02/04/2013 04:31 EST | Updated 04/06/2013 05:12 EDT

Strathcona Park Exclusive Use Permit Not Right, Says Enviro Group


VANCOUVER - The B.C. government is facing legal action from an environmental group that claims the province doesn't have the right to give exclusive use of a public park to a specific group.

Friends of Strathcona Park is arguing in B.C. Supreme Court that the Environment Ministry should not have issued a park-use permit to Clayoquot Wilderness Resort in 2011.

She said that allowed the company to bring guided horse trips into a secluded area of the huge park on Vancouver Island.

Scott Bernstein, the group's lawyer, says granting rights to a single business, and what he calls its high-end clients, is not in the public interest.

The group's spokeswoman Bridget Horel says allowing a private company the exclusive right to bring horses into a wilderness area diminishes the park for everyone else.

She says the case is about ensuring the Environment Ministry protects parks for the good of the general public.

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