Dutch Lake property should be a park

Editor, The Times:

Clearwater and area, this letter will put you on notice that on or around October 1, 2018, an approximately 23 ha (57 acre) property at the northwest corner of Dutch Lake (DL2280) will be logged, mostly as a clearcut. Although the property is privately owned, it’s under a land use contract (LUC 344) dating back to 1977 that requires approval by local government before any trees can be cut and fallen.

On June 5, District of Clearwater’s mayor and council approved a fuel management plan (FMP) for the property.

The objective of the approved FMP is to create a fuel-free break to reduce the threat of wildfire based on three known values at risk: Dutch Lake subdivision, Lake Summit Drive and Dutch Lake Resort.

It’s not the logging or the fuel abatement that we’re unhappy with. It’s the possible lost opportunities for recreation and preservation of natural values.

The LUC 344 document allows for a possible 53-lot subdivision.

We think a better use for the property would be as a park.

Options would include a municipal park (similar to Dutch Lake beach or Weyerhaeuser Park) or a provincial park (a Class C park, for example, would be managed by a local board appointed by the minister of environment).

People visit from around the world and locally to fascinate in the property’s beauty, forest history and abundant fauna and shoreline views of Dutch Lake.

Mule deer, bear and moose habituate the slopes and gentle terrain.

Rafting companies entertain their clients down the adjacent Clearwater River.

There are linkages via the Clearwater River Trail to Wells Gray Park.

Other activities include hiking, biking, skiing and snowshoeing.

You can view the approved fuel management plan by going to the June 5 town council agenda on the District of Clearwater website.

If you would like to get involved in the efforts to make this unique and valuable piece of property into a park, please contact Gord Radcliff, RPF, QEP at 674-2195 or email: radcliff@radmail.ca

The following people signed this letter to show they are in favour of converting DL2280 to park status.

Gord Radcliff

Keith McNeill

Shane Petre

Ken Smith

Clearwater, B.C.

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