Cliff Olson throws a log onto a fire in North Thompson Park. This photo originally appeared in the Nov.22, 2010, issue of The Times.

Cliff Olson throws a log onto a fire in North Thompson Park. This photo originally appeared in the Nov.22, 2010, issue of The Times.

5 YEARS AGO: Mike Wiegele inducted into Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame


Chuck and Anna Mae Dee went north to the Yukon this fall when they reached Watson Lake they made a special stop there.

Before leaving Birch Island they got a sign of “Birch Island” and when they reached Watson Lake they visited the famous Road Signs Forest, which has signs from all over the world, and they nailed the Birch Island sign up along with thousands of others. After putting the sign up and taking pictures, they proceeded on with their trip.


Ten briefs were presented at a meeting to discuss the Wells Gray Park master plan draft. The briefs provided input and would possibly form part of the final draft which will be released by the Ministry of Lands, Parks and Housing early the following year.

About 40 person were on hand to hear the briefs and ask questions of Parks Branch officials. Those attending were told that written submissions would be accepted until Nov. 30.

It was emphasized by the moderator that no decisions would be made without public input.


Over half the students at Dutch Lake Elementary School were involved in the year’s 24-hour fast to celebrate World Food Day, estimated teacher Carl Capps.

The children broke their fast Friday at noon with a multinational feast at the school, featuring food from all over the world.

The event, held annually since 1984, is to raise money to support three foster children on three different continents the school has adopted.

The target was to raise $1,000 for the three.


Although area residents have petitioned the Ministry of Transportation and Highways and School District trustees, have expressed concern, there may be no way to correct a potentially dangerous situation on Dunn Lake Road.

“The topography in the area limits us as to what we can do,” said District Highways Manager Larry Fransson. “We did have a look at it this past summer and ascertained that, without vast amounts of money, there’s very little that can be done. As the petition suggests, we will have a geo-technical engineer have a look at the situation. We will do everything in our power to make it as safe as possible.”

Although no changes have been made to the road itself, the area on the lower side of Dunn Lake Road approximately 2.5 km south of the Thompson River bridge was recenlty logged, the removal of the timber from the slope revealing an approximate 400-foot drop-off to the river below. There is no room for concrete safety barriers.


Vavenby residents living on the south side of the North Thompson River will soon face some important decisions regarding their water supply, according to Bert Walker, Thompson-Nicola Regional District director for Area A.

Speaking at an informal meeting of southside residents, Walker reported that the TNRD recently received a consultant’s report on the area’s water system.

He emphasized that the meeting was for information purposes only. The Area A representative said he wanted the residents to see for themselves what the consultant was recommending before the process proceeded further.


Grizzly bear research continues in Wells Gray Park, even though a proposal to transplant several bears from the park to the North Cascades has not been approved, said Mike Rowden.

The Wells Gray Park area supervisor was reporting at a meeting of the Wells Gray Park advisory committee held in Clearwater.

Five more grizzlies were captured and collared, he said. The bears were taken from the area north and west of Murtle Lake.

“They are finding a lot more bears than we would have thought…which is good,” said Rowden. “It’s nice to know they’re still out there. They’re bears that people will never see, just because of their location.”


Times are tough locally but up to 60 people have found at least some work this fall helping to reduce the wildfire risk around Clearwater.

Up until last week three crews were working at various locations around the community on forest fuel reduction projects, according to forest consultant Wes Bieber.

This was the second year of forest fuel management around Clearwater and Vavenby. When completed, the projects should have contributed about $2.8 million to the local economy.


Blue River’s Mike Wiegele has been inducted into the Canadian Rockies Ski Racing Hall of Fame for his life-long contribution to alpine ski racing in Canada.

Wiegele emigrated from Austria in 1965 and built core ski club programs at the Lake Louise Ski Club and Banff Alpine Racers that produced multiple Alberta and Canadian Team athletes, three of which went on to win World Cup races.

He also founded Mike Wiegele Heli-Skiing, which has brought the spectacular beauty of the Caribou and Monashee mountain ranges to thousands of powder enthusiasts. The family-owned operation is now led by his daughter, Michelle.