Provincial campground fees going up

Camping fees are going up in B.C.'s provincial campgrounds by $2 to $5 per night.

  • Jan. 26, 2015 5:00 a.m.

Camping fees are going up in B.C.’s provincial campgrounds by $2 to $5 per night.

That will include popular provincial campgrounds around the East Kootenay, such as Kikomun Creek Provincial Park and Norbury Lake Provincial Park.

The province said the price increase is to maintain high service levels in the parks as visitors numbers increase. The price increases will take effect March 15, 2015.

Mary Polak, Minister of Environment, said the increase comes after years of investing in capital projects aimed at attracting young families, offering new recreation opportunities and increasing attendance in provincial parks.

“By increasing user fees in campgrounds, campers who use the parks system are helping to keep it sustainable for future generations to enjoy,” Polak said.

She noted that over the past five years, BC Parks has invested approximately $60 million in park facilities, and has approximately $700 million of investment in infrastructure that requires maintenance.

Fee increases are nominal to ensure camping remains affordable for families and visitors enjoying B.C.’s world class parks system Рone of the largest protected areas systems in the world.

While the fee schedule varies, the vast majority of provincial campsites will see a $2 per night increase, while others will see slightly larger increase in price, to a maximum of $5 per night. The last system-wide increase was in 2010.

The increase is expected to generate $1.3 million this year for B.C.’s protected areas system. All revenue from the increased fees will be put back into maintaining and enhancing the parks system.

There are no increases to fees for sani-stations, mooring buoys, backcountry camping, picnic shelters, or group camping.

Parking remains free in all provincial parks.

There are 1,029 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas in B.C., covering more than 14 million hectares or approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base.

B.C. provincial parks receive over 21 million visits each year.

For a complete list of campgrounds and updated fees, visit:www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/fees/userfees.pdf

Cranbrook Daily Townsman