Remember when Premier Christy Clark declared parking free in all of B.C.'s provincial parks? In a 2011 news release, Clark said the move would make "British Columbia’s parks are even more welcoming for families".
Fast-forward to today (January 22), and the premier's name is nowhere to be found in the Ministry of Environment's latest news release. The headline: "Fee changes to support increased investment in BC Parks".
That's right. The province is raising camping fees by up to $5 per night, as of March 15. The fee hikes vary by site, but the increase for the "vast majority" is $2 per night.
According to the ministry, the last system-wide camping fee increase took place in 2010. The release claims the fee hikes are necessary to "maintain high service levels in B.C. provincial parks for an increasing number of visitors".
"The increase is expected to generate $1.3 million this year for B.C.'s protected areas system. All revenue from the increased fees will be put back into maintaining and enhancing the parks system," the release states.
"There are no increases to fees for sani-stations, mooring buoys, backcountry camping, picnic shelters, or group camping."
Here's how much camping will cost at a few popular frontcountry campgrounds:
- Alice Lake Provincial Park: $35 per party per night
- Chilliwack Lake Provincial Park: $35 per party per night
- Cultus Lake Provincial Park: $22 per party per night
- E.C. Manning Provincial Park (Lightning Lakes): $33 per party per night
- Golden Ears Provincial Park (Alouette Lake and Gold Creek): $35 per party per night
The complete list of updated fees is available as a PDF.
B.C. has 1,029 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves, and protected areas, covering more than 14 million hectares (14.4 percent of the province's land base).