Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Rumors, Rumors, Rumors

I'd like to wish everyone a Merry Christmas and a very Happy New Year.

I wish to also send out love and hugs to all of those who have sad times at this time of year.  It often is such a bittersweet time for people who have lost loved ones or who are experiencing hard times.

Sale of Bradian - our area "ghost town"
Earlier this fall, ,any of you will have seen on social media and in regular media a piece on Bradian,   This sale, couched as the sale of a "ghost town" really caught the imagination of many.  A sales contract was signed with the sale closing on December 2.  That sales contract has been extended to December 29.    I will follow up to ensure as much factual information as is possible is available to all at that time.

Click here for one of many media stories

Bralorne Gold Mines acquired by Avino Gold Mines
Click here for more information
Earlier this year Avino Gold Mines acquired Bralorne Gold Mines.  Avino is a privately held company.  Rumors were swirling in the area that they had bought Bradian and they were going to turn it into a camp.  The companion rumor was that they were advertising for 200 miners.

Both rumors have no validity.   I spoke to Dr. Matthew Ball, VP Operations of Avino Gold Mines who advised, categorically, that the mine has not bought Bradian.  Additionally,  the mine regularly advertises in trade magazines and websites for miners.  Because they do "old style underground mining" they are more and more challenged to attract experienced miners.

Dr. Ball kindly brought me up to speed in that the mining plan for this mine remains basically the same.  They are, though, doing a study to ascertain how to modernize their mining operations.

LaJoie Dam Status
This is another in a series of rumors that I have spent time getting the facts on so that I can share them with you.  Recently there were a series of Facebook posts where someone, who most of us would consider to be in a position of knowledge, indicated there was a "crack" in LaJoie dam.  The discussion was, rather flippantly put, will BC Hydro buy the houses in Gold Bridge like they are in Jordan River.  

What I have determined through correspondence and an in person meeting with BC Hydro officials, is that BC Hydro recently conducted a province wide study on seismic risks (i.e. from earthquakes) to their dams.  This was a lengthy study.

See info here:   https://www.bchydro.com/energy-in-bc/our_system/generation/dam-safety.html
It turns out that the seismic risk to the dams on Vancouver Island increased quite a bit, and the dam most at this increased risk is Jordan River.  BC Hydro has offered to purchase the homes of those homes directly below the dam.  

The same study rates the LaJoie Dam at LOWER than previously determined, while the Terzaghi Dam was rated at higher than previously thought.

In the case of LaJoie Dam, it is a rock filled dam with a shotcrete face.  There is now and always has been seepage through the dam.  The seepage is collected and continuously measured by instrumentation.  Should that amount go beyond the normal, BC Hydro would immediately investigate.

However, it has also been determined by BC Hydro because of the overall seismic risk, particularly the newer, upper portion of LaJoie Dam,  they would establish a new upper maximum level for the dam.  BC Hydro officials advise me, and I quote: "The reservoir is lowering through the regular operation of the facility and currently sits around 743 m.  We anticipate it will reach the target level of 734 m late/January to February."

Long and short of it is, and I quote from their correspondence with me "There is no crack.  What we’ve said is that there is seepage but we manage this  with an annual maintenance and patching program.  In a major earthquake the dam could experience cracking of the upstream shotcrete face with increased seepage.  By lowering the reservoir we address this risk."
Click here for:  BC Hydro LaJoie Dam Update

Gun Lake West Rec Site Campground - Trees update

Rec Sites & Trails, from FLNRO  had 2 very experienced fallers (one who is a certified danger tree assessor and has extensive experience with beetle recognition) and 1 swamper go to the site on November 10 and 11, 2014 once debris burning was allowed and they did the following:

They felled, limbed and topped 7 large trees (5 Fir, 1 Balsam and 1 Lodgepole Pine with diameters ranging from 35 cm to 90 cm.  An additional 20 smaller dead fir scattered throughout the developed site were also felled.  Some burning of the debris took place as well.  This very experienced contractor forest health  assessed both the portion of the site between the road and the lake and portion of the site across the road (both areas within the legal boundary of the recreation site) and found no Fir or Spruce beetle green attack evidence.  This was good as it seems no brood will fly from the recreation site.  This is not to say that adjacent private property  does not have any. 

No danger trees found in the undeveloped portion were not felled as there is no recreation infrastructure there and as such no public use.  These trees were left for wildlife values and pose no risk for any beetle infestation.  Spruce trees on site also appeared to be healthy, other than the past evidence of spruce budworm and drought.


The above work cost  $2,080.00 in contracted labour.  They now consider that their forest health and public safety obligations for this site has been fulfilled and do not expect to conduct any further work within this fiscal year but will have the site monitored for any forest health/safety  issues in the future. 

This is an issue I had followed up on repeatedly & I'm glad the work was done. IF anyone has further concerns please contact me.

Area A SLRD Update for November:  Click Here

SLRD Wins Award for their new Website:Click Here
The website is really much more functional, and the SLRD still has more stuff to come with it.....good stuff!!!

Regional Economic Development Stuff:  
The Dist. of Lillooet, our area and Area B are working together to build a regional approach to economic development.    Click Here for more information and the report.

#Hometown Proud  
Visit http://hometownproud.fcm.ca/ for more information on this contest that features local photography and stories.  Great prizes>  It would be so awesome to see something from our area!!!





Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Our Favorite Topic - Take A Survey (yes another one), Tell Ministry of Transportation what they need to do!!!!


The local government elections have come and gone and now the work continues with new ideas and new people.  I was pleased to see the election of incumbent Dir. Macri (Area B) as the Area C (Russell Mack) and Area D (Tony Rainbow) are both new, and if the Area B rep were new, that would have meant 3 newbies and me as Electoral Area directors!  Yikes.  I was also very pleased to see that the Lillooet community made choices in a Mayor (Marg Lampman) and Council that will bring a new look and feel to that community's public life.  This may be the beginning of  a new era of regional collaboration between our area, Lillooet, Area B and I hope our First Nations communities.  If we can accomplish this we will indeed become a force for advocacy and development in our region!!! Fingers crossed everyone, fingers crossed.

Finally, we know as I write this that four of the previous SLRD directors  will not be returning.  Mayor Rob Kirkham (Squamish), Dir. Susie Gimse (Area C) , Clr. Ted Craddock (Pemberton) and Dir. Maurice Frietag (Area D) have retired, moved on or fought the good fight and not made it.  I want to express my appreciation to these directors and their thoughtful work  and most particularly, for the enjoyable moments and the collegiality we have shared.  I have learned so much about so many things from each of you.  Thank you so much for your service to the SLRD!!!!!  

And finally on this front, how lucky we are to live in this country Canada, where the civility of people winning and losing elections is just that, civil, pleasant and honorable!!! When you feel like dissing all politicians, just observe the pleasantness of the losers in the media and on social media, it is totally remarkable.  We need to be proud of them and our system that encourages such a manner transitioning governments!!  (OK, off my soapbox now!)

