Saturday, August 18, 2012

UPDATE: Spruce Budworm Information Meeting and Other News

Spruce Budworm Information Meeting

Monday, September 3 at 10 am, Gold Bridge Community Club

Lorraine Maclauchlan
Forest Entomologist, Thompson Okanagan Region

Lorraine is the Regional Expert on the spruce budworm and other insects in forests.

She will be able to provide current information on the infestation in the Bridge River Valley including Gun Lake, Tyaughton Lake and Marshall Lake.  She will have some specific current information although egg collection work will be done in September and October.

Lorraine will also cover mitigation including spraying programs.

A great deal of information can be accessed at:

Invasive Species Spotted at Gun Lake

The sharp eyes of Irene Calbick have spotted patches of Canada Thistle around Gun Lake. 
Here are two links to information on this invasive plant:

Canada thistle (Cirsium arvense) is recognized as a noxious weed in BC and it can be a problem given the space to spread.  Canada thistle does show up throughout BC and is often associated with roadside, livestock grazing, logging clearings etc.. and can be spread in many ways including in hay.  Regionally we have Canada Thistle listed a species that is "A High Priority For Control".
There are a number of other thistles included several native species so correct identification should be made.  Canada thistle has relatively small flower heads and it has rhizomes and is a perennial (it spreads via underground runners to form patches as well as by seeds and lives for a number of years).  Cutting the plants is a good option as suggested in the email, though this will need to be repeated several times throughout the year as the plants will resprout.  Ideally plants should be cut before flowering and if they are in flower it is important not to spread the seeds and to bag the cut seed heads or cut material for proper disposal.

Community Effort Lifts up and Helps Crane Creek Debris Flow Property

Approximately 60 hours of manual volunteer labor and 16 hours of machine time have been donated to assist in the cleanup following the Crane Creek Debris Flows.  Thank you to everyone who helped out and showed what a great community we have here.  Special thanks go to Valley Hardware & Store and Heather Leighton for donating food, John Leighton for donating transportation of excavator, Albi Enterprises for donating machine time and manpower.  If I haven't mentioned you forgive me and know that your efforts made a huge difference to these folks!!!





Woodstove Exchange Program Now Available in Bridge River Valley

The Sea to Sky Clean Air Society currently operates a woodstove exchange program for Electoral Areas C and D of the SLRD including Whistler and Squamish.  The program will now include Electoral Area A & B and Lillooet residents.  The old woodstoves can be dropped off at the Lillooet Landfill and a receipt gotten, or the attendant can sign the tracking form.    The Sea to Sky Clean Air website does not have the up to date info on the recent expansion yet  but the program is operational and questions can be directed to Ian Holl,

Thank you to Ian Holl, SLRD Staff Member for taking this initiative!!!!

Our favorite topic:  Roads

On July 30 I did a tour with Ministry of Transportation Area Manager, Brad Bushill and Operations Manager, Dan Palesch.  It was an informative tour and knowledge was gained by all of us.

Some key points from the tour:
   *the road we call the E. Hurley, in MOT language is actually a continuance of the Hurley River Rd.
   *the East Hurley is classed as an 8 public road.  This classification does not receive maintenance but must be kept in passable state.  Interior Roads initially did not accept this as part of their responsibility but apparently does now.  If road is not passable, they are to fix it.
   *the section of the Hurley River Rd. from steel bridge to just over summit is classified a 7, which means one grade/year
   *Brad and Dan encouraged me to get a traffic counter on this road next year to establish if level of traffic warrants an upgrade on that classification
   *Brad is investigating if 1)grading can be done earlier as community has requested and 2)if dust control could be applied which would provide for base stablizaiton
   *I pushed the point with both of them that snow removal in May does not need to be the full road bed, one lane plus pull outs is sufficient
   *I made the point that enhanced signage is necessary for communicating what type of road the Hurley River Rd is (wilderness).
   *Rd. 40 has some signficant erosion issues along Carpenter Lake.  Thus far, MOT has not been given permission to put rip-rap in by Min of Environment due to the fact the Carpenter Lake Resevoir is "fish-bearing".
  *Both Brad and Dan reinforced with me the difficult they have managing their budget which contains Rd. 40, the actual main highway route into the valley AND the Hurley.  For my part I reinforced that the Hurley River Rd. is the key summer access to the area and needs to be maintained at an adequate, albeit wilderness, road standard.
I will be meeting with the Min. of Transportation, Blair Lekstrom at UBCM and will continue to 1)press home the importance of appropriately maintained roads accessing our area and 2)upgrade in maintenance levels are needed on the Entire Hurley River Rd.

In the meantime, if you have a complaint about a road, the most effective current mechanism is and click feedback and fill in the form.  This form goes to all Interior Roads management and quality control as well as Ministry officials.  Response to these submitted forms is tracked so please, please, please if you must write letters to the paper but ALSO submit to this website.