Positive response to sub-committee recommendations as deadline nears
With the round table discussions of the Sea to Sky Land and Resource Management Plan (LRMP) process set to wrap up at the end of April, the conservation sector is encouraged that they may have fostered a compromise that all participating sectors can live with.
From Feb. 26 to 27, a planning forum subcommittee presented its vision for the Sea to Sky LRMP to the full committee in Squamish, which included representatives from the forestry and energy sectors that had opted out of the subcommittee discussions. The mining sector participated at first but missed the last few meetings because of an industry meeting.
For the two months before making the presentation, Whistlers Johnny Mikes, AWAREs representative at the LRMP table, and the other members of the subcommittee met once a week to fill in sections of the map and hammer out compromises wherever there were land use conflicts between different sectors.
In the process they took the needs of resource industries into consideration, as well as the needs of conservationists, tourism and recreation, and other land use groups.
Although the recommendations have not been formally adopted in the LRMP, the subcommittee is encouraged.
"After having been at the meeting and watching the presentation and the reactions from other table members that were not part of the sub-committee, from a conservation standpoint Im very encouraged that weve got a basis to move forward on," said Eckhard Zeidler, an AWARE director who accompanied Mikes to the meeting.
"It was not looking very good for a while, but certainly all the hard work that the subcommittee did really helped to get the LRMP moving forward and possibly could even end up in a consensus document very soon."
The fact that the subcommittee did its best to consider all users, including resource industries, in their maps was the difference, Zeidler added.
"They really tried to take into account what (forestry, mining and energy) would need without them being there, and I think thats borne out by the positive reactions when the findings of the subcommittee were presented to them.
"My congratulations to all the people who worked so hard at the subcommittee level, and to all the sectors who worked on this thing."
Some of the subcommittees maps were questioned, but the majority of the plan received a tentative approval from the other sectors.
"Id say if the (LRMP) does get completed with the kind of tone it has right now, with endorsements for a great deal but not all of the subcommittees recommendations, I believe we will have gone quite some distance in maintaining the integrity of our wilderness backyard, and were going to give the grizzlies and wildlife a fighting chance in this part of the world," said Zeidler.