The Peace River Regional District will no longer maintain Minaker River Regional Park after 30 years.
On Thursday, the board voted not to renew the license of occupation for the park, located half a kilometre west of Milepost 200 on the Alaska Highway, due to the low usage and cost to maintain it.
A community services report to the regional parks committee, which was also presented to directors on Thursday for a vote, says the park costs more to maintain than others because of its remote location.
The district has budgeted around $164,000 to maintain the park since 2017, and the report says around three to four staff members are required to visit the park once a month during the summer, resulting in overtime.
The road into the park has also been an ongoing concern as it is prone to flooding due to continual beaver activity and it has begun to slough where it parallels the river.
The park has been identified by the Prophet River First Nation as being within a greater portion of land that it is hoping to add as reserve lands, according to the report. It is also reported to have burial grounds, and is a significant traditional and ongoing hunting ground for the PRFN.
The report notes that staff had been directed to set a meeting with the First Nation but could not secure a date. Taylor Mayor Rob Fraser further confirmed this on Thursday, saying he has been unsuccessful in scheduling a meeting with PRFN.
Staff were directed to send a letter to the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development to inform them of the board’s decision.
Following the letter, the administrative report says the province may ask for all assets to be removed and the land remediated to the original condition, which could be done by this spring as assets on site are minimal.
In a separate recommendation from the parks committee, the board also authorized an investigation into a new regional park at Inga Lake.
“It has certainly been something brought to my attention by several of the residents who have long used Inga Lake as a stocked fishing area,” said Electoral Area B Director, Karen Goodings.
The investigation is estimated to take two to three years to complete.