Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Reporting polluters and poachers

The web site for reporting polluters and poachers is or just google RAPP. This reporting is easy to do online. On Aug 10, a group of us spotted garbage dumped illegally on Melba Creek Forest Service Road. There was a TV, kid’s pool, packing boxes, and lots of cans, bottles and garden material. We posted the information online and the next day I had a call from the Conservation Officer (CO). He told me that there was nothing to identify the polluter at the site, but the TNRD now has an agreement with the CO Services to clean up. He also told me that it was important to notify CO Services as they need to track this information and attempt to identify and prosecute the offender. It just takes a minute so please note your location and follow through with your observations.

This subject came up at the meeting on Aug 11 with TNRD. I spoke with Mr May after that meeting and he assured me that the TNRD would deal with the garbage.

As of today that it remains where it was dumped…wonder where the folks at TNRD are?
Submitted by Bev Lorimer

From the CO website:

If you have just witnessed a serious violation, call 1-877-952-7277 (RAPP) or #7277 on the TELUS Mobility Network.

If the situation is not an emergency , report the incident online or contact the nearest Conservation Officer Service district office - see Contacts.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

West Nile Virus

This information was received today from Martin Dickson, Environmental Services Technologist, Thompson-Nicola Regional District.
Good Morning,
In efforts to keep your respective communities up to date with important news from the Thompson-Nicola Regional District we would like to pass along the accompanying press release that speaks to the detection of British Columbias first case of West Nile virus. This past weekend the British Columbia Center for Disease Control (BCCDC) confirmed two probable human cases of WNv in individuals from the Kelowna area.They have also detected WNv in a mosquito pool collected in the southern Okanagan.

Please feel free to contact our TNRD Mosquito Control Contractor Cheryl Phippen if you have any questions about mosquitoes or WNv. She can be contacted at 250-573-1750 or emailed at or people can leave messages on the mosquito advisory line at 250-372-5700. Environmental Health Services Supervisor, Dennis Labrie will also be available for any questions you may have. He can be contacted at 250-377-2592.

Thank you for your time and we will keep you all updated as we learn more.

Best Regards,
Martin Dickson | Environmental Services Technologist
Thompson-Nicola Regional District

Press Release
August 24, 2009

British Columbia’s First Human Case of West Nile Virus
The first West Nile virus (WNv) infected mosquito pool and the first human WNv cases in British Columbia were reported by the BC Centre for Disease Control this weekend. The positive mosquito pool was collected in the Southern Okanagan and two individuals from the Kelowna area are being investigated with possible infections. Since 1999, when WNv was first identified in North America, the virus has caused nearly 29,000 cases of human illness, including more than 1100 deaths. These are the first ever cases of WNv detected in British Columbia and the first cases reported so far this year in Canada.

WNv is spread seasonally through the bites of infected mosquitoes. The risk of serious illness from WNv is low; however simple measures can help prevent mosquito bites and reduce the numbers of mosquitoes in an area:
• Individuals should apply insect repellents containing DEET (10% for children and up to 30% for adults), wear loose, light colored clothing when outdoors including long-sleeved pants and shirts and avoid mosquito-laden areas at dawn and dusk.
• Tight fitting screens should be installed on doors and windows
• Individuals should eliminate or regularly change any sources of stagnant water around their properties as mosquito larvae will develop in the smallest pool of water. Likely mosquito breeding grounds include the saucers under flower pots, wading pools, used tires, and clogged eaves troughs.

Mosquitoes become infected with WNv when they feed on infected birds, and the virus may be transmitted when an infected mosquito bites a human. Humans cannot get the virus directly from birds nor can humans pass this virus from one person to the next. About two out of every 10 people bitten by an infected mosquito develop WNv symptoms such as fever, aches, nausea and vomiting. About 1 in 150 people infected with WNv develop more serious symptoms such as paralysis, extreme headache and, in rare cases, death. Although people of any age can become severely ill, the risk is highest for persons age 50 and over.

In 2009, the TNRD has been conducting a larval control program for WNv, with the goal of reducing the numbers of Culex species of mosquitoes within the TNRD as if WNv has already arrived in our area. We are confident that everything is being done to reduce the impact that West Nile virus may have on residents and visitors to our area. However, the public must be aware that personal protection using Deet is the best way to reduce the possibility of contracting WNv. Surveillance traps have been strategically placed within the TNRD to collect specimens and monitor for the presence of WnV.

A mosquito control contractor for the TNRD, BWP Consulting Inc, is currently monitoring stagnant water known to produce mosquito larvae. When larvae are present they are being treated with a biological larvicide that is harmless to other insects and animals. As it is late in the season, many known larval development sites have dried up and the contractor is reporting low numbers of larvae and adult mosquitoes throughout most of the TNRD.

