The recent washout of Clearwater River Road carried some dire implications for the 2020 tourism season, but a pair of local logging companies have made an offer that might save some time this year for the industry.
The road located in Wells Gray Park has been impassible since July 2, blocking rafting and kayaking enthusiasts from accessing popular parts of the river, so Dale Miller Logging and Wadlegger Logging and Construction have both come forward to lend a hand and build a temporary road around the washout.
“They’re seeing how their friends at the rafting companies and some of the tourism companies are suffering and they want to give back; they basically said, ‘You know what? We’re a can-do kind of people and we want to make this happen if we can make this happen,’” said Clearwater mayor, Merlin Blackwell.
“What they’ve proposed at this point is a temporary fix to go around the current problem. I got an update from Hans Wadlegger this morning (July 23) saying they had done a site visit with some professionals, some surveyors, and the like, who are also going to volunteer their time and expertise on this project, which is awesome.”
Blackwell brought the issue to BC Parks and said they were impressed with the offer, and also noted George Heyman, Minister of Environment and Climate Change Strategy, told Peter Milobar, MLA for Kamloops-North Thompson, that he was going to get staff to look into the situation.
Blackwell was optimistic and said he has faith in Heyman’s commitment and that he’d take the minister on his word.
With the offer from the logging companies on the table the only other major hindrance is government approval, so it’s just a matter of getting through the red tape while there’s enough warm weather left to enjoy the river.
“With the money out of the way it comes down to the Ministry of Environment, Fisheries and all the other departments that are going to have to be involved in approving this and (whether or not) they can they expedite this and get it done quickly in order to save part of the season,” Blackwell said.