Saturday, March 24, 2018

Bralorne Gold Mines Update and More

Wishing everyone a very Happy Easter!  I've been out and in on Road 40 over the winter.  The re-paving project is by no means completed and will be starting again this spring.  But you will find the 25km stretch that was so bad on either side of Tyaughton Lake Rd., much smoother and easier to drive.  Hope you have an enjoyable weekend!

Bralorne Gold Mines Update

Here are a some links for key updates:

2017 Summary and 2018 Outlook, Scroll down for Bralorne

CEO Clip

8000 m Drill Program

I'm Retiring - We need a NEW Regional District Director - Election October 20

See my notes from my last blog for details:

Thank you to all those who have emailed, messaged and phoned to say Thank You in the last month and ongoing over the last 6 years.
And for those that think being elected is "thankless", the vast majority of people are respectful of hard work and often say Thank You.

This is a terrific video on what makes a good Local Government Elected Official.

New Rapid Access Clinic at Royal Inland Hospital - Kamloops

For those of you property owners in Area A, SLRD, you pay a good chunk of your property taxes to the Thompson-Nicola Hospital District.  We are in the catchment of Interior Health.

Patients in the Kamloops region who need to see a specialist to receive complex medical, cardiac or neurology assessments have new access to a quick appointment – without needing to be admitted to the hospital.

See the announcement here:

Tougher off-road vehicle rules and new fines to reduce wildfire risks

After last year's unprecedented wildfires in the Cariboo-Chilcotin-Thompson areas, it stands to reason that change, and change that attempts to address threats, is to be expected.

Like it or not (and I hear alot on these topics) are a series of new fines and other regulations, including the need for spark arrestors on ATV's.  

Here is the link to the details:

Effective immediately folks, so you need to get moving to get the spark arrestors on.

Snow Survey and Water Supply Bulletin

We have definitely had winter this year.  When you look at the date, such as at the link below, you will find that we are quite close to normal.

Note that the Lillooet River (Pemberton area)  is in the Lower Fraser Drainage is mentioned as being at higher risk of flooding, this does note except us except for Hurley FSR access.

Middle Fraser (which is us) is more normal.

Saturday, March 3, 2018

I'm Retiring - Election October 20

Election for Regional District Director October 20

Our local government in the upper Bridge River Valley is the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.  Your representative is the Electoral Area Director (or commonly referred to as Regional District Director) for Area A (our area).

Area A:

Size: 3,715.03 square kilometers
Folio Count: 1,971
Taxable Property Assessment Total: $189,422,519
Average Taxable Property: $243,161

On October 20 this year there will be an election for the next Regional District Director.
After two terms (7 years) I am retiring and will not be running for re-election.

This is a very important elected position that represents us to other levels of government and to the SLRD, is key to determining tax rates and works to distribute other forms of funding into the community.

To be an eligible candidate you must:
  • be 18 years of age or older on general voting day;
  • be a Canadian citizen;
  • have lived in British Columbia for at least six months before filing your nomination documents;
  • not be disqualified under the Local Government Act or any other enactment from being nominated for, being elected to or holding office, or be otherwise disqualified by law.
And a key factor for us, is that you do not have to live or own property in the jurisdiction in which you are running for office.  In other words, if you are a part time resident here you can run for election.

The election is October 20, 2018.  There will also be advance polls approximately 10 days ahead of the election date.  (More details on election process to come).  As a non-resident property owner you CAN vote.

The nomination period is Tuesday, September 4, 2018 – Friday, September 14, 2018.  This means you must have your papers into the SLRD office by Friday, September 14 in order to be put on the ballot.

There is much more basic information here:

Many people ask about the time commitment.  Required commitments are the monthly Board meeting (one day), the monthly Electoral Area Directors meeting and some other Committee of the Whole meetings (almost monthly).  Preparation is a part of all meetings.  From there how much or how little you take on is really up to you.   One of my efforts on the SLRD board was to have procedure by-laws modified so that meetings can be attended by telephone (its not preferred but in bad weather etc. it can be done).

What about pay?  There is a flat rate (right now) of $25,000 per year plus expenses (mileage, meals, phone, etc).  In the case of Area A, the SLRD also pays 1/2 the monthly rate for a Satellite Phone.  

