Letters to the editor 

Page 3 of 4

Has the popularity of the River of Golden Dreams increased? Absolutely. We have been discussing with the muni for more than six years about having an additional public access and boat launch to Alta Lake due to the forecasted increased activity at the existing launch at the bottom of Carleton Way.

Though the amount of traffic using the Carleton Way launch has decreased during the last two years there is a movement about which aims to close the only public boat launch onto Alta Lake. Proponents are saying they'll start with the commercial operators first then "shut it down totally."

Their plan has some major implications to you the public of Whistler. Firstly, many Whistler locals board our busses in the village and we transport them to the lake where they embark on the water. At trip’s end we pick them up a the public access and boat launch at Dream River Park. If the "shut it down totally" people are successful you will be deprived of your right to access the lake. Secondly if it is shut down totally you will not be able to launch your boat on Alta Lake.

Yes you could drive your car down to the lake and park alongside Lakeside Drive but then the roadways would be chock-a-block full of cars and families and kids running helter-skelter all over the road. The commercial canoe/kayak operators offer a minimum number of vehicles and a contained group of people. Plus the convenience of the public not having to use two cars to shuttle back from river’s end.

Hmmmmmm, last week one of the proponents said 500 boats are launched per day (which is not accurate). If two people per car use one boat then it equals 250 cars x two to shuttle 500 people per day on Lakeside Drive. I think a few vans or busses is much less obtrusive.

One of the complaints is that the commercial operators are so busy other members of the public cannot access the launch. We are all members of the public. It is well known that the commercial operators help others at the launch. We work together to make the launch as user-friendly as possible. In 17 years I have never heard one complaint from people who wanted to use the launch and could not because they had to wait. I was at a public boat launch in a residential neighbourhood in Kamloops on the weekend and had to wait 30 minutes. It's normal on a busy day you have to wait to launch. Boaters wish they didn't have to but until we get alternate access we'll have to.

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