That the fate of the reconstructed Eagle Pass lookout should be subject to a pedantic application of bureaucratic process is understandably frustrating.
Local politicians at various levels are supportive of the volunteer effort that saw the 1922 structure on the summit of Eagle Pass Mountain restored from a decrepit stone foundation to a sturdy cabin that will serve as a public tourist destination for years to come.
The Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, however, is not.
The ministry is currently investigating the reconstruction project after staff learned about it last year and suggested it should be torn down.
At question is whether or not those who invested countless hours and about $40,000 in funds and materials into the reconstruction project received proper approval before proceeding. Those behind the project maintain they were informed by B.C. government representatives well in advance that no special permits were needed to build upon an existing structure.
A stop-work order is currently in place at the lookout. But this hasn’t stopped local politicians from getting onboard with the project and taking some ownership of it.
Splatsin band council hanging the flag of the Secwepemc First Nation at the lookout, embracing the reconstruction project as an assertion of territorial rights, only adds to ridiculousness of this whole bureaucratic bru-ha-ha with the province.
We understand the need for rules and processes. We also understand how following those rules and processes can mean an unreasonably long wait, even for the most benign of projects. In the case of the Eagle Pass lookout however, where miscommunication is evident, the only thing process appears to be serving is ego.