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SAS position on Squamish Canyon project

SAS has been asked by news media on several occasions to comment on the Squamish Canyon tourist destination project.

As a climbing advocacy group we look at land-use proposals in Squamish purely in terms of:

  1. direct impact on climbing assets within the proposed area
  2. indirect impacts on access, for example, through the blocking of trails or reducing parking capacity.

In the case of Squamish Canyon, a small sport climbing zone was established in the canyon fairly recently. The proponent’s tenure grant from FLNRORD actually predates the bolting. The proponent has been made aware of the existence of the climbs and the route developer has been in direct contact with the proponent to discuss access.

Indirect impacts may be changes to parking arrangements for cliffs accessed from the Powerhouse Springs road like Fernhill, the Playground, the Courtyard and Parkland. Our impression from talking with the proponent is that more rather than less parking may be the result, but we will continue to monitor this closely.

Overall our judgement is that there is not sufficient reason for SAS to oppose the project, so our position is neutral. There are other legitimate reasons why people might not like the project, for example, the apparent privatisation of land in long-standing public use, but those are beyond our remit.

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