Tyax Adventures’ Response to the Recent Park Management Draft Plan

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May 15, 2016

We have had multiple inquiries regarding our impression of the Final Draft Management Plan for South Chilcotin and Big Creek Parks. It is our view, that the Draft Plan does not provide a balance between the local tourism economy and wildlife conservation. It does not serve the Ministry’s objective to “optimize outdoor recreation and tourism opportunities within parks and protected areas” (Objective 4.4 page 15: http://www.bcbudget.gov.bc.ca/2016/sp/pdf/ministry/env.pdf#page=5).

Due to the insufficiencies we see in the recent plan, we have put forth a petition to support further revisions. We would like to take this opportunity to share in greater detail our reasons for putting forth this petition.

We have been conversing with BC Parks since 2011 with little success. The recent Draft Management Plan provides little support for our business (Tyax Adventures), or for the value of tourism and recreation in the area. Unlike the strategies shared in the recent Draft Management Plan, it is our view that Tyax Adventures, tourism and Recreation can co-exist with healthy wildlife populations and a high-level user experience.

As you know, Tyax Adventures offers a high quality recreation experience that showcases beautiful British Columbia, while driving regional and international tourism in the region. Along with Tyax Resort and Spa, Tyax Adventures is the major employer in the Region. We contribute significant funds to both manage and maintain the Park’s infrastructure. Financially and logistically, we also support the implementation of Grizzly Bear conservation, and we diligently take action to protect and enhance the Park’s user experience.

Why does the South Chilcotin Mountains and Big Creek Park Management Plan Final Draft not work for tourism and your recreation?

  • It will implement unnecessary temporary and seasonal closures of trails (Draft Plan – p28) and aircraft access (Draft Plan-p26).
  • Using the “precautionary principle” (Draft Plan – p24) these restrictions will go into effect and potentially shut down our business and unnecessarily limit your recreation.
  • It will implement unrealistic limitations on Park visitors including recreationalists and tourists.
  • It will “seek to relieve some of the mountain bike pressure inside the park” without fact to support the impact of mountain biking in the area (Draft Plan – P38).

Here is some information from local sources known for their integrity, and includes over 150 years of combined knowledge and the findings of three local Biologists. This local knowledge and further local scientific research, has yet to be referenced in the Draft Plan and calls into question the above proposed restrictions.

  • The Park area has historically been the most highly used tourism/ recreation area within the greater South Chilcotin Grizzly Bear Unit (GBU). During this time the Grizzly Bear population within the park has been very healthy and continues to thrive.
  • Many of the restrictions above are meant to protect the areas in which Grizzly Bears feed known as critical areas. The assumption implies that people recreating nearby, and planes flying overhead, are displacing bears from these critical areas resulting in stress on the population. One of the best indicators of whether bears, particularly sows, are receiving enough food is the size of their litters. The Park contains numerous sows with 3 and 4 cubs, which would indicate that they are feeding very well and not being deterred from these critical areas.
  • The Grizzly Bear Recovery Strategy for South-Western BC’s main focus is to encourage bears migration from areas of sustainable populations to areas where the population is unsustainable or populations do not exist. It is highly likely that the Bear population within the Park, our main operating area, is at a sustainable level while the surrounding area, the greater South Chilcotin GBU is classified as threatened. Some of the restrictions above to trail use are being suggested to protect migration routes thru the park. In consultation with local Biologists, trail use, particularly non-motorized, is not considered a barrier to bear migration. Rather, highways and railways are considered true barriers, of which we are responsible for none.
  • Within BC Parks own survey a similar number of respondents listed hunting within the park and aircraft noise as a concern. There is a significant discussion on aircraft noise and subsequent strategies to limit flights in the recent Draft Management Plan. Unreasonable limitations of our flights will jeopardize our business. Given the shared concern over hunting and air traffic, it is disturbing that there is minimal discussion and strategy regarding revised hunting protocol within the Draft Plan. This comes in light of the fact that 16 Grizzly Bears that have been killed within the South Chilcotin GBU within the past 11 years and 3 have been killed by local trophy hunters. We can confirm that there have been no recorded Grizzly Bear deaths as a result of airplanes, mountain bikes or other tourist activity within the park.
  • The Draft Plan, although better than the preceding draft, remains challenged in recognizing mountain biking as a legitimate use. Mountain biking has been the main source of recreation within the Park for the past ten years. The South Chilcotin is a World Class Mountain Bike Destination. Mountain biking is a significant contributor to the local economy. From recent survey data collected by Bridge River Valley communities, a large majority of summer visitors are mountain bikers. Given the value of mountain bikers to the local economy, it is our view, that the Management Plan should look toward managing use effectively, rather than suggesting mountain bikers build alternative trails, develop trails outside the Park, and imply that bikers are the main concern in regards to Grizzly Bear mortality.

