Friday, February 24, 2012

2012 Overlander Loppet

Overlander Ski Marathon 2010-427The 2012 Overlander Loppet is coming up! Come out to watch and cheer on the skiers Saturday, March 3.

The kids (up to 13 years) start at 10 a.m., and everybody else at 11 a.m.

See the Overlander Ski Club website for all the details.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

History: Highland Valley Mine

A mining company was developing an area in the Highland Valley, between Ashcroft and Lac Le Jeune. The Provincial Government had reserved the area of Divide Lake for park development, but had no plans for immediate development. A deal occurred before the provincial election of August 27, 1969 to benefit campers and other recreational folks. The decision the Provincial Government took was to accept $50,000 from Bethlehem Copper Corporation. This eventually led to the disappearance of Divide Lake. Where was that money directed? To the expansion of Lac Le Jeune Provincial Park. The person who confirmed the transaction was Ken Kiernan, B.C’s minister of Conservation and Recreation.

You will have to decide if you have not benefited.

Source: Kamloops Daily News – 30 January 1970 – p. 01 – “Kiernan confirms ‘Deal’ in Lac Le Jeune project”

Submitted by Neil Burton

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Ajax Mine and Lac Le Jeune Road

The proposed Ajax Mine will bring about major changes to Lac Le Jeune Road. This is one of many issues related to the project that residents of Lac Le Jeune should be asking questions about.

In the February 3, 2012 Kamloops Daily News, Frances Vyse describes the route many people use to get to the to the Stake Lake ski trails as the
steep, narrow, winding road on which the mine proponent wishes to put mine-related traffic and ore-carrying trucks bound for Vancouver. 
This is the route many Lac Le Jeune residents drive every day. Children ride the school bus along this road. Cowboys move cattle every spring and fall. Cyclists use it daily in the summer months. For residents who are accustomed to the peaceful drive through the grasslands and Douglas fir timberlands around Jocko Creek Ranch, and who have stories and photographs of the many moose, deer, bears, and coyotes they have encountered along this road, it is difficult to imagine what this increase in traffic will bring, much less the change in landscape caused by the Ajax Mine project.

The January 11, 2012 draft Ajax Mine Application Information Requirements (AIR) document (PDF) outlines access to the mine as follows:
Access to the proposed Project from Kamloops is via exit 366 off the Trans-Canada Highway (No. 1), east along Frontage Road, and then south along Lac Le Jeune Road to the old Afton Mine Haul Road near the inks Lake Road Junction, a road distance of approximately 9 km. 
From this statement we learn how vehicles will get to the mine from Kamloops. But what about those travelling to and from the other direction? Keep in mind that we're not just talking about trucks hauling materials from the mine. This traffic includes several hundred commuters, as well as service, support and supply vehicles. Also keep in mind that an operation like this runs around the clock.

The Ajax Cooper-Gold Project Fact Booklet delivered to our mailboxes this month states:
Concentrate will be transported via Lac Le Jeune Highway to the Port of Vancouver. 
Highway? I think they mean to say the long, narrow, winding, spectacular country road that Lac Le Jeune residents enjoy every day.

Jocko Creek Ranch, photo by Frank Morton

Osprey in nest beside road, photo by Frank Morton

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Open House - Ajax Mine Project

What2 upcoming Open House sessions
When: February Feb 6th and 7th, noon to 8pm
Where: Kamloops Convention Centre

View Larger Map

Who: Representatives from:
  1. Ajax project
  2. BC Environmental Assessment Office (EAO)
  3. Canadian Environmental Assessment Agency (CEAA)
  4. YOU
From the TNRD website:
These representatives will be available to talk with people about their concerns and to answer questions about the environmental assessment process and the proposed project. All issues and responses will be tracked and made available on EAO’s website.
It is encouraging to read that ALL issues and responses will be made available. But how is this possible without selective inclusion and editing? An open house is not the same as a public question and answer session. So here is a question you are all encouraged to ask:

When will there be an open, public MEETING with these 3 groups?

Note that public concern is cited as one of the reasons the BC Government will pay attention to the concerns of the general public over the mine project. So plan to attend the open house and spread the word!

Thanks to Tracy Upton and members of the Kamloops Area Preservation Society for helping to inform Lac Le Jeune residents of issues related to the Ajax Mine project.