|Petition to stop snowmobilers from changing a non-motorized designation in the Morice LRMP|
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ArticleId: 1349 Written: 2005.08.21 by: Shannon Finnegan
Last week our local paper ran an article based upon a letter submitted by the Smithers Snowmobile Association. The letter complained about the Morice LRMP that put forward its final recommendations over a year ago. The SSA are nwo requesting that the LRMP be pulled because they are very unhappy about a small area that has been designated as non-motorized and that has a guiding tenure within it (It is a fellow who provides moutnaineering services and has built a hut).
The LRMP process had representatives from a wide array of stakeholders. It was a transparent process. The drafts were made available for public comment and those comments were considered carefully by the participants at each LRMP table. The Morice LRMP had a representative from the motorized recreation community and the Smithers Snowmobile Association gave public support to the LRMP in a letter dated March 20, 2004. These representatives worked in good faith to come up with recommendations that best reflected the needs of our social, scientific community and the economic communities. There was much negotiation and compromise needed in order to reach an agreement. Trade-offs were made to accommodate the interests of the various parties and the public. It would be irresponsible and a disservice to those parties to start making changes now that will have implications on those compromises. The LRMPs provide direction and vision for the long-term and are developed with the future in mind.
Once an LRMP is re-opened because of complaints from one party then a precedent is set for other stakeholders looking to better their interests throughout the province. This would not be a productive situation and could cause conflict in the backcountry where the LRMP process had limited or solved the problem.
Some uses are incompatible, and one of those is motorized use in areas frequented by non-motorized users. The LRMP process was a good effort to work out use to satisfy those affected. Please sign my petition that asks for support of the results of the LRMP process and not to re-open the process based on the efforts of an irresponsible few. The petition will be forwarded to the ministries of Agriculture and Lands (responsible for Planning) and the Ministry of Tourism, Sports and the Arts (responsible for tenures) as well as MLA Dennis McKay - the same agencies that the SSA submitted their letter to.
You can find the petition at: http://www.PetitionOnline.com/BCLRMP/petition.html
I would aprreciate it if you could forward this notice to anyone that may have an interest in this issue.