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Tourism sector to present map to LRMP table

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Mikes has been part of other LRMP processes in the provinces, where he says the members of the table were empowered to work together to negotiate solutions to land use conflicts. Although it’s a long and often frustrating process, with some groups taking five years or more to hammer out LRMP agreements, the finished product is better because it’s a reasonable consensus among all sectors.

Because so much was taken out of the Sea to Sky LRMP discussions from the beginning, Mikes believes that the table has become more of a focus group for the government than an actual policy board with the power to negotiate real solutions.

"There’s no pressure here on anyone to negotiate," he said.

Mikes said the conservation side respected the government’s decision to stick with the Protected Areas Strategy and is not trying to create any new parks. However, he believes that there is a need to create special management zones, where extra care should be taken by recreational and resource industries to protect habitats and wildlife values. First Nations land uses should also be represented, he says.

In the new year a socio-economic assessment will be completed, as well as a study of impacts on First Nations. Those assessments could help the conservation and tourism sectors, says Mikes.

"We’re still trying to point out what’s lacking, but we need a first draft so we can identify what’s still needed to be done, and the ways we can make this better," he said.

"We went into this process hoping to make some gains, and we’re not at all sure if we’re to be able to get gains for more sensitive management of the land outside of parks – watershed protection, wildlife corridors, that kind of thing."

While a strong tourism component would benefit conservation, the conservation sector believes that some areas have to maintained for other values, including wildlife and First Nations.