There are many places to get information - I'm happy to help (250)238-2248, you can phone Elections BC (see link above) and you can also phone our staff (1-800-298-7253).

Are you building this year?  Don't know much about bylaws, zoning or other items related to your property in Area A of the SLRD?

Our staff has put together a very informative brochure which you should receive in the mail.

If you haven't received it, click here:  2018 Building Planning Department Brochure

Douglas Fir Bark Beetle Infestation

Here is the link to the 2016 mapping (2017 not done due to fires)
This is suseptibility mapping so if you'd like me to help interpret it for you let me know.

The key thing people can do to prevent further  tree deaths (and thereby fire hazard) is to  treat their immediate surrounding trees.  It is very important that people do this BEFORE the first flight (varies, but May)

The forest health people at FLNRO STRONGLY encourage the everyone, particularly in the Gun Lake area do this.

The product is a pheromone - not chemical.  Checklist for Applying MCH

This the link to the supplier's WebSite. 

If you would like more information about the product you can contact Sal (

Friday, December 8, 2017

Our favorite topic - Roads....Merry Christmas!

Wishing everyone a very Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!  I hope everyone is coming up to have a lot of fun between Christmas and New Years...and yes, "the plan" least for Sal to do this on January 1 while I stand on the shore shivering and thinking various things about the people jumping in.

The Road 40 repaving project managed to pretty much complete the repaving between Terzaghi Dam and Gold Bridge.  They will need to return in the spring to do the piece between Terzaghi Dam and Lillooet.  The new pavement is very nice to drive on and you need to be careful to watch your speed and stay on your side of the road.  

Current Public Road Maintenance Contract Bid Opportunities
The procurement process for maintenance of 27 of the 28 service areas throughout the province is currently underway.
As you are aware, Interior Roads is the current maintenance contractor on public roads in our area.
The Province will award contracts with a 10-year term, and an optional a five-year extension, which will provide continuity of services and extended labour peace.
Learn more about highway maintenance in British Columbia and the 2018/2018 Highway Maintenance Agreements:

If you are interested Lillooet-Pioneer Road 40 is classified as 4 for Summer Maintenance and C for Winter Maintenance.  

For those of you with a bit of technical ability here is the link to the Roads Inventory.  This can be explored as is or downloaded onto Google Earth.  The roads are color coded as per their classification.  It takes a bit of playing around but once you have it you'll be amazed at how you can find out at a glance the road classification.  I have this loaded onto my own Google Earth as a file now, so that when I go to Ministry officials I already know the classification of a road and combined with the maintenance specifications know if we have no issue or a big issue.

Road Safety and Maintenance Links

Thanks to Sal Demare for putting together this fantastic library of Road Safety and Maintenance Links.  It gives you an in cone place list of every conceivable link re road safety and maintenance.

If you are looking for something/someone/or how to complain this Library has it.

Bralorne Gold Mines Update

I recently had a chat with Avino representatives and here is a brief summary (and I hope accurate as I am not a miner), see the link below which basically says the same thing:

-they received a permit to mine 100 tons/day 
-they are going to do some trial mining at 100 tons/day and stockpile the material – this starts new year
-they are rebuilding the mill and also are working on getting the permit at 400 t/day
-once the mill is rebuilt – 4th quarter – they will mill the stockpile
-they are also undertaking a 56 hole drill program in the new year to prove out their resources

Long and short is while there will be additional contractors etc on site, generally that uptick in people will be accommodated within their facility.   Currently do not expect to see any big uptick in employment until 2019.

Most recent Avino update re Bralorne Gold Mines

Input on Guided Hunt Outfit Tenure Application

The SLRD  have been referred an application by the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations regarding a guided hunt outfit that would like tenure within your Electoral Area. 

Please see the two maps below and the link to the Management Plan which was submitted.

Link to Management Plan Submission
Link to Mapping and Actual Tenure Application

Click here to send comments/input. I will synthesize & forward on to SLRD staff.

Know someone who deserves to be recognized?

Link to detailed application info:

SLRD November Update
Click here to see the overall SLRD update for November

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

Road 40 Paving Project Update, No Firearms Discharge & Hunting & More

Road 40 Paving Project Update

A number of factors contributed to a late start on this project - the election situation which delayed the tender signing and the unprecedented fire situation tying up equipment  To make matters more complicated we have had an early start ( 3 weeks) to winter like weather.