Our Favorite Topic:  Roads

Just a note that I have followed up on the Hurley River Rd. survey with a lengthy analytic letter to MLA Tegart.  More to come (of course) on this front.  

BC on the Move: A Ten Year Transportation Plan
The Ministry of Transportation & Infrastructure is in the process of consultation that will be considered as government develops the new 10 year plan.
You can take a survey to share your thoughts about transportation priorities between October 14, 2014 and December 12, 2014 at 4 p.m.
Concurrently, the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure will meet with key stakeholders, including First Nations, local governments, port and airport authorities and other community leaders, to talk about transportation issues that are important to them. Discussions will focus on opportunities for improvements to the transportation network that can help build healthy, sustainable communities and support jobs and families in a growing provincial economy.
Why wouldn't the Provincial Government want to invest in the access route leading here?  Property values increase, business increases, tax revenue increases!!!  Fix the Rd. 40 canyon, pave the whole road & repave Bralorne & Gold Bridge!!!!!!!!!
For me, there is no doubt the #1 road issue for our area that is a MOTi responsibility is Rd. 40 and the repaving of the streets in Bralorne and Gold Bridge.  For me secondly is the prescriptive standards and policy of both FLNRO & MOTi as it comes to road maintenance (and also between each other), it gets in the way of doing the right things in the right places for the right reasons.  Finally I support the upgrading of public transportation using a regional transit bus corridor between Kamloops - Lillooet - Sea-Sky Corridor as well as a solid upgrade to the Lillooet airport.
Our access routes to the upper Bridge River Valley are KEY barriers to progress in our area economically and as a community.  Please take the survey!!!

Off Road Vehicle Licencing possible Nov. 17

Nope Not me...him!!!

Have a read!!!



Gun Lake Fuel Mitigation Project

The first phase of the Gun Lake Fuel Mitigation is nearly complete.  They are now burning.
Next time you are by the south end of the lake has a look at the thinning & pruning that has gone on.  It really makes a difference.  I will be looking into whether SLRD can apply for 2nd phase this year or not.
Thanks Minto Communications for this photo!!!  The fire is the fuel mitigation work at the end of the lake. 

Gun Lake Community Watershed Application
As a result of the SLRD's advocacy and meeting with the Minister at UBCM, we have received a definitive response .  Unfortunately it was not the response we wanted, however after years of shuffling this application around, they have provided an answer.  

Letter from FLNRO re Gun Lake Community Watershed

Great contest opportunities:
#HometownProud contest, win Air Canada tickets.  This contest is ALL about showing and telling a story about your hometown.  Surely surely we have some of those great photos and stories from this area!!!       See this link explains it all:  http://hometownproud.fcm.ca/
If you enter, let us know so we can vote for you!!!!
Imagine BC  Imagine BC is an annual opportunity for residents of British Columbia to pitch an excellent, innovative and possibly untraditional idea to our jury. Successful pitches receive funding of up to $7,000. Winning ideas are those that address identified community needs or interests, such as volunteerism, small business development, digital literacy, community engagement, cultural programming, or local history.
Take a peek!    www.imaginebc.ca    If you have an idea get in touch with Jean Shaw at the Library or let me know!!!

Special thanks to Michelle Nortje that helped me fix some gremlins in this post.  Much appreciated!!! D.


Sunday, October 19, 2014

Results Hurley River Rd. Survey & More

I would like to thank the communities of Bralorne and Gold Bridge, and the neighborhoods of Marshall Lake, Tyaughton Lake and Gun Lake for your support and encouragement for the last 3 years.
On Friday, October 10, the nominations for local government and in particular, Area A of the SLRD closed at 4 pm .
I have been elected to the position of Electoral Area A Director for the SLRD by acclamation. (all those who have a contest election is on Nov. 15)
I love the Bridge River Valley and I will continue to work flat out for this area for the next four years.
Thank you again for your support, it is truly appreciated and it does give me energy when I get tired. I love emails and phone calls, they keep me motivated. I even like it when you don't agree with me because it makes me think. So away we go for another four years!

Our favorite topic......Results:  Hurley River Rd. Survey

The link below contains the rough results of the Hurley River Rd. survey.  The survey is now closed.

Entire Survey:  Hurley River Rd. Rough Results

Here is a snippet on the question that really inflamed debate this past spring:


I wanted to share this information with the property owners in the area first.

Please note in the last question regarding additional funding through various Regional District sources 28% skipped the question, meaning they vote "no" to any further forms of funding.  This means 72% voted for some form of non-Provincial government additional funding.

I will be going through the individual responses and the rest of the survey to determine trends in responses.

My task is to provide the MLAs and Ministry officials with a consensus view within the current budget.  I welcome any and all of your reflections on what this survey communicates to you in that context. I may be doing some follow ups with the community via surveys etc.   Email is fine, demare87@gmail.com for your thoughts/comments.

Fire Services Review 
I would encourage everyone to follow along on this topic as the community will be involved in discussions and decisions (including financial) regarding fire services in the BRV going forward.

(Just a note, that stuff from the Civic Web loads slowly, be patient).
GLFPS Storage Shed

Darren Oike, the new SLRD Fire Services Coordinator gave the Electoral Area Directors a report/update after his first month:
Fire Services Coordinator Month 1 Update

My last months post on the topic:  Previous Post on this topic

Fire Services Review (I'd read the front part and then scroll through to the sections on recommendations and specific sections on the Bralorne Fire Department & Gun Lake Fire Protection Society).   Fire Services Review Final

Bralorne Sewer
This past month the SLRD Utilities Department had to do an emergency repair.  The funds for this (approx. $50k) came from the Capital Reserve in that service (Bralorne Sewer) that Bralorne Residents have been paying into.

Here is the letter that the Utilities Dept. has prepared about the sewer system in Bralorne:

Letter to Bralorne Residents from SLRD - October 2014

As you know the SLRD has twice applied for Infrastructure funds to fix this very old system and has not been successful either time.

Here is a link to the original engineering study:
http://www.scribd.com/doc/95506532/Bralorne-Community-Sewer-System-Assesment-Study-Update2

It is my commitment to ensure that property owners in Bralorne are kept fully informed and involved as we go forward.   We will be working very hard to figure out how to access funding through the Build Canada funds, the new redistributed BC Hydro Grant In Lieu of Taxes, etc.  I have had an email from a resident blasting the SLRD staff and board.  We all understand the concern both financially and from a health standpoint.  The potential impact of the worst case scenario (borrowing) is not good.  Please give those trying to work for Bralorne the benefit of the doubt, work with us, give us your input, be involved , that's the best way to ensure a Best Case Scenario and the long term sustainability of the Bralorne community!

