The Valley Voice article on CCC cut-block plan Argenta-Johnson’s Landing face, June 4,2020

Cooper Creek Cedar removes cutblock 6 from Argenta-Johnson’s Landing Face plan

by Jan McMurray

Cooper Creek Cedar has made some changes to the Argenta-Johnson’s Landing Face logging plan. Cutblock 6 has been removed from the plan, and the road proposed for cutblock 1 has been downgraded to a forwarding trail. The changes come as a result of discussions with Will Halleran about his terrain stability assessment and discussions with communitymembers during recent eld trips.

“We’re particularly pleased that block 6 has been deleted from the plan,” said Karen Newmoon, a member of the liaison committee. “That’s the block where Brenda [Herbison, biologist] found caribou scat and tracks, so it’s good news for slope stability and for protecting caribou habitat, as well.

“I think this is a testament to the value of relationship-building between the community and the tenure holder.”

The liaison committee was formed to be the communication conduit between the broader community and Cooper Creek Cedar. There isalso an ad hoc group, which consists of vecommunity members with technical knowledge.

“The two groups have different functions but we work together and share information,” Newmoon explained.

She said the community has communicated its concerns and feedback to the liaison committee through an ongoing email participation process and a series of community meetings that began last summer.

“We’ve found Cooper Creek Cedar to be responsive to the community’s concerns, and very open to communication with the liaison committee,” Newmoon said. “No logging plan will be satisfactory to everyone in the community, but we’ve had a lot of back and forth with Cooper Creek and have been able to work towards a reasonable plan.”

The liaison committee and ad hoc grouphave been on several eld trips with CCC repslast fall and this spring. Newmoon notes that the area’s RDCK director, Aimee Watson,recently joined a eld trip. “Aimee has beenvery present in the process. The community appreciates the involvement of our regional director,” Newmoon said.

Cooper Creek Cedar conducting sound forest practices, audit nds

by Jan McMurray

Cooper Creek Cedar got high marks in the Forest Practices Board’s audit of its forest licence near Kaslo.

“On the ground, the licensee carried out sound forest practices in the areas of harvesting, road construction and maintenance, and silviculture, as well as good proactive efforts to engage the public. The licensee is also making significant investments to address the legacy issues arising from poor reforestation in the past, and the quality of practices on the ground exceeded legal requirements in several respects. As this is a very challenging area in which to operate, the Board acknowledges these results,” the audit report states.

The FPB also found that CCC fully complied with legal requirements for old growth management and mountain caribou habitat protection.

The audit found one non-compliance: an excavator crossed a bridge that was not rated to handle the weight of the machine, and one area for improvement: the preparation of site plans for roads built outside of cutblocks. The report notes that the company is now developing the required site plans.

The audit report acknowledges that the area is “challenging for engineering, harvesting and silviculture, has many sensitive environmental values, and is the subject of local public interest in sustainable forest management.”
It also notes that a Forest Practices Board investigation of this same forest licence area in 2012, when Meadow Creek Cedar held the licence, found “some of the highest levels of non-compliance” that the board has ever encountered.

The audit report provides an update onthe Healy Creek area, which was aggedas an area of concern during the 2012 investigation. The Healy Creek drainage was placed into a ‘no harvest area’ in 2008 to conserve mountain caribou habitat, and government and licencees have been discussing who should take responsibility for outstanding forestry obligations here ever since. In the 2012 report, the FPB recommended that government coordinate a maintenance/ deactivation strategy for all roads in the Healy Creek drainage and involve all resource users. Unfortunately, the recent audit report indicates that there has been little progress on this. However, the report notes that the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development has informed the FPB that it has secured funding to plan deactivation work in Healy Creek this year. “The proposed actions are encouraging; timely action is needed by both the licensee and the Province to address the long-term safety and environmental risks from roads and bridges in Healy Creek,” the audit report says.

Flood emergency preparedness in case of evacuations.

Nature is fast and she is fierce! 

Evacuations are happening quickly where needed, we have crews all over the RDCK watching creeks and rivers. As residents, you are participants in ensuring we all stay safe. 

I ask each of you to ensure you have read the information below and are familiar with what is important for your household to stay safe. 

