Cariboo residents want forestry road graded

George Gilmore has lived on a forestry access road in the Cariboo since 1992.

George Gilmore has lived on a forestry access road in the Cariboo since 1992.

The road has not been used for forestry in five years and has not been graded since, he says.

“It’s an eight-kilometre stretch with businesses on it. There are 19 people at this end of the lake that utilize it when it’s in good shape. Right now it’s a hazard.”

In 2011, Gilmore gathered 150 signatures on a petition he gave to MLAs Bob Simpson and Donna Barnett, hoping to have some work done on the road.

“There were people on the petition from Alberta, Chilliwack, Washington, Vancouver; they all come up here and they access all this beautiful area,” he explains.

With the long weekend coming up and people flocking to the area, Gilmore is concerned because the road is in such bad shape.

Jeanette Turpin is in her fifth year of owning and operating the Crooked Lake Resort, located at the end of the same forest access road.

The resort has seen its RV traffic decline by 50 per cent in recent years, Turpin says.

“I have thought about how much of this impact is due to the economic times but then when I check back to our RV site rentals in 2009 — at the height of the economic turmoil — that is where it shows us being 50 per cent busier.”

Last year the resort had mineral explorers staying there. Turpin had to loan them some timbers and chains so they could get past some of the washed out roads and into their work areas.

“I can bore you with several more horror stories about flat tires, a broken axle, an aluminum boat that bounced so bad on his trailer that it wore a hole on the side of his boat etc, etc. but I am sure you get the point.”

Turpin pays $4,000 in property taxes, which she says she isn’t against paying.

However, her property is off the grid. She pays extra for the use of water that’s coming down off the mountain and does not receive fire protection or road maintenance.

She’d be willing to pool tax money with other residents to maintain the road if she could get a rebate on her taxes, but that’s not possible, she says.

“I understand that we are in poor economic times, of constraint, and I have asked MLA Donna Barnett, the front line forestry staff, and their senior management about looking at the issue to see if we can brainstorm some solutions.”

Cariboo Chilcotin Forest District manager Mike Pedersen says he has empathy for their frustrations; however, he says he has a very limited budget for maintenance of forest service roads.

“My main focus is on the recreational sites and that we’ve got an agreement that we provide maintenance to those roads so people can access those recreational sites,” Pedersen says.

“We get a priority listing from recreation. They provide some money and then our engineering branch chips in some money. It’s a shared approach to maintaining access into prime recreation sites.”

Not all the recreation sites are dealt that way, but the prime ones are, he explains.

Other resorts in the region have taken road maintenance on themselves and have a road-use agreement with the ministry.

“They hire somebody to come in that has the insurance to grade the road for them so that there’s access for their customers.”

It would cost about $1,000 to pay a contractor to grade the eight-kilometre stretch; however, Gilmore and Turpin are reluctant to pay for the maintenance.

“The government can spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on a bicycle trail on the seawall in Vancouver, they can put millions and millions to the Pemberton Highway and up to the ski hill, but they can’t spend a thousand dollars on a little chunk of road?” Gilmore asks.

He and his neighbours could grade the road themselves, he suggests. However, they would be liable and possibly ticketed if they did.

“I’m 63 years old. I’m not going to move. I love this place out here. I just want a little bit of something for the money I pay in taxes and everyone else out here does too. We’re not asking them to grade the road every year; even every other year would be OK,” Gilmore says.

Turpin says she wants the list of priority recreation roads reviewed. If roads are being plowed and graded because they are the ones that have always been, then that’s not good enough, she says.

“As an example, the road into Hen-Ingram Lake was graded this year. There is no one living out there, nor are there any businesses. How is that a priority road? I think the limited funds they do have for maintaining the road could be better spent if they were to review their priorities and spending.”

Just Posted

The Williams Lake Stampede Association will crown a new queen, and potentially a princess, during the Williams Lake Stampede Royalty coronation on Saturday, June 26. Vying for the title are Miss Williams Lake Lions Kennady Dyck (from left), Miss Peterson Contracting Ltd. Karena Sokolan and Miss MH King Excavating Bayley Cail. (Photos submitted)
New Williams Lake Stampede Queen to be crowned June 26

“It was jump in right away all the way,” Wessels said of getting the program up and running

As the province moves to lift some COVID-19 restrictions, the city of Williams Lake will be opening up its city council meetings to the public, beginning June 22. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Public attendance on the agenda once again for Williams Lake city council meetings

Residents will be permitted to attend meetings in person beginning June 22

The Cariboo Chilcotin Conservation Society invites residents in 100 Mile House, Williams Lake and Quesnel to participate in “Free Your Things” taking place over the Father’s Day weekend. (Mary Forbes photo)
Cariboo Conservation Society co-ordinating “Free Your Things” Father’s Day weekend

Residents can sign up if they have items they want to give away

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Second dose vaccinations accelerating throughout region: Interior Health

To date, more than 675,000 doses have been administered throughout the region

Thompson Rivers University Williams Lake Campus. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)
Williams Lake high school teacher valedictorian for TRU virtual graduation ceremonies

Jonathan Harding is graduating with a master of education degree

People line up to get their COVID-19 vaccine at a vaccination centre, Thursday, June 10, 2021 in Montreal. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Vaccines, low COVID case counts increase Father’s Day hope, but risk is still there

Expert says people will have to do their own risk calculus before popping in on Papa

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

FILE – A science class at L.A. Matheson Secondary in Surrey, B.C. on March 12, 2021. (Lauren Collins/Surrey Now Leader)
Teachers’ union wants more COVID transmission data as B.C. prepares for back-to-school

BCTF says that details will be important as province works on plan for September

Provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry outlines B.C.’s COVID-19 restart plan, May 25, 2021, including larger gatherings and a possible easing of mandatory masks on July 1. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. records 120 new COVID-19 cases, second vaccines accelerating

Lower Pfizer deliveries for early July, Moderna shipments up

A Heffley Creek peacock caught not one - but two - lifts on a logging truck this month. (Photo submitted)
Heffley Creek-area peacock hops logging trucks in search of love

Peacock hitched two lifts in the past month

The Calgary skyline is seen on Friday, Sept. 15, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
2 deaths from COVID-19 Delta variant in Alberta, 1 patient was fully immunized

Kerry Williamson with Alberta Health Services says the patients likely acquired the virus in the hospital

The first suspension bridge is the tallest in Canada, with a second suspension bridge just below it. The two are connected by a trail that’s just over 1 km. (Claire Palmer photo)
PHOTOS: The highest suspension bridges in Canada just opened in B.C.

The Skybridge in Golden allows visitors to take in views standing at 130 and 80 metres

BC Green Party leader and Cowichan Valley MLA Sonia Furstenau introduced a petition to the provincial legislature on Thursday calling for the end of old-growth logging in the province. (File photo)
BC Green leader Furstenau introduces old-growth logging petition

Party calls for the end of old-growth logging as protests in Fairy Creek continue

B.C. Premier John Horgan leaves his office for a news conference in the legislature rose garden, June 3, 2020. (B.C. government photo)
B.C. premier roasted for office budget, taxing COVID-19 benefits

Youth addiction law that triggered election hasn’t appeared

Most Read