Archives for September 1, 2017
Water conservation urged as drought levels increase in interior regions of BC
VICTORIA – Responding to continuing warm and dry conditions, the Province has announced a Level 4 drought rating for the Similkameen, Nicola, and Salmon River watersheds, while a Level 3 drought rating has been set for the Okanagan watershed.
The Province is urging all surface water and groundwater users, including residents, industry, farmers and municipalities, to voluntarily reduce water consumption. A Level 4 drought rating recommends maximum reduction of water use, while a Level 3 drought rating calls for reducing water use by 30%.
With continued warm, dry weather in the forecast, stream flows are expected to continue to drop, providing additional stress for fish as well as reducing water supplies for water users.
The Province has elevated the Similkameen, Nicola, and Salmon watersheds to Drought Level 4 because conditions are extremely dry and stream flows are approaching critical environmental low flow thresholds for fish populations, including Chinook salmon.
In the Okanagan watershed, while some streams and lakes have adequate flows, a number of streams are experiencing low flows that are that are impacting water users and fish, including returning adult salmon.
South Okanagan General Hospital ED temporary service change
OLIVER/OSOYOOS – Residents are advised that due to limited physician availability at the South Okanagan General Hospital (SOGH) emergency department (ED), there will be a temporary change to service on Saturday, September 2, ending Sunday, September 3.
Please take note of the following:
- Between the hours of 11 p.m. on Sept. 2 and 8 a.m. on Sept. 3, all patients will be assessed by an RN.
- Patients deemed to have urgent needs will be seen and cared for by a physician during this time.
- Those with less urgent needs will be encouraged to stay, to see a physician later in the morning.
- Patients who call an ambulance may be transported to Penticton Regional Hospital.
The emergency department will remain open during these times and, as indicated, all patients will be assessed as usual by our nurses.
Interior Health regrets this interruption to our normal emergency department services. Regular emergency department service will resume Sunday, September 3 at 8 a.m. We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause.
From Rick Knodel
Re – public meeting on flood issues recently
I was very pleased by the turn out for the flooding town hall meeting and it was particularly encouraging that people came with potential solutions to what is a number of complicated issues.
It was fortunate to a have the Ministry of Forests and Land Management attend as they are in control of the river channel and the creeks and streams. It was however , unfortunate that the Ministry of Highways and Argo road maintenance were not in attendance. Some of the issues that were brought up will need their attention.
There is one fly in the ointment; most if not all of the solutions suggested will be for not if the National Park comes into being. The maintenance needed to mitigate the damages will not be allowed under the Canada Parks act and therein lies one the issues of turning over control of that much land in a populated agrarian area to a body that has no stake in the commerce or community of that area.
Just a thought to keep in mind.
As of Sept. 1, it is free to cross the Port Mann and Golden Ears bridges.
“We’re making life more affordable for people who cross the Fraser every day,” said Premier John Horgan. “We’re putting money back into the pockets of commuters and families. It’s about fairness and keeping our commitments.”
The tolling for both bridges ended at midnight on Aug. 31, 2017. Starting Sept. 1, all vehicles can cross either the Port Mann or the Golden Ears Bridge for free.
“This is fantastic news for commuters and for commercial drivers, who will benefit from this change,” said Minister of Transportation and Infrastructure Claire Trevena. “Getting rid of tolls will clear congestion on other routes, so people can spend less time stuck in traffic and more time with their families.”
The tolling system and cameras are turned off, meaning that starting Sept. 1, drivers who cross over either bridge will not be tolled. Bills for tolls up to and including Aug. 31, 2017 will still need to be paid and the process for bill payment will remain in place.
For the first time in history, the B.C. government is using the court system to ensure remains of First Nations people are protected.
The announcement came Thursday from the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development regarding ancestral remains unearthed in an orchard near Keremeos.
The ancestral remains of at least seven people were unearthed near Keremeos on Feb., 29, 2016 when contractors started to flatten a small hill in an orchard so more apple trees could be planted.
Chief Keith Crow of the Lower Similkameen Indian Band, direct descendants of those unearthed, gave the news to more than 100 people including his members and those of the Okanagan Nation and from across the province at a Day of Action event held near the site Thursday morning.
Those at the rally held signs with slogans including, ‘No More Grave Desecration,’ ‘Province of B.C. We Ask For a Peaceful Solution,’ and “Would You Dig Up Your Grandma?’
“This is a positive. But we are still moving ahead with our plan. On Sept. 11 we are going to go on that site with or without a permit and start doing the archeological work and start recovering the rest of the bones that are there so we can rebury on that site,” he said.
The province plans to make an application to the courts under the Heritage Conservation Act, if approved it will force the property owners to restore the site and undertake the required conservation work. No timelines were given by the province as to when they might file to the court or how long the process might take.
Crow said the LSIB was able to access the site over a two-day period in November 2016 to remove about 500 bone fragments. The remains are being kept safely off-site but a permit to allow repatriation from archeology branch has not been issued because the landowner has not signed off.
Source: Black Press Digital
The Diamond Creek fire has crossed from Washington State into Canada between Cathedral and Manning Provincial Parks. The area is popular for hiking, fishing and other recreational activities. Everyone is advised to stay out of the backcountry between Cathedral and Manning Provincial Parks and south of Placer Mountain while this fire is active. At this time no private property or structures are identified at immediate risk.
The Diamond Creek fire originated on July 23rd in the Paysayten Wilderness of Washington state, approximately 10 km south of the Canada/U.S. border. The fire crossed into BC near Border Lake on August 30th.
BC Parks has shut down all of Cathedral Provincial Park due to the risk of this fire. Trails in the backcountry area between Cathedral and Manning Provincial Parks include Flat Top Mountain, Trappers Lake, the Centennial Trail, Monument 83, Border Lake and the Paysayten River Trail outside of Manning Park. Trail users within Manning Park are advised to remain on alert for any change in conditions.