Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Road 40 Funding Announcement & more

Sal and I just had our 3rd grandchild, a boy and also took a trip to Moab, Utah.  This is the first opportunity I have had to distribute information on Road 40 repaving.  I apologize if you have seen this already, there may be some new information to you in here.  But before I go there, I'd like to announce my new alternate.

New Alternate

I'd like to announce that I have appointed Pat Dahle as my Alternate for the SLRD Board of Directors.   Pat is a full time resident in Gold Bridge, a full time employee at Tyax Resort, a board member of the Bridge River Valley Community Association, and most importantly a lover of the outdoors and the Bridge River Valley. 

I had five different people offer to be the Alternate and I'd like to thank each of them for putting their names forward.  

And finally, a huge huge Thank you to Norm Verner.  He decided to "retire" and he will be missed.  His previous experience in local government and particularly on the SLRD Board was very very reassuring and useful.  

Road 40 Funding Announcement

A very good day for the Bridge River Valley.

On March 22, Jackie Tegart our MLA drove out here to make a big funding announcement on Road 40.  On her way, her vehicle's windshield fell victim to a rolling rock off the bank side of Rd. 40. So our MLA knows our challenges with this road.

The announcement is at this link:  https://news.gov.bc.ca/releases/2017TRAN0096-000767

This repaving has a value of nearly $9 million.  

Basically, the funding for this repaving comes from the rehabilitation pot of money.  I have been asked is there any "new" paving or other improvements and the answer is no.  New improvements will come from the capital pot of funds...harder to make the case for.  I will keep everyone up to speed about when/what as I get details.

Special thanks go to the BRVCA Economic Development Committee who used some of their funding to develop a Business Case for the repaving and submitted it in December 2015. Also to Suzanne Denbak, who actually did the work.  

Maps:  Road 40 East   

Maps:  Road 40 West  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8bmBXIlkCOLTYyaWZYNUJBRmM/view?usp=sharing

Maps:  Seton Lake

We are left with the ongoing challenges with maintenance on this road.  Sal and I, and particularly Sal, has been working really hard to get the Lillooet & Region Transportation Advisory Committee set up and operating in a manner that will produce some results.  Our hope is that the work this group will do going forward will assist in understanding between all the stakeholders, prioritize issues and bring changes that improve the maintenance of our roads in the entire region.

That said, there is something VERY IMPORTANT you can do.  When you see a maintenance issue report it!  Go to www.interiorroads.com and click on feedback, fill in the form.  You can also call 1.800.842.4122.  These reports are responded to by IRL and also MOTi does audit them to determine if response was made.  This is what the form looks like:

I see many people post pictures and complaints on Facebook about Rd. 40.  I get the frustration - I drive the road all the time - and I get that it makes us feel better to share.  But, it doesn't bring change.  Change and improvements come by putting in the feedback frequently and regularly.  I'd also note that those photos go far and wide, never go away and influence perceptions of people we want to come here frequently and regularly.  Give it some thought. 

I truly believe it was all the letters from property owners and businesses in our area that brought attention to the need for repaving, you can do it again on the maintenance side. Complain, complain, complain using the IRL feedback system.  Each one of you can take credit for this announcement for the repaving because you wrote and you emailed and you signed petitions.  You drew attention to the issue and all I can say is please, please keep going! 

Pretty nice spot for an announcement!
I want to say, as well, knowing there is a provincial election coming, that I have indicated to MLA Tegart twice that an issue was critical to our area.  First in 2012 with the Hurley FSR debacle when FLNRO turned over the middle section to MOTI and the maintenance went straight down hill. The second time, regarding the condition of Road 40, starting in early 2016.  Both times, MLA Tegart has listened and done what she could through the Ministries to bring relief.  All that we need on both roads? - no - but certainly significant improvements that underpin our efforts to sustain ourselves as a community in this area.   I want to be clear, it would not matter to me what party this MLA represented, she has done everything she could in these two critical situations and we have seen improvements. I know folks get all wound up about the parties, however a good constituency MLA for a remote, underdog area like ours is very very important.   Consider that when you vote.

Friday, March 10, 2017

And the survey says!!

