The Sproatt access article in the Question on Dec. 10 raised three main points: the Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP), water quality and powder.
In the early 2000s I attended several of the Winter Backcountry Recreation forums that became part of the LRMP, when Pat Harrison was the Chair. No sledder or snowmobile club, or the B.C. Snowmobile Federation, would sign the agreement. In the end, Mr. Harrison, a director of the Federation of Mountain Clubs of B.C. signed on our behalf — what a hypocritical joke.
Mr. Harrison, plus many other out-of-the-corridor backcountry skiers did their best to protect what they consider their private playground. Not only are many of these so called non-motorized ares infrequently used by backcountry skiers, when they are they are usually accessed by helicopter — the most fuel-guzzling mode of transport possible. As stated in the article the boundaries around Sproatt are a “recommendation.”
To use water quality issues as a reason to restrict snowmobiles just doesn’t hold water. Never has Whistler been able to detect any hydrocarbons in their water samples. Not only do I sled there, I also hike there in the summer and fall.
Hikers and mountain bikers do way more harm than sledders do. It seems every other group of hikers has their dog with them (yes, there are signs to leave them at home.) Do you think they pick up the dog crap?
Are we going to shut down all access to the watershed? When hiking in the watershed there are virtually no signs that sledders have used this area. The odd mark on a tree high above the ground is about all you can find. Compare that to the severe trail erosion in spots caused by hikers and mountain bikers, it leads one to conclude that this is really about powder.
Who doesn’t want deep, untracked powder? Sledders want it as much as skiers do. This is why the number of sled skiers and boarders has exploded in the last few years.
It seems like Mr. (Bryce) Leigh thinks he should have his own private backcountry spot. He must be more equal than others.