Hikers Oppose Gondola

A letter to the editor, in the Squamish Chief paper. Those who believe that the process has been sound, let alone followed government policy, should ask why it is that no one informed let alone consulted with a large existing user group, that is hikers? Most haven’t been informed about the proposal, and are opposed to it. It wouldn’t be hard for BC Parks to set up an information booth at the start of the trail, or near the first summit, with facts about the proposal and its implications, and to request public input.

Read the letter here.


Sign our Petition!

FOSC has started an online petition to demand a public hearing on the applications before BC Parks to remove a 20m wide and kilometre long swath of land from Stawamus Chief Park for a gondola tourist development.

Please get involved now! The developers are pressuring the BC Government to approve all of their applications before legislature takes a recess on May 28, we need to act now.

Please sign our petition at http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/squamishchief.

Send on the link to your friends and if you have not already, please send a letter to Minister of Environment Terry Lake demanding a public hearing on the gondola application. Provincial Parks belong to all British Columbians and we deserve a say when land is removed or commercial development are allowed in our Parks.

Write Minister Lake at env.minister@gov.bc.ca and copy the developers at info@seatoskygondola.com.

Thanks for getting involved!


Happy Earth Day!

Happy Earth Day Everyone!

Act local to show you care about protecting wilderness on our planet and send a note to Environment Minister Terry Lake today and let him know we want to protect our Stawamus Chief Park – we need a public hearing on any changes to its boundaries and your phone calls and letters might be the only way we can make that happen.

Friends, if you care about our Park and don’t want to see this gondola split it in two (and also bring retail stores, a cafe and potentially lodging to Habrich Ridge, just across from the first peak) writing a letter is the most effective action you take.  env.minister@gov.bc.ca.


Regional District Public Hearing April 19th

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District will be holding an official public hearing on Thursday April 19th, 7pm at the Britannia Community Centre. The hearing is required before the SLRD can move forward on zoning changes to Crown land requested by Sea to Sky Gondola Corp. for the proposed gondola upper terminal, cafe and day lodge on Habrich Mountain.

The SLRD are considering  the application to rezone the proposed uppper terminal site and ammend their official community plan. Any attendees wishing to speak to the project with concerns or support will be given the opportunity to do so according to SLRD staff. Friends of the Squamish Chief encourages everyone concerned with this proposal to attend and will be assisting to arrange carpooling opportunities from Squamish and Vancouver. Please contact FOSC at friendsofthechief@gmail.com for more information.

FOSC issues Press Release

Gondola Not a Done Deal, Says Friends of the Squamish Chief: Grassroots Group Revived to Challenge New Gondola Proposal

Friends of the Squamish Chief (FOSC) has been revived and is challenging a new proposal to build a gondola within Stawamus Chief Provincial Park. The proposal, by Sea to Sky Gondola Corp., would require the legislative removal of land from within the Class A Park to allow for the proposed development.

With the launch of its Facebook page and website, FOSC has outlined its concerns with the proposed gondola project and is encouraging concerned residents to get involved now.  “Contrary to what some in the community are saying, this project is not a done deal,” says FOSC organizer Sean Easton, an ACMG Mountain Guide and local business owner. “The proponents have only met one of three required government hurdles for rezoning and permits. Anyone who cares about the future of our park still can and should have a say.”

Major concerns outlined by FOSC include the proposed removal of land from the heavily used, high profile Class A provincial  park, and the lack of an independent, inclusive public process to review the proposal. The proposed amendments to the Park’s Master Plan would remove a corridor through the heart of Stawamus Chief Park, so that a 20 m wide swath can be clear cut for the gondola. Stawamus Chief and the adjacent Shannon Falls Park are both internationally known.

The last gondola proposal at “The Chief” was in 2004, and was resoundingly rejected, with leadership from FOSC and many others. A key piece of land was then bought by The Land Conservancy of B.C.  to prevent other inappropriate development proposals there.

When The Land Conservancy sold its land at the base of the Chief in early 2012, it was subject to a promise by the buyer that “no infrastructure” would be built on the lands “that would provide for an aerial tramway”. A conservation covenant was placed on title to the land with that intent. The developer’s application to remove land from the Park would avoid the wording of the covenant by removing land from the Parks, but still contravene its intent.

“If you care about our iconic Stawamus Chief Park as we do, we invite you to take action and ask for a formal chance for public input before the BC Legislature considers the developer’s request to cut our park in half ,” says FOSC organizer Anders Ourom. “The Stawamus Chief is a Class A Provincial Park, and this gondola proposal in no way fits with the planned uses of the Park outlined in its Master Plan. Its aesthetic, natural and recreational values would be changed forever. All of us who love the Chief deserve a say in the Parks future”

Ourom, a veteran climber, former President of the Climbers’ Access Society and a member of the planning committee which saw the Park created in 1995 encourages anyone who is interested in the future of the area, the impact of the proposed gondola, and this process to attend the Squamish Lillooet Regional District Meeting on April 19th in Britannia Beach. For more information, visit the FOSC website at www.friendsofthesquamishchief.wordpress.com. You can contact FOSC directly at friendsofthechief@gmail.com.

About Friends of the Squamish Chief

Originally formed in 2004, FOSC successfully fought a gondola proposal that would have ended on the second summit of The Chief. FOSC is a grassroots body working for the continued protection and wise stewardship of Stawamus Chief Provincial Park and area for today and for future generations. FOSC is based in Squamish, BC and welcomes people who support our goals. Visit friendsofthesquamishchief.wordpress.com for more information.


Media Contact:

Anders Ourom
Email: friendsofthechief@gmail.com

Other FOSC committee members:

Theresa Negreiff (Squamish)
Derek Alexander Christ (Squamish)
Sean Easton (Squamish)
Rika Lyne (Squamish)

Gondola Corp hosts meeting April 12 in Squamish

We’ve been asked about the meeting that Sea to Sky Gondola Corp. plans to hold in Squamish on April 12th. (7 pm Howe Sound Inn, Squamish)

Those who are interested should consider attending, although it’s rather short notice. It may be difficult for the many from outside the Squamish area who are interested in this issue to attend. As with the other meetings that have been held in Squamish, it would be an opportunity for some to ask Mr. Greenfield, Mr. Dunn, and Mr. Hutchison about the details of their proposal. The meeting could not address the larger issues – whether land should be removed from Class A parks; whether land should be removed from these parks for this purpose; and ensuring that any process to consider such removals and their consequences is independent, transparent, inclusive, resourced, and complies with government policy.

FOSC may send an observer to this private meeting. However, it underscores the importance of all those interested in the fate of these world-class parks, from around the world, writing directly to the Premier and the other politicians, as soon as possible. It’s a government decision, and it’s the government that needs to hear your views on this.

 • Premier Christy Clark: premier@gov.bc.ca
• Terry Lake, Minister of Environment: env.minister@gov.bc.ca
• Joan McIntyre, MLA: joan.mcintyre.mla@leg.bc.ca
• Chief Ian Campbell, Squamish Nation: chief_ian_campbell@squamish.net
• Mayor Rob Kirkham: rkirkham@squamish.ca
• Chair Susan Gimse, Squamish-Lillooet Regional District: sgimse@telus.net
• Vancouver Sun: sunletters@vancouversun.com
• Squamish Chief: dburke@squamishchief.com
• Globe & Mail: letters@globeandmail.ca
• Georgia Straight: letters@straight.com
• Vancouver Province: provletters@theprovince.com