As a leading tourism operator in the area we deeply value the health of the environment and wildlife as this is directly related to the user experience. These commitments are consistently upheld by the pro-active measures we undertake to protect such values. Here is a sampling of the many actions we have taken to secure our ongoing sustainability:

Grizzly Bears:

  • Donation of 2% of all profit to the Chilcotin Grizzly Bear Conservation fund; a fund that goes directly to the St’át’imc Grizzly Bear Research project, which has been involved in Grizzly bear research and recovery efforts since 1999.
  • Bear-Aware practices implemented on all levels at all Tyax Adventure Backcountry Camps.
  • Annual staff training from professional biologists regarding safe and sustainable bear protocol to support our goal that all staff, guests and bears remain as safe as possible.
  • Transmitters placed on all mountain bike guides for the 2016 season to gather information regarding relative locations and interactions between bike groups and Grizzly Bears.

Multi-Use Education, Safety and Enhancement:

  • All guests receive detailed instructions on proper trail etiquette for encountering another party be it horseback riders, hikers or bikers.
  • Extensive trail maintenance is done annually by Tyax Adventures to remove dangerous deadfall and other potential hazards.

Float Plane sustainability:

  • Most flights into the park are completed by 11am daily, leaving substantial time for zero plane traffic.
  • We fly a limited number of flights into the park daily.
  • An investment of $50,000 has been put into our plane for 2016 to reduce noise by 20%.

We support the movement to keep the South Chilcotin Park intact and healthy as a conservation area, but we support a plan that can achieve this goal in combination with keeping the Park accessible to multi-use recreation. Recreation and Conservation need to be considered equally in the Management Plan and with proper strategic planning and research, this can be attained.

In conclusion, we would like to see the recent South Chilcotin Mountains and Big Creek Management plan revised to recognize that multi-use recreation and Tyax Adventures are a vital part of the Park. These components must be protected and valued equally with conservation efforts that are rightly supported by local and factual scientific research.

Please contact us with any questions you may have, and we thank you for your support as we work to secure access to the park. Here is a link to the South Chilcotin Mountains and Big Creek Park Management Plan Draft – March 2016. Here is a link to our online petition. And if you are inspired further, please contact your local MLA to share your concerns or place a comment directly to BC parks by following this link.

Sincerely,  Dale Douglas

HelloBC Travel Deal – 4 Day/ 3 Night Backcountry Horseback Excursion

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A Travel Deal not to be missed! Discover for yourself some of the most impressive high-country scenery anywhere in the world for a 30% reduced rate.

Wind your way on horseback past the glacier dotted peaks that vault defiantly into the crystal blue sky, descending into meadows of wild alpine flowers bursting with vibrant colours. While in the backcountry enjoy comfortable accommodations in our camps located throughout the South Chilcotin Mountains Park. Each day you’ll explore new terrain by horseback, allowing you to venture further afar. You’ll also have time to explore each area by foot, take a boat out for a row on Spruce Lake, fish in lakes brimming with trout and hang out by the campfire under a star-filled sky unlike anything you’ve ever seen.

Duration: 4 days / 3 nights
Required fitness: Intermediate to Advanced (past horseback riding experience recommended)
Tour includes: 1 night Accommodation at Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa + 2 nights in our Backcountry Camps, all meals, expert guide, camp host, horse companion
HelloBC Travel Deal Price: $935 per person (double occupancy, minimum 2 people) regular price $1335
Dates: June 20, 2016 or July 11, 2016

Book Now by contacting us

New This Season…

2015-07-22 16.06.26

The opportunity to explore stunning mountain terrain for multiple days in the wilderness carrying only a small daypack is truly unique! Thanks to our evolving network of 4 backcountry camps and one cabin, the dream of traveling by foot, bike or horse from camp-to-camp is now a reality and is certainly a must on adventurers’ “to-do-list.”

