Letters: Park purpose statement and zoning

Natural environment of Sooke Mountain Provincial Park should be protected

Director Hicks, writing about motorized access to lakes in the CRD parks and park reserves, said he would like a shuttle service for the general public.  He concluded that until the various parks plans are revised with the interest of all relevant stake holders considered, he won’t spend time on the issue. This is straightforward and practical. To say Director Hicks is “pandering for cheap votes” is, in itself, demagoguery.

The BC Parks zoning for Sooke Mountain Provincial Park is “Natural Environment.”  While the zone does describe both mechanized and non-mechanized access generally, each park has its own plan. The management guidelines with the zoning key state that “visitor access may be restricted to preserve the recreation experience or to limit impacts.”

The purpose statement and zoning plan for Sooke Mountain Provincial Park current in 2012 lists “environmental damage from mountain biking, dirt biking, horseback riding and ATV and 4×4 use” in management issues identified in 2003. Proposed mitigation includes working “with the CRD and private land holders to close 4×4 access in order to address the impacts.” Under Recreation, the plan states that “ATV and 4×4 use and dirt biking are not considered appropriate uses in the park.”  Marking the park boundaries is a response to the issue of people not recognizing when they are in the provincial park.

Access to private property in the Sea to Sea Green Blue Belt is a problem for the property owners. Access to private property that runs through parks, Crown land or other private property should not be confused with giving motorized vehicles access to the parks or lakes in the parks, or other privately held parcels.

Heather Phillips

Otter Point