Sunday, December 28, 2008

New recycling and garbage program

Beginning January 2nd disposing of garbage will cost money. Unfortunately, recycling doesn't get any easier...yet. Here's the program in a nutshell:

All of these items can be recycled.
• Newspaper
• Paper (like junk mail, phone books, greeting cards, computer paper, etc)
• Boxboard (like cereal boxes, shoe boxes, etc)
• Tin and aluminum cans (labels and lids are ok)
• Plastics numbered 1-7 (discard caps, rinse containers)
• Plastic film, like plastic bags
• Magazines and books
• Corrugated cardboard
• Glass (jars, bottles -- no ceramics or other glass)

At this point we don't have a "blue bag" recycling program at the Lac Le Jeune transfer station. When we get that progam we'll be able to dispose of an unlimited number of clear or blue garbage bags filled with the first 7 items (unsorted) from the above list. Corrugated cardboard and glass must be separate.

The rest of your garbage must be bagged. The cost to dispose of the bags depends on size:
4 kitchen catcher bags = $1
2 large kitchen bags = $1
1 standard garbage bag = $1
1 oversized garbage bag = $2

But don't bring cash! You need to purchase an Eco-Card from *most* municipal offices or one of these retailers.
Will this program will work? TNRD makes a few claims:
• It's an alternative to increasing taxes to cover costs of garbage removal
• It will reduce waste by as much as 40%

• We have to drive to purchase an Eco-Card. Why not offer it online? Or at the transfer stations?
• The Eco-Cards are only available at some municipal offices; why not all of them?
• Purchasing PLASTIC bags to package up our recycling seems conterintuitive.
• We need to drive over 30 kilometres to dispose of materials for recycling.

• We will see more garbage on the side of the road. As it is there is an alarming amount of garbage thrown out of car windows, especially on Lac Le Jeune Road.

How do you feel about this new program?

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Donate to the Children's Hospital Foundation

Merry Christmas - Joyeux Noël! BC Hydro is committed to raising $1 million for the Children's Hospital Foundation this season. All you have to do is visit this site to drop a coin in the slot. There is no cost to you, and the website is pretty cool. Spread the word!

Thanks to Lucy Lindros for the link!

Monday, December 8, 2008

Burn Site

Please respond to our poll! At a recent meeting of the Lac Le Jeune Conservation Society one of the items for discussion was the pine beetle burn site. We have permission to use this site, however we have some details to work out such as liability insurance, monitoring, timeline, etc. Before we go ahead with further action, the most important question is how many people would actually use this site.

Respond to the poll before January 30, 2009 and add your comments to the blog (click the "comments" link below this article). We look forward to your feedback!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

2009 Polar-thon

Registration is open for the 2009 Polar-thon!

This annual family event will be held January 11th and is organized in conjunction with with the Logan Lake Polar Carnival, a 36 year old tradition at Logan Lake. The Polar-thon is a winter triathlon, combining
  • 3 km ice skate (any style)
  • 5 km run (in 2.5 k intervals) , and
  • 4 km ski (freestyle or classic)
Come enjoy the great outdoors and get some exercise! Prizes are given for various age and team categories. The new prizes this year are Best Costume and Best Team Costume.

You can register online or download and print the brochure (PDF) to mail, fax, or hand deliver. Register by January 2th for early bird registration fees: $25 for individuals and $40 for teams. Team registrations must be completed by noon on January 9th.

Race day registration & bib pickup is from 8:00am - 8:30am and the awards & draw prizes from Runners Sole will be held at 11:00am at the Logan Lake Recreation Centre.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Overlander Ski Passes

It's time to register for club membership and early bird ski passes at Stake Lake trails. Follow the link to register online on the Overlander Ski Club website.

Now we just have to wait for snow!

Saturday, November 1, 2008


Happy Halloween! There were some amazing costumes this year. I didn't even recognize this character with the mask until I heard his giggle. Seeing the dad in the background helped. :-) 

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Let's Go For a Walk . . .

A "drop-in" walking group has just formed at the lake and everyone's welcome to join us. From Monday through Friday we'll begin the walk at 1:00 p.m. in front of the Lac Le Jeune Lodge. Now that winter weather is on the way, that's usually far enough into the day that the temperature has warmed up a little.  So far the walks have been about an hour in length, taking various routes each time. Friendly dogs who play well with others are also welcome. It's a chance to get some fresh air and exercise AND become better acquainted with your neighbours . . . so think about joining us!  

Saturday, October 18, 2008

New Dog Trail at Stake Lake

There's a work party at Stake Lake to get the new Dog Trails ready for the ski season. Bring your lunch, gloves, shovels and rakes to remove rocks, fill holes and prepare the surface for the first season of service. Meet at the day lodge at 9:00 am, Sunday Oct 26th.

