Photo: Cowboy Wildlife Photography

PWA Supports Provincial Enforcement on Unlicensed Adventure Tourism

For a number of years, the PWA has expressed concern about the lack of management of the recent exploding recreational and adventure tourism (AT) use of the Sea to Sky landbase.  This dramatic increase in use has led to conflicts between users and damaging intrusions into wildlife habitat.

Recreational carrying capacity needs to be considered to ensure that wildlife is not adversely affected.

A sustainable tourism industry offers a quality experience to guests while minimizing negative impacts on wildlife and habitat. Unlicensed AT operators have encroached on the tourism experience offered by tenured AT operators and contributed exponentially to the negative cumulative effects to wildlife and critical habitat. 

The management plan produced during the AT tenure process allows for a sustainable balancing of values:

  • resident wildlife is identified and effects from tourism operations are minimized
  • prime wildlife habitat is protected and tourism operations are directed away from these areas
  • a quality guest experience is provided

In a December 19, 2019 letter, FLNRO District Manager Dave Southam outlined the requirements for commercial use of Crown Land and encouraged anyone hiring a backcountry tourist service to ensure that the operator was licenced.

The PWA supports the position taken by FLNRO and applauds their efforts to restore order on the increasingly chaotic Sea to Sky landscape.

The PWA asks backcountry users to continue to act as the eyes and ears of the Province as FLNRO works towards controlling what has been described as "persistent, willful, entitled non-compliance" by unlicensed AT operators.


The following email was received by the PWA on Dec 20/19:

Good afternoon,

On behalf of Dave Southam, District Manager, Sea to Sky Natural Resource District, please find the attached letter regarding Adventure Tourism in the Sea to Sky Natural Resource District.

Additional information has been attached on the Ministry's Adventure Tourism Policy and the Crown Land Policies.

Adventure Tourism Policy:

Crown Land Policies:

If you have any questions, please contact our office at

Thank you,

Sea to Sky Natural Resource District
Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural
Resource Operations and Rural Development
FrontCounter BC
Phone: (604) 898-2100 Fax: (604) 898-2191
Toll Free Service via Enquiry BC: 1-800-663-7867
101-42000 Loggers Lane, Squamish BC V8B 0H3