The Interior Health Authority and the BC Centre for Disease Control are currently monitoring for the presence of the virus by collecting and testing mosquitoes and birds throughout the southern Okanagan and the southern Kootenay. People in the TNRD can report sightings of dead crows, ravens, magpies or jays by calling the Interior Health Authority West Nile Virus Information Line at 1-866-300-0520 or by accessing the BCCDC On-Line Dead Bird Sighting Report Form at .

For more information about WNv, mosquito control or our public education events, please visit or call the TNRD Mosquito Advisory Line at 250-372-5700

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Seaplane activity

It was impossible to miss the 3 seaplanes that landed on Lac Le Jeune yesterday. Jim Phillips was able to get this shot of one plane during take off, and noticed "Fire Boss" written across the front of the pontoon. This activity was likely related to the fire near Shumway Lake.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Front Page: Kamloops Daily News

Thanks to Pam Sheridan and Elna Strand, and other residents who shared our concerns about the changes to the Lac Le Jeune waste management system with the Kamloops Daily News, the story made the front page! Here's the full article.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Update, and a response from TNRD

photo by fontplaydotcom

Reminder! The public meeting to discuss the future of the Lac Le Jeune Refuse Transfer Station is Tuesday, August 11, 2009, 7:00 - 8:00 p.m. at the Lac Le Jeune Resort and Conference Centre. Please attend!

At least 80% of Lac Le Jeune residents have signed the petition opposing "the Plan" to implement curbside garbage collection. Also of note is that, to date, NOT ONE resident has indicated that they were aware of any public consultation with respect to "the Plan".

This letter from Don May was received by John Watson on August 4, 2009.
Dear John Watson:
Thank-you for your letter and comments regarding the future of the Lac Le Jeune transfer station. My apologies for not responding to you on Friday. I will try to answer the questions and concerns you and the other community members raise in your July 23, 2009 letter and others to the TNRD. This turned-out a bit longer than I intended, but I have tried to give you a bit of background as well.

With regard to public consultation concerning the future of the Lac Le Jeune Transfer station:
The TNRD started work on updating their Regional Solid Waste Management Plan (Plan) in 2004. Committees to assist the regional district were established in 2005, including a public advisory committee, technical advisory committee and a political steering committee. The Plan was developed through a 3 stage process developed by the Minstry of Environment and there was public consultation required at each stage of the process. This was done by open houses, media advertising and mail-outs throughout the process of developing the new Plan. The final round of open houses to explain the Plan was done in 2007 and the Plan was approved by the TNRD Board and Ministry of Environment in 2008. The Ministry was satisfied with the level of public consultation in developing the Plan. We are now implementing the new initiatives.

A major issue that needed to be dealt with was the ever increasing cost of operating the TNRD's solid waste system. There were 32 transfer stations and 5 landfills and new transfer stations were being opened at a steady pace and costs to develop and operate the system had more than doubled. There were considerable problems encountered with the unattended transfer stations in terms of dumping of hazardous materials, overloaded bins, bear problems, and litter and unsightly site conditions. To attempt to control the costs of the system and limit the number of sites that the TNRD would need to upgrade the Plan identified a core number of about 18 transfer stations that should be upgraded to the new eco-depot standard, including recycling. All other sites and particularily those where an alternative service could be developed would be scheduled for consolidation or closure. The Lac Le Jeune site was identified as a site where an alternative service could be provided, with the preference being curbside collection.

To back up a bit to consultation again. Once the Plan had been approved by the Minister of Environment and adopted by the TNRD Board of Directors it then gained considerable force in its own right. Section 24 of the BC Enviromental Management Act gives regional districts the authority to adopt Bylaws for the purpose of implementing a Plan without a petition or assent of the electors. The attached Bylaw 2248 was adopted by the TNRD Board on January 8, 2009 to give the TNRD the ability to tax for a new collection and recycling service in Electoral Area "J". The meeting on August 11 is part of the continuing consultation process.

Through input received during the development of the Plan it was determined that curbside collection was the best way to achieve the most diversion through recyling and that a system of collection carts, one for refuse and one for recycling (similar to the Cuty of Kamloops system) achieve better diversion rates than a depot type of recycling system. However, the TNRD is aware of the problems with wildlife and proposes that the garbage carts will be provided with bear-proof lids. The carts are provided to residents and businesses by the TNRD as part of the cost of the new services. A collection vehicle is also provided as part of the service. Residents would receive 65 gallon carts and businesses would receive 95 gallon carts. This system is being rolled-out in Avola in August and we will get a good idea how it will work in bear country.

