The new East Shore Transportation Society is conducting a survey until June 28, 2019. The purpose of the survey is to confirm current and future use of a community bus, and to identify needs to make a case for funding from health authorities and other sources.
The survey is only 9 questions and will not take long, the fastest way to do this is click on this link and you will be taken right to the survey.
MORE ON TRANSIT: A few concurrent initiatives are happening around transit. Other articles in this issue will provide updates on the community bus which was purchased from Valley Community Services (based in Creston) a few months ago. This bus is held by a local society. As it comes into service it will serve some of the immediate needs of our communities plus it can start to build the ridership case for establishing BC Transit service within Area A.
Currently the RDCK partners with BC Transit and Interior Health to provide a variety of transit services across the Central Kootenay with some connections to the East and West Kootenay. Funding formulas vary with BC Transit typically paying for half the cost of regular transit (through your provincial taxes) and the other half coming through local property tax where the services are established. Interior Health pays for the Health Connections service, described further below, from their funding allocation provided by the province.
The typical range of services include regular transit (running on a fixed route and schedule), by request service (examples can be found in parts of Creston), handyDART and Health Connections. Area A residents in the south portion (around Wynndel) have access to a fixed schedule bus which loops back and forth from Creston two days a week. They also have access to the handyDART service if they qualify. This is a door to door service for persons who have disabilities which prevent them from using the regular transit service. Information on what the handyDART service entails can be found on the BC Transit website. The overall schedule for the Creston Valley Transit System, with connections to Wynndel, Ericson and West Creston, can be found by searching Creston Valley Transit.
Creston Valley residents, along with any Area A resident who can make it into Creston for the morning departure time, can use the Health Connections bus to ride to Cranbrook and back for medical appointments two days a week. If seats are available, passengers without medical appointments may also ride this bus. The Health Connections bus is funded by Interior Health so it does not require a local property tax. The rider fare is very reasonable at just $2.50 per trip but the trips need to be booked 24 hours in advance.
For the northerly portion of Area A, we currently only have connectivity to the extensive West Kootenay transit network via the bus at Balfour. It took some time, but at least now the bus arrivals and departures from Balfour are scheduled to allow time to board or disembark from the ferry. Once on the Balfour side, riders can access regular transit or they can board the Health Connections bus which goes to the Kootenay Lake hospital in Nelson. They can also make connections to go to the Kootenay Boundary regional hospital in Trail.
BC Transit, in partnership with local government, has been very successful in increasing ridership in the west Kootenay since 2013 when several of the disjointed transit schedules were aligned to allow for easier travel from Trail to Nelson plus creating feeds from Nakusp, the Slocan and the Kaslo area. Now BC Transit is planning for a further expansion and enhancement of the system. If residents from the northerly portion of Area A can show an adequate demand for service we may be eligible to receive a substantial subsidy to establish BC Transit service along the east shore. This will likely take one and a half to two years after the demand case has been established. Currently BC Transit is looking for expansion ideas to put into their fall budget proposal.
On May 22, Transit planners along with the RDCK transit coordinator met with 17 stakeholder reps from the east shore to begin the planning cycle. In the coming months BC Transit planners will return to the east shore to hold public meetings to present ideas for transit routes along the east shore and to gauge the level of local support. If you anticipate a need to use transit now or over the next several years please consider coming out when meetings are announced.
A longer vision is to have BC Transit service running the full length of Area A from Riondel to Creston plus looping down to the ferry terminal. The current “service areas” which the RDCK would use to raise its portion of the funding are not continuous and each is aligned with a different transit network. Sorting out a long term plan will be complex and may require voter assent. The shorter term objective, as stated above, is to demonstrate a local demand for service and plug into the already established network on the other side of the Kootenay Lake ferry by having a feeder route on our side of the lake.
REMINDER ABOUT REGIONAL ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROGRAM: As noted in previous articles, the RDCK has been proactive in linking residents to grant programs, such as those offered by Fortis and BC Hydro, to upgrade their homes and appliances to save energy. The most recent program we are helping to promote is the Regional Energy Efficiency Program which has two funding streams, one for new construction and the other for home retrofits. The RDCK has partnered with the Community Energy Association and Nelson Hydro to roll out this program. Go to rdck.ca and look under the “services” tab then “sustainability” where at the bottom of the page you will see the link to “energy”.
