Monthly Archives: February 2012

Neglect – The latest crisis in B.C.’s forests

Neglect -  The latest crisis in B.C.’s forests
Forthcoming in the March-April 2012 Watershed Sentinel (http://www.watershedsentinel.ca/ )

In 1985, the rapidly growing amount of not-satisfactorily-restocked (NSR) land in B.C. forests became a crisis. This resulted in a joint provincial and federal $300-million funding plan, the Forest Resource Development Agreement (FRDA) that restocked many thousands of hectares.
A similar crisis is again occurring in B.C.’s forests, but this time the cause is not logging by irresponsible forest companies. Instead, the massive amount of NSR land is a result of climate-change fueled fires, diseases and beetle kill. Government policies that have stripped the ministry of employees, ended adequate inventory efforts, and handed forest management over to the corporations have exacerbated the problems.
To read the rest – go to The Latest Crisis in B.C.’s Forests

Sol Mountain Grooving II.mov

Another groovy look at the fun and exciting backcountry ski touring scene in Sol Mountain Touring Lodge’s exceptional terrain in the Monashee Mountains. Most of the footage and stills were taken during the January 29 to February 5, 2012 trip, with some from 2011. Many thanks to Sol Mtn. Lodge co-owner and ski guide Aaron Cooperman for some of the footage and to Robert Storm and Joerg Heilig for some of the stills. Many thanks to Jesse Clarke for the groovin reggae soundtrack. Find out about Jesse’s band, the Wild Oaks at www.thewildoaks.ca Note that this is the second version of the video with longer stills, some footage gone and a new sound track so it can be viewed in the U.S. Learn more about Sol Mountain ski touring at www.solmountain.com.

Sleuthing the sources of Shuswap Lake pollution

Sleuthing the sources of Shuswap Lake pollution

November, 2010

Implementation of the Shuswap Lakes Integrated Planning Process (SLIPP) Strategic Plan is getting a rough reception by many local politicians as described by recent headline news articles. Even though it appears that the key components of the Plan will receive funding, there remains an air of uncertainty about the project. Despite overwhelming public support for implementation as shown by the recent watershed survey, substantial financial support from the province and the obvious need for action due to the recent algae blooms, opposition continues due in part to misunderstandings about the project. Continue reading

Shuswap Coffee House Magic

Shuswap Coffee House Magic

April, 2006

The phenomenal growth of the Coffee House scene here never ceases to amaze me, perhaps because of the efforts that others and I put in to promote music some thirty years ago.  The folk music scene in the Shuswap began in earnest in 1972, when banjo aficionado Jake Jacobson opened the Sweet Earth Natural Food store and began having music jams in the evenings.  My involvement began after helping to build the log Youth Centre in 1975 (now the Roots and Blues offices), which became the first venue for the Shuswap Coffee House.  Continue reading

Finding bliss in the Shuswap – Routes and Blues

Finding bliss in the Shuswap

August, 2011

What a concept! Day hikes on some of the Shuswap’s most spectacular trails followed by community dinners and fantastic concerts and dances. “Routes and Blues” was the brainchild of Roots and Blues executive director Hugo Rampen, who was inspired by the very successful Celtic Colours Festival in Cape Breten.  Now in its 15th year, this festival is held during October to celebrate the beauty of the fall colours in locations throughout the island and includes hikes and cycle tours on some of the region’s famous trails. Continue reading

Forestry needs public input

Forestry needs public input

September, 2011

Just what has happened to take forestry off the radar for both the media and the public? About all that makes the news these days regarding B.C.’s forests are mill closures, fires and beetles. It was not that long ago that there were battles raging over clearcutting, park creation and the job threats. Here in the Shuswap, poor logging and road-building practices led to massive erosion events and local forest companies fought hard to resist land use planning. Continue reading

100 years of Mara Community

100 years of Mara Community

July, 2011

It was a momentous weekend in Mara in the middle of July, as the community celebrated the 100th anniversary of its hall and the launch of its new history book, “Mara Reflections.” The two-day celebration was focused on the heritage theme, with activities that harkened back to the days when communities created their own entertainment with homegrown creativity.  Continue reading

Shuswap first explored 200 years ago

Shuswap first explored 200 years ago

March, 2011

This year marks the 200th anniversary of when the first explorers visited and stayed in the Shuswap region. The goals for these fur traders were to find new sources of beaver pelts and to establish new trading routes. There was stiff competition between the Canadian North West Company and the American Pacific Fur Company headed by German immigrant, John Jacob Aster, with the results influencing the future boundaries for the two countries. Continue reading

What is behind the census numbers?

What is behind the census numbers?

February 24, 2012

Even though we all live on a finite planet with finite resources, our economy is fuelled by growth that is ultimately based on population. The latest Canadian census numbers have been released and while British Columbia grew from 2006 to 2011 by 7 percent, the Shuswap region experienced a substantial decline. Except for Salmon Arm, which grew by 9 percent, most of the smaller and rural communities lost people. Just what are the factors behind these numbers and what are the consequences? Continue reading

How the Shuswap was settled

February 10, 2012

It was curiosity about the original settler on our property and the person our community, Lee Creek, was named after that sparked my interest in local history.  After interviewing most of the remaining sons and daughters of the original pioneers, my research expanded with a visit to the provincial archives in Victoria. One of the best sources of information there are the original pre-emption records for nearly every original settler in the province.

Continue reading