Meeting in Clearwater discusses Dutch Lake park proposal

By Keith McNeill

Should the 23 ha (57 acre) property in the northwest corner of Dutch Lake be made into a park?

About 30 people showed up for a public meeting held Sunday afternoon, June 17, in Clearwater Legion Hall to discuss the pros and cons, ways and means of doing that.

The property has been for sale off and on over the past few years. Its present asking price is $750,000.

During its June 5 meeting, Clearwater town council approved a fuel management plan for the property which would involve clear-cutting most of its area.

Gord Radcliff, a member of an ad hoc committee calling itself the Dutch Lake advocy group, led off the meeting.

He described how he heard about the proposed logging and followed up by attending the June 5 town council meeting and then co-writing a letter to the editor that appeared in the June 14 issue of the Times.

“A standard question in resource management is whether it contributes to community resilience,” he said. “We need to respect the land for what it is.”

Although he was unhappy about some details, it was not the logging or the fuel abatement he had problems with, he said, but the lost opportunities for recreation and conservation.

He said he was in conversation with members of Simpcw First Nation on possible pre-contact use of the site by Indigenous people.

Speaking from the audience, Murray Stockton said he has lived in this area since 1972. Subdividing the property into 53 lots, as allowed for in its land use contract, would be ludicrous, he said.

Darryl Cowrie, an area resident since 1961, said his first home in Clearwater was in Dutch Lake Resort and knew the property well.

“Dutch Lake is a jewel. The better it looks the more we have to offer,” Cowie said.

Her work with the forests ministry has shown her that the fire danger level is getting more extreme, said Heather MacLennan.

Douglas fir is not fire resistant enough to deal with climate change, she felt.

“In my opinion, it does need to be a park,” said Shelley Sim a member of Clearwater town council.

Voting for the fuel management plan was not an easy decision, she said, but if it had been rejected and then there was a fire, District of Clearwater could be held liable. The vote had been unanimous, she said.

Councillor Ken Kjenstad explained that town council always discusses certain private property matters in camera (with the public excluded). This is not done to keep things secret but to protect the municipality, he said.

Keith McNeill closed the meeting by saying the advocacy group was working on three main initiatives: fundraising, seeking Class C provincial park status, and seeking municipal park status.

All three rely on demonstrating adequate public support for the park proposal, he said.

He had a petition ready for people to sign but at the suggestion of councillor Shelley Sim, agreed to hold it back until it could be re-worded.

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

The tale of Bumper the cat

From life on the street to a new retirement home

Back in Time

Historical Perspective

Tipping fees change at TNRD Eco-Depots and Transfer Stations

Users can expect to pay less for discarding major appliances like residential fridges and freezers

VIDEO: Clip of driver speeding past B.C. school bus alarms MLA

Laurie Throness of Chilliwack-Kent says he will lobby for better safety measures

Olympic skier from B.C. suing Alpine Canada after coach’s sex offences

Bertrand Charest was convicted in 2017 on 37 charges

B.C. senior’s car vandalized for more than 18 months

Retired RCMP officer determined to catch ‘tagger.’

VIDEO: Driver doing laps in busy Vancouver intersections nets charges

Toyota Camry spotted doing laps in intersection, driving towards pedestrians

Former Canucks goalie Roberto Luongo to retire

‘Bobby Lou’ calls it a career after 19 NHL seasons

Man charged in crash that killed B.C. pregnant woman

Frank Tessman charged for 2018 Highway 1 accident where Kelowna elementary school teacher died

Province unveils 10-year plan to boost mental health, addiction recovery services

The plan, called A Pathway to Hope, focuses on early-intervention services that are seeing high demand

Rock slide in B.C. river may hinder salmon passage

DFO says it is aware that the slide occurred in a narrow portion of the Fraser River

Most Read