Half of backcountry users had no reservations for cabin or tent sites this summer: PWA
Mark Robichaud is certainly not trying to draw more attention to the busy recreational site of Tenquille Lake. But it has become clear that the Pemberton Wildlife Association (PWA), which has taken on the task of implementing a multi-stakeholder visitor use management strategy, needs to get the word out: now you need a reservation for the Tenquille cabin and tent sites.
“Our operator [who stayed onsite through the summer] said about half of the people who came didn’t have a reservation,” said Robichaud, who is the trail coordinator for the Tenquille-Owl Lakes Recreation Area (TOLRA). “Our role is that we are committed to managing reservations and the upkeep and maintenance of the trails. The word is slowly spreading.
Additionally, the group are trying to spread the word that access from Birkenhead to the Tenquille area is officially closed – with a gate or barriers to be installed in the near future.
“This is closed specifically for grizzly bear habitat and grizzly bears should be left alone,” Robichaud said. “There is a huge blueberry field there. It’s important to grizzly bears and the Lil’wat Nation. We encourage everyone to forget that access exists.
Other changes now in effect, following the implementation of the strategy – the result of several years of work between the Provincial Forestry Department, Lil’wat Nation, N’Quatqua and community groups like the PWA – include: no unauthorized access by helicopter or horse; no motorized recreational vehicles; no dogs on the recreational site or on the trails leading to the lake; no mountain biking inside the recreational site or on the trails leading to the lake or the Mont Barbour trail; and camp only in designated areas.
The strategy also aims to guide future recreation management to protect the Nations’ cultural resources and opportunities, wildlife habitat and sensitive species.
“This is one of the places that has been used by the Lil’wat for generations and there has been a recorded presence there with the pictographs and the trails,” said Lil’wat Chief Dean Nelson. prick in February. “It’s part of the road that our people have traveled all over the territory.”
Meanwhile, Robichaud said he understands long-term locals might not like the changes, but faced with the reality of a more crowded backcountry, there’s no choice but to adapt.
In May 2021, when the Tenquille hut was closed due to COVID-19, a group of people broke in, causing damage in the process, and burned building materials stored under the hut as a campfire .
“I think longtime residents of Pemby who made a few trips there every year and probably had the place to themselves, here we go. It’s 2022,” Robichaud said.
“We adapt to the times, and [as] anyone who spends time in one of the Duffey’s unchecked or unattended cabins understands that it’s only a matter of time before they burn down. There are several where I will no longer go. They are overused and abused.
After the PWA sorted out the cabin and campsite reservation software in late June, it officially launched the new reservation system. Although it’s a low-key launch this year, in the future people will be turned away if they don’t have a reservation.
“Once the signage is in place and we do a few more PSAs, I think we probably need to get a better grip,” Robichaud added. “If there’s overbooking, send people home or have a safer way to secure payment.”
PWA, meanwhile, will not maintain the road, so backcountry users should be aware of the difficult access.
Ultimately, the group hopes the changes will help ensure the longevity of the region.
“I think having the operator there and eyes on the site and having the pitches of the chalets and tents… makes it feel like people are watching and taking care of it,” said Robichaud.
To reserve a spot or for more information, visit pembertonwildlifeassociation.com/services/tenquille-lake-cabin.
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