A community meeting has been scheduled for 6pm on June 11th at the Crawford Bay hall where the program will be explained and contacts for further information and program applications will be available.
VOLUNTEERS FOR RDCK COMMISSIONS: We still have space for additional community volunteers on the Area A Economic development Commission, the Recreation 9 Commission and the Area A Advisory Planning Commission. There is also one more space available for an Area A resident from Wynndel on the Agriculture Advisory Commission. Please contact me to learn more about these positions. Your local knowledge and input is important to our communities.
If you have questions or comments on any topic please drop a note to firstname.lastname@example.org or call me at 250-223-8463.
Creston, BC: The Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is developing a Parks and Recreation Master Plan that encompasses the Town of Creston and the Electoral Areas A, B, and C. The Master Plan will guide the RDCK’s provision of parks and recreation opportunities and services to meet the needs of residents over the next 25 years.
Last summer, the public and stakeholders were invited to provide their input as part of a consultation process. A draft of the Master Plan has been developed and will be ready for review. Two open houses will be held during which key elements of the Parks and Recreation Master Plan will be displayed. A feedback form will be available for attendees to provide comment.
The draft Master Plan will be posted on the RDCK website following the open houses to allow the public and groups to review and provide feedback on the draft document.
Open House 1
Place: Riondel Community Centre (Seniors Room)
Date: Tuesday May 14th
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Format: Drop in, come and go
Open House 2
Place: Creston & District Community Complex (Erickson Room)
Date: Wednesday May 15th
Time: 7:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Format: Drop in, come and go
“The draft Master Plan is the product of community consultation and research, and it’s important for the public to know how their feedback has guided the process so far,” said Tanya Wall, Director of RDCK Electoral Area B and Chair of the Creston valley Services Committee. “I encourage community members to attend one of the open houses and review components of the plan.”
Incorporated in 1965, the Regional District of Central Kootenay (RDCK) is a local government that serves 60,000 residents in 11 electoral areas and nine member municipalities. The RDCK provides more than 160 services, including community facilities, fire protection and emergency services, grants, planning and land use, regional parks, resource recovery and handling, transit, water services and much more. For more information about the RDCK, visitwww.rdck.ca.
Public Statement: Regarding Columbian Ground Squirrels, aka ‘gophers’, at the Crawford Bay Community Park.
After more than a decade of attempts to control the ever-increasing gopher population in our park, the Crawford Bay & District Hall & Park Association chose to take a new approach this spring. Previous efforts included trapping, asphyxia, drowning, and shooting which we could not legally do because of Crawford Bay’s official, designated ‘No Shooting’ area.
Over the past few years there have been more and more issues arising from the gophers’ expanding population. There are now a dangerously large number of holes and that has become a liability concern for the Park. These holes can cause twisted ankles, and possibly worse, to humans, domestic animals, and wild animals. Gopher holes also pose a potential threat to the Park board’s ability to maintain liability insurance for public events held at our park.
On occasion the potential danger has also precluded new activities, such as the formation of a women’s softball team, from being successful.
The gophers now have extensive tunnels UNDER the pavilion, kitchen, Community Corner, outhouse and the tennis courts, where there are 31 gopher tunnels alone! If this situation is not remedied the gophers will continue to cause massive damage to the structural integrity of this public space and this could affect local taxpayers.
To add to our challenge, the gopher colony continues to expand their territory. Now they are causing damage to the park’s neighbours including: Kokanee Chalets, the Medical Clinic, the Credit Union, Sunny Woods Garden Centre, Crawford Creek RV Park as well as several adjoining private properties.
Our goal was not to eradicate the gopher population but to reduce it to a level where other solutions such as live trapping, might be practical and effective. We chose to work with Cranbrook Pest Control, who are government-certified, professionally trained, insured and bonded. We asked many questions of them about our concerns with kids, pets, and our local wildlife prior to hiring them. We were informed that they would use Rozol RTU, putting it deep below ground into the holes. We were also told this would not affect preditors and that the ground squirrels would die underground.
