Camping reservations open for 2016 season

Discover Camping is accepting reservations for most campgrounds, including Meziadin Lake Provincial Park and Lakelse Lake Provincial Park.

VANDERHOOF – Discover Camping has begun accepting reservations for most campgrounds, including Meziadin Lake Provincial Park and Lakelse Lake Provincial Park.

Individual camping sites in many provincial parks can be booked up to three months in advance through the Discover Camping website (www.DiscoverCamping.ca) or the call centre.

“B.C. parks provide ideal destination bases for exploring the northern region of our province,” Nechako Lakes MLA John Rustad said. “Whether you prefer to spend your summer vacation taking a glacier tour at Meziadin Lake or enjoying the sandy beaches of Lakelse Lake, the world-class parks in northern British Columbia offer something for everyone.”

There are new provincial park campsites for the 2016 camping season available for reservation around the province. Groups can also now book their favourite picnic spots at various provincial parks.  Although individual campsite reservations don’t open until March 15, all inventory for 2016 will be visible on the Discover Camping website at 9 a.m. on March 9.  All group sites are reservable up to 12 months in advance of the arrival date.

Discover Camping, the interactive reservation website, displays the availability, layout and amenities at 122 campgrounds – showcasing more than 5,800 campsites – across B.C. Campers can also book their vacation destinations through their smartphones. Approximately half of all BC Parks camping opportunities remain on a first-come, first-served basis.

In 2015, more than 158,000 reservations were made through Discover Camping – an increase of almost 19 per cent from 2014. Seventy-three per cent of all reservations in 2015 originated from British Columbia. Reservations can be made through the call centre at 1-800-689-9025 for a surcharge of $5. Parking is free in all provincial parks, making them more accessible to families.

Book your favourite camping spot up to three months in advance, on or after March 15, 2016, by visiting www.discovercamping.ca.

Last week, Environment Minister Mary Polak introduced new legislation today that, if passed, will add more than 11,700 hectares to B.C.’s protected areas system, including the establishment of a new Class A provincial park.

Bill 15, the Protected Areas of British Columbia Amendment Act, 2016, also proposes to add land or marine foreshore to five parks and one conservancy, adjust the boundary of one park, and make administrative changes to clarify park descriptions.

Near Prince George, the proposed Ancient Forest/Chun T’oh Wudujut Park encompasses more than 11,000 hectares, and protects an outstanding example of an inland temperate rainforest. This natural wonder is home to some of the rarest and largest western cedar trees in the province – several of the trees are more than 1,000 years old, with trunks measuring up to 16 metres around. This old-growth forest also provides important habitat to a diverse range of wildlife and other species.

At Halkett Bay Marine Park, a proposed 136-hectare marine foreshore addition protects a recently discovered, rare glass sponge reef southeast of Gambier Island. The glass sponge reef is especially unique in that it is located in only 30 metres of water, making the park one of the few locations in the world where these reefs are accessible to both scientists and scuba divers.

For reservation tips, visit env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/reserve/top_reservations_tips.html.