THE NEWS – files Michael Babor and Angela and Randy Massey protested the B.C. Parks decision to eliminate first-come, first-serve camping in Golden Ears Provincial Park during peak season, from mid-May to Labour Day.

Golden Ears campsites will be all reservation only

Maple Ridge group had lobbied to keep some camping for drive-ups

If you want to camp a few days at any site in Golden Ears Provincial Park, you’re going to have to make a reso online, just like you would for a fancy restaurant.

The Ministry of Environment said Wednesday that all the camping sites will have to be reserved online, during the peak season, from May to September.

Golden Ears is one of the busiest parks in the province, drawing about 132,000 visitors in 2019, said a news release. That’s about a 20-per-cent increase since 2012.

With the growing popularity of parks, there’s more demand for more reservation opportunities, “so everyone has fair and equal access to campsites regardless of where they live,” said the release.

The park also now has a satellite connection that allows the public to see real-time vacancies and make same-day reservations.

Read more: Unhappy campers continue reservation fight

The park’s campsites were going to be 100-per-cent reserved online in 2019, until a local group opposed the change. They collected more than 9,000 names on a petition calling for a return to 50-50 reservations online and first-come, first-serve.

The B.C. government agreed to keep 15 per cent of the sites in the park for drive-up campers last summer, and committed to a public consultation process but told the group last July that demographics and demand is for online bookings.

Angela Massey campaigned to keep some campsites non-reservable, and said she just wanted a proper consultation process, saying that consulting with campers in the park who made their reservations online wasn’t representative of public opinion.

She was also told that the ministry doesn’t have to do a full consultation process to make that change. Massey said Wednesday she’ll continue to push for a proper public consultation process. “That’s all I’ve been asking for,” she said.

With online reservations, people have to book their sites months in advance because there’s so much demand, she added.

Mike Babor has been part of the effort to have some campsites available on a drive-up basis and has been camping in the park since he was a kid.

“Parks are no longer for the people. It’s simply a cash grab,” he said Friday at the park entrance.

The number of campsites in the park hasn’t kept up with the growth of population in Metro Vancouver, he added. He wants to return to a 50-50 split of online reservations and drive-up bookings. He’d even accept a 20-80 per cent mix. “But, they’re giving us zero.”

Read more: Campers expect 100 per cent online reservations at Golden Ears next season

Last year, 65 campsites were added to the park, bringing the total to 423 vehicle-accessible sites, 20 walk-in sites, two group sites and 40 marine sites at Alouette Lake.

• Of the 10,700 campsites BC Parks manages, 55 per cent are reservable and 45 per cent are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

• Ten campgrounds have 100 per cent reservable sites during peak season – Rathtrevor Beach, Gordon Bay, Cultus Lake, Sasquatch, Alice Lake, Porteau Cove, Swiws, Bear Creek, Wells Gray and Okanagan Lake.



pmelnychuk@mapleridgenews.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

recreation

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Thieves target Maple Ridge grocer

Bandits stealing copper from FreshCo forces store to be shut down for half day amid COVID crisis

Doctors still seeing patients in Pitt Meadows and Maple Ridge

Appointments over the phone or by videoconference

BC Cowboy Hall of Fame: Allison Everett (White) honoured as Builder of Western Culture

Allison grew up in Maple Ridge riding both English and Western style

IN IT TOGETHER: Learning to learn at home

As we rethink how best to educate our children, Albion mindful instructor Alex Bruce has a few ideas

Cookies and kindness delivered to Maple Ridge seniors in isolation

An Albion boy with autism uses his artistic skills to bring smiles to those in a local care home

Fraser Valley auto sound business starts producing face shields

Certified Auto Sound & Security is doing what it can to help frontline healthcare workers.

B.C. clears more acute hospital beds as COVID-19 case growth slows

Province holding about 40% of beds empty for peak still to come

As 500K+ apply for emergency benefit, Trudeau says aid coming for Canadians left behind

Canada Emergency Response Benefit provides $2,000 per month

UPDATE: UK PM Boris Johnson moved to intensive care after COVID-19 symptoms worse

He has been quarantined in his Downing St. residence since being diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 26

Travellers, travel agents ‘in agony’ over refund policies and customer service

Many Canadian carriers are offering customers flights rebookings or travel vouchers — but not refunds

Introverted and extroverted kids likely to react differently to COVID-19 restrictions

B.C. child psychologist says your parenting approach can’t be one-size fits all in social isolation

B.C. begins taking submissions for $2M COVID-19 research fund

Rural health, impact of shifting hospital resources among priorities

Wearing non-medical masks can stop spread of COVID-19 before symptoms start: Tam

Health officials had previously not recommended wearing them

Most Read