We were NOT told that the pale green, rice-sized grains of poison would be found above ground. After the application of Rozol RTU on Monday, April 27th, some community members shared information that we had brought in Cranbrook Pest Control to help us. As soon as we heard their concerns we immediately put up warning signs around the park and cancelled the planned second visit from Cranbrook Pest Control.
On Friday May 3rd, we were contacted by our local area Conservation Officer, C. Haslehurst. The discussion was very informative and the board was assured that what we did to control the gopher population WAS legal. He also also confirmed that there are only two legal ways to reduce the population – poison administered by a licensed and provincially registered company or trapping by hiring a licensed trapper.
Our initiative did not work out the way we expected. Unfortunately, likely due to the extraordinary number of gophers in our park, a small number of gophers made their way out of the tunnels before dying. As soon as we became aware of this board members and community volunteers began walking around the park numerous times each day to check for dead gophers above ground. These patrols will be on-going for some time.
We would like to thank those generous community members and volunteers for taking the time and initiative to help us over the past week or so and who have communicated their concerns and ideas. We are all in this together and your caring is so appreciated.
We are actively investigating trapping options and others suggestions by local residents. However the the optimum time for doing this, which is before the females have their young, will soon have passed and it might be that we can’t initiate any other controls until the spring of 2020.
Of course anything that we do in the park will ONLY be effective if our neighbours – landowners adjoining the park – choose to work with us and we have already begun contacting them about this.
At present the Crawford Bay & District Hall & Park Association has only seven directors. We have responsibility to manage the eight-acre park, our community hall and the eight acres surrounding it, as well as the Kootenay Bay Boat Launch. This is too much for so few volunteers to take on. The best way for community members to have input into the management of these facilities is to become involved by participating in park work days, volunteering to actively help with park upkeep, boat launch maintenance and hall renovations as well as attending Annual General Meetings and standing for election to the board. We welcome new volunteer board members at any time of the year.
Board of Directors – Crawford Bay & District Hall & Park Association Box 71, Crawford Bay, BC, V0B 1E0 email@example.com
Crawford Bay CBESS May 10, 2019 with David Hatfield, M.Ed., M.A. (C)
For: Parents, educators, youth workers, care givers, and people working with youth. Research shows that young people are more likely to exhibit positive, responsible behaviour when they have parents and other adults in their lives who model positive, responsible behaviour.
Role models show young people how to live with integrity, optimism, hope, determination, and compassion. They play an essential part in a child’s positive development. As parents we worry about young people’s attraction to risk and intensity however this can be seen as a natural adolescent desire for wider experiences and a construction of a young adult identity. We can assist our youth and children in the important search for their unique gifts and purpose. There are many ways to be a positive role model for our young people and as a community we can work together to cocreate this kind of leadership.
This presentation and discussion is suitable for any person who has involvement with children and youth. Let’s work together to help positively support the next generation of adults.
David Hatfield is an educational facilitator and leadership consultant focusing on rites of passage, conflict, and masculinity. He has designed and led contemporary rites of passage programming since 2000 in Australia, Canada, New Zealand, Spain and the USA.
David holds an M.Ed. in social ecology and an M.A. in process oriented facilitation and conflict studies. www.davidhatfield.ca
WHEN: May 10/ 2019 at 7pm
AT: Crawford Bay Elementary and Secondary School performance spaces- Crawford Bay
FEES: $5-$10 suggested donation
Childcare available: Please phone Lisa 250-777-2855 to book childcare
Event Generously Sponsored by NDCU and Dancing Bear Inn
May 1, 2019 – Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development – BC Wildfire Service
CASTLEGAR – The BC Wildfire Service plans to conduct a 12-hectare prescribed burn in the Crawford Creek area as early as Thursday, May 2, 2019, to help reduce wildfire threats and prepare the area for replanting.