Heartland Food Coop

Heartland Foods and Farm Tours Cooperative is an organization of local farmers and ranchers who produce a broad range of products. You name it -- eggs, freshly picked fruits and vegetables, grass fed beef, lamb, and bison, chicken, pasta + flours, preserves, cheese, a variety of breads and other goodies. It's nice to have such convenient access to food that hasn't traveled thousands of miles and isn't loaded up with the usual hormones, antibiotics, pesticides, perservatives, and animal by-products.

They offer an email ordering service that I've been using for a few weeks now. Here's how it works:
  1. Send email to to let them know you would like to be included in their weekly mail out.
  2. Each Thursday you will receive a "Fresh List" of items that are available that week.
  3. Respond with your order. They appreciate receiving it before the weekend.
  4. Pick it up at 996 Laval Crescent (High Country Storage) anytime after 1:00 p.m. on Wednesday, or on Thursday.
The also have a variety of frozen and non-perishable items in the store that you can pick up any time.

If others are interested in this service we could organize a Lac Le Jeune pick up. Just let me know! Add a comment here or send email to

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Annual Halloween Pumpkin Hunt

Here is your personal invitation to the Annual Halloween Pumpkin Hunt at Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park. Watch out, there will be finger food! Ooooo Scary! Thanks to all the great moms in the community for organizing this. :-)

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

3 cheers for the do not call list!

Are you tired of those telemarketing calls that always seem to come around dinner time? Starting today you can add your phone and fax numbers to the national do not call list. It just takes a minute. Here's a direct link to the form.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Silent Bottle Drive - Thank You!

BIG thanks to everybody who donated bottles and cans this summer to raise money for the River City Racers Speed Skating Club. The Wynne and Currie skaters raised $375! Ice time does not come cheap and new equipment is needed so this is a great boost to the club. Thanks so much!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

So long Woody Life, hello Kami Log Cabins

From this new website called Kami Log Cabins it looks like we have a vacation village in the community. There's some interesting and somewhat conflicting information on the site. For example, the link to the "register" page takes you to a form to request information:
If you would like more information about KAMI at lac le jeune including selling schedules, please complete this registration.
Yet these bold letters are at the bottom of every page:
On the "about" page the description needs a little editing. :-)
Just two hours from Vancouver, nestled between pine...
I think the pine trees came down last week! And I think 2 hours from Vancouver won't get you much beyond Hope.

Anyway, I don't have any information about the project, but thought others might be interested in seeing this site.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Lac Le Jeune Quilters

I'm new to Lac Le Jeune as of this past summer and I'm a longtime quiltmaker. I have learned that I'm not the only one here at the lake with an interest in quilts, so I thought it might be fun to have an informal get together at my house. We'll have a little show and tell and perhaps this will be the start of a small quilt group right here at Lac Le Jeune. And if you have never made a quilt, that's OK! If you know of others who might be interested, please let them know. I hope to see you on Thursday, October 2, from 1:00 to 4:00. My house is on the little lake--the first house as you walk or drive from the lodge entrance. My number is 250-372-8612 if you have questions or email me if you'd prefer: Hope to see you then . . . and be sure to bring quilts to share if you have them.

Hunting season is here!

A reminder that hunting season is here. Yesterday Pam and I ran into four hunters on the Stake Lake ski trails. It is legal for them to be there (Can you believe that hunting is legal on recreational trails???). So be aware when you are out walking or biking.

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Overlander Ski Club needs your help!

Do you enjoy using the Stake Lake ski trails? Then plan to attend the Overlander Ski Club General Meeting Monday, September 8th, 2008 from 7-9:00 at the Hertitage House in Riverside Park. There are several volunteer positions that need to be filled in order to run full operations during the 2008/09 winter season.
  • Members at Large (2)
  • Publicity
  • Social Committee
  • Ski League
  • Way and Means
  • Vice President
  • President

Friday, September 5, 2008

Geocaching around Lac Le Jeune

We love what the Lac Le Jeune area provides in the way of outdoor activities.
Hiking, mountain biking, water sports, snowmobiling, X-country skiing, 4x4ing, the list is endless.
If you have GPS, a sense of adventure and enjoy these outdoor activities, you should try geocaching!

What is Geocaching? Think of it as a hi-tech treasure hunt. A geocacher hides a container (the cache), then posts the cache coordinates and description on an Internet website allowing others to hunt for the cache. There are about 20 caches placed in the Lac Le Jeune area ranging in size from a small magnetic container up to a large ammo-can. They contain at minimum a log book which you sign, and some contain small trade items, usually things from a dollar store.
Some caches require a short walk, others require a hike, bike ride or a trip in a boat.
It's a fun activity for the whole family.

