A local charter company featured in the Sentinel last year after they had their boats ordered out of the water by Parks B.C. has been given the go-ahead to start operating again.
Screamin’ Reels owner and operator Brenda Miller said she was relieved that Parks B.C. has finally issued the company a Park Use Permit (PUP) to be able to arrange kayaking tours into areas that enjoy protection as part of provincial parks. The areas the company takes tours into are coincedentally the best areas to do so, sheltered from the weather with calm waters, ideal for kayaking.
“As most of our paddlers are novices, it’s much safer and more pleasurable to arrange tours in the calmer areas,” said Miller.
After having spent $60,000 to purchase kayaks and launching the tours in 2016, Miller was under the impression the company didn’t require permits as they weren’t leading guided tours.
However, after receiving a complaint, Parks B.C. approached Miller in July last year and informed her that they were not allowed to operate in protected areas.
“As a commercial operator you can’t get into a lot of areas. You have to be able to show where you’ll be operating and how you intend using both water and land,” said Miller.
What followed was a 10-month application process, which involved securing use agreements with Parks B.C. and First Nations territories where the company would be operating.
The company has to secure a permit for each of the parks they intend operating in, and the permits must be renewed every five years.
“We’re trying to encourage people to play in their own back yard. This is the only operation of this type in this area, the next closest being in Loretta,” said Miller.