Joffre Lakes Provincial Park.. (Black Press Media files)

BC Parks considering a day-use pass system for popular locations to avoid overcrowding

Although some parks have reopened, B.C.’s busiest parks have remained shut

The province is considering bringing in a free pass system for day-use of popular BC Parks to reduce crowding and maintain physical distancing.

In an email Monday (July 20), BC Parks said “the most popular parks pose some unique challenges” as it reopens areas around the province. Many BC Parks reopened for day-use on May 14, and others on June 1, but some of the busier ones, including Garibaldi, Myra-Bellevue Provincial Park and Joffre Lakes remain shut.

READ MORE: Selected B.C. parks set to open for day use May 14

“Ever since we closed parks, we have been working on a phased approach to reopen, working together so people can enjoy parks while managing issues of public safety and the health of the environment,” BC Parks said in a statement.

“A proposed free day-use pass program is one approach we have been considering to support the next phase of a safe and managed parks reopening.”

According to the Canadian Parks and Wilderness Society, more than 26 million people visit B.C.’s parks each year. In a recently released report, the society said COVID-19 “highlighted the deep cracks in a faulty system” that made it inevitable that parks would close down due to the pandemic.

“Parks are becoming increasingly overcrowded, with a marked increase in degraded and aging infrastructure,” the report stated.

“Park staff need resources to monitor visitors and the natural systems around them, from campgrounds to water quality to wildlife management.”

READ MORE: ‘We’re on the edge’: B.C. records 102 new COVID-19 cases, no new deaths since Friday


@katslepian

katya.slepian@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Want to support local journalism during the pandemic? Make a donation here.

BC ParksCoronavirusparks

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Improving highway safety

Highway 97 has seen plenty of collisions and accidents over the years

Sternwheelers once plied Okanagan Lake

Vessels once transported passengers and goods along the Okanagan Valley

Fires ignite on Revelstoke’s Mt. Begbie; Kamloops Fire Centre blazes holding

Crews working throughout region over holiday weekend to contain wildfires

QUIZ: How much do you know about British Columbia?

On this B.C. Day long weekend, put your knowledge of our province to the test

VIDEO: Otter pups learn to swim at B.C. wildlife rescue facility

Watch Critter Care’s Nathan Wagstaffe help seven young otters go for their first dip

Police watchdog investigates Kamloops RCMP after stabbing death

The IIO is investigating the police’s lack of success in locating the man charged in stabbing

Forty-three properties near Dry Lake, along Highway 5A, under evacuation alert

Wildfire has been burning out of control north of Princeton for two days

Wildfire near Merritt creates smoke for drivers on Coquihalla

Coldwater River fire was estimated at seven hectares Aug. 3 and classified as out of control

Thompson Okanagan Tourist Association: Who can’t access your business?

TOTA launches video to encourage proprietors to remove barriers

Shuswap pet nutritionist, raw diet advocate to be featured in national magazine

Sicamous-based Deanna Larocque building reputation for canine support

BC RCMP notify IIO BC of incident involving police dog in Kelowna

A suspect and a police dog were taken to receive medical treatment after an incident on Aug. 1.

Alberta man presumed to have drowned after cliff jumping in Peachland

Emergency responders began rescue efforts at around 2:40 p.m. on Aug. 1.

Most Read