To learn more about geocaching visit
If you want to search for caches close to LLJ use:
N50 28.980
W 120 28.9370


Friday, August 29, 2008

BIG catch award

Jim Phillips (aka Cap'n Jim and now aka Champ) is the winner of this year's BIG CATCH AWARD, men's category, at the Highland Valley Copper annual Trojan Pond fly fishing fund raising tournament. This is a picture of Bob Brown's trophy, won in 2003. So it's a reasonable facsimile of the actual trophy Jim will receive, and the trophy Jim receives will be a reasonable facsimile of the actual fish that he caught. Complicated but true :-)

Speaking of big fish, our poll shows that 12 people believe that a trout weighing over 7 lbs will be caught in Lac Le Jeune this summer. 5 say it won't happen. Have any fishers proven the naysayers wrong yet?

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Sunday Bike Ride

It's supposed to warm up for our bike ride this Sunday. Here is the plan:

When: Sunday, August 3
Meeting Place: Lookout Road
Departure Time: 8:30 a.m.
Length: About 3 hours
Route: Through park to Stake Lake trails: Drifter - Rustler - Ambush - Bushwacker to McConnell Hill hut. Stop for a snack and return via Sidewinder.
Level of difficulty: Medium - only because of the amount of uphill and length. No single track or challenging terrain.

Here's the view on a nice day. Did I mention it will be a nice day?

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Cattle on the loose!

Question: What do you do and who do you contact when you spot cattle wandering on the wrong side of the fence?

Answer: (I need help with this answer!)

Teddy Bear's Picnic?

We're enjoying our first summer as residents of Lac Le Jeune and all that it has to offer.  Each day it's a treat to observe what is happening with the wildlife around the lake.  Usually it's the ducks and geese with their young or a beaver hauling a new branch through the water to his lodge at the end of the lake.  This morning, though, we awoke to the sight of a young black bear in our backyard enjoying some berries.  He was up at the back of the lot and had probably entered from the dirt road that runs behind the houses along the "little lake" area of Lac Le Jeune.  We grabbed our binoculars for a closer look, but weren't thinking fast enough to snap a photo.  This wasn't the first time we've seen a bear in our area, but this was right in our own backyard!  He ambled away after a short time, but seeing him reminded us of how we all share Lac Le Jeune with the wildlife here.     

Thursday, July 24, 2008

Bike ride - Sunday July 27

The Soggy Bottom Mountain Bikers have plans for a bike ride this Sunday. Here are the details:

When: Sunday, July 27
Meeting Place: Lookout Road
Departure time: 8:00 a.m.
Length: about 3 hours
Route: Gus Johnson trail to Ross-Moore, return via Fred Lake to provincial park
Level of difficulty: Medium - some rocky downhill, some uphill (uh, naturally), longish ride

As always, if you're interested in joining us just show up at the meeting place.

Bring snacks and bug spray!

Where do I take my garbage?

Question: Where do I take my garbage?

Answer: The transfer station is about 1 km north of Walloper Lake on the west side of the Lac Le Jeune Highway. The hours of operation are as follows:

Winter: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
Summer: Wednesday, Saturday, and Sunday 8:00 am to 6:00 pm

Tip: Gord who manages the station has biscuits if you take your dog! :-)

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Speed Limit on the Lake

Question: What is the speed limit for boats on Lac Le Jeune?

Answer: 20 kilometres per hour. The reason for this is to prevent beach wash and damage to docks. 

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This idea for a FAQ emerged from a conversation with Bryan Ruck about his idea for a Lac Le Jeune welcoming committee. What a great idea -- to welcome newcomers to the community with a package of information. Something to work toward for sure!

To get started I thought it would be useful to create a database of frequently asked questions. After all, newcomers have a lot of questions and old timers sometimes need reminders!

So here's the format:
  1. If you don't have "author" access to the blog and have a question/answer to post, email me and I'll get you set up (
  2. Give your article a title that lets the reader know what the question relates to.
  3. Post a single question and answer. If you have more questions add each as a separate article.
  4. Add the label "FAQ" to your post(s). You'll see how this is done once you have author access.
  5. If you would like to elaborate on somebody else's answer use the comment feature.
Does this all sounds like too much trouble? No worries! Just email the information to me and I'll post it for you, acknowledging the source.

To view all questions and answers click the FAQ label on the main page.

Saturday, July 12, 2008

Soggy Bottom Mountain Bikers

For the past few years a group of mountain bikers has organized regular rides around Lac Le Jeune and beyond. We're mostly old and soggy, fairly slow, and we like to stop for snacks a lot! Occasionally we get energetic and plan longer and more challenging rides. We'll post information about our plans on the blog. If you're interested in joining us just show up!

