Community Forest Meeting August 27th
One member of the public, long time Similkameen Karl Wabanegger, joined the Lower Similkameen Community Forest meeting held in Keremeos Town Council Chambers on August 27.
Karl was present to discuss concerns about impacts to both rangeland by the Community Forest harvest, and about his corrals being blocked by other previous activity. (Though the corrals were not blocked by the Lower Similkameen Community Forest activities, the foresters present were interested In listening to Mr. Wabanegger’s experiences and working with him to make sure the problems were not repeated during the next phase of logging).
Grant in Aid Allocation meeting August 29
Donna Bartlett, representing “Friends of the Keremeos Skating Rink” had this to say about the meeting:
“I thought the allocation meeting was a very interesting and enjoyable process. I learned a lot about other groups and it was great to meet other people who are so dedicated to the community. The work we all do fits together like a big puzzle. I hope every group received enough funding to help accomplish their goals. Thanks again for putting the process together and inviting me.”
Debris flow in Hedley at Red Eagle Gulch
Hedley ‘s reservoir sits above town and nestled up against the hills. After the severe rains on Friday September 6, a debris jam broke somewhere ‘way up in the hills above the town, resulting in a funnel effect which took a load of rocks and water down a really steep slope running past our reservoir. A diversionary channel which was built in about 2003 is nearly full in places from the flow of material that came down.
A quick update on the debris flow above Hedley reservoir on Sept 6 and follow up to concerns expressed along the way:
Argo came and cleaned the streets Tuesday September 10. Though there was a complaint that Argo had dumped debris into Twenty Mile Creek, all I could discern was that the street cleaner did all that a street cleaner does and the road is now clear but the build-up on the sides is still sitting there.
Richard Tarnoff, Hedley water systems operator was notified by me Sept 11 that there may be contaminants in the water supply and advised Gary Ross to consider this when he samples the water next on Tuesday September 17.
Tim Giles, Regional Geomorphologist for the Ministry of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations did a site visit today, September 13 and will be compiling a report on what he saw on the ground.
His report will carry the greatest weight in terms of us accessing any funds for emergency management of either clearing/cleaning the existing water diversionary ditch or looking at redirecting and building a new one.
I have contacted our MLA, Linda Larson with a brief outline of what happened and a few photos. I urge you to consider writing her if you are concerned about addressing the issue and obtaining provincial emergency dollars to do it.
I have talked to past HID Trustees having a lot of knowledge about the water reservoir, the flows off the hillside above it (Red Eagle Gulch) and the past decisions and actions to divert the water. Both men are excellent resources and could come to an HID meeting if invited- and he would give background info.
I will be down at the UBCM conference during the next HID meeting but will certainly endeavour to speak to our MLA Linda Larson at that time about this situation. I hope to gain her support and get some help on a long term fix for this situation.
Things I’ll be working on at UBCM in Vancouver Sept 16-20
– Fortis Two Tier Conservation Rate
– Rebuilding Rural British Columbia: Economic AND Community Development go hand in hand
– Health Care in the South Okanagan-Similkameen
– Southern Interior Beetle Action Coalition
– Southern Interior Local Government Association