Sledding on the Hurley Survey Results

Please see my previous post for full explanation:

Here are the results of the survey:

Several comments about the E.(East) Hurley FSR.  The E. Hurley from the turnoff to the steel bridge is actually an unmaintained PUBLIC road not an FSR.  Which means in terms of sledding, you will need an operation permit issued by the RCMP in order to legally be on it with a sled.  I will be meeting with the new Area Manager for Ministry of Transportation when they are in their position to see if we can get them to provide some designations for the E. Hurley. Unfortunately we would still need operations permits for the operation of sleds on it.  Here is the link to the information on this:


I am going to be working with the Bridge River Valley Snowmobile Club and other interests to come up with a shared BRV point of view on the Hurley matter and will get back to everyone on it.

Don't forget to "LIKE" the Bridge River Valley Snowmobile Club on Facebook!

Do you feel safe in your community survey?

Very interesting responses.  Have a read.  I had to redact one comment as it mentioned specific people and situation.  Interesting comments on Road 40.

Survey responses:  https://drive.google.com/file/d/0Bz8bmBXIlkCOMi0xREVWbktBWTQ/view?usp=sharing

I have been and will be following up with the RCMP to confirm their plans for this summer. It is my understanding that they plan some increased presence in our area.

You might be interested in the RCMP stats for Area A for 2016:

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Do you feel safe in the Bridge River Valley?

Personal and Property Safety in the upper Bridge River Valley

In 2016 , through a number of phone calls and at meetings, concerns were expressed to me regarding personal and property safety.  The concerns cover a variety of areas and issues with varying degrees of seriousness.

In order to more accurately gauge the level of concern and in what areas,  valley-wide, I have put together a short survey.  It is anonymous.  I will publish the results so everyone can see.

If you could please complete this survey it would be much appreciated.


Sledding on the Hurley - Survey

See my previous blog with information on Hurley FSR re sledding:

Link to survey:  https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/3FVZX25

Please complete by end of February.  We have had good response so far.

I will be publishing the results and also forwarding on to Rec. Sites and Trails for their consideration of how to proceed.

Invasive Mussels Move Closer to BC Borders.

On November 30, 2016, the Governor for Montana declared a state of emergency for Montana's water bodies because invasive mussel larvae had been detected in the Tiber and Canyon Ferry Reservoirs.  An Incident Command Team was set up for this emergency and has been working on the situation.  As the crow flies, this means that mussels have been found 50 miles from the Columbia River watershed that flows from Alberta into BC and Washington.

Two, back to back, emergency meetings were held on December 9th to inform BC partners about the situation in Montana and to discuss plans for the western provinces and US states.  It was co-hosted by the Pacific Northwest Economic region (pnwer.org), the Invasive Species Council of BC and the Alberta Invasive Species Council. Each meeting had a call to action as a response to the Montana situation:
·         Western Canada Meeting: With invasive mussels closer to Western Canada, there is a clear call for increased diligence on prevention and readiness for immediate response. This meeting will review what worked in 2016 and what more is needed to avoid invasive mussels arriving in Western Canada. 

·         BC Partners Meeting: With invasive mussels closer to BC, there is a clear need for immediate action. This meeting will review what worked in 2016 and suggest what more is needed to avoid invasive mussels arriving in BC. 

Over 50 people participated in these meetings and recommendations were developed based on the calls to action.

There were recommendations as a result of both meetings. The BC Partner recommendations are summarized generally below:
  • ·         A call for the Provincial and Federal Governments work together to ensure 100% of high-risk watercraft entering BC are inspected.
  • ·         Review and update regulatory tools to enable invasive mussels to trigger an environmental emergency.
  • ·         Host an emergency response scenario with partners to rehearse a response and identify gaps.
  • ·         Establish a monitoring and sampling plan for water bodies in BC that includes Government and non-government organizations.
  • ·         Increase voluntary compliance-certification of boaters and fresh water users.
  • ·         Undertake immediate research to determine the impact of invasive mussels on salmon and salmon fishery.
  • ·         Review regulatory framework to consider boat registration on BC waters.
  • ·         Increase funding support.

LRISS is keeping abreast of the Montana situation as well as the Provincial response.  We are on email lists for updates from Montana and BC.  The LRISS Board will also be discussion our Aquatics program in the coming months and how we can continue to do our part to prevent Aquatic Invasive Species from establishing in our region and BC.  Our partnerships with the Bridge River Community Association and the SLRD are key to our 

New Downloadable Graphics To Help Citizens Navigate Their Trash

Friday, January 27, 2017

Sledding on the Hurley and more

Winterfest is on the Family Day weekend, February 11.  This is the 8th Annual Winterfest.  Bring your families and have a fun fun day!  And hey, you don't even need to cook, with a fun Mardi Gras Themed Roast Beef Dinner on Saturday night.    

