Sunday, April 28, 2013

Our Favorite Topic and Other Items

Our favorite topic:  Roads

Hurley River Rd.
On the bright side, it looks like the Hurley River Rd. will be open for May long weekend.  Please see the update from Ministry officials at:   On the downside, it appears that the section from the Squamish Forest District sign, around the Tenquille Lk/Old Hurley Rd. corner up to km 17 is still a no-man's land.  Meaning that neither Ministry accepts responsibility for maintenance on it.  I will work on this (again).   Full Marks to Brad Bushill, MOT Area Manager for hiring local, experienced people with appropriate equipment to do the snow removal.

Have your my perfect world the Hurley River Rd. would be............Click here to answer

Hwy 40 - Lillooet to Gold Bridge

As you drive along Hwy 40, particularly between Terzaghi Dam and Gold Bridge, you will notice these piles of dirt and gravel everywhere.  They come from the ditching and so on that the Interior Roads crews do - and do well!

However, they are both an eyesore and in my opinion an environmental hazard (piles along streams). 

So why aren't these piles going over the edge? BECAUSE............

...............THIS is a fish bearing lake according to Ministry officials  and therefore no dumping over the edge is allowed.  Well shiver me timbers, it looks like a dry Carpenter resevoir to me...maybe I'm missing something!

And here is the stupidity of this.  Please take a careful look at this road.  There is a plan to address erosion however it cannot be done due to the "fish bearing" status of Carpenter Resevoir.  So this section of road will continue to erode until it is no longer safe (and hopefully noone gets hurt) and then it will be fixed using "Emergency" measures.       This is ludicrous and both the Provincial Government and BC Hydro (who has the resevoir go up and down thus causing erosion) need to get a plan to maintain this road properly.

P.S. None of this is comment on the wonderful job our local Interior Roads maintenance crews do.  They do their best and often go above and beyond to keep us safe!  A huge thank you to all of you from us travellers in the Bridge River Valley!

School Viability Plan for the Gold Bridge Community School

The Gold Bridge Community School has been challenged by low enrolment for a number of years.  The community members and parents advisory councils have, on a number of occasions, when potential school closure was being deliberated by the Gold Trail Board of Education, initiated discussions, meetings and planning processes .  The Bridge River Valley Community Association has been working hard on a number of community and economic development front trying to turn the direction of our overall population.   The community members support this school a great deal, but with our low full time population and ongoing challenges on many fronts, planning and implementing a “school viability plan” is very difficult to sustain.

Our employers are challenged by the uncertainty surrounding the school.  Attracting qualified employees, who might enjoy the Bridge River Valley lifestyle and who are also family people can be a challenge.    I can tell you that  the school is not in eminent danger of closure from a funding perspective, however it is the continued and declining enrolments that are really impacting and creating an cycle of uncertainty about the school.   Even with the support of the School District, a school with no students cannot be open!

Gold Bridge School Students "Pitching - In' picking up garbage!

So rather than get into reactive/response mode, I see the most effective way to address the ongoing issue with the Gold Bridge Community School is to build a plan that addresses enrollments from a variety of angles ranging from economic & community development to different models and educational content at the school.   This is a positive, long term approach and we need to get started!

The Gold Trail School District is holding a series of "Community Conversations" in order to develop a long term facilities plan.  I attended one of these sessions and submitted this report to the SLRD board.  They supported this initiative with the following resolution:

“THAT the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) Board of Directors send a letter to the Gold Trail Board of Education to express its willingness, through Director DeMare, to be part of a coordinated dialogue regarding a School Viability Workplan, implementation of and required funding the Workplan, for the Gold Bridge Community School; and

THAT the SLRD Board communicate that the Gold Trail Board of Education has a critical role to play, along with all the other key stakeholders including businesses, in the leadership of such an initiative; and

THAT the attached reports and PowerPoint presentation be forwarded to the Northern Economic Development and Initiatives Committee for its consideration when working on Regional Economic Development “
I am asking you today to send a letter to the Gold Trail Board of Education , c/o Carmen Ranta , Chair(  to express your support of a school viability workplan,  implementation and required funding for the Gold Bridge Community School.   In addition, you need to communicate your belief that the Gold Trail Board of Education also has a critical role to play, along with all the other key stakeholders including businesses in the leadership of such an initiative.   Leaving it to our small population that is tired and over committed in so many issues and community needs has not in the past nor will in the future net the type of plan and implementation that is required to change the course of family population in our area.  

There is also a feedback form that can be filled out at :   The presentation is available at:

I will finish by saying I met a mother with two girls from out of town who guested at the school this past week.  Her comment was.....the education these kids are getting at this school is special, different, and in so many ways better than the standard classroom today.  This school and our community has much to offer families!!!!

The "closing schools" cycle is hurting our community.  It is time to take the bull by the horns, put some dollars and expertise to the problem to develop strategies and plans and implement them.  If you would like more information please do not hesitate to contact me or Carolyn Hopp (PAC President) @  Please also if you can attend the Community Conversation, on May 21 from 11 to 12:30 at the Gold Bridge School.

Health Survey

....this is the last month for this survey and would really like more responses....I will share the responses next month.  I am also planning to use this information to seek additional services, publicize what services we do have and give recognition to those services that work well.

Pitch-In Week

This past week over 30 volunteers and several businesses "pitched-in" to collect garbage and get rid of big metal and junk.  I estimate around 100 man hours were contributed.

This year garbage and recyclables were picked up on roads in all parts of the Bridge River Valley.  Simply amazing!

What would really work if each of us took responsibility for our own garbage and our own junk. 

And encourage your guests to treat this beautiful area with respect too. 

Garbage and recyclables go to the Transfer Station!!!

Special thanks this year go to Top Gun Towing for taking away "big" metal!

And we aern't done yet!  Roger Geeves, a guy that keeps my enthusiasm up when it comes to cleaning up and beautifying, has plans to make some nice flower beds in Bralorne.  In addition, he bugged me and I've bugged the staff at the SLRD and we are getting the fire hydrants in Bralorne re-painted this year along with hopefully refurbishing and sprucing up the fire huts in Gold Bridge.  The Bralorne Community Advisory Committee is really digging in and working on cleaning up/out the Bralorne Hall.  If you see something that needs to be done let me know and we'll try and get a work party on it!

All around the Bridge River Valley Civic Pride and volunteerism  is popping up like beautiful yellow balsam root on the Spruce Lake Trail in the spring! 

Pleasure Craft Operators Course - Online
A couple of people at Gun Lake have taken this course online, haven't found it too difficult, learned something and now have their operator's certificate.  Here is the link:
Link to online course for Pleasure Craft Operator's Card

I'd like to express special Thank You's and Recognition to ..................
Norm Verner, my alternate, for filling in for me again when I had two meetings at the same time
Pat Ansdell, for driving Sal to Lillooet hospital after he injured himself and I was away "on the job"