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As of today Jan 7, 2019, In Squamish there are fourteen Section-57 applications at the desk of the local -severely resource sapped and over subscribed- Recreation Officer. His charge being the review and processing of all of them, a task that not only requires desk work and red tape treading but actual alignment walk through and terrain/waterway assessments etc. Getting I believe 1 summer contract technician to help, his fairly taxing work load reflects the spike in applications since the media blitz in the spring. There was a huge outcry APPLY APPLY but no additional resources to process the new applications.
I'm happily in possession of an approved S57 at the moment. March- Sept was the process. Six months from initial phone call. Believe it or not they prefer to screen your potentially good/bad idea in a quick verbal elevator pitch. I suppose to prevent the Not A Chance ideas from causing wasted time in the procedural mess that is even NO. Simply flat out denying an application still takes time in this system and diverts the few resources the Rec Officer has from working toward a possible approval on another application.
Now, six months sounds really good right? I got lucky. I'd done this before, I had the phone numbers, I knew the people who new the people... I knew I had to help myself if i wanted to go the legit route and not wait years. So I crossed all the t's and dotted the hell out of the i's then made myself the squeakiest wheel I could while playing nice.
I had written endorsement from the forestry Land Manager, SORCA and the blessing of the builders of affect adjacent trails included in the S 57 application. I wanted to deliver it with a cherry on top and see how fast it CAN happen. Also on my side was that the trail would be only 900m long, require no timbre falling, structures/bridges, would ave no major creek crossings, property lines or active resource extraction nearby. Any of which can tender your application anywhere from unlikely to glacial paced to dead in the water... sometimes it just means its going to take FOR-EV-ER.
Still sounds pretty good right? It's not. The process is generally 4 times as complex and thusly 4 times the timeframe. Now do the math. Lets just say that up to six applications are being processed at a time in ernest. I haven't the slightest idea how they do it but lets steelman this and start high to extend real optimism. Then lets assume the average application only takes a year. To even process the current back log will be years. For many who are motivated by dismal weather to head out in the truck with a shovel and go scrape something in to ride in spring, that's just not gonna work.
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