Our next ride is Sunday, July 13
Meeting Place: Lookout Road
Departure time: 8:00 a.m.
Length: about 1 1/2 - 2 hours
Route: Little Lake trails

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Lac Le Jeune Conservation Association

Are you a member of the Lac Le Jeune Conservation Association? The dues are only $5.00 per year per household, and it buys you peace of mind that there are concerned individuals discussing our needs and taking action when we're faced with environmental issues in our community. Better yet, get involved! It's election year. :-)

To pay your 2008-2009 dues just copy this form and mail it to the address below.

Lac Le Jeune Conservation Association
Membership Application/Renewal
July 2008- July 2009

Name: _________________________________________________

Mailing Address: __________________________________________

Phone: ___________________ Email _________________________

Lake Address: ____________________________________________

Lake Phone: ________________________

Full Time resident ___
Seasonal Resident ___

Please include $5 Annual Membership Fee per household. Thank You!

Send to:
Lac Le Jeune Conservation Association
c/o 1952 Eastwood Ave.
Merritt, BC V1K 1K3

Monday, June 30, 2008

River City Racers Silent Bottle Drive

Help support the River City Racers Speed Skating Club by participating in our Silent Bottle Drive.

Once again we are collecting cans, bottles, and drink boxes for our club during July and August. A couple speed-skating households, the Wynne boys (and their Grandma) and Sylvia Currie are working together this year to break all fundraising records. We are busy distributing flyers and will collect for July and August.

All you need to do is put your recyclables in the bag attached to the flyer. When it is full, please contact Sylvia Currie 250-377-0063 for pick up. You may also drop off bags at any of these locations:
• Inside the gate at 3873 Water Street (house with orange roof)
• Inside the gate at 3860 Rainbow Drive (gate at the top by the tennis court)
• Inside the wood shed at 3873 Lookout Road.

If you are willing, we will supply you with another bag to start again!

Money raised is used to help purchase skates, mats, ice time, and other requirements of this non-profit club. Our skaters range in age from 4 to over 45! If you know of someone interested in joining us, please call Cathy Turnbull Spence at 250-374-5430.

Thank you for your support!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

LLJ Conservation Society Annual AGM

Mark July 20 on your calendars for the annual general meeting of the Lac Le Jeune Conservation Society. This year we'll be convening at the Lodge. More details to follow!

NOT the Vancouver Marathon

On Canada Day (July 1) we're walking to Duffy's Pub!

This idea started with a brochure I spotted while waiting in a line up at the bank back in February. The Vancouver Marathon was featuring a nordic walking category. It sounded like fun, and for sure my only hope of ever doing a marathon is to walk, not run.

So the planning began. I drafted up a training schedule and shared it with Lucy Lindros, the only friend who didn't stare blankly at the mention of driving all the way to Vancouver to walk 42 kilometres. We realized from the schedule that we needed to get started right away. Oh and that one day every weekend would be used up by a BIG l o n g walk. Plus we might have to give up some other fun stuff because you can only fit so many things into one day and well, we'd be walking a lot. Then the trip to Vancouver. Well, we'd need to spend a couple nights in a hotel, preferably close to downtown. And we'd better book right away!

A few things came up that first week of training. Instead of one day off we took 7. Hey, we're busy people. Nothing wrong with starting the following week, I say. We'll still make it! But geez sometimes the weather isn't very good in February. Maybe we should start in March?

I think the real turning point in our plan was when we talked about how aimless it seems to be walking all day just for the sake of going the distance. That's it! We need a destination! And something less traveling, no big training programme, no big expenses. Let's do something local, we thought. So let's see, what would be a good destination?

A pub, of course! Please join us!

Date: July 1, 2008
Departure time: 8:00 AM
Starting point: Lookout Road
Destination: Duffy's Pub
Questions?: Post them here or email
Check Route
Nordic walking poles optional
Support vehicles welcome :-)

view photostreamBeer sign photo
by Whatknot

Friday, May 16, 2008

ICE OFF celebration swim

Does anybody know these wild people who jumped into the lake to celebrate ICE OFF? It's an annual tradition, and this year they were asking for cash: $5 to go in, $20 to swim to the raft and back, and $100 to catch the beaver that was swimming by the fallen tree.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

A Gathering of Stumps?

Ken Strand and I were gazing over the "gathering" of stumps in the Look-out Road corner of their lot. I asked, "what would you call that...a school of stumps, a pride of stumps, a herd of stumps"? Ken suggested a "constellation" of stumps. I like it. What do you think?
I think as Lac le Jeune pine-beetle-affected-folks, we need to come up with a good name. Any other suggestions?
Kathy Wyse

Friday, May 2, 2008

Trees & Development

Last I've heard, the logging on the ski hill and behind us may happen this year but I thought this would be a good area for anyone to post on things they've heard on:  logging, the new development and also the rumour of a pub/restaurant opening to the residents?

