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Access to the Smoke Bluffs

Climbers visiting the Smoke Bluffs this year may have noticed many new trail signs and a considerable amount of fine trailwork that is starting to make a positive mark in what has been something of an unkempt jungle for many years. It is the result of the work of the Smoke Bluffs Park Planning Group. This group of a dozen volunteers was brought together by Mayor Ian Sutherland as a result of an initiative by the SAS and Perry Beckham, and includes the SAS, the Federation of Mountain Clubs of BC, CASBC, and the Squamish Trails Society. Mayor Sutherland deserves full credit for breaking a 20-year logjam of local government disinterest in the Smoke Bluffs, and for providing the Planning Group with District staff to help manage what has been a complex and demanding task.

The mandate of the Planning Group has been threefold: to establish the Smoke Bluffs as a Municipal Park, (now done); to set in place an ironclad governing Commission with strong representation from climbers; and to complete the transfer over to the District of Squamish of the Smoke Buffs land that climbers and the FMCBC, with help from Mountain Equipment Coop, purchased long ago in 1988. The process is not yet complete, but all being well, by the end of 2006 the twenty-year odyssey to establish a public park in the Smoke Bluffs, with a governing body where climbers have a strong voice, will finally be over.

The SAS is represented on the Smoke Bluffs Park Planning Group by Kevin McLane and John Howe (both of whom were involved heavily in Park lobbying of 20 years ago), and Brian Moorhead.

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