Get all the information here:  http://www.bridgerivervalley.ca/winterfest/

We will see you there!

Sledding on the Hurley FSR

This past week I received calls of concern regarding the Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club charging people to sled over the Hurley. I have done some fact finding and here is what I have found out.

Rec Sites & Trails, a division of FLNRO is currently in the preliminary vetting stage of legally establishing a section of the Hurley FSR.  The proposal is to legalize it to Donnelly Creek from the Lillooet River FSR junction (this is approx. 42% of the entire Hurley FSR)  They would then provide authority to the Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club to collect fees on their behalf.  Those fees would be used for maintenance and grooming of that section of the Hurley.  

It should be noted that once past the summit heading east (i.e. towards Gold Bridge) the Electoral Area changes, the provincial constituency changes, the Forest District Changes and the Snowmobile Club's informal area changes to the Bridge River Valley Snowmobile Club. 

Rec. Sites & Trails advises this is being considered in order to assist in managing various conflicts that have been occurring between tenure holders.   This is currently at a preliminary stage with Rec. Sites and Trails and they have not yet decided to proceed further in the process.  If they do decide to proceed, there is a process that includes referral out to First Nations, local government, the general public and a variety of other stakeholders for comment and input. 

Once all of these parties have had an opportunity to comment RSTBC will decide whether or not to proceed with the establishment and what special conditions that must be put in place to mitigate the problems and impacts that have been identified.  

Ray Mason photo, Xmas Eve
The Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club have a groomer which they plan to use to groom the above mentioned section of the Hurley.  I have confirmed that at this time the Pemberton Valley Snowmobile Club may only request a donation for any travel.  ie. you do not have to pay a trail fee, or a membership fee or actually a donation.  That is entirely up to you.  

The PVSC has had some confusing communication both in private and public on this matter, so please be assured this is the current situation.

I have prepared a survey so that I can understand the views of property owners, residents, family members of, and businesses in the upper Bridge River Valley on this topic.  The results will be shared with the Rec. Sites and Trails staff and on my blog.  I am requiring your name to verify you are one of the above categories however the information shared from the survey will not include names.

This is on my task list now so I will be following up with all involved to stay on top of this and will provide updates as needed.

Road 40 update:
Please see this post:  http://www.debbiedemare.com/2016/12/road-40-story-continues.html

The SLRD Board Chair, Mayor of Lillooet, myself and the Area B director will be meeting with MLA Tegart, and the Minister of Transportation Todd Stone on February 17 to continue raising the profile of the need to invest in road insfrastructure in this area (Lillooet-Pioneer Rd. 40, Hwy 12, Hwy 99 N etc).  For us the key request is the repaving of the 25 km stretch either side of the junction with Tyaughton Lake Rd.  It has to happen....trying to maintain this, fix potholes, address the base is putting good money after bad.

Sal has been working with MOTi on getting the Lillooet & area Regional Transporation committee operating in a planned manner.The LRTAC held its first meeting on November the 29th. It was a meeting for the Committee members to meet and get a general feel of the Committee’s future direction. The next meeting will be held in February and will incorporate a 2 year Strategic Plan. I will be facilitating the Strategic Plan. Since the Committee members will be from across the Region a lot of the work will be done online to get it to the point where when we meet it will be to finalize on the details on the Committee Purpose, Terms of Reference, Goals, and Action Plans for the next two years. Once developed they will be shared via the BRVCA media sources.

I have travelled the road often this winter.  It is actually in not bad shape because it is frozen, pot holes filled by ice and Interior Roads do a great job of maintaining it in the winter.  We have had some bad weather (ice storm) and they really got at it and whipped it back into driveable condition very fast.   Winter Safety Tips can be found at: http://shiftintowinter.ca/

Still Seeking an Alternate

Speaking of my Alternate!   Norm Verner has been my Alternate for a number of years now.  Norm will be "retiring" as my alternate . I am looking for a new Alternate.  An Alternate fills in meetings (in person/phone) when for some reason I cannot attend.  This hasn't happened much in the years, an alternate is required by law in case something happens.  If an Alternate needs to fill in, they are paid the meeting fee, travel time and expenses.  It is a great way to be of service to your community and also learn alot about local government and how it works.

If you are interested in possibly taking over from Norm, please let me know.

And to Norm Verner, Thank You!  Your service is appreciated by us all.

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