Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Recycling at Gold Bridge Transfer Station Begins Thursday (Sept.20)

At long last tomorrow we will have recycling at the Gold Bridge Transfer Station.  

I take NONE of the credit for this, this is entirely the work of the SLRD's awesome Utilities Dept., headed by Janis Netzel and Brooke Carere, Environmental and Utilities Services Technician.    Thank you to them and bravo for getting this done!

Community Advisory from SLRD on recylcing on this great new development for the Bridge River Valley.

Fire Protection Initiatives
1.  $10,000 committed for Wildfire Fuel Mitigation Prescriptions
The interface areas of Gun Lake and Tyaughton Lake (within 2 km of structures) and scattered structures between, adjacent to, and enroute to these communities. Structures within the area range from summer cabins to year round homes. There is also a year-round, log structure resort on Tyaughton Lake.  This area contains homes surrounding Gun Lake, Tyaughton Lake and within the Gun Creek drainage.  There are year round outdoor, commercial activities that occur within, or are based out of, the area.
As recommended in the SLRD Community Wildfire Protection Plan and Fuel Management Strategy (November 2006), this application is for a strategic landscape level prescription. The Lillooet Fire Zone has, in consultation with the SLRD, developed a project outline that would allow assets at Gun Lake to be protected at a landscape level while improving conditions for Wildfire Management Branch in fighting fires that may be moving through the area (See Appendix B).
The suggested approach has the added benefit of increasing the defensibility of neighbouring Goldbridge and Bralorne.
I have committed $10,000 from Select Area A funds as a first step on the path to ongoing and strategic Wildfire Fuel Mitigation on crown land in interface areas.
I would like to acknowledge Ryan Wainwright, the SLRD Emergency Program Manager for his excellent work on this application for funding.  Fingers crossed it comes to be.
The project areas applied for: A1 and A2 are found in the Fuel Management Strategy for Gun Lake - Page 11 of Appendix A and Pages 6 and 7 give a very good quick look at the situation.  Keep in mind this first application is for the prescription (figuring out what to do) and a further application will be required the actual treatment work.

2. Free Wood Waste Disposal at the Gold Bridge Transfer Station

The Bridge River Valley Firesmart committee has given the appropriate disposal of wood waste top prioritiy. 

There are two ways to properly dispose of wood waste from your property:   1) dispose of it on your property or now 2) take it to the Transfer Station on either Sunday October 7 or Sunday November 11.

Taking your wood waste and putting it on piles around Gun Lake, or along roadsides, or on piles at Gold Bridge or any other place other than the Transfer Station, aside from being illegal, is creating a fire hazard.
Additional fire hazards like this our area Does Not Need!!!  There is noone going to come along behind You to take care of these piles of wood.  So please either dispose of the wood waste on your property or take it to the Transfer Station - free - on one of these two dates.

In partnership with the SLRD and MOF, the piles that have been created everywhere will be burnt this one time only and signs and other forms of protection will be installed.

Please respect this important priority and help keep our properties safe from wildfire!

3. Gun Lake Fire Protection Society granted a sublicence for the corner property at Lakeview Rd. and W. Gun Lake Rd.

The Gun Lake Fire Protection Society was granted a sub licence for the property at the corner of Lakeview and W. Gun Lake Rd. 

Very shortly residents will see storage units being erected. 

This is a huge step forward for these very hard working volunteers and will provide a focal point for fire protection in the Gun Lake area.

Our favorite topic: RoadsThe good news (sort of:-)):  MOF Squamish tells me that a "proper" grading will begin on the Pemberton end "switchbacks" on the Hurley very soon and hopefully before Thanksgiving.

The official I spoke to had some excellent suggestions for improving the road condition of that section of road involving the use of "millings" from the asphalt that is ground down on re-paving projects.

