The Pemberton Wildlife Association (PWA) is looking to gather more information on how people use the Tenquille to Owl Lake Recreation Area (TOLRA). The organization, which has a formal agreement with the province to provide stewardship and maintenance duties for the area, recently released an online survey designed to learn more about visitor use and objectives for the area.
The survey will inform a future management plan for the area, said PWA President Allen McEwan.
"It's really important that anyone who is interested in the TOLRA have their say," he said. "The PWA is trying to push the government to get this [management plan] finished as soon as possible, because there is so much pressure on the area."
The province is currently undertaking two similar management plans, in Shannon Creek Basin (in coordination with the Squamish Nation) and in the Meager Creek to Keyhole Falls area (in coordination with the Lil'wat Nation).
McEwan would like to see the province move forward with a management plan of the TOLRA in 2020, saying that there is an urgent need for action.
"The usage is getting to he point where it really has to be managed if we are going to maintain the resource itself," he said, referring to the area's pristine wilderness.
The survey will be used to set "objectives for the area," said McEwan.
"The PWA feels like it's important to manage the area in a way that protects the flora and fauna," he said. "Whatever recreation is allowed in the end, we want it managed so that it minimizes the [impact]."
In an email to
Pique, Scott Shaw-MacLaren, operations manager with the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resources Operations, said the ministry recognized the TOLRA has been "facing increasing recreation pressure, and is a candidate for more recreation planning.
"The ministry did not have the capacity to take on the TOLRA project immediately, but the PWA had resources available and wanted to contribute," he added.
"They have engaged a consultant to do the legwork on acquiring baseline information on recreation values in the area, and the survey is a part of that."
The ministry did not design the survey, and it would not be the only source of information drawn upon in the creation of a management plan, Shaw-MacLaren explained.
"The survey is a tool that will help frame the perceptions of how people view use in the TOLRA," he said. "It is an important opportunity to contribute to strategies to manage tourism and recreation impacts."
The survey closes on Nov. 29 at 4:30 p.m. and can be found at the following link: https://ca.surveygizmo.com/s3/50055592/TOLRA.