Here are all of the important links:

1. Have your grab and go bag ready. For what should be in it, see here:
https://rdck.ca/…/emergency-ma…/emergency-preparedness.html…

https://rdck.ca/…/Emergency%20preparedness%20-%20Grab-and-g…

2. You observe creek/river behavior that is concerning or witness flooding, call this number ASAP:
1-800-663-3456

3. To be notified if you are moved from evacuation ALERT to ORDER, several options:
– sign up for alerts here:
https://rdck.ca/…/emergency-management/emergency-alerts.html

– follow this page here: https://rdck.ca/…/emer…/evacuation-order-and-alert-page.html

– there is door to door notification, can be from local fire dept, search and rescue or RCMP- pay attention to who may be at your door

You can reach me via email or text, noting i still do not have internet but am doing my best with my phone access.

Aimee Watson, Area D Director
awatson@rdck.bc.ca
250-304-5842 (email is best as I am on my phone for emergency updates and may not be able to answer)

Support for Seniors during Covid-19

The pandemic has been especially hard on BC seniors, who may feel overwhelmed by social isolation, health concerns and financial struggles. Several federal and provincial supports are available to help seniors through the pandemic, including:

• One-time, tax-free payment of $300 for seniors eligible for Old Age Security with an additional $200 for seniors eligible for the Guaranteed Income Supplement.
• A $300 COVID-19 Crisis Supplement for 3 months until June 2020 to those who receive the BC Senior’s Supplement.
• A one-time special GST payment in April, providing an average of $375 to single seniors and $510 to senior couples.

For more information on supports for seniors, visit: https://www2.gov.bc.ca/…/covid-19-provi…/financial-benefits

Duncan Dam forecast from BC Hydro, May 16th UPDATED LINKS, FRIDAY MAY 22

From BCHYDRO-UPDATED LINKS FOUND!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

May 16, 2020 2020 – 2 SPECIAL ADVISORY: POSSIBLE HIGH DUNCAN RIVER FLOWS AT THE LARDEAU CONFLUENCE 

Lardeau at Marblehead (MHD)

https://www.bchydro.com/info/res_hydromet/data/mhd.txt?WT.ac_id=hd_mhd

Duncan River at the Lardeau Junction (LDR)

https://www.bchydro.com/info/res_hydromet/data/drl.txt?WT.ac_id=hd_drl

The following information is provided to those who have expressed an interest in the reservoir level and discharge rate at Duncan Dam. Please note that this forecast is subject to change if there are significant changes in the projected weather pattern. 

The flows on the Duncan River at the Lardeau Confluence (DRL) are currently at approximately 240 m3/s (8,500 cfs). We expect flows to continue to increase over the next several days due to increasing snowmelts.

Depending on the Lardeau River discharge, flows at DRL could potentially reach 350 m3/s (12,400 cfs) by Monday, May 18. 

We will be reducing flows from Duncan Reservoir to manage these potential high flows. For current reservoir levels and discharge information, please visit BC Hydro’s website at bchydro.com in the search bar type in Lardeau, a list of all the matches will appear, scroll down to the 2nd one DLR and your will be on your way to find the info needed.

For additional information, or if you do not have access to the internet, please call 1-877-924-2444. 

For more information, contact: Mary Anne Coules Stakeholder Engagement Advisor Phone: 250-608-1885 Email: maryanne.coules@bchydro.com

Jeff Henderson, Stations Field Manager, Duncan Dam Phone: 604-612-9006 Email: jeffrey.henderson@bchydro.com

Director Watson updates, links to board agenda & more, May 19th

While that was an odd and kind of eerie May Days, it was sure great to see the maypole go up and a parade! All of our emergency services providers plus the Village of Kaslo pulled off a heart warming May Day parade!! I got pics of everyone I could and will post soon. 

In the meantime, we have a busy board week ahead. The board is continuing to meet remotely with only the committee and board Chairs attending in person. Navigating 7-8 hour meetings via phone is a whole new skill I am developing and with a serious decrease in driving, I am not complaining! I miss the engagement in person provides, but it is not a hard compromise to remain home and still achieve our business. 

With that, the public can still participate! WE post the number and all of the agendas on the RDCK website- will link below. Public time for questions is generally at 11:45, this is when the public can query the board, rest of the meeting is listening to our discussions and debates. Bring popcorn!

Here is this week’s board agenda. I will also post our resource recovery and rural affairs agenda’s below. 

