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Cave protection rules first proposed in 1988

A private member’s bill introduced today to protect caves in British Columbia is very similar to legislation first proposed 22 years ago.

The NDP MLA for Alberni-Pacific Rim, Scott Fraser, introduced the Cave Protection Act, 2010, in the legislature. The NDP’s press release quoted cave expert Paul Griffiths saying the protection of caves in the province is “long overdue.”

As it happens, draft cave protection legislation posted on the Canadian Cave and Karst Information Server says Griffiths wrote it back in 1988.

The purpose of Griffiths’ 1988 draft act was exactly, word for word, the same as what Fraser put forward today: “to encourage and facilitate the protection and conservation of caves in the Province.” Both acts would allow cabinet to designate cave reserves, establish a cave protection advisory board and list prohibited activities.

The NDP act does, however, go further to limit commercial activity in caves.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee’s Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. Reach him here.

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