New safety measures starting at Joffre Lakes

The provincial park has seen a 168 per cent increase in visitors since 2010

With more and more people visiting Joffre Lakes Provincial Park — a total of 183,000 last year alone — BC Parks, Lil'wat Nation and N'Quatqua are beginning new measures to off-set the human impact to the area.

This year, two First Nations stewards will join the park rangers at Joffre.

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The parking lot is also being expanded in phases from 250 spots to 450. The overflow lot is expected to be ready in early summer, with the main lot expanding this fall. Once done, BCParks expects to accommodate 1,350 people per day.

A $10 Parkbus shuttle runs from Duffey Lake Park to the Joffre Lakes trailhead every weekend and on holiday Mondays during the busy summer season. Parking is illegal on the shoulder of Highway 99.  A new compliance plan will begin for cars improperly parked, including towing.

At the Joffre Lakes trailhead, a new emergency satellite phone will be installed.

"Balancing increased visitation with our conservation mandate is a delicate matter," Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy George Heyman, said in a press release.

"Our government is committed to finding solutions for the exceptional growth at Joffre Lakes Park that protect the environment and improve public safety. The Joffre Lakes action plan ensures the natural and Indigenous cultural values of the park are protected, while continuing to provide recreation opportunities for visitors of all abilities."

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