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NEWS RELEASE · 23rd April 2010
M. of Tourism, Culture & Arts
The summer sun is almost here and "get-away season" is right around the corner. B.C.'s rugged mountains, pristine lakes, and dramatic landscapes provide the perfect backdrop to your favourite outdoor activities. From camping under the stars to exploring hidden glaciers - no matter where your adventures take you this season, "It's time to get out there and discover what B.C. has to offer," said Kevin Krueger, Minister of Tourism, Culture and the Arts.

There is something for everyone in British Columbia's expansive wilderness - from camping, kayaking, and backcountry hiking, to picnicking, educational programs, and wheelchair-accessible facilities. Whether you are a backcountry enthusiast or a family looking for a weekend getaway, every visitor will find something to do in one of B.C.'s many parks, recreation sites and trail networks.

"BC Parks offers more than 10,000 campsites, hundreds of day-use areas and thousands of kilometres of trails as a fun, low-cost way to explore the province," said Environment Minister Barry Penner. "We will be celebrating our 100-year centennial for BC Parks in 2011, and we encourage everyone to get outside this summer and enjoy the recreational opportunities within our stunning network of parks."

While many of the Province's most spectacular recreation features are located in parks, even more recreation resources are found in the rugged backcountry Crown land. "B.C.'s system of recreation sites and trails are the backbone of our spectacular and authentic outdoor experiences, and provide an affordable getaway for all outdoors enthusiasts," said Krueger.

Recreation sites and trails provide access to B.C.'s backcountry playground. The majority of recreation sites are free, while about eight per cent have a small user fee. With over 1,300 recreation sites and 800 trails across the province, you will have plenty of opportunity to get out and discover what makes British Columbia your playground.

Since April 1, when BC Parks launched its new Discover Camping reservation service, more than 16,000 reservations have been made. During the same time period last year, only 10,000 reservations had been made.

The new enhanced service features several new service and efficiency improvements. For example, more than 70 reservable parks across the province now offer site-specific reservations for the 2010 season - so if you want to camp close to friends and family, near a trail or by the beach - you can now select the site that meets your specific needs.

If you're looking for a little adventure on the water, there's a lake, river or stream nearby that offers great fishing. You can get your 2010-2011 angling licence online from a home computer any day, any time. Since April 1, close to 35,000 new season-licences have been processed through B.C.'s online e-licensing system.

For more information on freshwater fishing and to purchase an angling licence, visit http://www.fishing.gov.bc.ca/

Since 2001, the B.C. government has invested $70 million in capital improvements for BC Parks, including upgrades to drinking water systems, washrooms and picnic areas.

The B.C. government has established 58 new parks, 143 conservancies, Two ecological reserves and nine protected areas, and expanded approximately 60 parks and six ecological reserves, protecting more than 1.9 million hectares of additional land since 2001.

Get to know B.C. - it's the perfect place to experience the wonders of the outdoors and create memories that will last a lifetime. To make it easier to plan your spring and summer get- away and adventures:

Contact HelloBC: www.hellobc.com

Recreation sites and trails: http://www.sitesandtrailsbc.ca/

The Discover Camping reservation service: Reservations can be made online at www.discovercamping.ca, or by phoning the call centre at 1-800 689-9025 (604 689-9025 in Greater Vancouver.