January 2020 Newsletter
Updated: Feb 5
I know it may seem a little late now, but Happy New Year!
Water (in a whole different context)
This month I’m going to step away from water supply issues and talk about too much water. As I write this, the storm of January 31 to Feb1 created a lot of havoc across all of Roberts Creek. Whittaker Creek, just downstream of the cemetery on Lower Rd, blew out the culvert and we now have Whittaker Canyon.
You can see in the pictures that the bottom of the canyon is now 10 metres lower than previously, and it’s continuing to erode away. In the second and third picture you can see exposed gas and water mains. Four adjacent properties are currently under evacuation order, and our Emergency Operations Center (EOC) was activated as a result of the washout. On Friday night up to 16 people were working at Field Road coordinating the situation. A big thank you to our staff for fast and management of the situation. Margaret and Beach Ave also had washouts and there were a few other troublesome spots that will all need new, and hopefully bigger culverts. As most of you know, Roads and drainage are the responsibility of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI), and most of the maintenance is done, through a contract, by Capilano Highway Services. This is no easy and quick fix and I’m looking forward to seeing what MoTI will come up with as a solution. The local area representative for MoTI is Colin Midgley.
This January the Clack Creek Forest, a core part of the proposed Elphinstone Park reflected in our Roberts Creek OCP, saw some action as a logging company moved in and started cutting down trees. Local activists, including the Elphinstone Logging Focus (ELF) and the Living Forest Institute (LFI) mounted resistance and several blockades and protests were organized. I attended the protest at the intersection of the B&K and Hwy 101 on January 24th. Last UBCM we submitted a resolution for our Province to take a more holistic look at forestry, incorporating the values of a standing forest – like carbon sequestration, recreation, flooding and erosion protection, biodiversity, ecosystem services and mushrooming. If the Province were to actually take these factors into account, areas in the rural-urban interface, like Clack Creek and the proposed Park, would likely be treated as more than a source of lumber and stumpage fees. Our Province has spent the last 100 years doing unsustainable forestry, and they continue to do so. Between logging old-growth forests at barely a premium, reforesting with a lack of diverse species to create fire breaks, and suppressing naturally occurring wildfires so that fuel accumulates on the forest floor, among other factors, the critical mass for a large-scale failure of forestry in our province is here. I have joined the Climate Caucus, a collection of over 200 local politicians across BC and Canada, that are looking into what they can do at the local level to mitigate and adapt to climate change. They are compiling a group of experts and scientific research in the forestry field that the provincial government has largely ignored so far, and I hope we can get some traction.
The Flume Road – Hwy 101 intersection has long been labeled a dangerous intersection, and the statistics prove it. It apparently is the second most dangerous intersection in Roberts Creek. Currently Sunshine Coast Transit buses use the Flume Rd intersection as part of their route. After some safety concerns by drivers and a study by staff, it was determined that this intersection is too dangerous for our buses to continue using it northbound, as it takes too long for the buses to accelerate and cross the highway due to the steep hill. As a result, from May onwards, buses are rerouting to Marlene Rd (my apologies, my newsletter said March, and Margaret) on the northbound route. Affected residents and regular riders at the stops will be notified.
There are lots more interesting things happening, but I’ll leave it here for now. See you next month. In case you have any questions or concerns, you can always email me.
This newsletter will also be published to my blog at https://andreastize.com