Items of interest:
1.4 We will have our first delegation via telephone. Tara D’Courcy will present on the Central Forestry Revitalization plans. Delegations generally run from 9:05 to about 9:30

2.2 wildfire Mitigation -Crown Land Update. The RDCK has been working on crown land wildfire mitigation for about 15 years. There have been significant changes to how this work will be conducted and funded from the Ministry of Forest. The attached report outlines those changes and recommended actions for the board in response to the changes. With 7-9 Area D communities having completed or in the cue for FireSmart Communities, five fuel prescriptions in 4 communities written and several more communities working in their own regard in wildfire mitigation- Argenta Johnson Landing, Shutty Bench and Allen Subdivision, this is important information to follow. 

3.1.1 + 3.1.2 + 3.1.4 Kaslo and Area D Economic Development Commission minutes. You can read the business of the shared economic development commission for Kaslo and Area D. Most recently, we have amended the contract for economic action plan, in progress right before COVID, to include an immediate support position for the region to access programs in response to COVID, a virtual downtown for Area D businesses and planning for recovery and resilience. Please follow North Kootenay Lake page on Facebook and watch the local papers for updates. If you are business or other entity needing support, do reach out and I will be sure to connect you with this new service. 

3.3.12 + 3.3.3 Letters of Support from Area D. Here you can see what projects/programs Area D is supporting

8.1.3 Recreation Service Update. Our recreation services is by far one of the hardest hit by COVID. Over 200 employees were laid off and many of our facilities remain closed. For a fill review of the state of our recreation services with the budget implication and plans for re-opening, read the report. For Area D, this report addresses Glacier Creek, rest of the services are outside of Area D. Local community halls are operating and managed by their respective boards. 

8.4.1 Overall RDCK Services COVID update. For a review of all other services, impact to service levels, budgets and projects openings for those that have reduced services, read this report. It is a great overview of all of the budgetary adjustment made, proposed, staffing changes and proposed changes moving forward.

8.6.3 Area D is providing funds to JazzFest to work on alternative entertainment options as we see the floating stage stay docked for the first year in ….28?

10.2 Basin Wide Food Security Plan. This is my motion on an action that started when our Emergency Operations Center was first activated in response to COVID. The item on this agenda is the full plan proposed and an interim action plan for immediate needs. Motions are for a letter of support and funding to act on the interim plan while the wider plan is reviewed by neighboring Regional Districts and funders. 

Board agenda: https://rdck.ca/…/Go…/Documents/2020-05-21-BRD_Agenda-lr.pdf
Call in details: https://rdck.ca/…/event…/meetings/rdck-board-meeting-17.html

Joint Resource Recovery agenda:
https://rdck.ca/…/joint-resource-recovery-committee-meeting…

Rural Affairs agenda:
https://rdck.ca/…/Admin…/Documents/2020-05-20-RAC_Agenda.pdf
Call in details:
https://rdck.ca/…/…/meetings/rural-affairs-committee-28.html

Aimee Watson, Directors Report, May 7th

Directors Report

Hello Area D, how is everyone doing?

These times are uncharted waters with some thriving and some struggling but all wondering how this all will unfold? It is apparent that the information out there regarding our global pandemic is endless and often, at odds with each other. What I find fascinating is the infinite perspectives on how and what COVID is and what each household is doing to protect themselves while supporting the community. 

The good news: while being isolated from each other, I am seeing immense outpouring of support and connection, from community volunteer groups to business supports and thoughtful ways to adapt to our new normal. Staying positive is certainly a challenge, combine this with homeschooling, working full time and cooking so dam much! Its exhausting being tied to home. I am slightly kidding; the combination of homeschooling and working is not super easy but not driving endless hours and KM’s for meetings is a blessing!

On that note, please always know you can reach out to me for support, even if I cannot directly support you, I am happy to redirect you or support where I can.

I do think we are in a favorable situation knowing how remote we all are; however, emergency resources need to be considered and well cared for to ensure we are not quickly maxed out. 

We already have limited supports with our First Responders (want to join??), Search and Rescue, Ambulance and of course our business hours only health care center. The good news is that all the staff and volunteers in these organizations go well above and beyond the call of duty and thank each and everyone of you for your commitments, they are heroic!

While the global pandemic has certainly taken over most of our thoughts and actions, there are still many other actions and issues to pay attention to. I have a short (I know your laughing at me already…) list below. Have a read and let me know if you need more information or have questions. Most importantly, enjoy that beautiful spring sunshine!

1. Be Flood Prepared 
Flood and Debris line: 1800-663-3456
Please be sure you have that number in your contacts. If you see flooding or debris flows, please call it asap. 

