The RDEK board of directors supports a proposal that applies for provincial approval to develop a climbing area near St. Mary Lake.
The application applies for permission to develop a 2.8 kilometer hiking trail to a rock climbing area, as well as the construction of a pit toilet and parking lot next to St. Mary Lake Road.
Marc Trudeau, who is petitioning the province on behalf of the EKCA, wrote that much of the trail will be built on a disused power line for minimal ground disturbance to reach a rocky outcrop.
“The intent of the Land Referral is to mark the area shown as a Bootleg Climbing Area with an access path and parking lot to protect and preserve this public recreational resource,” he wrote in a letter. “The proposed recreation area, access path and parking lot are entirely on Crown Land. There is great potential for the management of this area for value-adding public recreation while at the same time increasing the values of public safety, environmental protection and the recreational experience. “
While the RDEK board supported the proposal, the final decision on the approval of the application rests with the Ministry of Forests, Land, Operation of Natural Resources and Rural Development. In addition, the department may also dictate whether changes need to be made to the proposal, as an RDEK director noted that some residents in the St. Mary Lake area had concerns about the size of the parking lot, among other things.
Specifically, the proposal seeks to designate an established recreation area under the Ministry’s legislation that would give recreation areas and trails BC the tools to work with the Climbing Association for area management and improvement.
The EKCA was founded six years ago and, according to the proposal, has around 150 members.