Director Watsons update, April 9th

Back at the desk, but only for a few minutes and back out the door for a week of meetings in Nelson. Here are our monthly board, rural affairs and sustainability meeting agenda’s.

Also, met with the Kaslo and Area D Economic Development Commission yesterday where we are excited about some major projects…stay tuned!!!

RDCK monthly Board:
Highlights:
This summer we will be switching recycling to the provincial body mandated to provide the service- Recycle BC. As they will not allow all of our depots, remote ones like Marblehead will stay open but operated by the RDCK.

Glacier Creek Commission has new appointments. THANK YOU to all those who volunteers for committees and commissions to keep the community involved in your services.

Chairs report- you will see a report from me
https://rdck.ca/…/Go…/Documents/2019-04-11-BRD_Agenda-lr.pdf

RDCK Rural Affairs Committee
Highlights:
Update on the Agriculture Land Commission
Update on the Regional Agriculture Adaptation Strategies

https://rdck.ca/…/Administration/2019-04-10-RAC-AGENDA_FINA…

Sustainability- which Area D is a participant
https://rdck.ca/…/sustainability-environmental-initiatives.…

Director Watsons update, April 9th

Back at the desk, but only for a few minutes and back out the door for a week of meetings in Nelson. Here are our monthly board, rural affairs and sustainability meeting agenda’s.

Also, met with the Kaslo and Area D Economic Development Commission yesterday where we are excited about some major projects…stay tuned!!!

RDCK monthly Board:
Highlights:
This summer we will be switching recycling to the provincial body mandated to provide the service- Recycle BC. As they will not allow all of our depots, remote ones like Marblehead will stay open but operated by the RDCK.

Glacier Creek Commission has new appointments. THANK YOU to all those who volunteers for committees and commissions to keep the community involved in your services.

Chairs report- you will see a report from me
https://rdck.ca/…/Go…/Documents/2019-04-11-BRD_Agenda-lr.pdf

RDCK Rural Affairs Committee
Highlights:
Update on the Agriculture Land Commission
Update on the Regional Agriculture Adaptation Strategies

https://rdck.ca/…/Administration/2019-04-10-RAC-AGENDA_FINA…

Sustainability- which Area D is a participant
https://rdck.ca/…/sustainability-environmental-initiatives.…

Director Watsons update April 2nd

I am home for 12 hours before hitting the road again for another conference.

Last week; I attended the Chair/CAO forum in Victoria as well as the legislature and with thanks to our MLA, Michelle Mungall, was able to meet with the Minister of Forest. The forum presented a variety of topics, of most interest was the building code and hearing how step code is not the most effective way to achieve both energy efficiency and affordability. Our meeting with the Minister of Forests, Doug Donaldson, was brief but allowed us to discuss slope stability concerns in various parts across our District.

Tomorrow, we have agenda setting in Nelson then I am off for another conference, COFI where I will hear from a broad spectrum of participants in the forestry sector.
https://www.cofi.org/

And while I play catch up, here is last month Board Highlights. Very excited to see the biofuel business plan move forward with support from CBT, As well, the approval of our annual budget. Area D participates in up to 25 services depending on where you live, please do contact me if you would like a copy of what each service is being funded at this year.

Here are March Board highlights:
https://rdck.ca/…/N…/News~Archive/2019-03-BRD_Highlights.pdf

Director Watsons update April 2nd

I am home for 12 hours before hitting the road again for another conference.

Last week; I attended the Chair/CAO forum in Victoria as well as the legislature and with thanks to our MLA, Michelle Mungall, was able to meet with the Minister of Forest. The forum presented a variety of topics, of most interest was the building code and hearing how step code is not the most effective way to achieve both energy efficiency and affordability. Our meeting with the Minister of Forests, Doug Donaldson, was brief but allowed us to discuss slope stability concerns in various parts across our District.

Tomorrow, we have agenda setting in Nelson then I am off for another conference, COFI where I will hear from a broad spectrum of participants in the forestry sector.
https://www.cofi.org/

And while I play catch up, here is last month Board Highlights. Very excited to see the biofuel business plan move forward with support from CBT, As well, the approval of our annual budget. Area D participates in up to 25 services depending on where you live, please do contact me if you would like a copy of what each service is being funded at this year.

Here are March Board highlights:
https://rdck.ca/…/N…/News~Archive/2019-03-BRD_Highlights.pdf

Letter from CCC, Bill Kestell

porcupinelogoMarch 19, 2019

As per Cooper Creek Cedar Ltd (CCC) LINKS submissions on March 18, 2018 & April 23, 2018, CCC has been working on forest development on the Salisbury Ck/Bulmer Ck Face Unit during the past year.  CCC is finalizing information to present to the community showing the preliminary proposed forest development.  CCC is planning to schedule a public meeting at the Argenta Community Hall early to mid May, 2019.  CCC will provide notification of the date and time as this information is determined.

CCC’s objective of the meeting is to present an overview of the Argenta Forest Development Unit showing the forest development area net down due to the Purcell Wilderness, OGMA, GAR Creek Reserve, Woodlot,private land and constrained areas, show the proposed development in Salisbury/Bulmer Face & begin public discussion around the proposed development and to discuss CCC’s next steps.

Cooper Creek Cedar Ltd wants to clarify some false information that CCC, and the Selkirk Forest District have been recently questioned about:  CCC has NOTsubmitted a cutting permit or road permit, and CCC does NOT havean issued/approved cutting permit or road permit for any area that is in the Argenta Forest Development Unit (FDU), as per CCC’s Forest Stewardship Plan’s identified FDUs.  Subsequently, CCC will NOTbe beginning road right-of-way logging and/or road construction and/or cutblock harvesting in the near future.

