Some recreational user groups are concerned their interests aren’t being considered in the Stave West recreational master plan development.
About 45 people attended the first of three public open houses organized to gather feedback from area users about how the Mission interpretive forest, now branded as Stave West, should be arranged. The 5,000-hectare area, situated in northern Mission around the west side of Stave Lake, is already a well-used site for outdoor enthusiasts.
Members of some of the 4×4 and ATV clubs said they’re worried the plan will be geared towards a number of other recreational types of use, such as hiking or mountain biking.
This is not the case, according to Nalon Smith from Lee and Associates, the company tasked with constructing the plan.
“We’re not singling out any one group,” he said to the crowd gathered at the Leisure Centre Thursday night.
One audience member asked why representatives from user groups weren’t asked to sit on the Stave West task force.
B.C. recreation officer Mike Peters said he sits on the recreation master plan task force – made up of representatives from several community organizations – and asked users to contact him with concerns.
“I’m your advocate,” said Peters.
“There are lots of rumours out there,” said Bob O’Neal, forestry director for the District of Mission, and task force member. Areas have not been shutdown to 4×4 use, he said.
“You have the opportunity now to provide input. The idea is to work together. You have to trust the process,” O’Neal noted. “Our plan is to work with you, not kick you out.”
Questionnaires were handed out to attendees, and they are also available online via mission.ca/stavewest. Further comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The task force aims to have the final master plan to council by March 2015.
Additional open houses:
• June 7, Mission Leisure Centre (7650 Grand St.) from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Presentations at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m.
• June 11, fire station two (30514 Dewdney Trunk Rd.), 7 to 9 p.m. Presentation at 8 p.m.