What do Golden, Cranbrook and Elkford have that the Columbia Valley does not?
There are plenty of cheeky answers to that question, but my point that those areas all have a recreational access plan, put in place with the support of the provincial government is becoming a serious concern.
Many in the valley roll their eyes when the subject of the Columbia Valley Recreation Access Council (CVRAC) comes up, but as a tourism destination with an abundance of backcountry attractions, not having a plan in place is something that could come back to bite the valley a couple decades from now.
While meetings resumed on Tuesday, September 10th with a three-and-a-half hour marathon meeting at the Invermere Community Centre (coincidentally held on the first day of hunting season), the progress achieved by the process would be far more certain if representatives from the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations were back at the table.
The access council, for their part, would be wise to let the public and stakeholders know that the proces has evolved beyond its initial awkward stages, where many rightly accused the forum of having an anti-development and anti-Jumbo bias.
Ive covered meetings over the past year, and can say that the group has acknowledged the need to be inclusive, and is pursuing an equal say for all sectors represented. Now its up to the province to recognize that, and get their people back in the mix at meetings.