Our 4 Backcountry Camps and 1 Cabin, each offer a unique location and experience. The camps are always evolving and updates are being made regularly as we strive to meet and exceed visitors’ expectations at each of these remote settings. Check-out these updates:

  • Spruce Creek Camp has a new cabin that makes cooking, eating, and hanging out around a warm wood stove truly enjoyable and relaxing. With hot running water in the bathroom now, warm showers are also a true delight!
  • Bear Paw Camp, one of our more remote and strategically placed camps, has received a new roof completing the cabin that houses a new kitchen with hot running water! Now there’s lots of space to dine, warm-up and hang-out in comfort.
  • Trigger camp, our simplest and most rustic accommodation, now has 5 walled tents to match the other camps and running water.
  • Eldorado Cabin, our highest elevation accommodation sitting at 6,300’, is newly equipped with an updated cook stove, wood shed, and new outhouse.
  • Sky Camp, our most luxurious, remote and private camp, has 3 new package deals that make it accessible to more people.

We hope that you are able to get deep into the Chilcotin and experience the wonder of the vast wilderness trail network, enabled and made comfortable by nights at one of our unique backcountry camps. Please peruse our website and contact us with questions or booking inquiries.

Go Deep. Go Camp-to-Camp

Mason Mashon Photos - Tyax - Sky Camp-15

Imagine traveling deep into the mountains as far as your heart desires via foot, bike or horse, drinking-in the magic of a true wilderness experience. As you discover the South Chilcotin’s unique and vast trail network that creatively meanders through untrammelled forested and alpine terrain, your adventure could be 2 days… or 7 days. Your choice, as you arrive nightly at a camp ready to serve-up warm meals, comfy beds and a myriad of memories.

We want you to experience the magic of a multi-day trip into the heart of the South Chilcotin Mountains. So, for a limited time book one night between June 1 and July 25, 2016 at a Backcountry Camp, mention “South Chilcotin Magic,” and you will receive a 30% discount on subsequent nights booked at the same camp. Space is limited and offer expires March 31, 2016. Contact us to book this special offer. See you soon!

Horse Operations Manager

Tyax Adventures is seeking a Horse Operations Manager.

2013 Giant Stance X 29er launch in southern chilcotins, BC
Passionate about adventure? Love connecting with people? Speak fluent Horse? We need to talk (but maybe not in Horse).

We’re looking for someone who loves horses and outdoor adventure, and who thrives on connecting like-minded people with epic experiences. Someone with at least five years experience working with horses and managing a small dude ranch operation. Someone who is great at managing people, organized, at home in the backcountry, good at fixing stuff, and who wants to live and work on a small ranch away from the big city lights.

Sound like you? Send us a resume and cover letter, including salary expectations, to admin@tyaxadventures.com.

Tyax Adventures, operating in the South Chilcotin Mountains, is an adventure tour company specializing in mountain bike, hiking, horseback and floatplane wilderness tours.
www.tyaxadventures.com

We thank everyone for their interest in working with us, but only those selected for an interview will be contacted.

Camping Opportunity

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There are many incredible front-country campsites in the South Chilcotin. Most offer tranquil surroundings, drive-up convenience, beautiful waterfront or mountain vistas, and many are free of charge! Water and toilet facilities vary per site. Here are some camping options that we know about and are worth exploring.

Gun Creek Site

The Gun Creek site is located at the confluence of Gun creek and Carpenter Lake about 8.5kms northeast of Goldbridge. It offers numerous well-established sites with picnic tables, lake and creek access, and is approximately 12kms from Tyax Adventures’ office and plane dock.

Mowson Pond Site

The Mowson pond site is conveniently located just a few steps from the junction of Gun creek Road and Tyaughton lake road, which means you are close to lots of great riding/hiking and approximately 8kms from Tyax Adventures’ office and Plane dock. There are a total of 7 sites that offer access to the pond and numerous other recreational activities.

Friburg Site

The Friburg site is located on the shores of Tyaughton Lake and is very close to Tyax Resort. The campsites are limited and relatively small, however they offer lake front camping and quick access to loads of riding/hiking. This site is less than one kilometer from Tyax Adventures’ office and plane dock.

Relay Creek Site

There are a few un-established, but well used campsites close to the Relay creek trailhead and some great riding/hiking. These sites require 4×4 access.

 

This is just a few of the many front-county camping options to be found in the area. We hope you enjoy discovering the diverse opportunity and experiences they have to offer. And if you are interested in experiencing one of our backcountry camps let us know and we will certainly help you discover the potential be it by bike, hike, horse or air. Please contact us with any camping questions you have. See ya out there!