The issue of scheduling curbside service for those residents and vacationers that may only be in the area on weekends and/or for holidays is one of the down sides of a curbside system. The pick-up would be done on one weekday and carts would need to be at the curb or road edge by 7:00 a.m. For those that are not in the area on the collection day there are a couple of possibilities including arranging with a neighbor to put their carts out or hauling their materials back to their primary residence. The service is intended for local residents and businesses only and does not cover contractors looking after area Parks and doing renovation and the like. There are other drawbacks of a curbside system that include service to remote areas, service during winter conditions on steep roads etc.

Another option for alternative service to the Lac Le Jeune area is a limited use of the existing transfer station, but the site would need to be operated in a different way than it currently is so that the operational costs are reduced. In effect the site would be closed except for very limited hours - say 6 to 8 hours per week (say 2 openings at 3 to 4 hours each as determined by needs of the community). Ideally the site would be removed from the general service and be solely operated by and for the local area. In this scenario the TNRD could pay the Lac Le Jeune Community Association to operate the site. Punch cards could be issued to all local residents and businesses in a quantity equivalent to a 2 bag per week limit (to encourage recycling) - recycling blue bags would still be free and part of the general service. Businesses may receive more punch cards based on their tax assessments. Identification cards would also need to be issued. Only those with a valid ID card would be authorized to use the site. In this way the number of bin services per year would be reduced and the cost of the site controlled.

To meet the requirements of the TNRD Plan there are two criteria that must be met. First, any alternative service must promote and encourage diversion of waste and recycling. This is the main reason why the TNRD developed the new tipping fee system for waste disposal and initiated the blue bag recycling system in 2008. The new fees are incentive to reduce and recycle. The second is that the alternative must be less expensive to operate to achieve the goal of reducing the overall cost of the system. Another criteria is that no waste transfer site is left open and unattended.
I hope this information will be helpful to you and the Lac le Jeune community. Please feel free to distribute them as needed. As you can see there are many details to work out that depend on which option the local residents and businesses wish to proceed with, and we will provide some more information at the meeting on the 11th.

Thanks again for your interest and I would be happy to answer any questions you may have.

Don May
Manager of Environmental Health Services
Thompson-Nicola Regional District
300 - 465 Victoria Street
Kamloops, BC
V2C 2A9
Office (250) 377-8673
Toll free 1-877-377-8673
Direct line (250)377-7057
FAX (250) 372-5048
Cell (250)319-6965

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Swamp Ladies

photos by Hugh Burton

On this July day Hugh Burton conveniently had a camera with a good zoom lens while walking Rosie up the hill at Lac Le Jeune Park Drive West. He took a series of pictures of the "swamp ladies" finding their way through the maze toward the ranch at the end of the little lake. In case anyone is curious about the end of the story, we did find our way out! Thanks to Hugh for the photos and also for a new fitting name for a LLJ ladies' kayaking group!

Friday, August 7, 2009

LLJCA meeting

Lac Le Jeune Conservation Association
Annual General Meeting September 12, 2009 @ 9:30am
At the Lac Le Jeune Resort (downstairs)


1. Approval of AGM Minutes of July 20, 2008
2. President’s report
3. Treasurer’s Report
4. Enhancement Plan Update
5. Garbage Collection Update
6. Reforestation – Seedling Purchase
7. Ski Hill Rezoning Update
8. Pumpkin Hunt for Kids
9. Opening or Rep in Upper Subdivision
10. Block Watch
11. RCMP Report
12. Question Period

Monday, August 3, 2009

Lac Le Jeune Reminiscences by Hugh Burton: Part 1

photo by Nurmsook
A number of people from around the lake have asked me to provide some anecdotal Lac Le Jeune history. My own memories of names and events related to this area go back reasonably faithfully to around 1945, but the earlier events I will present are sourced either from oral history or articles I have read.

I have taken the liberty of obtaining information of these events from newspaper items and several articles written by Mary Balf who was an employee of Kamloops Museum.

First of all, our lake has not always been called Lac Le Jeune. It had previously been called Trout Lake and Fish Lake. The original map of the Township, on the North Shore of the lake was filed under the name Trout Lake, from the survey produced by D.C. Taggert D.L.B. in 1911. Prior to that it had been popularly known as Fish Lake, presumably in reference to the amazing number of fish it produced for the summer native population and the few enthusiastic anglers who were hardy enough to make the day long trek by horse. This was the name I as a child was familiar with and all the early residents used for many years. However, it seems there were just too many “Fish and Trout Lakes”, so in 1928 the National Geographic Board officially changed the name to Lac Le Jeune in honour of Father Le Jeune, who worked among the Indians of the Kamloops region between 1879 and 1929.

In these early days there appears to have been only two structures close to the shore that could accommodate anglers. Dave Lusk had built a log house in 1885 not far from where the present lodge stands, though it would have been much closer to the water. The other was a trappers cabin that, according to legend, was built in 1901 and was the precursor to what became the N.S. Dalgleish “Jubilee cabin” in 1908. This cabin is still standing immediately east of the Killik’s cabin.

