Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Proposed Motorized Vehicle Closures - Shulaps (and more).

Proposed Motorized Vehicle Closures - Shulaps

 UPDATE: Public Engagement Websites Now Live:

 Shulaps:


Cayoosh:

http://apps.nrs.gov.bc.ca/pub/ahte/hunting/cayoosh-alpine-motor-vehicle-closure


UPDATE - November 20.  Bridge River Lillooet News Article -Click Here: Ministry Criticized


      UPDATE - November 18.  I have followed up with the Ministry and the public engagement for these proposed closure is not yet ready, although it sounds like it is getting closer.  I have this "bookmarked" folks and will follow up again in a week or so.

UPDATE - October 26.  Thanks to the MLA's office & the Ministry officials, the process here I think a bit clearer.  Apparently there will be a public engagement website up by November 15.
      Which means a November 1 deadline really isn't applicable.   The Ministry had send out notifications to stakeholders (clubs etc) first.  I have provided my suggestions that it might be better to establish the public website first and then send out letters to stakeholders.  I have also suggested going forward, the Ministry may want to use the Regional Districts as a sustainable, up to date way to get in touch with local areas such as ours. By necessity their contacts are generally up to date and at a minimum they can forward to Electoral Area Directors & Municipalities.   I will stay in touch everyone.

UPDATE:  The Ministry has extended the timeframe for comments to November 1.  They are working on a weblink however for now comment may be emailed to Frances.Iredale@gov.bc.ca.

     The Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations is seeking input  with respect to proposed Alpine Motor Vehicle Wildlife Act closures within the Cayoosh and Shulaps Mountain Range. These closures will apply to all motorized vehicles. Under the Wildlife Act Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation a motor vehicle is defined as:
     motor vehicle" means a device in, on or by which a person or thing is being or may be transported or drawn, and which is designed to be self-propelled, and includes an atv or snowmobile, but does not include
     (a) a device designed to be moved by human, animal or wind power,
     (b) a device designed to be used exclusively on stationary rails or stationary tracks, or
     (c) a boat propelled by motorized power;

     These closures will apply year round at the 1,920 meter elevation (approximately 6,300 feet). These closures are identical to adjacent existing closures under the Wildlife Act such as Nine Mile, Hogback Mountain.

     More information on existing closures under the Wildlife Act Motor Vehicle Prohibition Regulation can be found here: http://www.bclaws.ca/Recon/document/ID/freeside/474756515

     These closures are required to protect and conserve important alpine habitat and regionally important wildlife. Please refer to the table below that outlines wildlife values these closures will conserve and protect.

Species or Habitat
Conservation Status
Value
Wildlife Act Closure
Grizzly Bear
Threatened Population
Spring Habitat, Whitebark pine
Shulaps , Cayoosh
Mountain Goat
Species of concern
Winter and Kidding Habitats
Cayoosh, Shulaps
California Sheep
Species of concern
Alpine Winter Habitat
Shulaps
Whitebark Pine
Threatened species of concern
Important fall food for Grizzly bear
Shulaps, Cayoosh
Mule Deer
Secure not at risk
Summer foraging habitat
Shulaps, Cayoosh
Wolverine
Species of concern
Denning habitat
Shulaps, Cayoosh

      The map below can be used as reference that will assist you with respect to providing any comments that you may have. 

     You have to Friday October 23rd, 2015. For your respective club members you can also comment through the hunting and trapping public advisory website: http://apps.nrs.gov.bc.ca/pub/ahte/  Proposed regulations will be posted here shortly.

     You can also email saldemare@gmail.com comments (he is the BRVCA Trails Committee chair) or myself.






























Interesting Bridge River Valley Statistics

Bridge River Valley Only
     Full-time residents - 224 per 2011 census

     Estimated part-time residents - 1,783 (#of residential folios with a non-BRV mailing address x         average family size in BC per census)

     Ratio of part-time property owners: full-time residents: 8:1

Bridge River Valley vs. Entire SLRD
The BRV has less than 1% of the full-time resident population of the SLRD

But has 36% of the total number of property folios and 28% of all folio value

Expenses allocated to the BRV represent 4.2% of the SLRD budget


2016 Fire Smart Program

The 2016  FireSmart grant program provides funding to local governments and First Nations in BC to support residents to undertake FireSmart planning activities for private lands, as identified by Partners in Protection through the FireSmart Communities Program, and/or to develop or advance local planning efforts to mitigate risk from wildfire on private lands in the wildland urban interface.

The intent of the 2016 FireSmart grant program is to enable First Nations or resident or community groups within a local government to take the required actions in order to achieve and/or maintain FireSmart Community Recognition status from Partners in Protection.

The SLRD has access to a grant of $10,000 total and we are applying for it for 2016.  The four electoral areas have not yet figured out how to divide this up between us.  I am asking you as property owners to put your thinking caps on and let me know how this funding should be used to assist in getting our private properties Fire Smarted.

