Friday, July 20, 2012

INFORMATION: Firearms Discharge in the BRV

Following some phone calls to me (not yet official complaints) on firearms being discharged very close to other properties, people and children on a Gun Lake property, I asked for information and here it is folks. 

SLRD Bylaw No. 91, 1976  prohibits the use of firearms with in Ogden, Bralorne, Goldbridge, Big Gun and Little Gun Lake areas of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District.  For example,  shooting guns off the dock at Gun Lake is not allowed and carries a fine of $100. 

The discharge of firearms ("firearm" includes any gun using, as a propellant, compressed air, explosives or gas) within Regional District is subject to Bylaw No, 91. 1976.  This bylaw does not apply to Prohibited firearms - handguns ("handguns" with a barrel length of 105 mm or less and handguns that discharge .25 or .32 calibre ammunition) which can only by fired on an approved Shooting Club and Shooting Range.

Complaints can be made to the SLRD or the RCMP.

Pardon the pun, but "please don't shoot the messenger".  Just doin' my job folks!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

UPDATE: Recycling Is Coming and other News!

Recycling is coming!

This is a picture of the new recycling trailer that is coming to the Gold Bridge transfer station soon.

The trailer will be retrofitted in the next few weeks to accomodate various recyclables.

Details will come from the SLRD in late July or early August!

Yahoo, no more carting them out to other places!

Crane Creek Debris Flow Recovery Fund

As you know several of our neighbors on the Tyaughton Lake Rd. were effected seriously by a series of debris flow incidents on Crane Creek late last month.  $1,500 from Area A, SLRD Select Funds has been committed to the Crane Creek Debris Flow Recovery Fund.   Donations can be made by the public to:  Crane Creek Debris Flow Recovery Fund, c/o BRVEDs, General Delivery, Gold Bridge, BC.  Please read the report below to gain an understanding of the situation these residents find themselves in.   Please stay tuned for opportunities to volunteer as well.

Crane Creek Debris Flow Information
On 23 June 2012, a major debris flow impacted residents of the Crane Creek area on Tyaughton Lake Rd. in Electoral Area A of the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District. Approximately 20,000 mᵌ of material originating at 6500 ft. flowed out of Crane Creek drainage, across Tyaughton Lake Rd., and down through several properties into Tyaughton Lake. A second, smaller debris flow occurred in the same location 36 hours later, on 25 June 2012, depositing approximately 15,000 mᵌ of additional material. These events caused Crane Creek to leave its channel and flow overland to the lake, impacting residents between Tyaughton Lake Rd. and the shoreline. Following the second event, the area was surveyed by geotechnical and hydrological engineers from Golder & Assoc. (Kamloops), and a plan was drafted to rechannel the creek and repair the road, including a damaged culvert. These repairs are scheduled to be completed under EMBC Task #131304 – shared between MoTI and the SLRD – by 7 July 2012.
Unfortunately, because all the affected homes are recreational properties and not principle residences,  and because none of the homes suffered structural damage, they are not eligible for disaster financial assistance under provincial guidelines. None of the residents had landslide/debris flow insurance, and an investigation by the SLRD Emergency Program Manager indicates that landslide/debris flow policies are not available in the affected area.
Residents are now faced with the task of clearing tonnes of mud and rubble from their properties. The SLRD Emergency Program Manager contacted several charitable giving agencies in the province, but due to competing events in the Fraser Valley and Columbia-Shuswap regions, and because damage to the Tyaughton Lake properties was to land but not structures, those agencies contacted did not feel that their resources were best applied to the Crane Creek event. There have, however, been offers of assistance from the local community.
Debbie Demare, SLRD Electoral Area A Director, has visited the site several times, and has engaged the residents as they begin to recover.
Director Demare has suggested that a fund be established to assist the residents.  This fund would be administered by BRVEDS and the SLRD Emergency Program Manager could work with residents and volunteer local equipment operators to ensure that recovery work is coordinated on a cost-recovery basis for operators, designed to cover equipment operating costs but not creating profit. This method has precedence in the province, and was used extensively by the Fraser Valley Regional District and City of Chilliwack in 2009/10 to assist with recovery costs not eligible for provincial assistance.

Hurley River Road

As the Regional District Director, during the summer months I am a very regular traveller of the Hurley River Road.  The week of July 9, I travelled the road 5 times.  So lets just say I am intimately acquainted with every pothole, huge rock emerging from the road bed, all the nice sharp pieces of shale.  I am also incredibly fortunate to enjoy the absolutely magnificent wilderness scenery, the abundance of wildlife and the joys of early mornings on a road such as this.  It is a unique experience and one that I treasure and curse - often at the same time:-)

There is no question that this road is in the poorest condition in many years.  This appears to have been a result of the "giving back" of the middle section to Min. of Transportation.  To date this year, this middle section and the Pemberton end has not been graded.  I am told that $100,000 was spent clearing the snow from the road. 

I have been in consistent communications with Min. of Transportation, Min. of Forests (or whatever they are called now) Cascades and Squamish about the road.  The piece of the Hurley River Rd. from Bridge River Main down to the bridge will now be the responsibility of Interwest Logging and Sequoia Energy.

An additional problem has occured this year on the East Hurley, classified as an unmaintained public road, with avalanche debris and a washout making it very difficult to transit.  I am told Interior Roads does not feel that fixing this is part of their contract. 

