The caretakers of the new cabin at the foot of Raven Lake in Sugarbowl-Grizzly Den Provincial Park are expressing disappointment after the building was recently vandalized.
In a statement posted on social media, Prince George Backcountry Recreaton Society president Alexandre Bevington said the cabin's door and lock system were damaged by forced entry and a window was broken.
Like all cabins in the BC Parks system, as well as those under BC Recreation Sites and Trails jurisdiction, the one at Raven Lake remains closed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"You may not agree with the decision to close these cabins, but there is clear signage at the trailhead and on the cabin itself. If you have issues with these cabins being closed, vandalism is not the way forward," Bevington said.
In a statement, Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy spokesperson Pamela Roth said BC Parks has found the damage "incredibly disappointing" and added it was not contacted by park users to confirm there had been an emergency situation.
She said the broken windows and forced entry through two locked doors has left the cabin vulnerable to the elements and potential further damage.
Completed less than a year ago, it replaces one that dates back to 1986. Roughly $100,000 was sunk into the project.
Roth said anyone who witnesses an act like this or has any information on the recent damage, is asked to file a report either with the B.C. Conservation Officer Service, 1-877-952-RAPP (https://forms.gov.bc.ca/environment/rapp/ ); or BC Parks (http://bcparks.ca/info/feedback/).
"Photos, detailed descriptions of persons involved, and the date and time of the event are helpful to provide so parks, or enforcement agencies can initiate an investigation and pursue charges when necessary," Roth said.
PGBRS, an umbrella organization for several local outdoor recreation groups, handles the bookings for the cabin when it is open. Bevington said there will be "clear messaging" when that occurs at the following links:
- BC Parks for info: http://bcparks.ca/explore/parkpgs/sugarbowl/
- PGBRS for bookings: https://www.pgbrs.org/?page_id=16.
He also noted that camping is allowed in the park - there are tent pads near the cabin - "and we strongly encourage you to enjoy the trails, camp in the mountains and enjoy the fantastic weather that has finally arrived.
"Please be safe, have a great time in our amazing backcountry, and please take care of our backcountry infrastructure! It is much harder than you think to build and maintain these sites."