I spoke to MOTI officials today as a result of a variety of concerns on the paving so far.

The first layer is a level course layer and that is followed by a top lift layer.

The contractor is currently working hard to complete the 25 km section at our end - both layers and finishing touches and replacement of barriers etc - before winter hits.  If they do not succeed, they will need to basically put barriers back and come back in spring.

The 12 or so kms on the other side of Terzaghi Dam on Rd. 40 is next.  Same story as our end...if they have to take the winter break they will, but they will be back in the Spring.

The school parking lot is still on the list and will be paved out of the project funding - thank you MOTI!

The Ministry has a quality assurance program where they take cores of the new paving and they analyze - contractor can receive penalties or bonuses based on what that analysis shows.  Lets just hope they do a good job.

No Firearms Discharge Bylaw- Areas  and Hunting

The No Firearms Discharge Bylaw encompasses areas around Tyaughton Lake, Gun Creek Rd., Gun Lake, Gold Bridge and Bralorne.  The link to the bylaw is below and scroll to the end to see the maps.

Click here:  SLRD Area A No Firearms Discharge Bylaw

We have had some challenges siting the No Firearms Discharge signs in the Tyaughton Lake and Gun Creek Rd. corridors due to vandalism of other signs (cut off and removed) as well as MOTI rules around where these signs can go.  This has required other security steps be taken so as you as the taxpayer don't have to pay exorbitant amounts to replace signs which are stolen.    We are working on it though, it will get done eventually.

In the meantime you can, should you choose put in a complaint to Bylaw Enforcement.  Complete information is here:

If a party is hunting legally  within the boundaries of the No Firearms Discharge bylaw maps they are permitted to do so.  The trick is to understand what "hunting legally" means, this cheat sheet is based on Provincial legislation and regulations and I ran this by the Conservation Officer for our area for accuracy.

If you see a Hunting infraction it should be reported to: 

And of course, you can report to both.  The trick is getting accurate and identifying information to report - smartphone cameras and so on are great tools in this regard. 
Use of Emergency PEP Radio channel granted

As a result of several search and rescue type situations that demonstrated a lack of coordination and a lack of local knowledge I drew the first responders and our emergency management department together informally to brainstorm a list of actions that would improve the situation.  A number of very good ideas emerged.  Ryan Wainwright, the SLRD Emergency Program Manager sought and has been granted permission to use an EMBC PEP-COORD channel.  Darren Oike from the District of Lillooet coordinated with all first responder groups serving the BRV and Lillooet area around implementation – turns out District of Lillooet had been working on the same thing. It has now been used successfully on a number of occasions. EMBC has a protocol in place for use of their channel so it wasn’t necessary to develop one.

The SLRD Emergency Program Manager, Ryan Wainwright will be discussing use of the channel with Seton Fire Department and Gun Lake Fire Protection Society in the next short while. 

This is a step in the right direction although a number of the other ideas brought up will also need to be actioned to make SAR’s and other types of rescues more effective in our area.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

A Few Gun Lake Items

As I sit here it is October 18 and it is just snowing like crazy!  So much for fall, maybe it will come back.

Below are a few Gun Lake Items for your attention.

Transportation Use Application - Gun Lake
This application is to create a public road on a landlocked piece of property.

All the documentation is at this link:

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments and I'll try to get them answered.

Forest Health Issues

I have placed a number of 2016 assessment maps related to Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB) or
Douglas Fir Bark Beetle (DFB).

I encourage you to look at the map titled DFB_haz_Gun at the link as an example.  This maps shows the susceptibility - the greater the redder.  Then you will see green dots with numbers beside them, those show current attacks.  If the green dots are near or in a red/deep red area you can be assured the tree kill will be very efficient in these areas.   If those dots show your property you need to do something to stop the spread of Douglas Fir Bark Beetle.

Here is a link to my previous post on the topic:

There is an excellent pheromone treatment which some of us have been using that has proven effective if you get them out at the right time.  Last year we ordered 1132 packets.  Depending on the 2017 results I will advise where/how you can order them.

The FLNRO Forest Health people will have some updated maps for us by Christmas (fires slowed them down this year, as with everything).