The burn site is about 10 kilometres east of Crawford Bay, and smoke may be visible from Crawford Bay, Queens Bay, Balfour, Ainsworth and surrounding communities. Smoke may also be visible to motorists travelling along Highway 3A and Highway 31.
The exact timing of this burn will depend on weather and site conditions. Trained BC Wildfire Service personnel will monitor this fire at all times.
Key goals of this prescribed burn include:
* reducing accumulations of dead and combustible material;
* delaying the growth of competing vegetation; and
* decreasing the risk of future catastrophic wildfires in the area.
Burning will proceed only if conditions are suitable and allow for low- to moderate-intensity fire. All prescribed burns must comply with the Environmental Management Act and the Open Burning Smoke Control Regulation. This will help to minimize the amount of smoke generated.
To report a wildfire, unattended campfire or open burning violation, call 1 800 663-5555 toll-free or *5555 on a cellphone.
For the latest information on current wildfire activity, burning restrictions, road closures and air-quality advisories, visit: http://www.bcwildfire.ca
Contact: Ashley Davidoff, Information Officer – BC Wildfire Service, Southeast Fire Centre: 250 365-4014
Amended Ferry Schedule
ALSO: Please note that the ferry schedule printed in the May Mainstreet is not accurate. The schedule printed is the winter times schedule. All departure times should read as one hour earlier. The correct schedule is here:
A ferry route operating in a freshwater lake deep in the Interior of British Columbia is getting a complete overhaul.
The federal and provincial governments announced today a joint $55-million investment to provide the Kootenay Lake ferry service with a new larger electric-ready vessel with the capability to handle up to 60 vehicles. It will be used in tandem with the larger MV Osprey 2000 to significantly lower wait times during the peak travel seasons.
The use of a new electric-ready vessel aligns with the provincial government’s CleanBC plan of electrifying the inland ferry fleet by 2040. This new vessel will replace the existing MV Balfour beginning in 2022.
Additionally, the investment will also go towards major upgrades to the route’s Balfour and Kootenway Bay terminals, such as new washrooms, sheltered waiting areas, public parking spaces, and better terminal access for drivers along both Highway 31 and Highway 3A.
Artistic rendering of the upgraded Kootenay Lake ferry terminal. (Government of BC)
The federal government is providing $17.2 million in funding, while the provincial government is contributing $37.5 million.
Separate from BC Ferries, the Kootenay Lake ferry route is operated by the BC Ministry of Transportation and is a free service without any fares or tolls.
According to the Kootenay Lake Chamber of Commerce, it is the world’s longest scenic free ferry crossing.
Kootenay Lake, one of the largest lakes in BC, located near the town of Nelson, is a popular summertime tourist destination.
Many will have seen a video on Facebook today of a gopher hemorrhaging and dying in spasms above ground at the Crawford Bay Park. Mainstreet very recently wrote and published an article (coming up in the May paper) after hearing about the application of Rozol RTU to suppress the gopher population at the park, but only spoke to the pest control operator, and didn’t get a thorough investigation of the poison and its ramifications done in time for print.
Con Murphy from Cranbrook Pest Control spoke to Mainstreet about the safety of the chemicals, how they break down and are not dangerous to secondary and non-target animals, how the target animals die after “going to sleep” below ground and it is the most humane way to deal with them.
The video posted by Lea Belcourt from this morning (April 29, 2019) seems to show otherwise. As the gopher was dying, there were, reportedly, two birds of prey waiting and watching. Can anyone say with certainty that they would not have been impacted by the ingested poisons?
What are your thoughts about this? What other methods might have been better used? How do you feel about the inherent damage caused by these animals to infrastructure and green space versus eliminating or decreasing their population through such means?
In a phone interview with Mainstreet, John Edwards of the Hall and Parks board expressed great concern about the situation and said that the board is in conversation as how to deal with the fact that these animals are dying above ground and the ramifications of the poisoning. He said that they have been removing some of these chemical pellets from surface level (where the animals have likely pulled it up with them when they emerged from their tunnels) as well as removing carcasses as they appeared. He stated that they intend to put signage up around the impacted area to inform the public of the risks. The hall and parks board will likely issue a public statement soon.