Ahousaht First Nation takes over Hot Springs Cove management

Ahousaht is now in charge of the popular attraction after signing a 10-year agreement with B.C.’s Ministry of Environment

Hot Springs Cove is under new management.

The Ahousaht First Nation is now in charge of the popular West Coast hot spot after signing a 10-year agreement with B.C.’s Ministry of Environment.

“BC Parks sees this Agreement as a progressive approach to park management that assists Ahousaht First Nation in achieving their economic goals while reducing costs to BC Parks and ensuring Hot Springs Cove continues to provide an exceptional visitor experience,” ministry spokesperson David Karn told the Westerly News.

He said the contract to operate the Park was up for renegotiation for 2017 and Ahousaht offered to handle it at no cost to B.C. Parks.

“In 2016 the Ahousaht First Nation approached BC Parks with a proposal to provide the maintenance of the Hot Springs Cove facilities in Maquinna Marine Park,” he said.

“Through 2016, BC Parks and Ahousaht worked together on a new management approach for the facilities and came to agreement on the scope of work and responsibilities for maintenance and management of Hot Springs Cove.”

The new Park Operator Agreement is expected to bring an economically stimulating injection of tourism dollars to Ahousaht’s coffers and was officially signed on Feb. 27.

“The arrangement forms part of a larger commercial recreation plan for Ahousaht that will see an expansion of park visitors to several other parks in the area,” Karn said.

The Westerly was unable to reach an Ahousaht representative by presstime.