In 1905 Dave Lusk, in partnership with Robert Cowan, built the Fish Lake Hotel - a pretty heady title for such a humble dwelling. Nevertheless, it was sturdy enough to stand up till the current lodge was built, though for a good part of its life it was relegated to boat repair shop, fish storage, and smoke house duty. In the late 1950‘s and early 60‘s I spent many hours in its cramped, dark, confines while preparing fish during the time I was employed as a guide by John and Muriel Whittaker’ who were the owners of Lac Le Jeune Lodge.

Dave Lusk gave up the business in 1906 leaving it to Robert Cowan who very shortly began construction of Rainbow Lodge approximately half way between the current Lodge and the waterfront.

It turned out to be very successful, drawing many avid anglers from the Kamloops area and beyond, some of whom over the next ten years would build their own cabins. Among these were: F.J. Fulton, A.C. Claxton, S.C. Burton, and Dr. Irving. To date four and five generations of these families have enjoyed the peace and beauty of this place.

There is one portion of history which appears to have been missed out, and one that quite probably had a bearing on family settlement. In the first few years of the 1900’s infants in Kamloops were at risk of contracting a serious cholera-like ailment that struck in the heat of the summer. The disease proved life threatening, so many of the sick were brought to a tent camp that was set up about half way along the north side of Rainbow drive, which was then called Pine Street. The idea was that the cooler, purer air, clean water and absence of contaminated flies would restore them. The camp was attended by a nursing staff and overseen by Dr. Irving, the founder of the Irving clinic.

My father was among those who were brought here for the cure, and grandfather credited the move with saving Dad’s life. Grandfather, S. C. Burton and Dr. Irving were already enthusiastic fishermen and it is likely that this event clinched the desire to build. I have often wondered if the development of the children’s camp wasn’t, in part at least, an attempt to lend legitimacy to an extended fishing expedition. At any event, Dr. Irving built his cabin in 1906 where our present house now stands and Granddad built in 1915 on the lot immediately east of Dr. Irving‘s. These were the second and third cabins constructed in the original town site. Granddad’s cabin still stands and is the summer residence of Sidney and Neil Burton and family. Unfortunately, we had to tear down the Irving cabin in order to build our full time residence. However, the kitchen portion is intact, has a history of its own, and now stands behind the current house.

Hugh Burton Aug. 02, 09

More to follow...


It's the time of year that we love living in Lac Le Jeune -- perfect for spending those long, warm days enjoying the outdoors. Unfortunately, the hot, dry weather also brings thunder and lightning. In this area that also means threat of wildfires.

But if lightning were our only concern we would be feeling much more at ease. Alarmingly, the 50% of wildfires in British Columbia are caused by humans. In fact, looking at the statistics since 1998, there are several years where human-caused wildfires tipped the scale. Look at 2005, just two short years after the devastating fires around Kamloops: 60.9% of the wildfires that year were human caused.

There are occasions when fires are started intentionally, but those aren't very common. Sadly, the reason is usually that these people are careless, and are simply unaware of the consequences of their actions. The tourist I saw yesterday smoking at the far end of the little lake probably has no idea how brutally dry the grass is, and that a flick of those ashes could lead to an evacuation of our community. The ATV riders I saw coming off the logging road past the provincial park don't realize the risks of extremely hot exhaust systems. In fact, avoid parking a CAR on dry grass is on the list of ways to prevent wildfires. Do most people know that? Probably not. The only solution is education, and there are a lot of people out there that need to be educated.

photo by Sylvia Currie

How to prevent wildfires (taken from BC Ministry of Forests and Ranges website and other sources)
  • Be aware of burning regulations. (Obviously right now campfires and yard burning are prohibited. There's a whole list of related precautions I'll leave out.)
  • Smoke only on concrete or on naked, brushless dirt.
  • Put your cigarette out on something nonflammable. Never put it out on a stump.
  • Do not discard smoking materials from vehicles; use interior ashtrays.
  • Never use lawn mowers and weed trimmers to clear dead grass and vegetation during the heat of the day. Just the simple spark from a mower's blade on a rock can start a wildfire.
  • Lawn & farm equipment should have properly working spark arresters to prevent sparks from exiting through the exhaust pipes. While spark arrestors are not 100% effective, they GREATLY reduce the risk of starting a wildfire.
  • All Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) produce an enormous amount of heat and can ignite brush from their exhaust systems.
  • Don't park your vehicle on dry grass.
  • Don't use fireworks.
  • Make sure matches are cold before they leave your hands.
  • Keep several fire extinguishers in your house, and know where they are!
  • Do not leave a barbeque unattended, and be prepared to deal with flames and sparks.
There are several ways to keep up-to-date on the wildfire situation in the province: