Golden Ears Provincial Park on Maple Ridge’s north border, draws thousands per year. (THE NEWS/files)

B.C. Parks adding sites at Golden Ears Provincial Park

Touts new reservation system improvements

Campers at Golden Ears Provincial Park will find more campsites and an improved reservation system, according to the Environment Ministry.

“Through the Campground Expansion Program, we are developing additional campsites in the park, including 35-40 new sites within existing campgrounds and approximately 30 new marine-access sites on Alouette Lake,” said David Karn, with the Ministry of Environment.

These new campsites will be open to the public for this coming camping season. The marine-access sites will be available for people to boat into, and the eastern shores of the lake.

He noted that the government has made a commitment to retain the current reservation inventory at Golden Ears park at 85 per cent for this coming camping season, so there will be 15 per cent of the sites that the public can drive into.

It would have been 100 per cent reservation, but a group of self-styled “unhappy campers,” have been leading a public protest of the tot reservation system.

B.C. Parks is targeting a move to a Tier 1 reservation system this coming summer, which will improve real-time access to campsites as they become available, said Karn.

“Campers will be able to check the website and see if any sites are available instead of having to travel to the campground and wait in a queue for potential campsite vacancies,” he said.

“With the updated reservation system, any cancellations will be immediately made available for campers looking for last minute campsite booking.”

Angela Massey and others protesting the move to full reservations say there should be a policy around reservations and drive-ups for the entire province.

Karn said there is no formal province-wide policy to determine reservation levels as the number of reservable sites at any given campground or park is driven by consumer demand and in alignment with B.C. Parks’ mandate to manage the land sustainably. B.C. Parks adjusts reservable inventory on a case-by-case basis in response to occupancy demand.

“B.C. Parks will be monitoring the implementation of Tier 1 for this coming summer, and is exploring opportunities for visitor feedback on the improvements,” he added.

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