Petition to stop commercial development on Mount Begbie gathers more than 1,300 signatures

North Columbia Environmental Society calls for moratorium on any development on Revelstoke's iconic mountain until a backcountry recreation access plan is created

Mount Begbie. Photo: Aaron Orlando/Revelstoke Mountaineer file photo

A petition by Revelstoke residents to protect Mount Begbie from commercial development, which amassed more than 1,300 signatures, was presented at the BC Legislature to the Minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development during a meeting of the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, August 11. 

As Revelstoke Mountaineer Magazine first reported in its Summer 2020 issue, the provincial government rejected a request from the City of Revelstoke and the Columbia-Shuswap Regional District to create a management and protection plan for Mount Begbie. Following the province’s rejection of the request for a protection plan, a Facebook group, Protect Begbie, was created and a number of Revelstoke residents began collaborating on a paper petition that could be presented at the BC Legislature. Supporters were also encouraged to write letters to Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson and Columbia River-Revelstoke Revelstoke MLA Doug Clovechok.

Read more about the province’s rejection of the request for a management and protection plan for Mount Begbie here:

Update: Province rejects Mount Begbie protection plan request

The request from the City and the CSRD came in the aftermath of a proponent’s public meeting in September 2019, announcing their plans for a private hut and chalet development on Revelstoke’s iconic mountain. Public feedback during the meeting was mainly negative with participants raising concerns over the proponents true intentions, in particular questioning if they would pursue rights for exclusive use of the area. In March 2020, Revelstoke city council gave its support to the creation of a regional park for the Mount Begbie Recreation area. As Mount Begbie is outside of the Revelstoke’s municipal boundary, the city also sought the support of the CSRD.

Read more about the public presentation of a proposed commercial hut and chalet on Mount Begbie here:

Residents negative on Mount Begbie chalet plans at public debut

North Columbia Environmental Society “disappointed by the province”

In a media release, the North Columbia Environmental Society said it is”disappointed by the province of British Columbia’s inaction around the conservation of Mount Begbie, particularly their recent rejection of Revelstoke City Council’s application for protection.”

The NCES said the overwhelming support of the community, along with the vulnerable nature of the mountain’s ecosystem and continued interest of commercial developers make the Mount Begbie recreation area an “excellent candidate for protection, which should be complimented by the creation of a robust backcountry recreation access plan.” The environmental group is calling for a moratorium on any development on Mount Begbie until such a plan is in place.

Revelstoke Mountaineer spoke with Minister of Forests Doug Donaldson about the Mount Begbie issue in a late July podcast episode. Listen here:

“We are working with a variety of stakeholders to move forward to create the necessary policy to protect our iconic mountain. There is a great deal of development pressure on our natural environment and this area in particular is habitat for many species, including, but not limited to, mountain goats, wolverine, grizzly bear, and pika,” the statement said.

You can read all of the Mountaineer’s coverage on the proposed commercial development on Mount Begbie, and the call for the creation of a regional park, here

Correction: A previous version of this story had an extra zero on the total number of signatures. It is 1,300, with 13,000.

Melissa Jameson is the civic affairs reporter for the Revelstoke Mountaineer. She handles the newsy side of goings on about Revelstoke. Got a news tip? Feel free to contact Melissa at melissa@revelstokemountaineer.com