Document type : vocene
Date : 2008-01-10
Description : VOCene EXTRA
Content :
VOCene EXTRA - Jan. 10, 2008
This special VOCene newsletter is being sent to raise awareness of the
ongoing issue regarding the non-motorized status of the Phelix Creek
area and the Sea to Sky Backcountry Forum in general.

Starting in 2001, representatives from non-motorized (including the
VOC), motorized, and commercial groups formed the Sea to Sky
Backcountry Forum and started meeting to create a Winter Sharing
Accord that would establish different zones in the Sea to Sky area for
various recreational uses.  More information on this process and maps
of the agreed areas can be found at

In particular, the Phelix Creek area surrounding the VOC's Brian
Waddington Hut was designated as "non-motorized with air-access."
This was agreed to by all forum participants, including various
snowmobile clubs.  The Winter Sharing Accord was and is intended to be
incorporated in various government legislation, but the process is
long and still underway.

Unfortunately, recently some snowmobilers have complained about the
non-motorized designation in the Phelix area to the government.  They
want to be able to snowmobile unrestricted in the entire area, and
reject the Backcountry Forum process and the Winter Sharing Accord.

The VOC and other non-motorized groups are strongly against
non-motorized use (eg. snowmobiling) in the Phelix Creek area since it
would directly impact our enjoyment of backcountry skiing in the
region.  Snowmobiles are extremely loud and it is impossible for
non-motorized users to have a wilderness experience with noisy
snowmobiles driving around.  In addition, the VOC is concerned that
the whole Backcountry Forum process is at risk.  Any changes to the
Sharing Accord should be made through consultation with all
stakeholders, not just by complaining to the government.

The VOC urges members to write letters to government officials on this
issue.  Previous petitions (from both sides) have been rejected by the
government and we have been told that only individual letters will be
considered.  The VOC has created a wiki page with more information on
this issue that includes names and addresses to send letters to.

We are holding a letter writing night (including skiing picture
slideshow from the Phelix area) next Tuesday night, Jan. 15 at 6pm in
the clubroom.  This would be a great time to come out and get more
information and write a letter supporting our cause.  We will cover
postage and envelopes.

Please either write a letter yourself or come out to our slideshow
next Tuesday.  This is a critical time for maintaining our access to
one of our cherished huts!  We are meeting with the goverment on
Jan. 21 so we need letters to arrive by then.

Letter Writing Night
VOC Clubroom
6pm Tuesday January 15
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UBC Varsity Outdoor Club

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