B.C. Hydro Power Outages:  October 8 & 9 Gold Bridge
On October 8 & 9 there were lengthy power outages in Gold Bridge as crews replaced power poles and transformers in the community.  Unfortunately, these outages affected an important piece of communications infrastructure in the entire valley belonging to Minto Communications Society.  As a result the entire valley suffered significant internet outages on these two days.

BC Hydro has been very good lately in advising the SLRD (and they advise the community) of planned power outages.  Unfortunately, we did not rceive notice of this one.  I called the BC Hydro community relations fellow (good guy), Jerry Muir and he did some investigation.  Here is an excerpt from his response:

"In respect to the outages in in Gold Bridge on Oct 8th and 9th, unfortunately our contractor missed a critical step in planning this outage and did not provide proper notification to customers. I also understand that the outage on Oct 9th was prolonged when the crews identified a transformer that needed to be replaced. As this was not part of the original job, a replacement needed to be sourced and transported to site from Cache Creek.


Since this was brought to our attention last week, BCH has followed-up with the contractor to ensure that, moving forward, they are operating in accordance with our planned outage notification requirements. I can assure you that they will work to improve their notification efforts in the future."

Jerry's followup is much appreciated and hopefully we will not have a repeat of this problem.

Keir Rezoning Public Hearing 

Thursday, October 23 @ 4 pm - Gold Bridge Community Club

Link to Info on SLRD page.  If you scroll down to the bottom of the page after you hit this link there is a specific link to the Keir rezoning information.


BRVCA Community Advisory Notices
You may have noticed you are not receiving Community Advisory notices from BRVCA. The Community Advisory notices often included information on road closures, emergency situations, redistribute SLRD notices, events in the community and so on. With the new Anti-Spam legislation you need to expressly give your consent to receive these.  BRVCA will be rebuilding their contact lists in the new month or so.  If you wish to receive the Community Advisory notices please email bridgerivervalley@gmail.com and advise them so.

Interesting Links.
Imagine BC  Imagine BC is an annual opportunity for residents of British Columbia to pitch an excellent, innovative and possibly untraditional idea to our jury. Successful pitches receive funding of up to $7,000. Winning ideas are those that address identified community needs or interests, such as volunteerism, small business development, digital literacy, community engagement, cultural programming, or local history.

Take a peek!    www.imaginebc.ca    If you have an idea get in touch with me!!!


Thought provoking articles on rural community challenges:
Love of Place over Quality of Life
Seeking solutions for communities like Hedley, BC

Saturday, October 4, 2014

Hurley River Rd. Survey & Fire Services Review

It has been a very great honor to serve as the Area A Electoral Area Director for almost 3 years.  I have done my best to increase communication, provide factual and timely information to everyone.  My goal has been to bring as many and varied resources (money, expertise, etc) to the area as possible in order to support the sustainability of this area as a community.  We have made real progress towards sustainability and we definitely still have some big challenges.

I have submitted my name to serve for one more term as the Area A SLRD Electoral Area Director.   The next term will be four years instead of 3 years due to a change in the Election Act.   Please feel free to contact me at any time with any issue or concern.


ANOTHER IMPORTANT TOPIC:  Fire Services in the BRV

I have pasted the press release regarding the Fire Services Review directly into this blog post.  There will be a great deal more communication and interation with the Bridge River Valley Community as we move forward to implement the recommendations and also decide upon the configuration of fire services in our area.  I highly recommend reading the Fire Services Review which is at the link below, particularly the sections regarding the fire services in our area.

For immediate release
September 16, 2014


SQUAMISH-LILLOOET REGIONAL DISTRICT COMPLETES FIRE SERVICES REVIEW:
Fire Services Coordinator hired to begin implementing Review’s recommendations

Pemberton, BC – A Fire Services Review commissioned by the Squamish-Lillooet Regional District (SLRD) is now complete. The purpose of the review was to provide a comprehensive assessment of the SLRD’s six fire services, including operational effectiveness, risk management, administration and governance structures, and for electoral area fire services generally. The review identified several issues with the existing fire services and provided a number of recommendations to address the challenges and provide direction for future development.  
One of the key recommendations of the review was to hire a Fire Services Coordinator. Former District of Lillooet Fire Chief, Darren Oike, has been hired by the SLRD on a one year contract; he began his term as Fire Services Coordinator on September 1, 2014.
“The appointment of a Fire Services Coordinator is a critical first step in implementing the recommendations of the Fire Services Review, and will provide on the ground support for our volunteer fire fighters,” said SLRD Electoral Area Directors Committee Chair, Susie Gimse. “We look forward to working with Mr. Oike to ensure that current standards are met and that fire fighters are supported and operating safely and effectively throughout the Regional District,” added Area B Director, Mickey Macri.
In addition to his former role as Fire Chief at Lillooet, Mr. Oike performed a similar Fire Services Coordinator role for First Nations Emergency Services (FNESS) for 84 First Nations communities across British Columbia where he developed standards for fire departments in the areas of training, operational guidelines, records management systems, operational budgets, bylaws and policies. Along with trainer and instructor certifications, Mr. Oike is also skilled in Geographic Information Systems (GIS). 
With the hiring of the Fire Services Coordinator, the SLRD will begin working with each of the fire departments to implement recommendations from the Fire Services Review. Changes to existing governance and service delivery models may be required in some cases in order to ensure that the fire services meet regulatory requirements and community objectives. The SLRD will conduct community consultation throughout the process in order to provide information, answer questions and gather feedback regarding the options. More details regarding community engagement opportunities will be announced as the process unfolds. 
“The safety of our volunteer fire fighters, residents and their properties is very important to the SLRD and the Regional District is committed to supporting communities that wish to maintain or establish fire services,” said Area A Director, Debbie Demare. “Delivering safe, effective and sustainable fire services is a shared responsibility. We encourage residents being served by any of the existing fire departments to learn more about their fire service and the options for moving forward,” added Area D Director Maurice Freitag. 
The SLRD presently provides for rural fire suppression services through five volunteer fire departments and one volunteer fire brigade (Gun Lake), as well as through service extension agreements with member municipalities. The SLRD provides for fire services in the following communities: Gun Lake and Bralorne in Electoral Area A, Seton Valley in Electoral Area B, Birken in Electoral Area C, and Britannia Beach and Garibaldi in Electoral Area D.  The SLRD also provides for fire service to parts of Area C under contact with the Village of Pemberton and a small portion of Area B under agreement with the District of Lillooet.  
For more information about the SLRD’s fire services, or to download a copy of the Fire Services Review, visit www.slrd.bc.ca/services/public-safety-health/fire-rescue-services.




Our Favorite Topic - The condition of the Hurley River Rd.
If you have not already done this survey, I would encourage you to complete it by October 18.


