Sun Peaks featured at CWSAA meeting

Select logging for forest health management takes place at Sun Peaks. File Photo.
Select logging for forest health management takes place at Sun Peaks. File Photo.

As Sun Peaks plays host to the upcoming British Columbia and Yukon division of the Canada West Ski Area Association (CWSAA) meeting the resort will be used as an industry example of forest health management.

Barney Mouat, director of outside operations for Sun Peaks Resort LLP (SPR), and Seth Worthen, slopes manager for SPR, will present the session on Oct. 6, the second day of the two-day meeting. It will focus on forest health management, specifically on wildfire management and how Sun Peaks manages its wildfire risk.

The group will discuss components of the plan such as creating fire breaks, having initial attack boxes prepared, monthly training and having water lines and equipment ready in
key areas.

According to Worthen, Sun Peaks is a great example simply for being one of few resorts with a plan in place.

“Because we have had close calls like the fires in 2003, it’s allowed this place to start making a plan,” Worthen said.

He added the current plan is in-depth and includes co-operation with the municipality to prepare for and fight wildfires.

The meeting of risk and safety personnel, equipment manufactures and insurance representatives will concentrate
on safety.

“The focus of the meeting is safety and our objective is to make our ski areas the safest on the planet,” said Christopher Nicolson, president and CEO of CWSAA.

Also addressed will be how to create new skiers using programs like the Never Ever Days program started at Whistler. The program slows down the rush of the participant’s first ski lesson, making it more social and less intimidating than an intense and short
first lesson.

Participants will also discuss how to make skiing and boarding more ingrained into Canadian culture as a national pastime. The focus will be school programs and children as a way to start ski culture
in youth.

“It is really important for children to be outside and play outside,” said Nicolson. “It is where life skills are learned.”

The meetings will take place Oct. 5 and 6 at the Sun Peaks Grand Hotel and
Conference Centre.