Chilcotin Grizzly Conservation Fund

Tyax Adventures is pleased to announce the creation of the Chilcotin Grizzly Conservation Fund. This fund will be used to support the local Grizzly bear population in the South Chilcotin Mountains, and to promote increased Grizzly awareness within the region.

The bears in the upper Bridge River Valley (Tyax Adventures’ area of operation) are part of the greater South Chilcotin Population Unit, a population that is currently listed as threatened.  The CGC fund will financially support the collection of scientific data, which will aid in the creation of land base management planning in our local area. The fund will be donated to the St’át’imc Grizzly Bear Research project. The St’át’imc has been involved in Grizzly bear research and recovery efforts since 1999.

Tyax Adventures, by contributing a portion of profits from the 2015 season, will provide $3800 seed funding for this important initiative. We have further committed to donating a portion of future profits to the fund, and will be encouraging and facilitating our clients to independently donate to the fund when booking services or tours. We encourage other commercial recreation operators in the area to join us in donating a portion of profits to the Chilcotin Grizzly Conservation Fund Together with our partners and clients, we hope to quickly grow this fund to an amount that will make a significant difference in financing ongoing research and awareness.

The owners, staff and clients of Tyax Adventures enjoy the natural environment of the South Chilcotin Mountains and we support the sustainable recreation use of this region. Grizzly Bears, being an “umbrella species” are the perfect indicator of a healthy eco-system and we support the collection of scientific data to help manage the recovery of this great species.

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Photo of Ernest Armann – Implementation Manager, Sue Seger – Landscape Ecologist from the St’at’imc Nation and Dale Douglas – Owner of Tyax Adventures.

If you wish to make a donation to the Chilcotin Grizzly Conservation Fund, contact us!

Tyax Adventures, operating in the upper Bridge River Valley and South Chilcotin Mountains, is an adventure tour company specializing in wilderness tours. In operation since 1999, Tyax Adventures offers guided horse, mountain biking and hiking adventure experiences, as well as charter and sightseeing floatplane flights and backcountry accommodation.

 

 

 

End of Season Challenge!

Well our season has officially wrapped up for the year! Dale has a message and challenge for everyone…

“In my near 30 years of flying over this great province of our I have never experienced a summer full of this many calm sunny days. I was lucky enough to crisscross the coast mountains with my jaw dropped on many occasions this season. Here are a few pictures during 5 fabulous flights. First person to guess the location of them all will win a $250 gift cert and a Merrell gift bag.” – Dale Douglas

Dale's Challenge #1

Dale’s Challenge #1

Dale's Challenge #2

Dale’s Challenge #2

 

Dale's Challenge #3

Dale’s Challenge #3

Dale's Challenge #4

Dale’s Challenge #4

Dale's Challenge #5

Dale’s Challenge #5

Happy Fall and good luck to everyone!

 

 

 

 

 

Fall Trail Work – High Trail Mud Holes

Words & Photos by Geoff Playfair.

On the way out of Camel Pass, the flow of alpine single track that the High Trail provides is marred by a few large mud holes.

Mud Holes on the High Trail

This past week, Tyax Adventures, in cooperation with BC Parks, provided a reroute around the upper two holes (one in the photo above).

High Trail Re-Route

The 200m new section includes about 100m of cleaned up older, grown over, trail  (shown above) and about 100m of new trail to bring the two lines back together (shown below).

High Trail Re-Route - New Trail

The results provide a route clear of mud, with enhanced views of Truax and the valley below.

Enjoy the trails.

High Trail Re-Route View

Tyax Fall Special

© Copyright 2012 CorbisCorporation

Go ahead stay another day!  Book your fall adventure for 2 nights and stay an extra night at Tyax Wilderness Resort & Spa for free.  Valid on new bookings September 2nd through October 8th.

A perfect excuse to spend a couple days up here and explore the area, there’s lots to do.  Day 1 – check in at 4pm, head straight to the Spa for some serious relaxation.  Day 2 – explore the area on one of our Day trips from the Resort, choose from Hiking, Mountain Biking or Horseback Riding. Day 3 – explore the lake by canoe, kayak or SUP for the adventurous.  For something extra special try our Flightseeing tours, the Glacier Landing tour is spectacular!  Day 4 – check out at 11am after a relaxing morning… and maybe some more spa time.

Give us a call and hope to see you this fall!