Please complete this survey thoughtfully.. IT IS IMPORTANT and it will MAKE A DIFFERENCE!    We will leave the survey open until October 18.  


Click on this link to take the survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/DCYVNG6


Remember the old expression, where are your kids?  Well, this question is "Where is your dog?

This summer I've had some complaints re dogs - dogs roaming on other private property, dogs roaming in packs, dogs barking at all hours incessantly , dogs doing their thing repeatedly on other peoples property, and so on.    Last summer I had some complaints as well and there was at least one reported rather difficult incident with a dog biting another dog.

We do not have a bylaw in our area about dogs and to be really honest I don't think we want a bylaw. The folks that are complaining though are kind of coming to their limit and have asked me to ask the question,....do you support a nuisance bylaw that addresses dog problems?  Send me an email and let me know what you think?  

So please give some thought to where your dog is and what your dog is doing?  If you own a dog, it needs to be in your control at all times particularly when it is off of your property.

I don't say this to be preach-y as Sal and I have had a dog that has roamed and have had to go out on a quad to round him up.  But this type of behavior disturbs others and so you have to make an attempt to keep your dog in your control at all times.

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Sprinkler program and more

I would like to once again thank Norm Verner, the Area A SLRD alternate for always being ready, willing and able to assist .  He was tee'd up to handle the July board meeting however in the end didn't have to, however he was boning up and we all need to say Thanks Norm!!!  I'd also like to say Thank You to all the special volunteers who have worked so hard this summer at the Summerfest, the Haylmore Heritage Site and the Rock Wall Gallery.  There is a tremendous amount of volunteer effort and community spirit in everything we do.  We are definitely the "little engine that could"!!!!

I also want to encourage everyone to have a look at the new and definitely improved SLRD website.  www.slrd.bc.ca      There are some very cool features and it is much easier to navigate.  One of my favorites is the map which is very useable!

Over the summer I've done a couple of blogs on wildfire issues.  You can read them by continuing to scroll down.  


BC Hydro Payment in Lieu of Taxes – Agreement reached on redistribution

Over the last couple of years I noticed that the BC Hydro Payment in Lieu of taxes went up about 4% each year.  The northern SLRD portion of these payments is approx. $800,000 and it has long been a bone of contention that more of this PILT money is not allocated directly to the impacted areas - ours, Area B and Lillooet.

This spring during budget discussions I proposed that that small yearly increase be allocated each year
to Area A, Area B and Lillooet (40%/40%/20%) until the total PILT amount was redistributed to a new formula which more fairly recognizes the impact of the BC Hydro system on Area A, Area B & Lillooet. 

In the end Area A will directly receive 15% of the total allocation of approx. $800k (today’s dollars) as well as continuing the indirect benefit we receive from the General Government and Planning services.

The municipalities bought into this because it is a gradual, incremental way to do the redistribution that will not cause them to have to increase taxes to make up the difference.  It will take a number of years
To get up to the full 15%, however we will start this year with approx. an extra $7,000 and in the end, some 5 years from now we will be at (give or take) $200,000 per year directly coming into Area A.

The grant-in-aide funding (Select Funds) will continue and the new extra funds will be required to go to actual regional district services, capital projects or special projects.  In this way I would hope to stabilize
the taxes/user fees required for some troubled services such as the Gold Bridge Water and Bralorne Sewer as well as contribute to new or changed needs (potentially such as Fire Services).  

This will support the area while we work at getting our population and economic activity back to a sustainable level for a community.  

This has been a long time coming and I must thank my SLRD colleagues for recognizing the need to do this and buying into this idea that really doesn’t hurt any particular area of the SLRD and will help ours tremendously over the long term.

Roof Sprinkler Program now in Place
The SLRD Roofline Sprinkler Program is now live.  SLRD staff is working on the downloadable instruction guide, but this will be available by the time our first sprinklers are ready for pick up.   Go to :  Information and to order

Gun Lake Community Watershed Application
This application has been shuffled about government for close to 20 years.  With over 70 individual water licences and many more non-registered users of the lake water on Gun Lake, the protection of this watershed is critical.  The long and short of it is that almost everyone that owns property on Gun Lake drinks the water.  There is absolutely no better reason to call this a Community Watershed.  Its pretty clear.  It does not appear that the Provincial Government does seem to see or want to see what is pretty clear (no pun intended) - this lake and its water is a community watershed.

I took the history to the SLRD board and requested that we as a board request meetings with the Minister at UBCM (FLNRO or Environment) to request as the Regional District that this long standing issue be addressed.

Link to History

Asset Preservation Bylaw
At the request of many area residents and community groups the SLRD is moving forward with an asset preservation bylaw.  With the extreme drop in full time population it is becoming more and more difficult for volunteers to maintain or raise funds to maintain many of our community assets.   This new service will (in this order):
*have one bear proof garbage/recycling container per year and related garbage pickup.  This will start in Gold Bridge to take the pressure of costs of garbage disposal off of businesses such as the Valley Hardware and Grocery Store as they requested. Each year we will expand until the Valley is appropriate covered by receptacles and removal.   Most containers will be locked in the winter.
*provide basic yard maintenance on a pooled basis to many community amenities
*provide basic handyman services on a pooled basis to many community amenities
*provide funding for basic trail maintenance
*provide insurance relief for community organizations on an application and as needed basis

A list of amenities to be supported could include (but don't have  to):  Bralorne Pioneer Museum, the Bralorne Fire Hall, the Bralorne Hall, the Bralorne Ball Diamond, Sunshine Mtn Recreational Area, Gold Bridge Community Hall/Golf Course, the Gateway Entry Kiosks, the Gold Bridge Sign Area, the Haylmore Heritage Site, the Bridge River Valley Cemetery, the Community Resource Building, and many more.  Definitely not included are the School, the Post Office Building and the Transfer Station (looked after by other taxation sources).

This approach has been partially tested out and funded through Select Funds for the past two years.  One can see the difference of consistent yard maintenance throughout the community by looking at the Gold Bridge Sign area, the Bralorne Church or the Community Resource Building.  The contractor has sub contracted on some amenities and on others has organized volunteer efforts (Haylmore Heritage Site is a good example).    The funding being raised by this Bylaw is $25,000 and will come from the entire Area A tax base and in this way the overall cost to any one property will be very minimal (.14C/$1000 net taxable value).

Why do this you ask?  In 2010/2011 I drove by the Gold Bridge sign all summer.  The grass was 2-3 ft high.  Noone mowed it, no one raked it, no one cared for it.  That situation is repeated over and over again in our community.  Noone is to blame, we have 224 full time residents and a lot of stuff to do. If we leave it go the economic hubs of this area will appear to be falling apart.  Ask yourself, will someone want to buy an $800,000 second property on Gun Lake or a commercial building in Bralorne when the basic community infrastructure is falling apart and unkempt.  Nope.  Then all of our property values decline as they will be less sought after, less valuable.  None of us want to see that happen.  Time to recognize reality, do things differently and for a small cost have our communities looking the best it can.  It is an investment in our own property values and in our community as a whole. 


