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:  https://www.slrd.bc.ca/services/bylaw-enforcement

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:
https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bz8bmBXIlkCOZmhWVzR5X3FuVlU?usp=sharing

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).

https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0Bz8bmBXIlkCOUk9TZ0ZyejhLcGM?usp=sharing

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:  http://www.debbiedemare.com/2013/09/important-lake-property-owners-on.html

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.

Survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/DWVB28H

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:  http://www.interiorroads.com/contact-us/

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:  http://www.interiorroads.com/contact-us/

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:
https://slrd.civicweb.net/FileStorage/8928BCDFBC3E4A958C3970ABFD7D467D-170726%20MtPenroseCommunicationsSite_firstreading.pdf



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:  http://aspenplaners.ca/resources/   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:  bchydro.com/waterlicencerenewal

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.

Friday, July 21, 2017

Fire, Boats and Noise

I hope everyone is having a great summer.  I am.  My grand kids have come and visited a couple of times. The weather has been great and my dock has been my favorite place to be.  Along with fun and summer comes some issues, this blog post covers some of those.

Fire...
We have all watched with deep concern for communities through out BC who have been evacuated and sustained horrible losses related to wildfire.

I am of the mind that we need to do what is within our control to minimize the risk of wildires and to be prepared if we do get hit.

1. Be Careful ....starting with campfires.

Add caption


We currently have a campfire ban...but that ban includes MUCH MORE than fires...

Specifically, prohibited activities once the campfire ban takes effect will include:
  • campfires, as defined in the wildfire regulation: www.gov.bc.ca/wildfirelegislation
  • the burning of waste or other materials
  • stubble or grass fires of any size over any area
  • the use of fireworks, sky lanterns, tiki torches, chimineas, burning barrels or burning cages of any size or description
  • the use of binary exploding targets (e.g., for target practice)
  • the use of air curtain burners (forced air burning systems)
These prohibitions do not apply to cooking stoves that use gas, propane or briquettes, or to a portable campfire apparatus with a CSA or ULC rating that uses briquettes, liquid or gaseous fuel - as long as the height of the flame is less than 15 centimetres. The use of a campfire apparatus that does not meet these specifications is prohibited.

These prohibitions cover all BC Parks, Crown lands and private lands, but do not apply within the boundaries of a local government that has forest fire prevention bylaws and is serviced by a fire department. Always check with local authorities to see if any other burning restrictions are in place before lighting any fire.

Anyone found in contravention of an open burning prohibition may be issued a ticket for $1,150, required to pay an administrative penalty of $10,000 or, if convicted in court, fined up to $100,000 and/or sentenced to one year in jail. If the contravention causes or contributes to a wildfire, the person responsible may be ordered to pay all firefighting and associated costs.

2. Other fire starters....Also think about other devices that might cause sparks or start fires - 
-cigarette butts
-sparks from bike/ATV/Dirt Bike/Chainsaws etc.

3.  Volunteer to respond.... get trained for the Gun Lake Fire Protection Society or the Bralorne Fire Department.....

Let's get through this season INTACT without a fire!


Boats......
Gun Lake in particular has great opportunities for all kinds of boating ....and related activities.  Those opportunities also exist on Tyaughton Lake and Marshall Lake but perhaps not to the same degree.
We want boaters and the activities to have lots and lots of fun.  We also want to make sure that swimmers, floaters, dock lovers and so on also have lots and lots of fun.
Did you know there are shore line speed restrictions for boating on lakes?

From Transport Canada - When boating in the provinces of Alberta, British Columbia, Manitoba, Ontario, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia, please observe the unposted speed limit of 10km/h (6 mph) within 30 meters (100 ft) from shore. 

A boat wake can damage other vessels, docks and erode the shoreline. It can also be a risk for swimmers, divers and people on small boats that might capsize. Be aware of how your boat's wake might affect others. 


Have a happy and safe summer boating season on Gun Lake!

Noise.................
Coming to Bralorne, Gold Bridge, Gun Lake, Tyaughton Lake, Marshall Lake is all about FUN!  Your fun though, if its super noisy in the middle of the night may not be that fun for others who can't sleep or have to work.  We have had instances this summer of parties on land and on water all of which have brought phone calls to me.

We also do a lot of building, renovating, fixing and so on of our places.  In busy times of year please think about your neighbor and start a bit later or talk to them about what might work for them for a start time.  Some people are up with the birds...others...not so much!

This year I have had MANY complaints about noise of all kinds.  

We do not have a noise bylaw and I'm trying to not have a noise bylaw....but if we can't figure it out as neighbors and friends...it will be put in place.    

When a neighbor approaches you please try and listen and put yourself in their shoes. 

 We have had one instance that a neighbor trying to resolve an issue has been intimidated repeatedly since just for asking that things quiet down.  

If this sort of intimidation continues, a noise bylaw will also surely be put in place and even more unpalatable as we love our freedom here,  is repeated requests to RCMP will bring them on land and on water.  So get off your high horse and get along with your neighbor and compromise with them re noise making activities.






Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Road 40 Funding Announcement & more

Sal and I just had our 3rd grandchild, a boy and also took a trip to Moab, Utah.  This is the first opportunity I have had to distribute information on Road 40 repaving.  I apologize if you have seen this already, there may be some new information to you in here.  But before I go there, I'd like to announce my new alternate.

