BC Parks is committed to supporting an update of the Wells Gray Park Master Plan, according to Environment Minister Terry Lake.
However, that would only be after a federal committee has determined that Wells Gray Park will be selected from the tentative list to be put forward as a nominee for UNESCO World Heritage status.
In a recent letter to District of Clearwater, Lake pointed out that the committee will begin the process of considering additions to the tentative list for nomination staring in 2013. He wrote that BC Parks had been advised that an updated master plan would not be needed as part of the request to have Wells Gray park and area placed on the tentative nomination list.
An updated master plan would be needed, however, once the park and area are included on the revised tentative nomination list and been put forward for official nomination to UNESCO.
Lake’s letter was in response to a letter from Mayor John Harwood regarding updating the master plan in preparation for a UNESCO designation.
“That’s not the way it should go,” commented Clearwater councilor Brent Buck. The park’s master plan is overdue for an updating and that should go ahead, regardless of what is happening with the UNESCO application, he felt.
Wells Gray Park is a provincial asset, said Bert Walker. He couldn’t understand how the province could expect a small municipality like Clearwater to pick up the ball on developing the UNESCO application.