At the ministerial meetings next week at UBCM I will put forward two "incremental" requests related to the Hurley:
1. That the entire road be put under one jurisdiction and one Ministry. Preferably Ministry of Forests as this is more the nature of this road than a public highway.  Makes sense to me, instead of dealing with 3 different offices, 3 different people and 3 different budgets.  Put the entire budget in one office and ministry so it can be used in the most effective way possible.  The only people suffering from the current arrangement are us, the taxpayers!
2. That this concept of dovetailing on asphalt using the millings and rolling them in be budgeted for and implemented in 2013.

Wish me luck!!

On the topic of Road 40 I will continue to press to have dead trees removed from the banks above the road and the issue of the signficant erosion from the Carpenter Lake resevoir addressed before it becomes and emergency.

Another favorite route of access into the Valley is the Highline Road.
The claim for damages brought by Wolfgang Skutnik against the Province of BC and BC Hydro has been dismissed in BCSupreme Court.
Essentially, the Plaintiff had argued that the Province and/or BC Hydro owed him a duty of
care to:
1. Comply with s.4 of the Transportation Act to ensure competitive and fair bidding in the
letting of contracts to maintain the Highline Road; and
2. Comply with other statutory obligations to properly maintain the “highway”;
and that as a result of breaches of this duty of care, he had suffered economic loss.
The Court ruled that the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure’s agreements with
various incarnations of Chambers of Commerce in the Seton Portage area constituted “grants
or contributions” permitted under the Transportation Act and further, that any negligent
breach of statutory duty does not give rise to an action for damages. The proper remedy
would be for judicial review under the Judicial Review Procedures Act.
The Court also held that, while the defendants are capable of being liable in negligence in
respect of their actual maintenance of the road, there is no statutory duty to maintain and
improve roads which are not arterial highways in British Columbia.
The Plaintiff had also argued for Provincial obligations to provide access under s.75 of the
Land Act, but the Court held that his land was not subdivided – it was conveyed by way of
Crown grant and therefore the provisions of s.75 were inapplicable.
However, Mr. Skutnik’s Petition for a declaration that the Highline Road (aka Anderson Lake
Road, aka Douglas Trail) is a public highway has not yet been dealt with and is scheduled to
be heard on November 5, 2012. I will provide a further update after the judgement is
rendered for that hearing.

Private Property Vandalized September Long Weekend

On September Long Weekend, private property at Mead Lake was damaged and a mess left behind. 
Over 185 shells (spent rounds) littered the area, shoreline and water of Mead Lake.(picture of ammunition was taken at the beginning of our cleanup) The campfire was left smoldering, empty propane container next to the fire. 

Trees were demolished because the top halves were completely shot off.   The ammunition was taken to a local shop here in Vancouver and have found out the rifles used were semi or automatic weapons. 

Two weeks earlier a large tree was felled at the shoreline. 

 The new owners of the lot, are in the process of preparing to build.  They have had an environmental specialist evaluate the property and mark the high water mark of the shore of Mead Lake. The sensitivity to the environment is paramount and following the guidelines of the Riparian Act is our mandate. The damaged trees from the shooting and the cut tree occurred within the boundaries of the protected area.  

This property is well marked with Private Property and No Trespassing signs.

If you know something about this please either ask the parties involved to contact me so I can put them in touch with the owners or call the Lillooet RCMP detachment who has a file on this vandalism.

Neighbors and visitors,  so many of us love and respect the land where we live and visit and are working very very hard to encourage visitors to come and enjoy this area.  This is so discouraging for all of us.  Please encourage and teach your guests to enjoy our area while also being respectful of this beautiful country.

  Building Inspection Information

Stop work order #208 was posted for the construction of a 20'x 30' roofed structure on property at the south end of Gun Lake without the benefit of a building permit or Riparian Assessment Area/Wildfire Development Permit.  A registered letter with application package was sent to the property owner and they came in to discuss the stop work order.  To date though, the SLRD has not received an application.  A report is to be submitted to the October Regular Board Meeting.