Island Stories:

new Strathcona Park 1980's
newMt. Albert Edward 1927
Alexandra Peak
Argus Mountain
Bate/Alava Sanctuary
Beaufort Range
Big Interior Mtn
Big Interior Mtn 1913
Part 1
Part 2
Bolton Expedition 1896
Cliffe Glacier
Clinton Wood
Comox Glacier
Comox Glacier 1922
Comox Glacier 1925
Comstock Mtn
Conuma Peak
Copper King Mine
Crown Mtn
Elkhorn 1912
Elkhorn 1949
Elkhorn 1968
Eugene Croteau
Golden Bullets
Golden Hinde 1913/14
Golden Hinde 1937
Golden Hinde 1983
Harry Winstone Tragedy
Jack Mitchell
Jim Mitchell Tragedy
John Buttle
Judges Route
Koksilah's Silver Mine
Landslide Lake
Mackenzie Range
Malaspina Peak
Mariner Mtn
Marjories Load
Matchlee Mountain
Mount McQuillan
Mt. Albert Edward
Mt. Albert Edward 1938
Mt. Becher
Mt. Benson 1913
Mt. Benson
Mt. Doogie Dowler
Mt. Colonel Foster
Mt. Hayes/Thistle Claim
Mt. Maxwell
Mt. Sicker
Mt. Tzouhalem
Mt. Whymper
Muqin/Brooks Peninsula
Nine Peaks
Ralph Rosseau 1947
Rosseau Chalet
Ralph Rosseau Tragedy
Rambler Peak
Red Pillar
Rex Gibson Tragedy
Sid's Cabin
Steamboat Mtn
The Misthorns
The Unwild Side
Victoria Peak
Waterloo Mountain 1865
Wheaton Hut/Marble Meadows
William DeVoe
Woss Lake
You Creek Mine
Zeballos Peak

Other Stories:
new Sierra de los Tuxtlas
Cerro del Tepozteco
Mt. Roraima
Nevada Alpamayo
Nevada del Tolima
Nevado de Toluca
Pico Bolivar
Uluru/Ayers Rock
Volcan Purace
Volcan San Jose

Island 6000

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Aerial Lifts and Copters Predicted in Strathcona


By Alec Merriman
From the Daily Colonist. Victoria, BC. April 13, 1969.

Aerial lifts may some day be used in Strathcona Park to carry travellers to the start of mountain ridges trails. That is one idea being studied by parks planners for a master plan they are now compiling for future recreational development of Vancouver Island's 561,179-acre Strathcona Park. Aerial lifts are wonderful in wilderness areas where there is mass use, George Wood, who is in charge of long range planning for the provincial parks branch, told a meeting of Island Mountain Ramblers in Nanaimo.

He explained the aerial lifts can be used for carrying people in summer and winter, they don't necessitate clearing of huge sections of timber from the park area, they require no parking lots, and present no snow clearing problems. Parks director Robert Ahrens, who accompanied Mr. Wood, told the Ramblers there will be some adjustment of Strathcona Park boundaries, including an extension of Forbidden Plateau ski areas. The master plan should be ready this year.

Both Mr. Ahrens and Mr. Wood warned about pushing roads into Strathcona Park. "Let us be careful how far we push roads into Strathcona Park," warned Mr. Wood. "Availability does change the wilderness aspect," he added. He said trails will be key to the use of wilderness areas in Strathcona Park and invited limited building of trails by volunteer groups like the Ramblers. But he emphasized they would have to be built under parks branch supervision, according to the master plan, and to parks branch standards, such as the trail the Ramblers now are building to marble Meadows, above Phillips Creek and Buttle Lake. "We visualize an integrated system of trails," he said. Adirondac-type open shelters, pit-toilets, designated camp areas and standard aluminum trail markers would all be part of the trail system.

Heliports will be included in the planning and helicopters could be used to provide access to high areas. "They can lift people and packs to high areas. They are a wonderful means of access, but there has to be controls," he said.

The existence of nature conservancy areas means the wilderness is being preserved, said Mr. Wood. "There will be zones of heavy use, but protection of wilderness values will be fundamental in the Strathcona Park planning," he added.

Mr. Ahrens said a park headquarters will be developed at the north end of Buttle Lake with swimming facilities concentrated on little warm water Darkis Lake and campgrounds around both Darkis and adjacent Buttle, where there already is a 50-unit campground adjacent to the Gold River road. He said youth crews for parks work will be doubled this year.

The real problem which makes a park as big as Strathcona difficult to administer is that there is something about people which want us to develop everything, Mr. Ahrens said. "Resources represent money. There is money to be made in resources."

There is a difference of opinion among recreationists. A large segment supports roads, he said. "If grandmother can't get there it is not a democratic system. I think we should ask what about Johnny? In a push-button world we need these places for Johnny. There are still lots pf places where grandmother can go," he explained.

Snowmobiles and trail bikes are big problems. Between the two they can go almost anywhere, winter or summer, he explained. "Our approach is to make them illegal in parks and then zone them back to certain areas," he said. "There is only one protection for a parks system … public familiarity with the parks," he said.

The fragility of alpine meadow country is one of the big problems of wilderness use, Mr. Wood explained. The trails break the cover and erosion of the meadows starts. As the trails become muddy hikers skirt around the trail and new erosions start. This summer the parks branch will try out a new aluminum mesh that will be placed along wet areas in Garibaldi Park trails. The section can be pegged down and locked together and may be an answer to the erosion problem.

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