SQUAMISH ACCESS SOCIETY
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.