Saturday, March 20, 2010
Be sure to pack extra dollars for your camping experience this year
“We believe users should pay a portion of the costs that are incurred by their choice to use campgrounds,”-- Environment Minister Barry Penner setting the stage for increases to enjoy "The Best Place on Earth" (tm) this year.
With some spectacular sunshine to greet Podunkians on this first day of Spring, there's nothing like a provincial government to come up and take that spring out of your step.
As you begin to dare to dream of the outdoors again, a chance to sleep under the stars away from the hustle and bustle of the city and your daily grind, the province would like a few extra dollars from you for that experience.
Starting April 1st (what a great day to offer up yet another cash grab) the province is increasing the fees to enjoy British Columbia's campgrounds. In some cases it's anticipated that the it could cost twice as much now to enjoy camping, backpacking or pretty well anything else to do with the wilderness.
The overnight fee for basic and moderate camp sites will increase to between $19 and $21, up from $15-$16. Camping fees in developed campgrounds will increase by between eight and 15 per cent, rising to between $28 and $30 from $26.
The cost of backpacking in premium areas increases to 10 from 5 dollars in 2010.That increase is in effect for such areas as Garibaldi, Cathedral, Berg Lake (Mount Robson), Wells Grey, Juan de Fuca, Strathcona, Cape Scott, Mount Assiniboine, Kokanee Glacier and Bugaboo. All others will remain at the 2009 level of 5 dollars.
The Liberal government claims that it costs more now to operate the parks and it's either an increase to fees or a diversion of money from other areas, citing such areas as health and education or running a larger deficit as the main thrust of delivering the news.
The Environment Ministry used the tried and true method of an information dump on a Friday to outline the changes and fee increases, a not uncommon method of government to try and work around bad news and the news cycle of the media .
The decision to increase fees is a move which we imagine won't be unanimously welcomed by those that find BC's camp grounds as an inexpensive and family friendly way to spend a weekend or more.
For many it is the last bastion for those that want to enjoy all that the province has to offer on a budget that families can afford.
Now it seems that even a weekend in BC's outdoor paradise is going to cost us a little bit more.
The full review of the upcoming changes can be found on the Environment BC website while the breakdown of changes to the fees can be found here.
Vancouver Sun-- Camping fees to increase across B.C.
CBC News British Columbia-- Fees at B.C. parks going up
Victoria Times Colonist-- Camping fees rising at B.C. parks
Globe and Mail-- B.C. hikes provincial park fees