Submitted by:

Bill Kestell, RPF

Cooper Creek Cedar Ltd

Woodlands Manager

Argenta/JL Face logging “the Nelson Star”

Local experts say a logging company’s plans to develop an area near Johnsons Landing shouldn’t result in another landslide similar to that of the one that killed four people and destroyed three homes in 2012.

Cooper Creek Cedar owns two timber licences for the mountain face located along the east shore of Kootenay Lake between Johnsons Landing and Argenta. The company released a forest stewardship plan last year signalling its intent to log in the area, although exactly where and how large the cut blocks would be is still unknown.

Bill Kestell, Cooper Creek Cedar’s woodlands manager, said there was consensus at a March 13 meeting with independent geologists, provincial and regional representatives that the conditions around Gar Creek, which led to the Johnsons Landing slide, aren’t consistent along the rest of the face.

Logging and road construction, he added, were also not factors in the slide.

“We’re not saying the face unit itself, like any other mountainous area around here, is not a concern for terrain instability,” said Kestell. “We are still going to go ahead and do all the required, appropriate terrain stability assessments as we develop and as we go ahead.”

A spokesperson for the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development told the Star in an email that no logging or development can happen in a 278.6-hectare area around the Gar Creek drainage.

“It is possible that logging may occur in other areas along the Argenta face. However, the area available for logging is quite limited given the terrain issues, visual quality objectives and ungulate winter ranges.”

Related: RDCK to write to forest minister about Laird Creek logging

Related: Remains found at Johnsons Landing landslide

Related: Property evacuated after mudslide closes Highway 3A

Aimee Watson, the Regional District of Central Kootenay director for Area D, said she’s been in communication with Cooper Creek Cedar and her constituents regarding the issue since last year.

Landslides, she said, aren’t the only concern she’s heard from the public.

“Climate change and increasingly weather that’s extremely unpredictable, and a land base that hasn’t really ever been logged, their concerns are specific to public safety,” said Watson. “Are operations going to cause a risk to their homes, their structures and also their water systems. There’s over 52 water licences in that area, so it’s all about the safety and the protection of their community.”

Watson said she’s requested and been granted approval from the ministry for a third-party assessment of the area’s slope stability.

Technically that assessment will have no legal power because of the professional reliance model, which says that plans and practices are decided on by logging companies after a forest stewardship plan has been approved.

Peter Jordan, a professional geoscientist and landslide expert, was among those at last month’s meeting. He previously worked 25 years in the forest service and said he has plenty of experience examining the face between Argenta and Johnsons Landing.

Jordan said the area’s terrain, which is on top of sedimentary and metamorphic rocks, is more prone to landslides than the granite base Nelson is built on.

“The geology is just inherently weaker, so there’s a greater instance of landslides in that geology than there is in the more solid geology,” he said.

Jordan added logging can also cause erosion that adds sediment to water, which in turn affects fish and wildlife habitats along with water quality. On the other hand, he said logging from Argenta south to Johnsons Landing, a distance of approximately 10 kilometres, could also help mitigate wild fires in a forest that’s overdue for a burn.

Either way, Cooper Creek Cedar will need to take a lot of care for what could be a relatively small cut.

“Although there’s no requirement under present legislation that they do take any special care, in practise they do,” said Jordan. “There’s a difference between what the laws and regulations say what they have to do and what I guess they need to do to maintain their social licence to be a responsible operator.”

Jordan and Greg Utzig, a conservation ecologist, were among those in agreement that another landslide on the scale of the one six years ago was unlikely.

“We’ve had landslides occur in the last couple weeks,” said Utzig. “There’s been a number of small ones that have occurred just because of heavy rains and packed snow melt and saturated ground. But they are in the order of a few dump truck loads, whereas the Johnsons Landing slide was a huge slide by any measure.

“It’s not the kind of thing that’s a day-to-day event.”

Kestell said Cooper Creek Cedar hopes to begin field work as soon as snow melt allows for it. A preliminary work schedule provided by the company says it hopes to have identified potential cut blocks and road routes by August, and that a final application could be submitted to the ministry by September or October.

The company’s assessments will also be provided to the ministry and RDCK for peer review, and Kestell encouraged public feedback. “We’re at the very beginning of a long process,” he said.

Utzig owns land adjacent to the Johnsons Landing slide and previously conducted terrain mapping in the area during the 1980s. He said he is conflicted about future logging, which is a feeling shared by many of the area’s residents.

“The Johnsons Landing slide has actually created more of a fear of the negative repercussions than harvesting might have, although it was plenty strong enough before.”

The area being considered for logging sits between Argenta and Johnsons Landing, and is book-ended by Kootenay Lake and the Purcell Wilderness Conservancy Provincial Park. Web photo

Hospice

Kaslo and Area Hospice

Services are offered throughout the Regional District of Central Kootenay including Ainsworth, Kaslo, Lardeau, Cooper Creek, Meadow Creek, Howser, Argenta and Johnsons Landing. Well trained volunteers provide confidential support than can include:

  • Phone calls and visits with clients and families to give emotional support;
  • Help with practical day to day needs like appointments and outings;
  • Respite time to give at-home caregivers a break;
  • Bereavement / grief support after the death of a loved one.

Families may contact hospice office directly or ask doctors, home care provider or hospital staff to contact hospice on their behalf. All services are free. Training programs for hospice volunteers available.

Hospice Society of North Kootenay Lake
Kemball Memorial Building
201 – 312 4th Street Kaslo, BC
V0G 1M0
PH: (250) 353-2299