Noise and Litter on/around Gun Lake this summer

This summer I had an unprecedented number of complaints from Gun Lake property owners regarding noise from boats in the middle of the night, litter in the water, noise from other properties.
Gun Lake property owners are generally pretty tolerant bunch...been there and had the parties too...however this year seemed to come with a different level of issues.

I have put this survey together to judge the degree of the issue, where people thinks the issues (if there are issues) stem from and how they think they should be dealt with.  Please answer honestly and your name is not needed.


Saturday, September 16, 2017

Road 40 Repaving - Bralorne Gold Mines Update

Road 40 Repaving
The paving crew is wrapping up the Seton paving.  Next step is moving the asphalt paving plant , which is a large and complicated procedure.   Anticipated  start date   for the Road 40 paving is the week of Sept 25. (one month of paving anticipated) .  

Photo. M. Nortje, Sept. 12  Gravel Pit @ Marshall Lake Rd. turnoff Rd 40

SLRD as well as other lead  agencies (ie RCMP School district )  will be formally notified by letter of the project dates and details and we will share out via social media and other channels .  Digital changeable message signs will also be posted at  site.   The paving company also has traffic management delay limitations to meet in order to minimize disruption to the traveling public.  

Roles of Ministry of Transportation Officials

I often get asked the difference between the MOTI Area Manager and the MOTI Operations Manager.  

A “High level” description of Roles and Responsibilities would be as follows:

District Operations Manager (DOM)
  • -          Reports to the District Manager
  • -          Responsible for the day to day operation of the administration of the Maintenance Contract; including establishing a local monitoring and auditing program
  • -          Directs and supervises staff that report to the position
  • -          Assists with the coordination of the Ministry Rehabilitation Program,
  • -          May manage the Commercial Vehicle and Safety Program for the District
  • -          Interacts with various stakeholders at various levels of government
  • -          Ensures that financial, personnel and contracted resources are managed effectively in accordance with Ministry and government requirements,
  • -          Coordinates Emergency response activities for district related MVI’s and or natural events that impact the public road system etc.
  • -          Acts as second in command to the DM
  • -          Delegated authority to suspend employees
  • -          Has the authority to initiate short term road/bridge closures to ensure public safety

Should be contacted in the absence of the local Roads Area Manager for any road related matters – caveat being maintenance. 

If it’s a road and bridge maintenance issue, the first point of contact should be the local maintenance contractor.   See this link for information on how to do that:

The District Operations Manager can also be contacted in instances where followup with the local maintenance contractor or local Area Manager has proven ineffective)

District Roads Area Manager
  • -          Reports to the Operations Manager,
  • -          Acts as the Ministry rep. within their assigned area by identifying and resolving local highway Operations issues,
  • -          Liaises with local stakeholders at all levels within their assigned area regarding any road related concerns,
  • -          Administers the Maintenance Contract through monitoring and auditing for an assigned portion of the District to monitor the Contractor’s requirement to adhere to the terms and conditions of the contract.
  • -          Plans, organizes, coordinates and manages highway operations and road rehab programs within their assigned area,
  • -          Project manages any assigned projects that are assigned to them within their area,
  • -          Responds immediately to any unusual events or emergencies that are road related within their assigned area,

Should be considered the local point of contact for all road related matters with their area - caveat being maintenance. 

The local Maintenance Contractor should be the first point of contact for any local road and bridge maintenance concerns. See this link on how to do that:

If following discussions with the local maintenance contractor, the individual is still not satisfied, it is recommended that they then followup with the local Roads Area Manager. 

What's up with Bralorne Gold Mines?

As many of you know, Bralorne Gold Mines is now owned by Avino Silver & Gold Mines Ltd.

I have provided 3 links below, which once read, will give you the overall pictures as to what is planned for Bralorne Gold Mine.  

Avino Update on Bralorne Gold Mine   This is a thorough update.

Bralorne Community Presentation  Community Presentation to meetings in April 2017

I will keep you updated with any pertinent new information.

Area A 2017 Tax Information

Regional District Taxation is complex to say the least.  You receive it on several lines with your provincial tax notice which also includes School Taxes and other Provincial Taxes.

The link below gives you JUST the regional district portion in a little different format than your tax notice.

Area A 2017 Tax Information - Chart - Click Here

I have worked hard to try and keep the total Regional District taxes for our area pretty close to the same, maybe sometimes going up a little or down a little.  If you have questions please contact me.

