The Squamish Access Society released the following statement on squamishaccess.ca about a land transfer that might threaten access to some crags on Murrin Park, including Pet Wall.
The BC provincial government is in the process of transferring several crown land parcels to Squamish Nation as part of the Squamish Nation’s agreement with Woodfibre LNG. An agreement between the parties was reached in March 2019.
In May 2019, SAS learned that one of the land parcels (the “Watts Point parcel”) includes approximately half of the climbing routes and hiking trails at Murrin. The land parcel includes Petrifying (“Pet”) Wall, which is one of North America’s finest single-pitch cliffs.
Most people assume those cliffs and hiking trails are within the provincial park, as they are accessed from the provincial park parking lot. However that is not correct. The provincial park area is quite small (as this map shows).
There was no consultation with climbers prior to the transfer agreement. At this time, Squamish Nation’s intentions for this land parcel are not known. Our understanding is that the transfer is on a fee simple basis, so hypothetically the land could be sold on to another owner/developer at a later date.
SAS is in contact with both the Ministry of Indigenous Affairs and BC Parks regarding this issue.
It is not wholly clear whether there is any possibility of modifying the agreement. SAS’s preferred outcome would be that the climbing/hiking portion of the land parcel be excluded from the agreement and brought into the provincial park.
If that is not possible, SAS’ priority will be to try to ensure that continuing use of the cliffs and hiking trails is guaranteed by covenants within the land transfer documents.
We’ll continue to update as news of any access issues is updated. Be sure to support and donate to your local access groups.