The issue of hut use in Rossland Range

Is the issue of hut use threatening to derail the FORRS bid for a Rossland Range Recretion Area?

  • Nov. 21, 2013 11:00 a.m.

By Ida Koric, Rossland News

Is the issue of hut use threatening to derail the FORRS bid for a Rossland Range Recretion Area?

There is little doubt that the future of the “trespass huts” around Nancy Green Summit was the pre-eminent issue at last month’s Recreation Area Workshop, with participants providing a list of reasons why they were a vital aspect of the proposed plan.

The huts provide a destination for a ski or snowshoe outing; a place to warm up, dry out your gloves over the stove, have a snack, and socialize with strangers as they pile in out of the cold. They also provide safety, as emergency shelters, or mustering points for search and rescue personnel.

The history, quaintness, and intrinsic charm of the huts were also mentioned several times in the workshop, with area residents feeling a proprietary fondness for many of them. Those considered favourites by the participants include: Sunspot, Mosquito, Red Dog, View, Cookie Jar and Eagle’s Nest. Rock n Roll, Crowe’s Nest, Surprise and Berry Ridge came in as “second tier” considerations.

One prevalent misunderstanding about the hut situation seems to be the cause-effect relationship between Recreation Area designation and the removal of trespass huts. The Ministry of Forests has been planning a province-wide sweep and dismantling of non-authorized huts on Crown land for several years, with the mobilization of these removals imminent.

A Recreation Area designation will allow, at this point, five huts to stand as authorized, as opposed to the zero huts that would have attained such protection otherwise. FORRS representatives worried that the misinformation that the new designation is responsible for hut removal will lead to the community’s rejection of the plan. Community support is essential for this decades-long initiative to move forward.

A reduction in the number of huts posed a number of concerns for workshop attendees. The current crowding in huts during peak times is already an issue for some; far fewer huts would only result in increased concentrations of users.

One likelihood seems to be that, were five huts to remain, their size, location and infrastructure would have to be altered. The request to “grandfather” several additional huts, as well as a time extension for hut removal, were both included in workshop commentary.

Aside from hut salvation, other accessibility concerns were raised as well. Community members hope that with official management of the Range will come improvements to the safety and space of the parking area at the summit, a non-motorized use designation, re-design of several outhouses, and potentially better communication capacities (cell phone use for emergencies).

There is also the anticipation that forestry companies will work more closely with community agencies to lessen their impact on recreational opportunities.

All 39 pages of comments and suggestions can be viewed on the FORRS website: www.rosslandrange.org

Upcoming workshop

FORRS would like to remind the community that the soft deadline for a workable use plan is due November 2014. The document will be a use and management plan that outlines the future and the stewardship of the Rossland Range.

The success of the bid for Recreation Area status hinges on community support, and the acceptance of this document by the Ministry of Forests.

As it is still in its drafting stage, FORRS would like to invite the community to a second workshop Dec. 3, 7 p.m. at the Miner’s Union Hall.

 

Just Posted

What’s Up: Things to see and do on Family Day

There’s plenty of fun to be had across the West Kootenay this coming long weekend!

Province announces $23 million for upgrades at Kootenay Boundary Regional Hospital

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board has yet to review the provincial proposal

Call a foul on cancer with the Pink Whistle Campaign

Local basketball referees are raising money for cancer research

UPDATE: Two-car accident closes Highway 3A at Thrums

Road expected to open for single-lane alternating traffic at 2 p.m.

Trail Curling Club set for BC senior championships

Volunteers step up for BC Senior Curling championships at Trail Curling Club

B.C. students win Great Waters Challenge video contest

Video, mural and song about saving the salmon claims the top prize

Pavelski’s 31st goal helps Sharks top Canucks 3-2

Vancouver one point out of second NHL wild-card spot

East Kootenay illicit drug overdose deaths lowest in B.C.

Local expert credits harm reduction efforts; declares support for legalization of opioids

Eight cases of measles confirmed in Vancouver outbreak

Coastal Health official say the cases stem from the French-language Ecole Jules Verne Secondary

Ontario police field complaints over Amber Alert for missing girl, 11, found dead

Some said the Amber Alert issued late Thursday for Riya Rajkumar disrupted their sleep

Former B.C. premier Gordon Campbell accused of sexual touching

Accuser went to police, interviewed by Britian’s Daily Telegraph

B.C. couple attacked with acid, slashed with knife in Vietnam

Warning, graphic images: Man has burns on 80 per cent of his body, slashed with knife

Northern B.C. First Nation clan says ancient tools found at pipeline work site

Archeologists from the Smithsonian Institute estimate one of the stones found dates back up to 3500 years

Names keep adding to vaccine petition started by B.C. mom

Maple Ridge mom started campaign to make vaccination a condition of attending school

Most Read