Reply To: BlackBerry Point

Nick Heath

There have been some developments on this site.

1) the ‘No trespassing’ signs were apparently removed in late 2018, but not by the land owner. It is reported that a local outfitter/guide removed them in irritation and continues to use the site, as do many others.

2) the landowner, Island Timberlands, appears to acknowledge that the site has high recreational value and through their public/community relations arm they are making inquiries about how it might be managed in future, given that they have been unsuccessful in stopping camping there so far and presumably don’t want the added expense of posting a caretaker/security guard either.

3) BC Marine Trails would prefer to not be involved directly because this is private land and the previous organization to BCMT went down this same route with MacMillan Bloedel, became the leasee and then ended up being burned when the site was sold and changed hands.

4) an organization could step forward – maybe a new one for “Friends of Blackberry Pt” or similar or maybe one of more paddling or boat clubs, preferably from nearby – to enter a partnership with the landowner –  sign a lease, buy insurance , indemnify Island Timberlands, so they don’t bear the risk of things going bad. repair the toilet  and maybe collect fees from users to cover their costs/hire a summer assistant etc.

5) if #4 happened, SKABC might be approached to support it, although we are quite distant for providing regular volunteer support. I’m sure several members would make use of it.

6) all this depends on the Lyackson FN accepting this arrangement- their current position is that this is (or is near) a sacred cultural site and there should be no camping here. It is also part of their land claim.

I’m bringing this up to keep SKABC members advised. It would be excellent to get public use of this site, but I’d rather see a long-term rather than a short-term solution.  I also consider that the majority of interest lies with boating and paddling clubs in southern Vancouver Island rather than the  Metro Vancouver area..