SKAHA - 2007 AND BEYOND
The Land Conservancy of B.C. (TLC) and Skaha rockclimbers
have been working hard on this issue, with support from Mountain Equipment
Co-op, the Access Society, and others. After considerable effort and negotiations,
there is now some public news. Access at Skaha is in place for 2007, and
there is an agreement to purchase land that will provide access from 2008
onward. The latter requires substantial fundraising, and will take a lot
of work over the next few months. We need $1 million!
1. PARKING AND ACCESS - 2007
Parking will continue at Braesyde Farms through 2007,
much as previously. The only public access to Skaha is by parking there
and crossing Braesyde land.
The arrangements are:
- Parking and access at Braesyde open on March
16th. $10/passenger car/day, $20/day for vans (6 - 15 passengers), $30/day
for buses, $75 for an annual pass.
- Please use only Braesyde for parking and access.
There is no legal parking along Valleyview Road, which leads to Braesyde,
and all other accesses to Skaha require trespassing on private land.
Carpooling is an economical option. Valleyview is a narrow, winding
road, and residents value their peace. Please drive carefully, at or
below the speed limit, and watch for children, animals, and other safety
- The Dunlop family continues to own Braesyde. They
have generously provided public parking at Braesyde since 1992. The
climbing community owes the Dunlops a vote of gratitude for their hospitality,
and thanks to the city of Penticton and the Agricultural Land Commission
for permitting the parking.
2. PARKING AND ACCESS - 2008 AND BEYOND
TLC has secured an option to purchase 300 hectares
of private land adjoining and immediately to the south of Skaha (sublot
18), closing at the end of April 2007. Once the land is purchased, and
necessary services installed, it will provide permanent public access
to Skaha, but not until 2008. Thanks to TLC’s partners, a generous
donation by the current owner, and other donations, much of the needed
money is secured. However, we need to raise $1 million, by the end of
April, to finalize the purchase. The climbing community must do everything
it can to help raise this money.
3. WHAT YOU CAN DO
- Make a donation to TLC, soon, and encourage your
friends to also do so.
- Become a member of TLC, and of the Access Society.
Members + resources = more effective.
- If you can help with fundraising, or have ideas
or connections that may help, contact TLC or the Access Society.
- Make sure all your friends know what's happening,
and are helping. Spread the word!
4. SUPPORT THE LAND CONSERVANCY
TLC will be the conduit for all Skaha-related donations.
They prefer that you not only make a donation, but that you also become
a member. As with all non-profits, resources of all kinds are important,
including members and money.
- Donations &
Membership: To join TLC, see conservancy.bc.ca/
- To make a Skaha-specific donation, see donate
Or join or donate by mail
- Contact Information: TLC's head
office is at #301 - 1195 Esquimalt Road, Victoria, B.C. V9A 3N6, phone
- Capital Campaign & Corporate Donors:
If you can contribute a substantial amount, or know someone who might
be able to, contact John Keller at TLC in Burnaby directly, at (604)
733-2313 or jkeller(at)conservancy.bc.ca
- U.S. Donors: TLC has made arrangements
so that residents of the U.S. who donate can receive a U.S. tax receipt
- please contact TLC about this.
TLC has proven a faithful friend of the climbing
community. Many remember the Stawamus Chief gondola proposal of 2004.
The Access Society helped lead the successful opposition to the gondola.
Since then, TLC has (with help) bought the land that was to be the gondola
base (the gravel pit), ensuring that inappropriate development didn't
threaten the values of Stawamus Chief and Shannon Falls Provincial Parks.
The land is being leased to the Sea-to-Sky Highway project contractor,
which helps pay for the purchase, and gives some time to consider what
to do with it. TLC is also working on other Squamish-area projects that
would benefit the climbing community.
4. ACCESS SOCIETY ROLE
The Access Society will be doing all we can to help
raise the needed funds, and work with TLC. This will include:
- Capital Contribution: At our
Board meeting in March we'll decide how much of our 'nest egg' we'll
commit to the Skaha purchase, likely a significant fraction. We've put
a little money aside for a situation like this. (The Squamish Access
Society is donating the money it received from the 2006 Squamish Climbers
- Information: There will be regular
broadcast e-mails from the Access Society over the next few months,
with news about Skaha, and of course other B.C. access news. The website
will also be updated. We'll be asking all our corporate supporters and
donors, and climbing websites and forums, for their help. And asking
all climbers, and everyone who climbs at Skaha, to also help.
- Mailing: A mailing will be sent
in the next few weeks to all members and many others, with news, and
a membership/renewal/donation form. Please join, renew, and
donate as appropriate - more members and more resources make
the Access Society more effective. It provides credibility if the Access
Society and TLC have to lobby for government or corporate support.
- Fundraising: Other plans include
raising money at the 2007 Squamish Mountain Festival, and an application
(with TLC) for a gaming funds grant. We're looking at other possibilities,
and welcome suggestions.
5. MORE INFORMATION
Skaha Climbers: http://skahabluffs.blog.com/
Access Society: www.access-society.ca
Special thanks to TLC, Bill Turner, MEC, Hugh Dunlop,
Howie Richardson, Hugh Lenney, Drew Fullerton, Russ Turner and Sean Dougherty
for all their help with this.