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South Chilcotin park on hold

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The provincial Liberal government is considering whether to keep or scrap plans to create a 71,000 hectare provincial park in the South Chilcotin area.

The NDP government approved one option for the Lillooet Land and Resource Management Plan, also known as the "conservation option," over the "resource option" the day before they called the election. The Liberals said they would review the park proposal, which they say was approved without completing a socio-economic study of the region.

Stan Hagen, the minister of sustainable resources, is travelling to Lillooet this week to meet with industry and community representatives concerned about the park’s impact on employment and the economy. He has already met with tourism operators and environmentalists, and wants to hear the other side of the story before the government makes a decision on the park.

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District voted to reject the Lillooet Land and Resource Management Plan, with the conservation option chosen by the NDP, back in June.

A park in the area would lock up a large part of the timber and potential mining resources in the area, and much of the local economy still relies on resources industries.

The members of the SLRD board who voted to reject the Lillooet plan say they are not opposed to a park, but that the protected area is too big.

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