Category Archives: Visitors of Note

Provincial Parks Expanding

The province dispatched the MLA for Nanaimo, Sheila Malcolmson, to deliver some good news to the folks at Christina Lake: The Government of British Columbia is adding land to two provincial parks Gladstone and Garibaldi. Specifically, a 6 hectare addition to Gladstone and 5.6 hectares to Garibaldi.

You can watch the event below and read the press release below that.

For Immediate Release Ministry of Environment and Climate Change Strategy

Protected land added to two provincial parks

VICTORIA -The Government of British Columbia is adding land to two provincial parks Gladstone and Garibaldi -to protect ecologically sensitive areas, promote biodiversity and enhance recreation opportunities.

“Our parks are important for bringing families and communities together. They also protect B.C’s incredible biodiversity with ecosystems found nowhere else in the world,” said George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy. “Acquiring these lands ensures the conservation and protection of sensitive habitat so British Columbians can enjoy our spectacular natural spaces for years to come.”

Valued at $1.74 million, the Province purchased two lots from a private vendor at the north end of Christina Lake for a six-hectare addition to Gladstone Provincial Park near Grand Forks.

Featuring a natural beach/lake frontage, open forest and pockets of old growth, the properties were the last remaining private inholdings of the Sandner Creek drainage, which is used by 70% of the stream-spawning kokanee in Christina Lake. Securing the land for park purposes creates a continuous protected area on the north end of the lake.

“The Christina Lake Stewardship Society is extremely delighted to hear about the purchase of land at the north end of Christina Lake,” said Jeff Olsen, president, Christina Lake Stewardship Society. “This sensitive and diverse area hosts a myriad of plant and wildlife, some of which are species at risk like the western painted turtle. As depletion of wetlands continues, this acquisition is not only an engaging action taken by the Province, it is also an immensely important one for Christina Lake.”

The Province also purchased 5.6 hectares that were completely surrounded by Garibaldi Park near Squamish. Valued at $955,000, the property will help provide more opportunities for recreation in the Diamond Head area of the park.

Quick Facts:

One of the largest park systems in the world, British Columbia has 1,033 provincial parks, recreation areas, conservancies, ecological reserves and protected areas. They cover more than 14 million hectares, or approximately 14.4% of the provincial land base.

The Province regularly adds land to the parks and protected areas system through the acquisition of private land, and partnerships with conservation groups and individual donors.

Learn More:

For more information about the BC Parks Land Acquisition Program, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/partnerships/landAcguisition.html

For more information about BC Parks, visit: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/bcparks/

Development Expert Roger Brooks’ Presentations

Roger Brooks was back in town (the last time he was here was 2008). For those who don’t know anything about him I’d suggest you visit destinationdevelopment.org After some discussion and visiting around the area he gave a couple of presentations.

The first was a presentation to show how towns can improve their lot by paying attention to what works and striving to become a Destination. The second was his Recovery Action Plan for Grand Forks.

To watch these videos taking full advantage of the On-Demand nature you should click on the YouTube button and go to YouTube and watch them there. Then you will be able to select which part you want to watch from the list below the video.

Business Recovery Open House – Advice From High River

The recent flooding disaster affected not only residents but businesses as well. It’s a month on and a number of downtown businesses are still evacuated from their premises. Some will be able to return sometime during the summer once restoration work is done but others have a tougher and longer wait – with the worry that some of these buildings might have to be destroyed.

This creates a lot of anxiety and hardship because most businesses cannot go 3 months of interruption and still survive. So what can the business owners expect to happen? And what can the community do to help prevent losses and facilitate recovery?

It turns out that people here in Grand Forks have connections that lead to people who were part of the team that got High River, and its business community, back from its historic flood disaster 5 years ago. In their case over a thousand businesses had to be evacuated among the myriad of other issues facing them. But they persevered and as a result High River has been able to recover and be stronger (and better protected) than before.

Two of those people mentioned above happened to be attending something nearby in Kelowna. These are Angela Groeneveld and Todd Williams. From Angela’s bio:

Angela also has extensive experience in Business and Economic Disaster Recovery. She was on the ground through all phases of recovery experience combined with professional education to assist local businesses to recover and rebuild after natural or manmade disasters. Some of her projects include; building Canada’s first temporary business park to house businesses that lost their storefronts to the 2013 flood; transitioning the businesses through the phases of recovery. She was then called to share her expertise in partnership with EDA and Red cross to assist in the initial stages of business recovery during the Fort McMurray fire. Angela is a facilitator for the International Economic Development “restore your economy” training. Angela currently is working with the Puerto Rico Economic Development Director on business recovery and contracts to the Town of High River on the last phase of recovery.

Todd Williams was the Project Manager for all these projects and grants related to rebuilding and renewing the business community of High River.

They were able to change their schedule to visit Grand Forks and see for themselves the situation. They talked with some of the people in affected businesses, made connections with the local government and business support groups.

The Boundary country Regional Chamber of Commerce hosted this Open House for business owners so they could hear what Angela and Todd had to say and ask questions.
(please excuse the audio issues at the beginning of the meeting – it gets better)

Where Water Matters

On Friday April 10 the Boundary Environmental Alliance had a public info session with Biologist Mike Pearson who specializes in Aquatic and Riparian habitats.

Earlier in the day he was toured through some of the sensitive riparian zones in our area. Places like Lost Lake and the Gilpin. A number of people tagged along, amongst them local media and politicians.

The Riparian area is the space of land adjacent to the water. Around Lost Lake it is supposed to be fenced off but when we were there the fence on one side was in the water, not some distance from it as it should be.

Proper fish habitat goes hand in hand with the riparian zone. Good riparian zone promotes good fish habitat and poor riparian zone does the opposite. One of the questions the organizers had for Dr. Pearson was could the Gilpin Creek be a fish habitat? Could it support Cut Throat Trout? Could they make up from the river and through the culverts?

Dr. Pearson wondered if there might not already be some there. He advised any effort to begin with a count to see. A stretch above the highway has been fenced off and there are saplings that have been planted. But he pointed to the relatively straight run and remarked that for small fish it provided no shade, no variation in flow, no pools or resting spots. He said this was typical of a a stream in an area where the trees have been gone for a while. One suggestion to help improve aquatic fish habitat was to drop some lumber into the stream as would naturally happen. This would force the water to run under, over and around and that would sculpt out a shady pool of quieter water which fish like. Slower water means the fish aren’t spending as much energy staying in one place or going upstream.

Listen to what he has to say on the subjects of Riparian areas and Aquatic fish habitat.