All residents can have their say on this via the Alternate Approval Process.    Link to Information

Piles of Decked Wood left at the North end of Gun Lake
As many of you know a number of piles of decked and other wood was left at the north end of Gun Lake following the 2009 Tyaughton Lake Fire.  I have continuously followed up with FLNRO regarding these piles to have them removed.

FLNRO  re-issued a decked wood sale to AFK trucking ( a local contractor) for the old debris piles in the Gunn Lake area. This was to be completed by August 15 and this will enable the protection crews time this fall to plan and burn the remaining debris piles.

Regional Districts are switching who operates 911
This will happen this fall.  Information at the links:




Saturday, July 12, 2014

Hoping for the best, preparing anyways!

While we are all out enjoying the hot weather and swimming and whatever it is we love to do in BC at this time of year, we have dedicated professionals in this province preparing to look after us.

A reminder to everyone that the first thing you need to do if you spot a fire is call 1-800-663-5555.
How to Report a Wildfire
If you see a wildfire, please report it to us at 1-800-663-5555 or call *5555 toll free on most cellular networks.
Alternately, you can report a wildfire to 9-1-1.
What You'll Be Asked
When reporting a wildfire, a B.C. Forest Service operator will ask you:
  • your phone number
  • the location of the fire
  • what the fire is burning (trees? What species?)
  • the size of the fire
  • how quickly the fire is spreading
  • the colour of the smoke
  • whether there are values or lives at risk
The details that you provide are critical in determining the type of response that the fire will receive from fire suppression authorities. Your help is greatly appreciated as it helps us to allocate our resources more efficiently and respond quickly to wildfire activity

There is currently no campfire ban however there is an open burning ban.


If you have looked at the weather forecast it calls for 10 days  going forward with record temperatures predicted with low overnight recoveries.   Adding to this concern  is the high probability of experiencing a daily pattern of increased dry lightning and winds beginning around Sunday night forward. Finally, it’s important to remind ourselves that it is only July 11th, very early in the season and this coupled with a well forecasted El Nino influence that is expected to strengthen through the summer into fall could indicate a very long season. In short we all need to be aware and concerned. 

Today I heard from Interwest Timber who is moving to an early schedule & will be out of the bush by 1 pm.

Ryan Wainwright, our SLRD Emergency Program Manager is hoping the SLRD roof sprinkler program will be online next week.  I will let you know more about that as soon as its ready to go. Ryan has also been assessing staffing readiness.  Its good to know he's on it and thinking ahead...

The Wildfire Management Branch has stationed an Initial Attack Crew in Area A and has regular fire warden patrols.  I met Don on the Hurley early Wednesday!!!  

Hope everyone enjoys this wonderful weather, stays safe and careful!  


Friday, July 4, 2014

Initial Attack Crew stationed in the upper Bridge River Valley

Thanks to Verne Rasmussen for providing this Initial Attack Crew & related information, much appreciated by our community!

"With the increased fire danger rating I have now moved an Initial Attack Fire Crew to the Gold Bridge area.  We have secured accommodations in the Bralorne.  I will be rotating crews on a weekly basis.
Unless the weather changes significantly the crew will be stationed in the area till August 30th.  Their duties will be to respond to any fire that may occur plus regular traveling through the area to visit industrial operations and understand the lay of the land, to understand the available resources in the area....communicating FireSmart concepts....meet and greet the locals.  Feel free to sit down and have a discussion with my crews  about their roles.  All crews carry a diverse assortment of skills and experience.

For emergency communications it is still expected to follow the understood protocol.

  1. All wildfires are to be reported immediately using the 1800 663 5555.  This activates are system from the provincial level down to regional down to the zone to the crew.  This ensures all the appropriate resources are notified.  Failure to report a fire is an offence under the Wildfire Act.

I have also activated our Fire Wardens so you will see my Wardens in your area on a regular basis.  Currently these patrols will be a weekend patrol till the hazard changes.  Again their role is to patrol my high use /high risk areas. To ensure the campers out there are using fire appropriately, to communicate information and prevention tips, to extinguish abandoned campfires, to report these campfires, to gather information for the zone to generate violation reports to Compliance and Enforcement staff, and to again report all fires to dispatch immediately if further resources are required.  Feel free to meet and have a chat with the wardens as they have a wealth of knowledge and experience and probably a few good stories as well.

I have attached for your awareness an initial phone report and initial fire report that our 1 800 # and dispatchers use to relay info to fire officers and fire crews about a reported fire.  This info enables us to make a better informed decision on how we will resource a fire.  More info the better.

If you require more information or have any questions feel free to contact me at your convenience.  Enjoy your summer.  And remember put your campfire out when finished ."

Verne Rasmussen
Wildfire Management Branch
Forest Protection Officer
Lillooet Fire Zone  
Office 250 256 1400
Local 250 256 1401
Cell 250 256 1871
Fax 250 256 4367


Wednesday, June 25, 2014

PUBLIC HEARING - July 3

There will be a public hearing on July 3 at 4 pm at the Gold Bridge Community Club to deal with the Tyax Wilderness Resort rezoning (info at the link just below).  The public hearing will also be dealing with some housekeeping changes as a result of splitting the Area A and Area B bylaw.  Please feel free to call or email me up to the end of the Public Hearing on July 3 after which I cannot receive any new information.  Also note that Norm Verner, my alternate will be attending this hearing as well.

Additionally we will be dealing with the Medical Marijuana zoning.  For those of you that haven't been following this issue, the Federal Government has changed the way medical marijuana can be grown and distributed.  The Federal Government now issues licences to specific operators and those operators are building facilities of various size, shapes and descriptions.  Naturally this concerns the public a great deal and therefore local governments have been trying to figure out how to deal with it.  In the case of the SLRD we are recommending that we "zone" for them, i.e. say where they can go, rather than not zone (which would allow them basically to go anywhere).    The 4 Electoral Areas of the SLRD are pretty consistent on their recommendations, for Area A the proposal is that medical marijuana facilities be allowed in industrial and resource zones with minimum sizes of .5 ha and 10 ha respectively.  Please remember this is just a proposal, that is what Public Hearings are for - to hear from you!  There has been a fair amount of information circulated (two people provided feedback) and a public information meeting (noone attended).

Medical Marijuana Regulations History
Tyax Wilderness Resort & other Zoning Amendment changes

Our Favorite Topic - the Hurley River Rd.
As most of you know, as a result of much letter writing from property owners and businesses in the area the provincial government has returned the Hurley River Rd. to MOFLNRO as a Forest Service Road.  This excludes the East Hurley. This is a positive step and one that I hopes returns us to the adequate maintenance of the road we used to enjoy before the middle part went to MOTi.   In fitting into MOTi's classification system, that middle part of the road only received one grade per year compared the often two it received in previous years under MOFLNRO.

