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The Squamish Access Society is dedicated to working on behalf of climbers to protect public access to the climbing areas of the greater Squamish region, to engage as responsible stewards of the climbing environment and to advocate for access to quality self-propelled recreation. We work together with other access groups in “on the ground” initiatives and in engaging with local and provincial government and the private sector on behalf of climbers. Our work encompasses all the major climbing disciplines.

The Squamish Access Society is a grass-roots, local climbers’ organization dedicated to preserving access to the climbing areas in and around Squamish. We work together with other access groups in “on the ground” initiatives and in engaging with local and provincial government and the private sector on behalf of climbers.

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Many thanks to Michelle Smallman at NOLS for providing an excellent work party at Murrin Park today. ...

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Hi All:
As many of you know SAS and several representatives of the hiking/climbing community met with BCTS representatives July 22 to discuss Olesen Creek logging plans (SW 144) and some additional forestry issues. SAS's viewpoint on this discussion is that this was a highly productive meeting with BCTS making some substantial concessions with regards to this block and in the drainage given the multiple user constraints and pressures (other recreational users, First Nations, BCTS' mandate as the determinant for stumpage etc.) BCTS is under in the Sea to Sky Forest District. The complexity of these pressures and constraints on BCTS indicated that the diversion to other areas or a complete moratorium on logging in the Olesen creek drainage by BCTS is unrealistic. Based on this realization, a strategy of impact mitigation seemed more realistic and based on this proceeded to negotiate for the following changes to SW144 which SAS believes will greatly mitigate recreational impacts (see attached map) www.dropbox.com/s/0mlvjkgs9e5mp ... 0.31-3.jpg):

1. The Northern portion of the block directly adjacent to the park boundary is to removed from the block (green and yellow areas on map). This area is basically from the "Back door" (identified in Barley's Squamassif Guide) westward. The area removed includes the crag Winter Heat and the saddle trails between the Slhanny and the Chief and preserves the primary recreational resources at risk. The effect of this removal is to preserve the view from Tony's Bench and very substantially reduce visual impacts of this block from the 3rd peak of the chief (about 90%).
2. Southern block boundary is to be pulled approximately 75m away from the trail to The Longhouse to buffer impacts on this trail and to the forest in and around "the Chasm" slot canyon. An approximately 200m buffer is to be maintained on the Longhouse.
3. Additional group retention patches are going to be laid out in the remaining southern portion to further mitigate visual impacts from the 3rd peak. The main criteria for this layout is to be timber windfirmness and visual impact reduction. We suggested that a portion of the area of "Boulders" between GPS stations 39 -41 and streams K and N be a possible retention area due to reduced logging operability. A retention patch in this area would further reduce impacts to longhouse trail.
4. The potential of including the triangle area from the SE corner of the Chief park to the Southern boundary as a forest recreation area was also indicated to be a possibility. SAS is determining what the potential implications of this designation are.

BCTS is going to implement these changes on the ground in the next month and then provide maps for review and stakeholder comments.

Other issues discussed:

BCTS and the FLINRO agreed the current visual impact assessment points only being on the highway to determine visual impacts of harvest blocks is inadequate and that assessment points on the Chief and Gondola are going to be implemented. They also stated the Visual Quality Objectives which set out the allowed visible level of forest modification (ie harvesting) on the landscape in the Southern portion of their tenure areas are under review and are to changed to a higher retention level. They are awaiting analysis of impacts to timber supply before implementing these changes.

MA 109 - BCTS stated the chances MA109 was to be logged was virtually zero and that this block was brought up in a short deadline mapping exercise to determine potential harvest areas based on stand age and timber types. It is NOT considered to be a viable block.

Spatial data base of climbing resources: BCTS stated it needs to update and maintain its inventory of climbing resources. SAS agreed that this information is important to BCTS and the other licence holders in the District and that we are willing to supply that info. However, we are trying to determine what resources are developed out there too especially in terms of new bouldering areas. So, scrubbers we need to know what areas you are working in. We hope to have a google maps application up soon for you to identify the locations of new areas.

Sincerely

Chris Small
Board Member SAS
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