Monday, July 31, 2017

Various Input Opportunities for residents & property owners

Summer is upon us, pretty nice weather and I hope you're enjoying it. Sending along a little light reading and something for you to think about other than water, margueritas and all the other fun stuff we like to do in the summer - ha, ha!   Seriously though these are the opportunities available to our residents and property owners to comment and have input on.  

I've contacted FLNRO re the Hurley.  It is so dry, its really not optimal for grading...fines go everywhere on top of the fire risk from machinery.  They are going to try and have the industrial road user grade from Bridge River Main FSR junction down to bridge.  I'll stay on top of this.

Boralex Rezoning for Communication Tower on Mt. Penrose

The SLRD received a zoning amendment application for a proposed private communications tower on an unsurveyed parcel of Crown land on Mt. Penrose (adjacent to Gun Lake). See Appendix B: Location Site Plan. The current RR2 – Rural Resource zoning does not include private communications tower as a permitted use. Further, as the proposed communications tower is not located on the same parcel as the Jamie Creek Hydroelectric Facility (located ~ 10kms from Jamie Creek IPP - across Downtown Lake and up Mt. Penrose), it cannot be considered an accessory use to the IPP. Thus, a zoning amendment is required to support this use.

Complete SLRD Report:

The SLRD Board passed first reading on July 25.  Eventually there will be a public hearing and I will let you know well in advance.  In the meantime if you have questions/comments/concerns let me know.

Ride with Chris Brown Snowmobile Tenure - Referral
UPDATE: Input Deadline is now August 31
There is a snowmobile tenure referral out for comment.  SLRD has received an extension to August 11 for input and hopes to get a bit more time from that as well.  Bralorne Recreation Area (Sunshine), Bralorne Community Advisory Committee, the Trails Committee and the Bridge River Valley Snowmobile Club have all given input.  Additionally the SLRD is compiling all the input as well as reviewing documents such as the Official Community Plan and others and will be submitted input.

Have a read of the attached and if you have input you will see how to provide or you can send it to me and I'll make sure it gets into the SLRD for additional to our input.

RWCB Snowmobile Tenure Referral Document

Area's Major Licencee, Aspen Planers in process of developing a new Forest Stewardship Plan

UPDATE:  Aspen Planers FSP Presentation/Info Session:  Wednesday, August 30  10-Noon.  Gold Bridge Community Club

A forest stewardship plan (FSP) must be prepared by all Major License (ML) holders under the Forest Act.

The FSP has a term of five years and may be renewed for an additional term. It contains a description of the forest development units where harvesting and road building may occur and must specify results or strategies that describe how a ML holder will meet the objectives set by government for the 11 resource values of: Soils, Timber, Wildlife, Water, Fish, Biodiversity, Visual Quality, Cultural Heritage, Recreation, Invasive Plants and Natural Range Barriers. The provincial government must approve an FSP before associated permits can be issued to the agreement holder. 

Review and Comment 
FSPs must be made publicly available for review and comment. A licensee must advertise that the plan is available and allow at least 60 days for comments to be received. This process allows other tenure holders, professionals, communities, stakeholders, and the public to provide input on these plans. FSPs must also be shared and discussed with affected First Nations as part of the licensee’s obligation to consultation.  Aspen Planers will begin this period on August 2.

General Information on Forest Stewardship Plans

Review documents can be found at this link:   The documents are called:
2017 Aspen Planers Lillooet FSP July 25 Ver. 30 DRAFT

2017 Lillooet FSP Rationale Document July 25 Ver. 21 DRAFT

There are also a number of maps at this link as well.

Aspen Planers FSP Presentation/Info Session:  Wednesday, August 30  10-Noon.  Gold Bridge Community Club  I have also distributed this information widely.  I will be working to gather questions/comments/input.

BC Hydro Water Licence Renewal Process
Water licences that authorize BC Hydro to either store or divert water for power purposes at their facilities are issued by the Comptroller of Water Rights under the Water Sustainability Act. BC Hydro is currently starting the process to renew 5 water licences and 1 associated Permit
over Crown Land (PCL) at the LaJoie and Bridge facilities to enable us to continue operating the facilities.The licences and the facilities to which they apply are shown in the figure below.

More detailed information on the process is available at:

I will also be staying in touch with all of you on this and if you have any comments/questions/input please feel free to get in touch with me.

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