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Let's talk Pesticides


To purchase all organically grown foods is not always practical or necessary. But some foods contain higher levels of pesticide residue than others, even after washing.

From the book Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano (US Statistics) the top 12 nonorganic Fruits and Veggies to avoid are:

Strawberries, Celery, Bell peppers (green & red), Apples, Spinach, Apricots, Cherries, Green beans, Peaches, Grapes (Chilean), Cantaloupe (Mexico), Cucumbers.

The top 12 cleanest Fruits and Veggies are:

Avocados, Grapes (non-Chilean), Corn, Bananas,Onions, Plums, Sweet potatoes, Green Onions, Cauliflower, Watermelon, Brussels sprouts, Broccoli.

Make at home spray to help remove pesticides from fruit and vegetables:
1 Cup water
1 Cup distilled white vinegar
1 Tablespoon Baking Soda
20 Drops Grapefruit seed extract
Mix in large bowl (baking soda will suds up when put in vinegar)
Transfer to a clean spray bottle. Shake, then spray on fruits and vegetables and let stand 5-10 min.
Rinse well.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Have you seen the wolves?

A couple days ago Corinne Schock was driving on Lac Le Jeune Road just past the huge old tree where the Osprey used to nest when a big, beautiful, very healthy wolf crossed the road into the clearing. Apparently a wolf was spotted this winter in the area of Park Drive East. Last year a resident of Walloper Lake saw an entire pack of wolves. 

Do you have stories about wolf sightings? Any photos to share?

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Canadian Lynx or Bobcat?

The poll is over, and we just about came out even:

17 people voted
52% said Canadian Lynx (lynx canadensis)
47% said Bobcat (lynx rufus)

After the poll came down I had feedback from folks that they had changed their minds. They concluded that it was in fact a Bobcat. So if I had left the poll active it probably would have changed! Here's the original photo from Hana Struss if you'd like a closer look. 

I took some pictures of very fresh tracks by our mailbox early Saturday. The cat is still making the early morning rounds!

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Ice off?

Geez - April 19th! Guess I'll have to take up ice fishing! May be the latest ice-off ever.


Saturday, April 12, 2008

Clean the Air - Wood Stove Exchange Program

Some of you may have noticed this in the April 12 issue of The Daily News. The details are available on the TNRD website. Here's the gist:
Let's clear the air. Trade in your old wood stove or insert for a new EPA certified Clean Burn product and receive a 15% discount. The offer is available at participating retailers until April 30th. For more information visit or call 828-3757.

Participating Retailers: Alpine Comforts, Ferguson Equipment, the Fireplace Centre, and the Fireplace Gallery.
The Daily News notice adds:
New technology wood stoves burn 1/3 less wood and reduce air pollution up to 90%.
Thanks to Carolyn Phillips for suggesting this blog-worthy notice!

Monday, April 7, 2008

We Bring Democracy to the Fish

Hi all, 

Jeff Perry here.   My first post and who knows depending on reactions...a poem:

It is unacceptable that fish prey on each other.
For their comfort and safety, we will liberate them
into fishfarms with secure, durable boundaries
that exclude predators.  Our care will provide
for their liberty, health, happiness, and nutrition.
Of course all creatures need to feel useful.
At maturity the fish will discover their purposes.

Donald Hall, from White Apples and the Taste of Stone

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Red Dot Campaign

This works!

Would you like to stop receiving junk mail? Visit the Red Dot Campaign website and follow one or more of the steps listed under Take Action.

Carolyn Phillips reports that after filling out the form supplied on the Red Dot Campaign website she stopped receiving all unaddressed print advertising.

Friday, April 4, 2008

Get your freshwater fishing licence online

Perry W posted a comment to Bob's post about getting ready for the fishing season that deserves a more prominent place on our blog. You can now purchase your freshwater fishing licence online!

The first time you will need to fill out a form to request an online angler number. After that you can log in using that number every year. After following the steps you simply print your own licence, and you can also save a copy to your computer. This is handy if that important piece of paper gets soggy during the fishing season.

Like most government websites it states that you need the Internet Explorer browser to do this transaction. Firefox worked fine for me, and probably most other browsers are okay, too.

The 2008-2009 Freshwater Fishing Regulations are also available online, and conveniently broken down by region.

Saturday, March 29, 2008

Pine Grosbeaks

These pine grosbeaks have been feeding at our home all winter. The most we have had were 23 at one time. There are still about 10 left but they will soon move on till next winter.