The challenge, as we all saw, is that in attempting to fit this change into their static budget, they chose to remove the spring opening.

We finally were able to have a teleconference with the two MLAs and I do appreciate that MLA Sturdy apologized for the lack of two way communication on this issue that resulted in some general misunderstandings.  For me, MLA Tegart and MLA Sturdy have taken an active interest and made a concerted effort to improve the situation and I do think that over time the return of the road to FSR status will assist.  And I thank them greatly, the Hurley River Rd. is a CRITICAL piece of infrastructure for this area. Critical.

So what was the misunderstanding?  The MLAs seem to think they are getting mixed messages from this community. Now that I have taken some time to reflect and think on this..... I do not agree.   What was being asked for was a return to previous levels of overall maintenance (and that includes and has included for years the spring opening).  This community is pretty clear on what they want, they want a reasonably maintained road that is opened at the earliest possible date (and most have expressed the need for reasonableness cost wise in that).  That could mean a somewhat increased budget as the costs of doing this rise but the total budget has remained the same and herein lies the rub.  For the MLAs and government they were attempting to undertake this within the set out budget and that is pretty darned difficult to grade the entire road twice, the hills one or two more times AND do the spring opening (avg. is about $30k per year, this year lower, low snow pack) all with a budget of around $67k total.  I'd also like to say that the total historical actual expenditures for  the entire road maintenance (including spring opening) is quite difficult to get clarified.  I suspect when we boil it down to hard facts and budget numbers we will see that overall we have received a cut in total real $ cut in budget through the years.

So...we have a dilemna.  I volunteered in our teleconference meeting with the MLAS, because they think they are getting mixed messages from the community, to develop a survey to lay out options within the budget as it currently exists and to have the community and the MLAs agree to the contents & to abide by the results.    However, I also think that we are being forced to accept a cut in maintenance by choosing either/or within a budget amount.  More maintenance/less or no spring opening or spring opening and less maintenance.

The MOFLNRO roads people tell me they plan to grade the entire road twice & the hills perhaps once/twice more.  The figures put in the press release and bandied about are for the middle section that was MOTi and there is approximately $80 k in there that is intended for road bed improvements this year.  Another very positive aspect that go lost in the foo fer ah over the spring opening.

Next steps:
1. I am going to form a small advisory committee of various types of users/points of view
2. I am going to stay in touch with MOFLNRO roads person and get exact budgetary figures for this years maintenance (will get this in the fall) for the ENTIRE road one end to the other
3. I will be speaking with both MLAs about the dilemna as I see it and reminding them of the history of maintenance on this road.

In the meantime, the Hurley FSR for the Hurley FSR is in pretty good shape.  MOFLNRO hired a grader that is appropriate and experienced and I think he did the best job he can with what he has to work with.  Enjoy!!!

Thank you to everyone who wrote and phoned and wrote and phoned, with a bunch of blogging, Facebooking and Twittering thrown in there.  This issue is one that resonantes with many property owners and it showed and you know what, it made a difference!!!!  Way to go!!!

Road 40 Carpenter Lake Rd.
Background/Previous Blog on Erosion Issues
NEW!!   MOTi received approval this spring from the Water Stewardship Division of FLNRO to place, surplus material generated by ditching, at four locations alongside Carpenter lake this year, to address some longstanding erosion concerns. These works have been taking place recently so that  the environmental windows that have been identified can be adhered to.

With regards to the condition of Rd. 40 , MOTi  will be expending close to $800,000 on resurfacing 4 km of Road 40 west of the Bridge River bridge combined with some minor widening of a rock cut near Apple springs. The work at Apple springs is still in the engineering phase, however it remains MOTi Area Managers intent to address this location during this construction season. 

I wrote the following letter that summarizes quite a number of concerns related to Rd. 40.
The Assistant District Manager and Area Manager came out to meet with me with regard to these issues.  I am awaiting their written response to the discussion and will update everyone soon.  The link to the letter is here:  Road40LetterMay282014


Bralorne Sewer - CCTV Study
Spoke briefly to staff and this CCTV study has been completed.  Generally it turned out some areas of the system that are better than thought and some areas that need immediate attention.  I will let everyone know once I have the specifics and the staff recommendations what the next steps will be.

Bralorne Water
As an FYI, staff advises that the project to replace the remainder of the wood stave water pipe in Bralorne is in the tendering phase and they plan to have a recommendation report to the SLRD Board in late July.

Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Tyax Wilderness Resort Rezoning & Other Items

REZONING:  Tyax Wilderness Resort
First & second reading were given by SLRD Board on May 26.  Tyax has put up notification signs.
Unofficially, the public hearing will be held on July 3.  Notices etc. will be out shortly.

Here is the information on the current rezoning:   Tyax Wilderness Resort Rezoning - information link

At the same time (July 3) will be a public hearing for some housekkeeping changes to the Area A Zoning Bylaws.  Link to that information is at:   Area A Zoning Bylaw Changes

OCP Change & Rezoning:  Gun Lake - Kier Property
The staff have been directed to prepare the bylaws on this one.
Link to Information:   Kier Property Information

Gun Lake West Rec Site Campground - Douglas Fir Bark Beetles Infested Trees
It was brought to my attention that there are several trees (probably more now) infected by Douglas Fir Bark Beetle in the campground on Gun Lake.  Neighbors were concerned because these beetles could fly and infect/kill trees on their property.

I followed up first with the Rec Site & Trails Technician for the area, was not satisfied with his response so went to his manager.  Here is the response:

"From talking to Bruce Morrow, this is the situation with the large dead fir at Gun Lake West:
-          The trees are infested with fir bark beetle but there many more trees in the area similarly infested. Treating these 4 trees to kill the bark beetle would not have a significant impact on the population of bark beetle in the area.
-          The fir bark beetle flight is expected to happen in July. The infestation has been erratic, and its spread is unpredictable. It is very strange that the beetles attacked such large old trees with thick bark.
-          The dead trees will become danger trees, mainly because of the huge branches. Bruce confirmed that addressing this issue will be complicated and expensive, and require a high level of expertise.


So we have a serious but not an urgent issue to deal with. Ed will be back to work later this work; I will touch base with him and we will look at the options available to us. I would appreciate if you could keep us informed of other forest management work taking place in the area."