What is the Fire Smart Program:  https://www.firesmartcanada.ca/what-is-firesmart

What are your ideas for how best to utilize these funds?  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LS3PLLF














Saturday, October 3, 2015

Roads, Roads, Roads and more!

Our Favorite Topic:  The Hurley

Surfacing!!!  Super happy that FLNRO is planning to do some surfacing after Thanksgiving.  They will putting down additional materials from where the 2014 surfacing ended up towards the summit as budget will allow.    Budget is coming out of money saved this year on grading and snow clearing.

Overall the maintenance of the Hurley FSR this year has improved and has provided a more consistent road quality throughout.  Unfortunately the grade that was scheduled for Sept. 12 didn't happen however it will (and is) be done this week.  FLNRO is also aware of some specific areas where grading can be improved and look for those improvements next year.

Please call me (250)238-2248 or email at demare87@gmail.com if you have any comments re the Hurley.

Our next favorite topic:  Road 40

I am very pleased to report that some improvements are being made to Road 40.

The "dry bridge" just past the nastiest corner on the road (on Antoine Bluffs) has been replaced with a 2 lane , longer bridge.  For those of you that have not seen the video, have a look.  Click the link:
http://tranbc.ca/2015/09/18/gorgeous-view-of-a-safer-road-40-near-lillooet/#sthash.TQ8JqaRz.dpbs

In addition, Area Manager Brad Bushill was able to eek out some additional guard rail that continues right around that corner.  This is the same corner where the Community Health Nurse went over and unfortunately passed away.  

Asst. District Manager, Dan Palesch also advises me that there will be two large warning signs posted at either end of Rd. 40 basically telling travellers that this is a narrow, winding road and caution is necessary. We all believe this will serve as a daily reminder to regular travellers & inform visitor’s to the area so they are not surprised by the road.   There has been some vandalism (painting etc) to signs out here and I promised the MOTi folks that our community would "keep our eyes" on them and whoever might be doing this.


If you are travelling Rd.40 you will also notice improved ditching. MOTi has been working with IRL Operations to establish ditching practices that are more robust, sorely needed on this road.

Progress. I do believe the strong and focused public & political response this winter on the unfortunate deaths on Hwy 99 North have made an impact.

 Little Gun Lake (Lajoie Lake) Culvert

The culvert running between Little Gun Lake through to LaJoie Creek and then into Gun Lake has been a source of concern for years.  It plugs up, the fish have challenges going up and down.    Little Gun Lake has suffered high water levels with resulting environmental and property damage.  Residents have tried many times through the years to ensure an appopriate level of maintenance and attention is paid to cleaning and removing debris around the culvert.

Last week, at my invitation, Asst. District Manager of Highways Dan Palesch and Area Manager Brad Bushill came out for a walk about with local residents.

Dan committed to speak with the Operations Mgr. of Interior Roads and he in fact did and got back to us with the following:
                    IRL will ensure monitoring is increased to weekly inspections at the culvert inlet and outlet to ensure debris is removed as necessary
                    IRL is proposing to remove the existing beaver screen, and install a newer more efficient one. This will significantly decrease the amount of maintenance required, in addition to improving water flow and improved fish passage. *This will require Sec. 9 approvals through the environmental agency and would be subject to approval and installation during the applicable fish windows.
                    IRL will manage all Sec. 9 approvals, purchase and installation of new beaver stop.
                    We will investigate beaver removal at a later date, possibly next year, although it might be worth monitoring the new beaver screen to see how things evolve. This would also involve permitting and environmental approvals.
                    IRL will remove any surplus vegetation/debris in the area around culvert inlet as necessary. 

Gun Lake Ratepayers Assoc. and the Little Gun Lake Property Owners have this information and will, I am sure, mull it over and decide where to go from here.  The photo below, if you look closely has a rock with names etched in it and one of those names is now well below water line.  I am hoping that this increased attention will rectify the situation.

I will also be following up with Ministry of Environment regarding the condition of the spawning platforms in LaJoie Creek and the signage that is dilapidated and brushed in.

Bralorne Sewer funding application....still waiting....still hoping


We are still waiting to hear back about the Strategic Priorities funding application (gas tax) the SLRD submitted for the replacement of the Bralorne Sewer System.

The latest word was:  All SPF [gas tax] applications are currently under technical review and we anticipate decisions to be made by the end of calendar year.

This is a very critical piece of infrastructure urgently needed. 

It CAN be done!

For those of you that despair about the long term future of the Bridge River Valley.
For those of you that rail against "big government" and "big business" taking but not giving back in an area like this..

I encourage you, if you have 45 minutes, to watch this presentation to see how it IS possible to take matters into a community's hands and win!  AND I might add, watch to the end for some GREAT entertainment!  


This presentation was made at a conference I attended this past spring put on by the Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition.

As many of you know, I am a tireless (although sometimes discouraged) beleiver that the Bridge River Valley can be a sustainable community in the long term.  Stories like the Battle River Railways shows the way!!!

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