Newsletter, Fall 2017
Now the summer of 2017 has drawn to a close, many of us are no doubt reflecting on the events of the last three months. What seemed at the beginning of July to be a beautiful summer quickly turned into a tension-filled three months of fire-watching, evacuations, personal loss and hardship for many residents of the area. The loss of homes, possessions, forests, grazing land and the impact on the environment, livestock and wildlife in the Cariboo will be felt for many years to come. Hopefully, lessons will be learned to enable all of us to be better prepared in the future.
Our plans for the summer were affected by the wildfire situation: four out of seven of our Summer Speakers talks had to be cancelled, often at the last minute, with resulting communication difficulties. The publication of the draft Provincial Park management plan was put on hold, firstly due to the Provincial election, and then by the wildfire situation. Various meetings also had to be cancelled and the date of our AGM had to be changed. However, three talks were held throughout the summer: Ben Giedici provided a wealth of information about Solar Power, Steve Jennings gave many tips for successful fishing on Bridge Lake, and Janice Frank gave a very entertaining talk about current and traditional practices of the Canim Lake Band. Although membership renewals are down this year, as many people renew their membership at our summer talks, we are happy to welcome several new members. If you forgot to renew in the summer, please take this newsletter as a gentle reminder!
Anne Paas coordinated the loon survey again this year and we recruited some new volunteers to help survey parts of the lake. From 14 to 15 mated pairs, 8 chicks hatched and 4 survived to the end of August, including a set of twins. We would like to thank Anne and her team of volunteers for their work, especially when conditions were not ideal with heavy smoke and poor visibility much of the time.
Our AGM was held on August 2nd and we are pleased to have two new directors: Cindy Valley is our new Vice-President and Lydia de Groot is our new Treasurer and Membership Director. Marsha Jerred continues as Secretary, with Catherine Hudson as back-up and Director-at-large. Fearon Blair continues as Summer Speakers Coordinator. Glenda Bruce and Martin Duornovo stood down as directors. We would like to thank them for their work and support during their terms of office.
I will continue as President for one more year, but after two years as President this coming year will be my final term. By next summer, the 10th anniversary of Friends of Bridge Lake, I will have been involved with FOBL as a member or office-bearer since its inception. I feel it is time to hand over to others, but will still contribute behind the scenes. The threats that provided the original “raison d‘etre” for Friends of Bridge Lake may have diminished in recent years, but they have not disappeared, and vigilance by the members of FoBL will have a continuing role to play in the lake's environmental stewardship.
As I was about to finish this newsletter, I received a copy of the long-awaited Bridge Lake Provincial Park draft Management Plan. If you attended the planning meetings with Peter Weilandt, you should also receive a copy. If not, the link is here.
The deadline for comments is November 30th, after which there will be another public meeting.
A new book about Bridge Lake and area has just been published, which members may find interesting: “The Land on Which We Live: Life on the Cariboo Plateau: 70 Mile House to Bridge Lake” by Barbara MacPherson and published by Caitlin Press. Barbara spent several years as a child in Bridge Lake and has written about the many characters who lived in the area from the early settlers onwards. The book includes many early photographs. Copies are available locally at the Country Pedlar and area bookshops.
Over the last couple of days, we have had our first flakes of snow and the trees are fast losing their fall colour. Hopefully, the coming winter will be a gentle and peaceful one after events of the summer.
Chris Lance (President)
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