Audio: B.C. Forests Minister Doug Donaldson on Mount Begbie development, mountain caribou recovery, and land use planning

In our latest Revelstoke Mountaineer podcast, we spoke with Doug Donaldson, the B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, about a development proposal for Mount Begbie, the Mountain Caribou Recovery Plan's ongoing herd planning process, and land use and backcountry use planning in the Revelstoke area.

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Doug Donaldson, the B.C. Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development, joins host Aaron Orlando on the Revelstoke Mountaineer podcast. Photo: B.C. government handout

Backcountry issues in the Revelstoke area have come to the fore in 2020.

Hot-button issues include plans for a small, luxury heli-lodge on Mount Begbie, Revelstoke’s iconic local mountain; the ongoing Mountain Caribou Recovery Plan issue, which was prompted by a federal species-at-risk order requiring the B.C. government to take action on caribou conservation; and the issue of backcountry and land use planning in the Revelstoke area due to conflicts arising from a variety of backcountry uses that increase each year as Revelstoke’s reputation as an international destination grows.

Provincially, these issues all fall under the B.C. Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations, and Rural Development. We reached out to Minister Doug Donaldson, who joined us for an audio interview on the Revelstoke Mountaineer podcast. Listen to our conversation with Minister Donaldson here.

(Click to play. Some social media platforms prevent automatic playback. If you’re having difficulty, find the audio on our SoundCloud page at https://soundcloud.com/revelstoke-mountaineer.)

Interview with Minister Doug Donaldson

Topics in this podcast:

Mount Begbie development proposal

-Why was a request from local government for some kind of protection process turned down

-Minister’s thoughts on the proposal

-How residents can engage with government on the process

-The proposal’s current status

Land use and backcountry use planning

-How local groups can engage in land use planning

-Future plans for recreation and land use plans in the Revelstoke area

Mountain Caribou Recovery Plan

-What’s happening with herd planning in the Revelstoke area

-COVID-19-caused delays

-Recent announcements of mitigation projects, such as road reclamation in the Bigmouth Valley

-Recent criticism in the media of predator management, such as killing wolves, and the B.C. government perspective on the science debate

-Common ground on habitat preservation goals

-Can the path forward balance pressure from the federal government, the need for conservation, and the Revelstoke forest and manufacturing industry’s need for timber supply?