Unleash the clichés! We are stronger together… we can work within the system… we’re all on the same side…
You’ve heard them all. Probably dismissed them most of the time.
But sometimes, they do work.
For a few years now, we’ve been hearing about a proposed gondola and recreation area development at Bridal Falls, and there’s been fear among other recreationists that the area encompassed at the top would block access to a number of popular FSRs and trails. This has led to the expected flurry of misinformation and calls for action (sometimes excessive action) on social media, along with some of the expected negative pushback from the proponents.
Meanwhile, the leaders of many of those groups potentially affected got together and, in January, submitted their own communique to the gondola project proponents with a calm, reasonable request to be involved in the process with the goal of keeping the area accessible to all, including the project’s expected clientele.
That letter had the desired effect, and a few weeks later, four of them attended a meeting with other representatives of the project to find some mutual ground. From that meeting now comes hope that an understanding can be reached for all involved. We’re not at a resolution yet, and as is usually the case, there are no guarantees, but we are moving forward… within the system. We can see how these disparate groups, sometimes at odds with each other… are stronger together, with a united voice.
Below is a statement released by these four representatives of our motorized groups, updating us on the progress, clarifying some misinformation, and requesting the ongoing support of their membership in working with the project proponents. Please take a moment to read and share it.
And let’s continue to work together.
February 1st, 2023
RE: Proponent: Bridal Falls Gondola Corp
Crown Land File(s): 2412430
Further to our public statement of January 18, 2023, our group has again met with the proponent of the Bridal Falls Gondola project to share our members’ concerns about the proposed gates restricting access to motorized users’ access in the Cheam, Chipmunk and Thurston areas. The purpose of the meeting was to clear up the misconceptions of all parties and seek positive solutions that support a continued high-value motorized recreation experience while ensuring that the proponent, and their partners, also can create the guest experience they are seeking.
Based on the information that both parties shared it is clear that an equitable solution can be found for us to support this project application, and our group now awaits written documentation from the proponent on the changes we discussed. Once received, this response will be shared publicly and reviewed against impacts on any of the existing provincial agreements that our groups may already have in place.
In the meantime, we are asking our members and riders to do the following:
- We appreciate the private citizen petition that was created and is being circulated, but it contained some misinformation that is jeopardizing our work on this project. We will be working with the organizer to clarify the wording to ensure signatures collected are based on fact.
- There has been widespread use of the term CRA or Controlled Access Area in social media. This project is not a CRA but rather an application for a non-exclusive use Commercial Recreation Tenure under the Adventure Tourism Policy. A CRA is what is used by ski hills to obtain exclusive rights on crown land that allows them to control access to the area. This is not a ski hill though it was shared that another proponent may have submitted a letter of intent to develop a ski hill in the area which is likely what is creating confusion.
Information about CRAs can be found at:
Information about a Commercial Tenure under the Adventure Tourism Policy can be found at:
This proposed project is a joint project that includes a large investment by local First Nations. These nations have financially invested in this project to create economic benefits for their band members long-term and to protect their heritage values in the region. We are committed to working with these nations to find solutions on this project but also to work closely with them to better understand their cultural usage in the area separately.
We are pleased to state that despite the negative media, we are at a point where all parties are committed to working together to resolve outstanding issues on the table.
Chris D’Silva, President
ATVBC Quad Riders Association of BC
Peter Sprague, Executive Director
BC Off-Road Motorcycle Association
Donegal Wilson, Executive Director
BC Snowmobile Federation
Kim Reeves, President
Four Wheel Drive Association of BC