Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development representatives Deborah Wytrykush (left), regional entomologist, and Kristine Wilker, stewardship officer brought an example of Douglas-Fir Beetles at work to the Cariboo Regional District board meeting on Friday, May 24 where they gave the board an update on bark beetles in the Cariboo-Chilcotin. Monica Lamb-Yorski photo

CRD to beef up crisis communications with new plan

One of the recommendations from the Cariboo 2017 Wildfire Report was to create the plan

The Cariboo Regional District now has a formal communication plan in place for all crises, emergencies or disasters.

“One of the recommendations from the Cariboo Chilcotin 2017 Wildfires Report, and a subsequent business plan goal for the communications department, was to create a crisis communication plan for the CRD,” said Emily Epp, manager of communications.

Read more: Future emergency preparedness key cornerstone of CRD wildfire report

The plan was developed by Tim Conrad, of Butterfly Effect Communications in consultation with the CRD.

“Based on a lot of the resources and things we’d already developed, through our emergency response, Tim pulled it all together in a plan and then we made some edits,” Epp said.

The plan will be a “great tool” and “hands-on” guide so that anyone at the CRD can use it to respond to a crisis, she said, noting it is already being implemented.

“It is really good because it won’t be just in one person’s head, but everyone can be prepared. It helps us ensure our communication is held at our regular standard right away.”

The CRD is hiring another full-time communications specialist and the posting closes on June 12.

Epp said there is already a half-time position, but it will be great to have another person working in communications.

“I’m hoping we will have the new person by mid-July,” she said.

Bark Beetles in the Cariboo

Deborah Wytrykush, regional entomologist, and Kristine Wilker, stewardship officer with the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, gave the board a presentation on the various bark beetles in this region.

“Each beetle has general characteristics, but they don’t always follow the rules and behave how we expect them to,” said Wytrykush, who is new to government and has spent most of her working time at the University of British Columbia. “I’m not a fan of mountain pine beetle because they prefer live trees.”

Wilker said the wildfires have changed the landscape and it will be a long time before the forests recuperate.

“The beetles are going into trees that have no resistance and increasing their populations.”

The two women also provided an update on local responses to the bark beetle infestations throughout the region.

They shared two resources: the Bark Beetle Management Guidebook, which is available on the ministry website and for nyone interested in learning more about managing Douglas-fir beetles on their own property, the FLNRO reference guide, also available on the ministry website.

Wilker and Wytrykush said the ministry cannot do beetle management on private land and mentioned South Lakeside as an example of where the Douglas-fir beetle infestation is spreading on private property.

Read more: Douglas-fir beetles targeted on Pablo Mountain

Help inform rural health care

A team of researchers from the Centre for Rural Health Research in the Department of Family Practice at the University of British Columbia are working on a Rural Evidence Review project.

Help identify rural health services issues that matter to you by taking their survey (www.bit.ly/ruralevidencereview) or participating in a research interview. Contact the project coordinator for more info: christine.carthew@ubc.ca.

CCRHD continues to support the Northern Medical Programs Trust

The CCRHD Board renewed their commitment to Recruitment and Retention and the Northern Medical Programs Trust. In the new agreement, the CRD will provide an annual gift of $40,000 for three years totalling of $120,000.

Statement oFinancial Information released

The board received the CRD’s 2018 Statement of Financial Information (SOFI) report and approved it for release to the Ministry of Municipal Affairs and Housing, a regulatory requirement for all local governments in B.C. under the Financial Information Act.

Big Lake Community Hall project funded

The board approved that $15 000 be allocated from the 2019 Community Hall Improvements envelope of the Community Works Fund towards the drilling of a new well at the Big Lake Community Hall.

Board on the Road in Quesnel June 6 and 7

This spring, board on the road will be in Quesnel and it will be in Area J in the fall.

Join the board at the Shiraoi House (690 Gray Ave, Quesnel) on June 6 for our Committee of the Whole meeting which starts at 1 p.m. followed by a free community barbecue from 5:30-7:30pm in LeBourdais Park.

On June 7, the board meetings start at 9:30 a.m. The Quesnel Technics Gymnastics Club will be hosting the community barbecue and the CRD will be making a donation as a thank you.

With CRD files

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