Earth Hour

Get out the candles at Lac le Jeune! Saturday, March 29, at 8 p.m. people around the world will turn out their lights for Earth Hour to raise awareness about climate change and to demonstrate that together we can make a difference.

Be sure to leave your comments here to let everyone know what you did during Earth Hour! If you take some photographs share them at and they will be added to the

Image from WWF Canada

Thursday, March 27, 2008

A reminder of how close we live to wildlife

This picture was taken by Hana Struss on January 30, 2008 out the front door of her house.
The cat looked at me and was not scared at all. He just slowly walked away.
We've had some discussions around the neighbourhood about these cat spottings ...Is this a lynx or a bobcat? Please respond to the poll on the main page!

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Fishing Report

Hi everyone! Time to start thinking about fishing. Jim Phillips, Ken Strand and I have been tying flies like crazy in anticipation of the coming season. Sadly, the earliest ice off in my records is April 18th, and I don't think we will be close to that this year (latest is May 18th). Last year it came off on April 30th.

Anyway, get ready by having lots of size 12 and 14 Chironomids on hand. Black body with red wire wrap work best early. I've also had lots of success early with small Charoboras (size 14 or 16). Small micro leeches in olive, black, or brown also should be in your fly box. These are standard patterns, but if you don't tie your own flies, see Ron at the Kamloops Fly shop.  Good fishing!


Photo by Frank Morton

Monday, March 24, 2008

Ready for summer at the Lac?


Sylvia has asked me to contribute to the Lac le Jeune blog and I don't even live there . . . yet.  Let me introduce myself.  I'm Sylvia's sister, Jenny.  My husband Jeff and I will soon  be residents at the Lac and we can't wait.  We have visited many times and think it's a beautiful place.  About this time of year I'm sure everyone  is looking forward to warmer weather, so I thought I'd include a couple of summer photos I took during one of my visits.

We'll see you soon!

Friday, March 21, 2008

Please explain

Yesterday late afternoon I was driving home on the old Lac le Jeune highway. Before the big climb up toward McConnell Lake I saw a man and a young boy standing beside a truck which was pulled off to the side of the road. While I was watching the man pulled out a rifle and shot into the bushes. I couldn't believe my eyes! What on earth would he be shooting at? And why would he be using a rifle so close to trails and people? And is it even legal to shoot a rifle from the road? Good grief, I hope not!

I hit my brakes and looked back to see what was going on but was too far past the truck. At that moment 2 cyclists with huge spring-is-here smiles whizzed by and all I could think was watch out! That guy's got a gun!

I was too shocked and confused to think about taking down a license plate number. Sheesh, so much for a relaxing, scenic drive home on the old highway.

Letter to Honourable Barry Penner, Minister of Environment

This letter to Honourable Barry Penner, Minister of Environment, was sent by Bev Lorimer. The response from Nancy Wilkin, Assistant Deputy Minister, Environmental Stewardship Division, follows.

Minister Penner
Ministry of Environment
Victoria, BC

Re: Trapping

Dear Sir,

I live in Lac Le Jeune, BC which is a small community approximately 20km south of Kamloops. The area includes a very popular Provincial Park, several hundred residents and abundant recreational opportunities including hiking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, mountain biking and fishing. I moved to this area for these recreational opportunities, particularly winter activities such as snowshoeing with my dogs.

Over the past few winters, a trapper has become active in the area. I am aware that he has a legal tenure for Trapping. The Trapline Number is TR0319 T002 (Lac Le Jeune, Walloper, McConnell Lake and Connelly Lake). A second active Trapline in the area is Number TR0319 T003.

A few years ago, my hiking partners and I found a leghold trap within a few metres of the Melba Creek Forest Service Road (FSR). This was a site less than 200m from Highway 97D and less than 500m from a Highway Rest Area on the Coquihalla Highway. We had our dogs with us, but luckily a piece of the bait had fallen onto the trap and set it off.

Several weeks ago, I met the trapper on the Walloper Creek FSR which is within the same area as Melba Creek, and less than 500m from a private residence. This area is criss-crossed by designated recreation trails including Schedule ‘A’ Recreation Trails under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Forests and Range. I asked this trapper why he couldn’t place the traps farther up the mountain away from the intensive recreational use. He informed me that he had the right to trap anywhere, and that we would be safe if we stayed on the main logging road. Unfortunately, the reason I come to this area is to recreate on the trails through the forest – not on the logging road. To make matters worse, our 4 year old granddaughter has started to snowshoe with us. I am very concerned that she may be injured by these traps.

