Here, for your reading pleasure, is my Director’s Report for Summer 2018. A snapshot of the work I am doing for Area D. Aimee.
1. Rural Dividend Application
The Kaslo and Area D Economic Development Commission has made our third application to the Rural Dividend Fund and we should know by November 2018. The previous two were not successful. However, with funding from Area D, the agriculture component has been an active program for two years and has been administered by LINKS.
Our 2018 application has the following two components:
Program #1 Community and Economic Development Program
• Delivers business, retention and expansion (BR&E) services
• Community Marketing Strategy
Program #2 Agriculture Innovation
• Farm Internship program
• Capital Supports for Farmers
• Organic Waste Diversion study (developing a sub-regional composting program)
2. Lardeau Park
We released a request for quotes (RFQ) to further develop plans for Lardeau Park based on the 2015 consultation process. Area D provided a grant opposed to taxation for this work, however, the the bids were rejected based on exceeding available budget. We have scaled back the scope to develop a park management plan and will be moving forward within budget.
The amenities of discussion to be at this site are:
– A wharf
Post community consultation phase 1
– A wharf
– Road and parking maintenance/upgrades
Post Community Consultation phase 2
– No wharf
– Day use only
– Leave it as is
Consultation has resulted in low numbers of responses each time, a slow increase but certainly not sufficient to draw a clear community-based direction. Combine this with the process that these things must follow and we have been sitting on this park too long with little completed. My hope is to simply come back with the original Project Implementation Plan (PIP) to the pubic but this time, hear from more of you. This PIP is based on the second phase considerations as noted above. All residents of Area D and Kaslo are participants in this service.
Stay tuned for community consultations. Thank you for your patience.
a. Request for Ministry oversight of Cooper Creek Cedar’s slope stability and terrain assessments
RDCK Chair Karen Hamling, Director Ramona Faust, RDCK CAO Stuart Horn and I met with staff from the Ministry of Forests to discuss our recent letter requesting Ministry oversight of terrain stability assessments that would support cutting permit applications in both the Argenta/Johnsons Landing and Laird Creek areas.
The Cooper Creek Cedar operational plans will include terrain stability assessments and will be reviewed by third party professionals. We expect this information over the fall/winter of 2018/2019.
Forestry staff also indicated that many others in this province share our concerns in regard to the professional reliance model. We expect important policy changes to forestry legislation in the fall 2018.
b. Current logging in Argenta
Logging and log hauling in the Argenta area is being done by Jeff Mattes on the Woodlot. Residents have concerns regarding safety, specifically the road used for log hauling. The Argenta Road is barely wide enough for the average vehicle let alone a logging truck and is not much different than Forest Service Roads (FSR) but with an active residential area that is accustomed to having children playing on it. So, we have a tense situation.
I have spoken with both the Woodlot Licensee and the District Manager to look for solutions, but the logging and the trucks will continue. These activities are within regulations and will not change until forestry practices are revised or the tenure system is changed. Until then, co-existing with the trucks will be important.
The Woodlot Licensee has agreed to minimize loads traffic on Wednesdays during the active mail and soup kitchen day.
There has been a request for a pilot car and I believe the RCMP are looking into this.
Should you have concerns or wish to report an issue or need information, here are the contacts I would suggest:
• Roads: Ministry of Transportation, Katie Ward 250-354- 6529
• Forestry: Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resources Operations and Rural Development, Tara DeCroucy Tara.DeCourcy@gov.bc.ca
• For forestry policy and overall tenure concerns: Michelle Mungall is your provincial elected official.
One further note- please do respect each other. Those wanting to feel safe are expressing their needs and those driving the trucks are going home to families that live in this area as well.
c. Wildfire Mitigation in Argenta/Johsnons Landing
I am planning a public meeting to discuss all things wildfire. We will review the outcome of the Community Wildfire Protection Plan, FireSmart community and residential program, Landscape level fuel planning and Regional District wide initiatives as outcome to the June Wildfire and Climate Change Conference in Nelson. I hope to host this meeting within the next month.
4. Wildfire mitigation
There is a lot going on in this service. The August board meeting will have a report as a follow up from the Wildfire and Climate Change Conference. I will share that report when it is ready.
Specific to Area D, there are five fuel prescriptions proposed for 2019. Howser, Glacier Creek, Woodbury and two around the Kaslo Airport/Backroad area.
All processes will have community engagement during the design phase and are jointly funded by Area D Community Development funds and the Province of BC Strategic Wildfire Prevention Initiative program.
5. Boat and Traffic Congestion at Schroeder Creek
Since the loss of the Kaslo Bay Marina, Schroder Creek has been experiencing consistent congestion due to boat traffic from the east side of the lake to several waterfront access only communities. I have requested, on behalf of the Schroeder Creek Home Owners Association, that signage directing boat access communities and tourist to other pubic access points on the west side of North Kootenay Lake; Lost Ledge and Lardeau have three between them. While a sign sounds simple enough, the process is not and I continue to advocate for the community.
In terms of establishing a marina that would be able to accommodate the water access only communities that were approved under subdivision by the Ministry of Transportation based on access at the Kaslo Marina, this will require a private enterprise and is currently being assessed by members of the affected communities.
6. Columbia River Treaty BBQ
As the RDCK appointed member to the Columbia Basin Rural Advisory Committee (CBRAC), I was honored to attend a BBQ with both the Canadian and the US Columbia River Treaty negotiating organizations. This is the first time groups including First Nations, elected officials, scientist and other stakeholders met to tour the Canadian portion of the Columbia Basin. Members gathered on Minister Conroy’s property in Pass Creek where we enjoyed sharing our stories, concerns and ideas plus great food! The highlight for me was engaging with Alan Thompson who has done several studies on alternative operating options for Duncan Dam including decommissioning it. I shared this report online, should you wish a copy, please let me know.
7. Community Mail Boxes (CMB) in Ainsworth
There has been great effort by several residents and the JB Fletchers Society to find a new location for the CMB’s to be returned to Ainsworth. I have met with Canada Post staff at several crown sites to ascertain their viability for CMB’s to be located and all were declined by Canada Post. At this time, only land available would be held by private enterprises willing to host them. If this is not successful, Canada Post will be leaving the CMB’s where they are.
8. Local elections
As of September 14th, 2018, we are entering Local Government elections with voting day on October 20th. I would be delighted to continue as your Director for Area D and therefor, will be running again. I have many projects on the go (as you can see from this report) and would like to see them through to completion. I enjoy representing and advocating for the 24 unincorporated communities of Area D, taking on the challenges and working both inside and outside of the box that is local government. This work requires creative thinking, relationship building and persistence to see projects through. I will be seeking your support to continue this work.
Please contact me directly if you have any questions or comments on this report.