Squamish has what everyone around the world wants. We have a community. Other suburbs of Vancouver and beyond simply don’t have that feeling of belonging that undeniably comes with saying, I’m from Squamish. As such it’s sometimes difficult for newcomers to fully grasp what they’ve gotten themselves into. By and far the majority of people eyeing up our jewel of a town realize just how special it is and want to be part of that magic. Unfortunately, there are those with dollar signs in their eye’s as they regard Squamish as a another small town just ripe for the picking.
For example, our own provincial government wants to log a watershed area that includes the single most valuable trail in our community, ‘the Plunge’. First though, they had to get a report done. This report wisely remarked that it is foolish to destroy a watershed area that supplies drinking water to countless people, not to mention a trail worth multiple millions of dollars to our community. Not liking those recommendations, another report was commissioned by the government that effectively said, go for it! This isn’t a logging issue it’s a community sense issue.
Touchy area? You bet. Our trail network is hanging by a thread as we try desperately to forge lasting relationships. During this time there are those who unfortunately continue to abuse our fragile network. Like the latest trail to be illegally built. Deathtrap, and abomination, would be appropriate names as here you have a trail apparently built by a 14 year old with his pappy’s hammer and not a clue as to what responsible trail building means. Rotted Birch, spiked trees, the embarrassing accident-waiting-to-happen list goes on. The worst part? It wasn’t built by a well intentioned, naive local kid, but rather a prospective tour company. A company that didn’t work with SORCA or involve our community. If someone does get hurt on their ill-conceived trail it will have dire repercussions for our bike community. After contacting them, consensus was reached and corrections will be made but sadly this is just the beginning as countless people eye the target on our chest.
And that just affects the couple thousand or so residents that enjoys access to our backcountry. It’s not nearly the big deal that is our impending waterfront development. Over the summer we had several festivals and events use our spectacular beach front property. As it stands now, a corporation is ensuring we get the biggest bang for our buck. There are also countless corporations that are looking to bang us for a buck. Access to our waterfront is something we all deserve but unfortunately will most likely have to fight to receive. Sure hotel guests and waterfront residents will have the pick of the litter but will the final plan have any prime space for families and functions? Only if we tell them what we already know. Squamish is not a cookie cutter suburb, we’re a kick ass community and we’re getting a little sick and tired of being walked on. With turbulent waters ahead, it about time we stick up for Squamish.