B.C. asks public for feedback on Joffre Lakes Provincial Park plan

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park is seen on Aug. 23, 2018. (Breanna Karstens-Smith / CTV Vancouver)

The B.C. government is inviting residents to share feedback on the proposed management of a provincial park that has soared in popularity in recent years.

Instagram and other social media sites have been credited with fueling a surge in visits to Joffre Lakes Provincial Park east of Pemberton, causing parking problems and overcrowding. 

The park drew more than 196,000 visitors in 2019, a 222 per cent increase from the number who visited in 2010, according to a news release from the province.

The need to manage that huge influx of people is the underlying reason for the Joffre Lakes Park Visitor Use Management Plan currently being developed.

The draft plan is currently available on the BC Parks website, and the parks agency is asking members of the public for feedback on the plan. A survey on the proposals is available until April 4.  

Developed with the Lil’wat Nation and N’Quatqua, the plan articulates nine specific goals for the park, as well as strategies for achieving each one.

The goals listed in the plan are:

  1. Recognizing First Nations territories and increasing Lil’wat Nation and N’Quatqua stewardship
  2. Celebrating First Nations culture throughout the park
  3. Protecting biological diversity and the natural environment
  4. Addressing illegal parking and safety concerns with park access and within the park
  5. Ensuring park facilities support levels of use
  6. Effectively managing visitation
  7. Increasing public appreciation, knowledge, and respect for the park
  8. Increasing BC Parks' knowledge of park visitors and recreation trends
  9. Managing the park in a financially sustainable manner

Among the initiatives the plan proposes for achieving these goals are free day-use passes to manage the number of visitors, as well as the continuation of the First Nations Park Stewards Program, a pilot project aimed at educating visitors, providing outreach and conducting park management.

The full draft plan can be found here

Joffre Lakes Provincial Park remains temporarily closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the province said in its release.