Take Jungle Beach off our hands: Regional District

  • Aug. 16, 2013 3:00 p.m.

Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District directors are asking the Ministry of the Environment to take over responsibility for maintaining the Jungle Beach picnic area, saying that the regional district does not have the authority to look after the site. Directors voted Aug. 9 to write to the Environment Ministry/BC Parks, after reading a report from administrator Joan Merrick. The report explored the history of the Jungle Beach site since 2001, when the province issued a 10-year licence of occupation and the site started to be managed by the local community of Lawn Hill. The community installed a picnic shelter and outhouses and undertakes regular maintenance of the facilities, according to Ms Merrick’s report. However, the Lawn Hill Community Association no longer feels it has the manpower or resources to continue managing the site, Ms Merrick wrote. The regional district’s options are limited for now, because it has never passed a bylaw and sought the approval of voters to establish the authority to maintain Jungle Beach. Ms Merrick’s report outlined four options for directors to consider: cancelling the lease, asking BC Parks to take over responsibility, asking voters for permission to operate Jungle Beach as a community park and raising taxes to fund its maintenance, or providing the Lawn Hill Community Association with an annual grant so it can operate and maintain the area. Directors voted to write to the Ministry of the Environment, Ms Merrick said. In other regional district news, directors made five recommendations with regards to two applications by Queen Charlotte-based Van Inlet Hydro Corp. for crown land licences of occupation. The investigative permit applications cover a site at the head of Van Inlet, near Clapp Basin, which would be used for power generation, and land for a transmission line that would run from Clapp Basin to Port Clements. Van Inlet Hydro is proposing investigative works to take place over the next five years, with the goal of building a dam and associated infrastructure to generate water power, and a transmission line to carry the power to Port. Regional district directors endorsed five recommendations in response to the applications. The recommendations include that Van Inlet undertake comprehensive environmental studies for the area; that Van Inlet take into account the province’s guidelines for streamside protection; and that Van Inlet be requested to confirm requirements for authorization under the Utilities Commission Act and requirements for approval of the Agricultural Land Commission.