In other words they are in no hurry to do anything at this Rec Site.  I have followed up with him and he now advises (May27) that he will send out someone to have a look.  I also put him together with the Entomologist.    If you are not happy with this response and feel there should be a higher priority response here is the contact info:

Bruce Petch
Regional Manager
Recreation Sites and Trails BC
Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
3rd Floor, 441 Columbia Street, Kamloops BC V2C 2T3
tel. 250-828-4441

Douglas Fir Bark Beetle Infested Trees
Links to previous information shared

Gun Lake Ratepayers Assoc. has also done some homework with the Regional Entomologist, Lorraine MacLaughlin on this and has provided some excellent information at:
https://www.facebook.com/notes/gun-lake-community/douglas-fir-bark-beetle-qa/1429566267304758


Sunday, May 11, 2014

Our favorite topic...the road issue that never ends & More

As I post this blog, Sunday May 11 I know everyone including myself would like to know exactly the details of the future maintenance and upkeep of the Hurley River Rd.  When I know something factual and complete (i.e. not little birdies chirping) I will update this blog.  
May 12.  The official word is out, see it and take survey and say what you think.  http://isurvivedthehurley.com/?p=1329

FIRE SEASON:  SPRINKLER PROGRAM INITIATED

The Electoral Area Directors of the SLRD have approved the initiation of a household roofline sprinkler program.  Roofline sprinklers have been shown to be very effective during interface wildfires.  The suggested approach would allow residents to order sprinklers either in person, from  the SLRD office in Pemberton, or online, using the SLRD website and a PayPal overlay. Once a number of orders has been received, the  SLRD would then bulk order sprinkler units from a local supplier, at a reduced cost-by-volume, and  residents could pick them up from the SLRD office along with simple, step-by-step installation instructions. Local fire halls could also be designated as pick-up locations. 

Information from the SLRD meeting here:

Lots more information to come!

GOLD BRIDGE WATER 
Regional District Services cover specific taxpayers or areas.    They may take a number of forms to raise revenue, taxation via an amount/$1000 of assessment, a parcel tax and/or user fees amongst other mechanisms.

When I came on as Regional District Director in 2011, a new water system had been installed.  I almost immediately received many phone calls about the degree of chlorine in the water, the smell etc.

As I delved into the history and issues with this service a multitude of challenges started to crop up.  I want to say from the outset that this is not casting any shadow on Russ Oakley.  He lead the appropriate and needed process to put a proper water system in place.

Here are some links to detailed information regarding this service and its issues.
Info on New Pump (2012)
Info from SLRD Dir. Utilities on previous water pump
Information on Gold Bridge Water
Last year, the SLRD Board in its application for regionally significant Gas Tax Funds applied for and received about $45,000 to install a larger pump.  This has occurRed.  This seems to have rectified the chlorine issues and should decrease some operational costs and that has been budgeted for.

The challenge remains the overall financial viability of this service.  As you may be aware, Regional Districts can not move money around as municipalities can.  Money that is taxed for for a service must remain and be used by that service.  So money in has to cover the money out.  The problem with this service is that, as of today, where we stand it is barely breaking even and there are no funds going into reserves.  We have instituted user fees which will help on the revenue side and I have been successful in getting the Board to agree to set aside the increase each year in BC Hydro PILT funds to a fund for Area A, B & Lilllooet's use. Unfortunately they have been as yet unable to agree on how to divide this fund up between the 3 of us, however it is fully my attention that $5,000 a year of this fund will go to this service for some time to build up the reserve.  This will eliminate the necessity to increase either the parcel taxes or the user fees or both.  Please stand by on this.  In the meantime I am looking at other funding sources to top up the reserves even if it is just this year or for a couple of years.  Please bear with me I am working on this.

  As always let me know what I or the SLRD staff can do.  We are more than willing to explain and listen.

Gold Bridge School Field Completion
As a result of a meeting with the Board of Education last year, I committed $5,000 SLRD Area A funds to partner with a funding application to the School Connections Fund ($15,000).  The School District also used some of their maintenance budget. The School Connections fund is primarily intended to link local government and school districts to work on projects that benefit both the public and students.  The entire project was funded including removal of trees and installation of an irrigation system.


Some people asked me if it was being left as it is, so I called the School Principal, Patrice Barth who advised that the School District Maintenance department will be reseeding the field this spring.


REZONINGS COMING SOON
Tyax Wilderness Lodge
Tyax has revised and resubmitted their rezoning application.  It will come to the SLRD Board Meeting at the end of May.  If readings are given, a public hearing date will be set.

I have asked staff and will be asking the Board to support:
1. Signage be required on the site immediately
2. One month's full notice of the Public Hearing be given

As this has not gone to a Board meeting yet I cannot provide any detailed information, other than to say that Tyax has removed the main lodge site from application as well as lot 6/.  The new application contains just Lot 5 directly south which will contain a multi-unit staff accomodation.  The same types of restrictive convenants as were being required on the previous application are likely going to be, where still appropriate, required.

KIER'S PROPERTY - GUN LAKE
As most of you know Helen Kier passed away last year.  The family has brought forward an application to subdivide the property for each child.  This will require an OCP amendment as well as a rezoning.
Please see the map at this link: Map - Kier Property OCP and Rezoning
If you have any thoughts/questions let me know.  

Bralorne Water System:
The last of the historic wood stave water piping will be replaced in Bralorne this summer. The replacement program includes replacing up to 330m of pipe along Hawkes Avenue and installing new service connections and valves to the property lines. Currently the project is in the design phase, with TRUE Consulting providing this service. The next phase will be the production of tender documents and procurement of a contractor. The project should be completed by October 31, 2014. 
Bralorne Sewer System:
An investigation into the state of repair of the sewer pipes in Bralorne will happen this summer. We plan to do a closed circuit television (CCTV) inspection. Results from this inspection will provide the SLRD with an overall state of health of the system which can be used to strengthen future grant applications. Approximately $25,000 has been put aside to do this funding.  The federal government has announced that Gas Tax Funding will be available once again; an announcement with details regarding the next application uptake is expected soon.

Gold Bridge Transfer Station:
1.    RV Sani-Dump Access: Soon there will be RV access to the septage pits at the Gold Bridge Transfer Station. After exploring a number of alternatives and engaging the Ministry of Environment, the SLRD has confirmed that the septage pits can accommodate the expected volumes from recreational vehicles. Provided the volume remains below 100m3 per year, the transfer station will be operating within its permit. SLRD Staff will be required to monitor the disposal rates and collect user information. 


2.    The Printed Paper & Packaging (PPP) Stewardship Program starts May 14, 2014: The Lillooet Landfill is registered as a designated collection facility. This means that the landfill will receive payment from the program service provider, Multi Materials BC (MMBC), based on the weight of material collected. The Gold Bridge Transfer Station will receive a portion of that funding for all properly sorted and clean PPP materials that are taken from the transfer station to Lillooet. Watch for pamphlets and signage that will be appearing soon at the Transfer Station. The more recycling collected means lower costs to landfill, and more funds flowing back into the operating budget.