I understand that this is a historic use of the Crown landbase. However, that doesn’t mean that it has to continue with practices dating from the early 1900’s. Many other Natural Resource Sectors have undergone drastic changes to bring them in line with current natural resource management techniques and public expectations. For instance, our forest industry is one of the best managed in the world. There is legislation that allows for commercial extraction while managing for other values including recreation, wildlife, and general biodiversity. This is addressed through an intensive planning tool called a Forest Stewardship Plan. The introduction of the Forest and Range Practices Act (FRPA) also brought the ranching sector up to current management standards through the introduction of the Range Stewardship Plan. All of these industries operate on a principle of public input and involvement into the management of the Crown’s resource. Even the mining industry is now subject to extensive public involvement through the Environmental Assessment Process.

It is time to revise the applicable legislation that governs trapping so that other values can be incorporated into the management of this industry. Some possible suggestions include:
  • For each Trapline, the tenure holder should prepare a management plan that addresses all resource management values and their plan to manage the wildlife species affected by their activities. As it is with the industries mentioned above, this plan should be signed and sealed by the applicable member of a professional body (i.e. Registered Professional Biologist). The public has already shown that Professional Reliance is the minimum standard acceptable.
  • The management plan should be advertised for public input. Currently, a 60-day referral period is the standard.
  • Areas should be identified that are unavailable for trapping. For instance, a buffer around communities should be in place were trapping is prohibited. We have been told by Trappers that they could even snowmobile on our local groomed cross-country ski trails that prohibit motorized traffic under FRPA. These trails are managed by a volunteer group within a Forest Service Recreation Site. It appears that there are very few restrictions on the placement of traps.
  • In areas heavily impacted by the Mountain Pine Beetle (MPB), trapping should be decreased to address the significant loss of habitat for small mammals. This should be defined by staff biologists for the Ministry of Environment.
Although I find the indiscriminate use of these traps to be a deplorable and inhumane practice, I am primarily concerned with the apparent lack of management for this industry. This activity must be undertaken in a manner that addresses sound principles of natural resource management and finds balanced solutions that meet economic, environmental and social requirements.

I look forward to your response.

Yours truly,

Beverley Lorimer

Here is the response from Nancy Wilkin, Assistant Deputy Minister:
Reference: 96859

Dear Ms. Lorimer:

Thank you for your letter of January 28, 2008, addressed to the Honourable Barry Penner, Minister of Environment regarding trapping in British Columbia. Your letter has been forwarded to me to respond on the Minister’s behalf.

The Government of British Columbia has long considered trapping to be a responsible and sustainable use of our natural resources. All trappers in the province are required to pass the British Columbia Trappers Education Program, or its equivalent, if they are from other jurisdictions. This course teaches trappers humane trapping techniques, as well as how to wisely manage the fur-bearing animals on their trapline. Trappers in British Columbia are licensed and their harvests are monitored by the Ministry of Environment. Trappers must comply with strict regulations concerning seasons and management quotas to ensure that furbearer populations remain healthy and productive.

The registered trapline system in BC gives trappers exclusive privileges to trap in an area. This system, which has been in place since 1926, fosters stewardship and encourages proper management of furbearers on an individual’s trapline. Over-harvesting a species on a trapline would be detrimental to both the animal population and the livelihood of the trapper who manages the line. The BC Government is satisfied that this system, along with regulations on season lengths and quotas, works to properly manage furbearers in BC.

There are questions about the potential effects of Mountain Pine beetle and associated logging on furbearer species. Studies are being conducted in the province to increase our knowledge in this area, and ministry biologists will adjust trapping seasons if necessary.

In your letter, you mention that you had found a leg hold trap while out hiking. I would like to provide some information on these types of traps. In British Columbia, the conventional leg hold trap, also known as the non-modified leg hold trap, has been prohibited for live capture of all animals since 1983. Modified leg hold traps are legal only for wolf, coyote, fox, bobcat and lynx, and only if the steel jaws are modified to be either “offset”, “laminated,” or “padded” to reduce and eliminate injuries. These non-conventional traps work so well, that they are often the preferred method of capturing animals for scientific or educational purposes when the animal must be released unharmed.

The Ministry of Environment does place some restrictions on where trapping can take place. Under the current regulations, it is an offense to set a trap on land, within 200 meters of a dwelling, unless the trap is a live box or cage trap, or an egg trap (a small trap designed to hold raccoons). This law is to prevent people from setting large traps in populated areas which may potentially harm domestic animals or people. In addition, it is an offense to trap on private land without the permission of the property owner or occupier.

Currently, the Ministry of Environment does not require trappers to mark or post signs in areas where traps are set. Although there are no specific signage regulations, many trappers do place signs warning people that they are entering a trapline area, or that a trap is set nearby. Other trappers, however, do not do this as such postings can result in their traps being vandalized or stolen.