While I hope we do not have to deal with any floods this year, on top of our global emergency, we know the melt is on and we must plan accordingly. Our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) has been activated under the Provincial State of Emergency since the 2nd week of March. The EOC has been working hard on being prepared should evacuation alerts and orders be necessary. What is most important is that your household is prepared. I have linked to a few great resources on what should be in your to go bag and what to watch for around your house if you are aware of potential flooding.
https://rdck.ca/…/emerge…/emergency-preparedness/floods.html

In conjunction with our Emergency Social Services, (ESS) and the Red Cross, should the need to evacuate occur, we will not be hosting receptions centers but rather having residents register either online or via phone. We will also have accommodations established with protocols in place to address social distancing needs.

2. Community Initiatives and Affected Areas Funding Programs
It is unfortunate we are unable to host our annual community meetings to hear and ask questions about community projects. Hearing what we are all up to- and so much!- while working together to allocate funds according to your input, it does not get more democratic then that. Adjusting to a new process has not been easy but CBT and the RDCK staff have come up with what we feel with still achieve the goals while not impeding or delaying what our community organization have planned to support us all.

This year, it is online engagement. Find all the information here: https://rdck.ca/…/…/grants/columbia-basin-trust-cip-aap.html

Each Director with funds (I have two, Affected Areas and Community Initiatives I pool with Kaslo) has had to create local steering committees who will be adjudicating the proposals with recommendations to the RDCK board at our June meeting. 
Community Initatives:
Committee: 
Area D representatives: myself, Maggie Winters and Monica Davie
Kaslo: Mayor Hewat, Tom Humphries, Margaret Fry
Funds available: $58,366
Funds requested: $$134,094

Affected Areas:
Committee: (only residents in the Lardeau Valley qualify)
Deb Borsos, Janine Conrad, Carl Johnson, Gillian Sanders and me
Funds available: $87, 085
Funds requested: $158,039.64
For a copy of the terms of reference for this committee, let me know!

3. Forestry: Cooper Creek Cedar- terrain and caribou reports and KDCFS wildfire mitigation work
Forestry is a file I am constantly involved in, from wildfire mitigation, environment to logging. The Argenta Johnson Landing communities have been working diligently over the past two years to engage and provide input with the tenure holders for the land that surrounds the area, Cooper Creek Cedar. CCC has released three reports for public review, a terrain stability assessment including karst review and the caribou management plan. All three can be reviewed at the Lardeau Valley Opportunity Society (LINKs) website: https://www.lardeauvalley.ca/environment-weather/
Comments due before June 1st. 

For the Kaslo and District Community Forest plans and work from upper Allen Subdivision to Shutty Bench via branch 7, please see their plans online at:
https://kaslocommunityforest.org/…

4. Stabilizing Power in the Lardeau Valley 
There is movement on the efforts to assess how the regions power could be more stable. We have circulated a scope of work that would be covered in a feasibility, once the community group has reviewed, we will work on how and who can do the work. Stay tuned!

5. NKL Farmer Innovation program + CBT supports
It is our third year offering the Farmer Innovation program in Area D, 2nd year in partnership with the Village of Kaslo enabling all farmers and processors eligible in the North Kootenay Lake region. Lardeau Valley Opportunity Society is administrating the program, you can see details here: https://www.lardeauvalley.ca/agriculture-lardeau-valley/

Further, in great news! The CBT is now offering similar supports Basin wide, if you missed the intake for the Farmer Innovation program and/or know of others who could use support to enhance our local food and farming sector, more important than ever! 
https://ourtrust.org/two-new-programs-support-the-regions…/…

6. Kaslo and Area D Economic Development program support for businesses
From the Press Release: Revitalizing the economy of North Kootenay Lake is a top priority in 2020. Recent challenges in forestry, the changing landscape of agriculture, the growth of remote working and wide range of
tourism opportunities create an exciting time for residents of North Kootenay Lake to look ahead togetherand build a strategy to shape the region’s future. The Village of Kaslo and Regional District of Central Kootenay Area D are teaming up to develop a shared vision for the regions economy. 
This program was launched a month before our global landscape changed, since then, the program coordinator has been able to shift gears to focus on impacts of COVID and will be looking at how best we can support recovery. For further information, you can follow the page on Facebook, online or reach out directly. Here are those links:
https://www.facebook.com/NORTHKOOTENAYLAKE/
https://www.northkootenaylake.ca/…