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:
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 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!!!