A note from Kara Socket provided the following information: 
      The recycle program will continue to evolve, the response has been fantastic and although I don't have hard statistics to offer, I know that the trailer when loaded, holds about a ton or 2,000 lbs of recycling.  In summer I'm hauling at least monthly, sometimes more and in winter, about every 6 weeks.  I'd say that we're probably recycling up to 25,000 lbs a year!  Awesome!


BC Hydro announcements regarding LaJoie Dam and Downton Reservoir


I have talked to BC Hydro officials and we are hoping to have a community meeting to provide more information soon.

BC Hydro is in the process of evaluating what to do about the LaJoie Dam.  Once that is decided it will be a medium-long term process to do the operational planning/budget etc.  
This year, if approved, there will be some operational modifications.
In addition, planning is under way as per the link to reduce the level of the Downton Reservoir.
Please be cautious in drawing conclusions from the Lillooet News article and I am attempting to get our business owners/operators and others the ability to speak to BC Hydro officials directly at a meeting.
More to come!

GUN LAKE:  Mowing Vanderburgh Hill , Lakeview Rd. & W.Gun Lake Rd.
Last year I pursued Interior Roads to mow Lakeview Rd. &
W. Gun Lake Rd. due to the invasion of Canada Thistle (invasive)
 we found the previous year.  At first told not in their contract, they found the budget to ensure the road was mowed and mowed early.  Thank You Interior Roads!
Then later in the year, oh my goodness the weeds along the side of Vanderburgh Hill were really bad and I contacted IRL again.  They dealt with it.

I was back at it questioning again this spring and received this response;
"The mowing of Gun Lake West road up to Lake View including Vandenberg hill and Lakeview road to Saddle road will be done by our mowing contractor.  This is what we eventually did last year and this will be scheduled every year from now on.  I will have Don McMahon watch to make sure they do this area."
A small bit of progress.  Smile.

GUN LAKE:  Slim Creek Connector to Rd. 40
The bottom part of that road where it joins Rd. 40 has a slide on it and it covers up that road, makes it somewhat impassable every year.
That part of the road is a Licensee Road - Aspen Planers.
The SLRD Emergency Program Manager and the RPF that did the  Fuel Mitigation strategy have both indicated that a 2nd emergency exit from the Gun Lake area would be a good thing. This is because the highest likelihood of a fire comes from the south/south-west right where the road leading into Gun Lake is.
So I talked to the MOF Roads guy who talked to the Aspen Planers roads guy and voila (sort of):
      "I have asked Tom Illidge to run out and clean up the slough along the lower portion of the Slim creek road and get it open for the long weekend. As you have most likely heard from Ken, this is a road permit road and Aspen is not obligated to maintain it to a two wheel drive standard or keep it open for the general public all year long and if it closes throughout the seasons, we may not want to open it, we may just post it as closed.

If the Gun Lake association or SLRD is willing to maintain this road, we could enter into a Road Maintenance Agreement that would allow a secondary user to complete maintenance legally. This would mean that Aspen sets the minimum standards which would include requirements of the maintainer to be covered by worksafe bc, have general liability and comprehensive insurance including firefighting coverage of $250,000 minimum and also be approved by aspen for this type of work. It is important to note that the maintainer does not create any environmental or safety hazards and is cognizant of the Highway junction  and the hazards associated with this. We cannot have the material pushed over the bank onto the edge of Highway 40 and expect the MOTi to manage it for us. And to work on the travelled portion of Highway 40 requires permits and approvals from the MOTi representative"

This work was done this last week and the bottom part is in good driveable condition.

Big thanks to Aspen Planers for this donation to assist the safety of the Gun Lake community.  It is much appreciated!  Now to figure out next year......

Marshall Lake Area :  Forestry Concerns
I went out last week to support an Area A property owner in his effort to work with Interwest to mitigate his concerns regarding harvesting immediately in and around his property.








     . It has been a month's long effort with the property owner repeatedly communicating his concerns to Interwest. Meeting started out very testy with the Interwest rep saying that Interwest had done what they "have to" and thats it.

After some pretty darned direct conversation, the Interwest rep agreed to do a tour and committed to some specific mitigations in the key problem areas. Later on he also said he could have communicated in a more open manner and told the owner long ago that he would come out and work on specific issues/mitigations.. Geesh, so much effort and needing to go cap in hand and beg , something is wrong with our forest policy when it leaves a property owner in this situation. Anyways it turned out well so thats the main thing and I hope this forms a better basis for understanding on Interwest's part going forward. The proof will be in the pudding all around












Marshall Lake:  Log Hauling Starts Soon
We have known all winter that log hauling was going to commence this spring on the Marshall Lake Rd.
Property owners are super concerned about that bottom part of the road before it joins Rd. 40.
I and John Parrott, MLRA president and others have been working hard to bring awareness of the safety issues to the MOTi, the road contractor IRL, Interwest and their contractors.  We even had a video made (thank you Kenneth Walker) that we circulated to the ministries and so on.
It has been a continuous process of followup.  So far property owners are still not completely satisfied, but I can say Interior Roads has done an absolutely stellar job of preparing that road for the hauling.  They have found every way to eek out some width.  The road itself has been graded and honed into fantastic condition.  Well done Interior Roads, well done!
We have asked for signage, any kind of signage warning folks of the danger.  And I have sent emails to property owners encouraging them to slow down and take care this summer.  We are hoping MOTi can do something and just this past week Interwest has indicated they will put up signage if MOTi doesn't.

I was very pleased and honored after all this to be extended an invitation to attend the Marshall Lake Ratepayers Picnic this summer - thank you so much- and I received this very nice email from one fellow-
"Debbie—on behalf of myself and my family, I would like to thank you for all your time and attention to the issues brought on by the logging in our little piece of heaven (Marshall Lake). And I agree that Interior Roads has done an outstanding job on the road to Marshall Lake.
Our family has been on the lake since 1962, and like you, just love every minute that we can get at the lake.
We have followed your blogs to date, and want to thank you for your very professional, concerned efforts to ensure that our voices have been heard with the logging contractors, elected  provincial officials, and public employees. Thank-you again, and please continue to keep us informed through your emails"

I don't do this for thank you's, I do it for satisfaction that I can help this area.  But its nice all the same to get this very nice thought.  

Change.org Petition.
You may have recently seen a Petition on Change.org making some requests of me as the Area A Director on a personal matter of an individual who resides in this area.  I am not going to go into a lot of details other than to say this involves a period of time about 3 years ago in which I was appointed by the Bridge River Valley Economic Development Society as their executive director (which I removed myself from several months before taking on the Regional District Director role).  The matter is therefore, if needed, for comment by that organization and not by me personally as I was acting on their behalf.
I called the RCMP and they advise that the file mentioned was closed in September 2011 after the actions agreed upon with the RCMP were taken by the Bridge River Valley Economic Development Society.












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