New Alternate

I'd like to announce that I have appointed Pat Dahle as my Alternate for the SLRD Board of Directors.   Pat is a full time resident in Gold Bridge, a full time employee at Tyax Resort, a board member of the Bridge River Valley Community Association, and most importantly a lover of the outdoors and the Bridge River Valley. 

I had five different people offer to be the Alternate and I'd like to thank each of them for putting their names forward.  



And finally, a huge huge Thank you to Norm Verner.  He decided to "retire" and he will be missed.  His previous experience in local government and particularly on the SLRD Board was very very reassuring and useful.  

Road 40 Funding Announcement

A very good day for the Bridge River Valley.

On March 22, Jackie Tegart our MLA drove out here to make a big funding announcement on Road 40.  On her way, her vehicle's windshield fell victim to a rolling rock off the bank side of Rd. 40. So our MLA knows our challenges with this road.




The announcement is at this link:  https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017TRAN0096-000767

This repaving has a value of nearly $9 million.  

Basically, the funding for this repaving comes from the rehabilitation pot of money.  I have been asked is there any "new" paving or other improvements and the answer is no.  New improvements will come from the capital pot of funds...harder to make the case for.  I will keep everyone up to speed about when/what as I get details.

Special thanks go to the BRVCA Economic Development Committee who used some of their funding to develop a Business Case for the repaving and submitted it in December 2015. Also to Suzanne Denbak, who actually did the work.  

Maps:  Road 40 East   
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8bmBXIlkCOVWtPYjRQdVdjUlU/view?usp=sharing

Maps:  Road 40 West  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8bmBXIlkCOLTYyaWZYNUJBRmM/view?usp=sharing

Maps:  Seton Lake
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8bmBXIlkCOeTdYZVJoLV9JaG8/view?usp=sharing


We are left with the ongoing challenges with maintenance on this road.  Sal and I, and particularly Sal, has been working really hard to get the Lillooet & Region Transportation Advisory Committee set up and operating in a manner that will produce some results.  Our hope is that the work this group will do going forward will assist in understanding between all the stakeholders, prioritize issues and bring changes that improve the maintenance of our roads in the entire region.

That said, there is something VERY IMPORTANT you can do.  When you see a maintenance issue report it!  Go to www.interiorroads.com and click on feedback, fill in the form.  You can also call 1.800.842.4122.  These reports are responded to by IRL and also MOTi does audit them to determine if response was made.  This is what the form looks like:



I see many people post pictures and complaints on Facebook about Rd. 40.  I get the frustration - I drive the road all the time - and I get that it makes us feel better to share.  But, it doesn't bring change.  Change and improvements come by putting in the feedback frequently and regularly.  I'd also note that those photos go far and wide, never go away and influence perceptions of people we want to come here frequently and regularly.  Give it some thought. 

I truly believe it was all the letters from property owners and businesses in our area that brought attention to the need for repaving, you can do it again on the maintenance side. Complain, complain, complain using the IRL feedback system.  Each one of you can take credit for this announcement for the repaving because you wrote and you emailed and you signed petitions.  You drew attention to the issue and all I can say is please, please keep going! 


Pretty nice spot for an announcement!
I want to say, as well, knowing there is a provincial election coming, that I have indicated to MLA Tegart twice that an issue was critical to our area.  First in 2012 with the Hurley FSR debacle when FLNRO turned over the middle section to MOTI and the maintenance went straight down hill. The second time, regarding the condition of Road 40, starting in early 2016.  Both times, MLA Tegart has listened and done what she could through the Ministries to bring relief.  All that we need on both roads? - no - but certainly significant improvements that underpin our efforts to sustain ourselves as a community in this area.   I want to be clear, it would not matter to me what party this MLA represented, she has done everything she could in these two critical situations and we have seen improvements. I know folks get all wound up about the parties, however a good constituency MLA for a remote, underdog area like ours is very very important.   Consider that when you vote.





Friday, March 10, 2017

And the survey says!!


Sledding on the Hurley Survey Results

Please see my previous post for full explanation:
http://www.debbiedemare.com/2017/01/sledding-on-hurley-and-more.html



Here are the results of the survey:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8bmBXIlkCOdmhJdTUtbUt3ZFk/view?usp=sharing

Several comments about the E.(East) Hurley FSR.  The E. Hurley from the turnoff to the steel bridge is actually an unmaintained PUBLIC road not an FSR.  Which means in terms of sledding, you will need an operation permit issued by the RCMP in order to legally be on it with a sled.  I will be meeting with the new Area Manager for Ministry of Transportation when they are in their position to see if we can get them to provide some designations for the E. Hurley. Unfortunately we would still need operations permits for the operation of sleds on it.  Here is the link to the information on this:

http://www.icbc.com/vehicle-registration/specialty-vehicles/Documents/operation-permit.pdf

I am going to be working with the Bridge River Valley Snowmobile Club and other interests to come up with a shared BRV point of view on the Hurley matter and will get back to everyone on it.

Don't forget to "LIKE" the Bridge River Valley Snowmobile Club on Facebook!


Do you feel safe in your community survey?


Very interesting responses.  Have a read.  I had to redact one comment as it mentioned specific people and situation.  Interesting comments on Road 40.

Survey responses:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8bmBXIlkCOMi0xREVWbktBWTQ/view?usp=sharing

I have been and will be following up with the RCMP to confirm their plans for this summer. It is my understanding that they plan some increased presence in our area.

You might be interested in the RCMP stats for Area A for 2016:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8bmBXIlkCObDBQYWZqUk9xVEk/view?usp=sharing



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