In more rural and back-country areas, it is expected that dogs will be allowed to run off the leash. Pet owners need to be aware that if they allow this activity, there is a very small chance their dogs may come across a trap set during the winter trapping season. Pet owners should keep their dogs under control if they have concerns about the area they are in. No trapper wants to see domestic animals or people harmed by traps. It adversely affects their business, and damages the reputation of trappers province-wide.

Current management of trapping in the province is working well. The trapping industry in the province is fairly small and normally, trapping activities do not come into conflict with recreational land uses. It is important that all wilderness users apply common sense and an awareness of their own safety while conducting their activities, recognizing that they share the land with other user groups.

Thank you again for writing and expressing your concerns.

Yours truly,

Nancy Wilkin
Assistant Deputy Minister
Environmental Stewardship Division

pc: Honourable Barry Penner, Minister of Environment

Letter to Kamloops Daily News

Thanks to Bev Lorimer for her great work, this letter was published in the Kamloops Daily News.

Many of the residents of Lac Le Jeune would like to express our disappointment with Cam Fortems’ article, “Tracking the Wolf,” in the February 2, 2008, edition of the Kamloops Daily News. While this article gives insight into one man’s career in the North Thompson, it unfortunately glamorizes the practice of trapping, and neglects to mention the distinctly unromantic realities of today’s outdated harvesting practices. It also avoids the impact such practices have on neighbouring communities.

A number of residents in our rural community participate in many outdoor winter activities, but, with apprehension due to active and escalating animal trapping in our area. A number of years ago leg-hold traps were discovered beside groomed ski trails in the Lac Le Jeune area. These trails are very popular with local and Kamloops skiers and their dogs. In November an active leg-hold trap was found 5 meters off Melba Creek Forest Service Road, another area used regularly by snowshoers and skiers with their dogs and children. Also, a trapper, who currently holds a trapping license for a 300 square mile area, including Chuwhels Mountain, Lac Le Jeune, Connolly, McConnell and Bush Lake (old Canada Games trails) areas, is trapping in a busy recreational area and near a farm residence on the Walloper Creek Forest Service Road. His motivations for pursuing his harvesting in close proximity to pets and people remain unclear, and the public has only been made aware of his activities through signage erected by a Lac Le Jeune resident – not the trapper.

While these activities are worrisome enough, recently evidence of such reprehensible pursuits has been found much closer to home. Last week the carcases of three coyotes were discovered on Ridge Mountain Forest Service Road – less than 500 meters from a resident’s home. Two of the coyotes were skinned, while the third still had its fur intact. These are not sights one wants to encounter while out for a walk in the community!

Ministry of Environment trapping regulations state that “When trapping in areas near recreational areas or communities …. Warning signs should be used to inform people of trapping activities.” This is certainly not happening in our area. The same regulations also state that trappers need “to remember that the landscape is utilized by a number of different user groups and that the safety of non-target species is vital to good trapline management” (Ministry of Environment, 2007-2008 Hunting and Trapping Regulations Synopsis, pg. 92.)

As shown, these regulations have not been adhered to by local harvesters, and they illustrate the increasing dangers that these activities have generated. Recreational users of any crown land have to be aware there is likely to be an active trapline in their proximity. The Ministry of the Environment not only needs to address the conflict developing in these recreational and rural areas, it must also properly enforce its regulations.

We live in an area rich in wildlife and with outstanding recreational opportunities. Hopefully, with improved management this area will provide a safe place to enjoy the outdoors.

Signed by the following Lac Le Jeune residents:

Ross & Bev Lorimer
Pam & Casey Sheridan
The Upton Family
Jim & Carolyn Phillips
Kecia & Mike Turunen
Edel & Monica Mattfeld
John Dumesnil
Miro & Hana Struss
Hugh & Pat Burton
Mike & Janet Jones
Bob Brown & Sylvia Currie
Brenda Mohebbi
Darren Twidale & Sonia Walczak
Pat Endersby ( Chuwells Mountain Road)

Higher resolution photos from Google Earth

This just in from my brother-in-law who calls himself a "Lac Fan". Google Earth now has higher resolution photos of the Lac le Jeune area. Download Google Earth and check it out!

Friday, February 8, 2008

Welcome to Lac le Jeune

Welcome to the Lac le Jeune community blog!

We have many conversations by the bridge and while playing bridge, on the trails and out the rolled down windows of our vehicles in passing, and while paddling on the lake or relaxing on our docks. Sometimes these conversations are about issues we care about as residents. Other times we just want to tell a joke, spread some news, or tell a good story.

The reason for starting this blog is to share some of these conversations. Oh, and pictures. We have lots of those!

The idea is to have many people contributing to this blog. To get started we have a few LLJ residents who will be posting regularly. We look forward to your comments!

Sylvia (That person you see pushing the all terrain stroller with Skippy the 3-legged dog)