Save Silver Star Provincial Park
- B.C. Parks and Ministry of Tourism Culture and the Arts
Silver Star Provincial Park was established in 1940 as a Class A park, and was originally 8935 hectares (22,080 acres) in size. The park was intended to preserve and protect the headwaters of several community watersheds, and to provide sustainable recreational opportunities for all British Columbians.
Over the years, the park has had large sections deleted, at the request of the privately owned ski resort which operates within the park. The resort has been successful in having nearly 40% of the park deleted and added to its Controlled Recreation Area. This has resulted in the park being split into two pieces, cutting off public access to the 580 hectare East Site. Less than 5000 hectares remains in the West Site.
The original justification put forward by B.C. Parks for these deletions was to encourage private investment in recreational infrastructure that would benefit all British Columbians. Some of the goals of this strategy have been achieved, but they have come at a great price.
The disturbing thing about the 2740 hectare deletion made in December 1992, and the 510 hectare deletion made in April 2001, is that these lands will not be used for their original stated purpose!
The lands used to build cross country ski trails for the 1991 World Cup races were deleted from the park in 1992, but are now slated for development into condos and hotels. Some of the best alpine ski runs on the mountain have been developed into subdivisions for vacation homes, and the golf course lands deleted from the southeast corner of the park in 2001 are now posted with NO TRESPASSING signs and are slated for use as a sewage effluent disposal area!
These lands were deleted from the park with very little public consultation, and B.C. Parks created the impression that deletion was necessary to allow commercial development of the ski lifts and cross country ski trails. Of course, nothing could be further from the truth, as these lands could have been kept in the park, and developed under a Park Use Permit, much the same as is done in other Provincial Parks, including Cypress, Mount Seymour, Manning, and Strathcona Parks.
It is possible that more land may be deleted from the park in the future, and eventually, the park could completely disappear.....if we let it.
We owe it to future generations to make sure that the park is still there for them to enjoy! It would be a shame to allow a few individuals to reap short-term profits from development of these park lands at the expense of future generations. If we allow the massive real estate developments proposed for the former parklands to proceed unchecked, we will not only lose the park, but may contaminate the headwaters of our community watersheds for generations to come!
Time has a way of separating good ideas from bad ideas, and in this case, we can now clearly see that the provincial government's strategy to hand over the park to the private ski resort was a bad idea. The experiment has failed. So, to combat the potential demise of the park, the Citizens' Coalition to Save Silver Star Provincial Park has initiated this campaign to restore the park to its original size. The ski resort would continue to operate as before, but its commercial recreation operations would be conducted under a Park Use Permit, as is done in several other Provincial Parks. This would restore transparency and accountability to the park planning process, and could help prevent potential environmental degradation that often accompanies unchecked commercial development in sensitive areas.
You can play a key role in preserving the park for future generations by signing the Petition to Restore Silver Star Provincial Park.
We, the undersigned, call on the B.C. Provincial Government to restore Silver Star Provincial Park to its original size, so that it may be preserved for future generations to enjoy.
The park was originally established to preserve the fragile subalpine ecosystem, to protect the headwaters of several community watersheds, and to provide controlled, sustainable recreation for all British Columbians, for all time. Deleting large sections of the park over the years has resulted in these values being seriously compromised.
It is not too late to restore these lands to Class A Park Status. We owe it to our grandchildren, and their grandchildren, to make sure the park remains intact.
You can further help this campaign by sponsoring it
The Save Silver Star Provincial Park petition to B.C. Parks and Ministry of Tourism Culture and the Arts was written by Citizens' Coalition to Save Silver Star Provincial Park and is in the category Environment at GoPetition.