Tuesday, April 5, 2016

MLA seeks provincial support for Prudhomme Lake Recreation area

North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice
Monday in the Legislature speaking
on provincial parks
North Coast MLA Jennifer Rice took advantage of the opportunity for discussion in the Legislature on Monday to speak out about one of the more popular of North Coast recreational areas.

Offering up a glimpse for MLA's of some of the atmosphere found at Prudhomme Lake Provincial Park and the activities that are found both in the park and in the waters of the surrounding area.

The topic of the day was a review of proposed changes to provincial legislation in Bill 15, which is designed to create a new Class A provincial park in the Prince George region, with the North Coast MLA lending her support to that proposal.

As part of her notes to the Legislature, Ms. Rice took the opportunity to comment on two parks in the North Coast constituency, one Tweedsmuir Park near Bella Coola and the other closer to her home base of Prince Rupert.

When it came to her presentation on Tweedsmuir Park Mr. Rice reminded the Legislature of the cutbacks to the BC Ferry system, which has not only resulted in a lower number of visitors to the province's parks, but has become a major transportation issue for residents of the Central Coast.

On the topic of the North Coast Provincial Park at Prudhomme Lake, Ms Rice expressed some of the affection that residents have for the park, the closest bit of camping and recreational land in the area.

Noting its popularity she observed that the area is used by both local residents and tourists and that she would be supportive of any thoughts on expanding the park, as well as to addressing traffic congestion issues that are found close by the park, particularly at the Boat launch area just east of the park.

Some of the main points about Prudhomme Lake and Park from her Monday presentation:

The other park that is impacted by this amendment act is Prudhomme Lake Park, which is just outside of Prince Rupert. It's a few kilometres. Maybe 16 kilometres, I believe. It's a short drive. 

I've been to the area numerous times, although I'm sad to say I haven't visited the area in recent times due to my schedule. However, I've been inspired to go back and perhaps do some kayaking on the lake, which is something I enjoyed a few years back before being an MLA. I look forward to bringing that back into my life.

It's an interesting park in that it is on a lake, and it's so close to the ocean at Prince Rupert. There are some cottages that are only accessible by boat or by kayak or canoe. It's a heavily utilized area. Quite a few people have cabins on the other side of the lake. You can see the cars just lined up along Highway 16 that belong to the cabin owners. So it's an area of high congestion that really needs some attention.

Not only that. There is the campsite, which is heavily utilized by Prince Rupert residents because it is so close to Prince Rupert. It's one of the closest places to camp if you're a Prince Rupert resident and therefore very popular. 

So expanding that area to allow for camping, I think, would be a good idea. 

I'm not sure. I've looked at the map, but I can't tell from the map how it would impact the cabin owners, so I'm reticent to speak to that. But if it makes for easier access for the cabin owners and the campers, then of course I would be supportive of that, especially just in regards to the safety of accessing and enjoying the park.

I know it's a bit concerning to have so many vehicles parked along the side of the highway. The boat ramp or the water access area is heavily utilized by boaters as well as canoeists and kayakers, so it's been brought to my attention that if we could support the recreational users of Prudhomme Lake, any way we could support them would be appreciated and beneficial.  

You can review Ms. Rice's full presentation to the Legislature from the Monday Afternoon House Video Archive, her notes to the Legislature start at just past the 1550 point, the portion related to Prudhomme Lake comes in at the 16:04 mark.

The text of her notes can also be reviewed from the Legislature Minutes found here.

More on what is available at Prudhomme Lake Park can be found from the BC Parks website here.

For more items related to the work of the North Coast MLA see our archive page here.

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