From Amandah Cullum on behalf of the board…
**please read to the end as there are a lot of exciting happenings in our community and important info/dates coming up!!
Hello to our amazing community! I hope you are all doing well and are starting to glimpse the ‘light at the end of the Winter Tunnel’ with Spring just around the corner!!
With so many happenings taking place and coming up we wanted to share with you a bit of a ‘blurb’ to keep everyone in the loop
The website is receiving its final few tweaks; awaiting board bios and such and will be up and running very soon!! This will be a very valuable resource for all aspects of our community and we are super thankful to Tricia Ramier McLellan for taking the reins on this and seeing it to completion!!
We are lucky to have Jacinta D’Andrea on our team; bringing with her, valuable knowledge about stewardship on many levels including land, air and water. This is her passion and we are lucky to have her wealth of knowledge within our community working on many projects.
We are so lucky to have Mark Savard on our team as President and ‘recreation coordinator’; bringing with him many years of collaboration with many government, First Nations and community facets.
Mark has worked on trail building and maintenance within our community with the Shipwreck network and I have seen and heard of many community members recreating on this gem of our community.
If you heard ‘rumblings’ of a Lake to Lake hard-packed trail, offering waking/running/biking options to our community including low mobility, this is also a project that a few of us are looking to take further in the future. Super exciting to offer recreational options off of the road, especially seeing how popular the ‘ lake ice trails’ were recently that were maintained by our community members…way to go team!
Al and his fire crew, along with Mark, Jacinta and myself have been working diligently to try to find a way to have our FD obtain liability insurance to be able to operate within our community in a safe manner for the FD members, Association and community members.
As of right now (ever since small FD’s lost the support of the CRD), it appears that our FD does have WCB coverage as long as our turnout gear is within 10 years old (which it is) but if something happened to a FD member/structure/property owner on a community members property while responding to a fire call, the community member would be liable under their own private insurance. As would the board members, to the best of my knowledge (side note: the insurance industry is very tight right now and ever changing).
This has been a huge weight on the board members as I’m sure you can understand and has taken many hours to wade through. We are looking to see how we can possibly move forward as an operating FD, options and what that may look like.
To ensure we look at this very important topic from many lenses and from a standpoint of fact, we are organizing a facilitated meeting to take place in March. Following that will be an outdoor ‘Townhall’ meeting to share the facts and options for our FD where we truly hope to see as many community members (complying with Covid safety and precautions) in attendance as possible to weigh in on this very important topic. It is my understanding that this topic has been somewhat ‘hot’ for many years (at least 12) and we truly hope to be able to have a collaborative community voice to be able to move forward in a positive way that benefits our community at large.
Esketemc Woodland in c/o Alkali Resource Management:
I chatted with Gord Chipman at length yesterday afternoon amd he was a wealth of knowledge about the happenings of the Alkali Resource Management team working on many projects within their Woodland Tenure.
There is too much info to share in a FB post but in a nutshell they have started with their Egress Route from Alkali, along Dog Creek Road, Chimney Lake Road, Enterprise Road and through to Hwy 97; thinning and reducing wildfire material to create a better ‘escape’ route after the 2017 wildfires.
Another project is the brushing out of Yellow Lake Trail (Enterprise to Anderson Road) on the Rim Rock overlooking the San Jose River…this will be a great addition to our current recreation options…I can’t wait to check it out!!
The third project we chatted about was the Range Drift Fencing project. This is projected to start this spring as they are just finishing tying up some loose ends with some of the project going through some old growth forest and mule deer grazing areas.
Beetle logging will be a continuous project and new this year, the Esket people would like to start with traditional prescribed burns above the Main campsite as this was something that was done traditionally on an annual basis to preserve the grasslands; protecting precious habitat for many species of birds. Upwards of 80% of birds in the Cariboo depend on these grasslands which are being ‘swallowed up’ by encroaching trees.
They are currently waiting on archaeological digs as this is traditional land and if you explore closely you may be lucky enough to discover that there are a few pit houses on the trail. Super cool to have such rich culture and history preserved in our community!
There has been $10,000 earmarked by a CRD grant for ‘greening’ and improving our Community Hall which is going to finally be put to use in quite a large project coming up this Spring. I was also able to secure an additional $4000 from the CRD for Covid relief as we were unable to rent our hall for any income this past year. I have contacted Dennis Smith (our very own Chimney Lake carpenter/plumber/electrician…basically you name it ‘extraordinaire’) and he has agreed to work with me on this project. Dennis and I have worked on quite a few projects and I am very excited to tackle this with his expertise!
We will be resealing and replacing the bay doors and well as some man doors and one window, patching walls and repainting the entire interior as well as floors, installing a dishwasher to meet FoodSafe requirements for usage and rentals, bathroom renos, flooring replacement in kitchen and bathroom as well as fixing the outdoor faucet.
Jacinta and I, along with others I am sure (this is a new idea) would also like to persue the idea of a community garden (with applying for grant money) at the Hall to look to the future of food sustainability at a small community level.
We feel that this was such a great aspect of welcoming new neighbours to our community that we just had to bring it back! I had the kids help me to put together a few packages that included info about community information, recreation, being a member of the association as well as some handmade/grown goodies donated by our board. Tricia Ramier McLellan and myself delivered 14 packages just a few weeks ago. If you know of anyone new coming to our community, please let us know!
Ahhh, the golf course. I have had a hand at managing this gem of our community in the past and it was an absolute pleasure! I am happy to report that it is continuing to flourish with record numbers under the management of Dwayne Rustemeyer (Rusty) and the golf committee with Bill Margetts at the helm as Greenskeeper. Despite Covid restrictions…the outdoors and Mother Nature have been our absolute saviour during these times… I expect another stellar year for the golf course!
I think that about covers it…
Pencil the following tentative dates into your calendar:
April ?? – Outdoor townhall meeting re: future of the Fire Department
May 1 – Outdoor AGM at 7 pm
Hope to see all of you there…we really need the collective support of our entire community voice!!
Vice President CFLLA
CFLLa Community Hall Coordinator