I must say I have a growing admiration of Russ Oakley who spent 15 years advocating for the area's needs as it relates to the Hurley Road.  Thanks Russ!

Currently there is a meeting planned between myself and Ministry of Transportation officials to communicate and inform regarding the Hurley River Rd.    I am hoping that laying out the views of this area regarding this road will assist in putting together a realistic, financially feasible plan for this road.  I am also hoping that by presenting a more "whole" view of our area including assessment base, economic and tourism development activities and plans and the actual level of road trips on the Hurley we can get a solid plan in place.    Part of the challenge is that Road 40 also has some challenges, with erosion, that will take some financial investment to correct. 

I will report more after that meeting. In the meantime know....that I too....survive the Hurley!!  Visit the website for regular updates.

Sumner Creek Lightning Strike Fire

A lightning strike hit the NW ridge above Gun Lake on Sunday, July 15 and it didn't flare up until the wind picked up on Monday, July 16 evening. Fast action by locals and MOF Fire Crews prevented this fire from spreading!  I encourage Gun Lake residents to join, donate and participate in the Gun Lake Fire Protection Society, whose volunteers and directors, were first on the scene at this fire.  A look at these photos, particuarly the proximity to Gun Lake residences is a very stark reminder of how important it is to be prepared for wildfire and the critical nature of preventing these fires from spreading. 

Crews are working today, Tuesday July 17 getting the fire mopped up and cold trails eliminated.
The fire was approximately 20' in diamater and could have easily spread if left undetected for any length of time.

The FIRST thing you need to do if you spot smoke is call:

Split Rock Nursery - Cayoosh Band - Lillooet BC

On June 11, as part of the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition Board I had the opportunity to tour the Split Rock Nursery at Cayoosh Band in Lillooet.  This nursery is growing plants native to the area in order to reclaim an area that was destroyed.  However they are also doing a couple of other things that are really interesting.

In this photo, you will see the compost.  The nursery is attempting to use plants that have been removed from areas because they are invasive species in their compost.

They need to prove that the seeds of these invasive plants are well and truly dead, killed by the composting process.

 This photo shows a compost pile that has been created by chipping, very finely, dead pine beetle.  The lady has a thermomoter in this pile and it was hot!

The commercial potential of dead pine beetle, finely chipped and composted is interesting obviously because there is so much dead pine in BC.  SIBAC provided the funding for the special chipper they use.

In this photo you can see the tests they are doing using the pine beetle compost alone and with fertilizer along with control plantings using peat moss and peat moss with fertilizer.

This nursery was so interesting because it is growing plants I see every day in the Bridge River Valley. 

If you are interested in more information on the Southern Inteiror Beetle Action Coalition here is a link to their latest newsletter:

Sunday, July 1, 2012

UPDATE:  Tyaughton Lake Rd - Crane Creek Debris Flow, Canada Day July 1
The Tyaughton Lake Road was reopened for one lane traffic on Friday, June 30.  A temporary culvert was installed.  Ministry of Transportation is responsible for all issues related to the road and its repair and sub contracted out the work to Interior Roads.
Thankfully the tourism operators and businesses were able to operate through the Canada Day weekend without losing any further business as a result of the road closure.
I have been up to the area twice, the latest on Saturday June 30.  I took these photos.  I, along with the residents below the road in this area have some concerns regarding the grade of the road and the effectiveness of the temporary culvert.  When I was there the water was very muddy with many rocks and debris still coming down in the flow, running hard, close to moving over into the previous channel above the road.  I will follow up next week on timelines for the full repair of the road and this culvert.

In the meantime, SLRD through Emergency Management BC has undertaken to redig the creek channel in its previous location down to several hundred feet from the shore.  In addition work has been done above the road.  When I was there on Saturday, Friburg Recreation Site, also heavily damaged by the debris flow was being repaired.
Sadly the biggest impact is and continues on with several residents and their properties below the road.  In one case 6 inches to a foot of mud covers their entire property  along with huge rocks everywhere.  There is mud up against one of the homes, mud in one room of one of the buildings.  The other two properties have mud and rock everywhere as well.
For those of you who have property near creeks and on alleuvial fans, your house insurance will very likely not cover debris flow scenarios such as this.  Such is the case here, while fully insured, these residents have discovered their insurance does not cover this situation .  To make matters worse, these residents almost assuredly will not receive Disaster Financial Assistance from the province as they are part time residents, the mud and so on did not enter their homes and so on.
Ryan Wainwright, SLRD Emergency Manager is putting together a recovery plan.  Several of the giving charities will be appealed to and other sources of funding for expenses such as machine oil & gas and so are being looked into.  There will be a role for volunteers to help dig out along walls and in the basement room and so on.   There has been at least one offer of a machine for costs only.    One of the owners cried when I said I would help organize a work party to do the hand digging when the time comes.   Our neighbors are enduring a shock, devastation of property they treasure and a whole lot of hard work in front of them.  I admire their ability to keep moving forward in such heart and back breaking circumstances.My heart goes out to all of them.
And finally if you take a drive up to Tyaughton Lake you will see that everyone on the lake is now  impacted.  The amount of mud, rock and debris that has and continues to flow into the lake has made the water pretty muddy and with some sheen to it. 
Noone has escaped the impacts of this debris flow. 
Special thanks to Brad Bushill, Area Manager, Ministry of Transportation and Ryan Wainwright, SLRD Emergency Program Manager for their diligent efforts to move through all of the challenges this emergency has presented.
I will update as new information is available.