­ously they should be dis­creet, bear-aware, and prac­tice zero-trace camp­ing tech­niques. FLNRO are look­ing at a cou­ple of sites north of town, which they may open for free un­reg­u­lated camp­ing. SAS will pub­li­cize de­tails as they be­come avail­able.

What should climbers know about Mur­rin Park is­sues? Climbers are com­pet­ing with hik­ers, fishermen and pic­nick­ers for park­ing space. See “park­ing” com­ments be­low for more de­tail. On the pos­i­tive side, any­one who hasn’t vis­ited Mur­rin for a few years will find the place trans­formed by many new cliffs and the new “Loop trail” net­work. In­creased pop­u­lar­ity amongst climbers brings other pres­sures; SAS and BC Parks have started plan­ning a new out­house closer to the climb­ing ar­eas but it is un­likely to be com­pleted for 2017. Ad­di­tion­ally, Mur­rin Park is lo­cated within a cul­tur­ally sig­nif­i­cant area for the lo­cal Squamish First Na­tion. Please treat the area with re­spect.

When are the fal­con clo­sures and where? Fal­con clo­sures now change yearly based on ac­tual nest­ing ob­ser­va­tions, rather than the old sys­tem of a broad ban across a large fixed area of the Chief. BC Parks sig­nif­i­cantly val­ues climbers’ nest ob­ser­va­tions so please re­port any fal­con sight­ings es­pe­cially dur­ing the March – May pe­riod. When nest lo­ca­tions are de­ter­mined, clo­sures are posted at af­fected route trail­heads, in the Chief camp­ground, and on BC Parks and SAS web­sites.

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