Regional district reaches agreement for Jungle Beach management
The provincial government has signed an agreement with the Skeena-Queen Charlotte Regional District (SQCRD) to look after the maintenance of Jungle Beach.
BC Parks and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure have entered into a partnership agreement to see that Jungle Beach, located in the vicinity of Halibut Bight in Lawn Hill, is maintained after issues arose last summer as to who would take over managing the site.
The issue was brought to the attention of the board at its August meeting, with staff being directed to request BC Parks and Highways take over the site from the Lawn Hill Community Association (LHCA).
At the SQCRD's regular board meeting on Jan. 24, Joan Merrick, chief administrative officer of the regional district, informed the board that "BC Parks and Highways have shown interest in seeing that this important community asset continues" by entering a partnership agreement to manage Jungle Beach.
"It's a one year pilot to see how it goes," said Merrick, informing the board that the agreement will span over a 13-month period starting on Feb. 1 and running until March 3, 2015.
BC Parks and the BC Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will perform ongoing inspections and maintenance of Jungle Beach for the duration of the agreement, and will also be supplying new signage, a replacement picnic table and gravel to improve the state of the road.
Under the agreement, the SQCRD will provide a grant to cover costs like pumping out the toilets.
Jungle Beach was established as a park in 2001 under a 10-year Licence of Occupation with the province, which was renewed in 2012 for 30 years. At its inception, the regional district made an agreement with the LHCA designating the land's use for recreation and other community services, with the site being managed by the community of Lawn Hill.
The community had a picnic shelter and outdoor toilets put on site, which under the arrangement was to be operated and maintained by the LHCA through its user fees and fundraising. A dedicated group of volunteers had undertaken regular inspection and maintenance for more than a decade, but as volunteer numbers declined the ongoing maintenance became a burden to the community.