Happy Summer Everyone!
We hope you’re all doing well and keeping cool in this extreme heat.
COVID Final Steps
It has been a long 16 months since the world began shutting down to try to slow the COVID rampage. The State of Emergency was finally lifted in early July with nearly 80% of the population of BC protected with a first vaccine and more than 30% having received their second doses. Congrats to everyone in our region who took the risk seriously and protected themselves, their families and their community. Keep up the good work!
Wells and Water information and Education.
With wells around the world drying up, from California’s Central Valley to India, there is increasing attention being paid to well care and maintenance.
Household wells can be registered and commercial wells (including farm wells) can be licensed through the BC government which creates a record of the well being in place. Having a record, including a properly-completed well log, may prove to be important in the future with more development planned in the area. Nanaimo Regional District has useful information including a December 2020 webinar on wells. The CRD is also a good source for information on irrigation and septic systems.
OPSRRA continues to be concerned about ensuring that there is sufficient safe clean water accessible for our residents in the region and will once again be sending out a water survey to our members to evaluate our current water resources. The last one was conducted in 2015 and much has happened in our communities since then. Watch for this coming soon in the next month or so and we ask that you return it as soon as possible.
Just a reminder that fireworks are not allowed for any summer celebrations and we hope everyone stays safe and maintains good fire prevention efforts in everything you do. With the record breaking heat wave, the smallest spark can start a fire.
Our thanks to the good folks who put out the wildfire near Mystic Beach on the Canada Day weekend. To keep an eye on fires in your area, download the BC Wildfire app for current wildfire activity.
Invasive Plant Species
Another invasive plant now spreading to our area is Tansy Ragwort.
Tansy Ragwort is pretty, but it is poisonous to humans, pets and livestock. The largest concentration on Southern Vancouver Island is in Metchosin, but it has begun infiltrating the Juan de Fuca area as well.
Details on the species, including photos, methods for identification and toxicity, can be found at Invasive Species Council of BC. You can also download this helpful pamphlet for a full list of invasive species specific to the CRD.
A heartfelt completion to erecting the “Welcome to Jordan River diitiida” Signs
OPSRRA will be sending out an official press release in the next couple of weeks to formally announce the erection of our new welcome signs to Jordan River and diitiida.
The signs have been up for a couple of weeks now, and hopefully will soon become a regular, but embraced, landmark by everyone living in and visiting our communities.
Update on Otter Point Rd and Highway 14 Corridor Improvements
The following is an update provided to us from Mike Boissonneault (MOTI) on June 29 (thanks, Mike!)…
“The Hwy 14 improvement project is progressing well with works at this time primarily focused on the western portions between Kirby Ck and Woodhaven Rd. The storm sewer system has been installed just east of Shirley. The bottom lift of asphalt has been placed in this area and most recently works have begun on the Geosynthetic Reinforced Soil (GRS) repairs. This involves excavations to a depth of 1.5m of road base and placing several layers of compacted granular materials with a fabric material between each layer. This serves to stiffen and strengthen the road base and to prevent surface deformations and cracking (see attached image). There will also be GRS works in the Muir Creek area once this has been completed,… likely by mid July. There will also be works in the Tugwell Ck area by mid-late July to stabilize embankments on the east side of Tugwell Ck, culvert replacements and subbase repairs to the road grade in the Gordon Beach area. If the project proceeds as anticipated, it may be completed by November 2021. Once completed, this 11km segment of Hwy 14 will be resurfaced and significantly improved to prevent any further pavement distress, there will be a 1.2m paved shoulder on both sides, a Slow Moving Vehicle Pullout in each direction, significantly improved drainage and fresh pavement markings.”
Fairy Creek and Walbran Old Growth Logging Moratorium for Two Years.
As many of you have heard, the B.C. government has agreed to halt logging in the old growth forests of Fairy Creek (1,199 ha) and central Walbran (1,489 ha), at the request of the Pacheedhat, Huu-ay-aht and Ditidaht First Nations in their traditional territory. This is also in accordance with United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP) which was a guiding principle behind the government’s decision. The moratorium will provide “the three First Nations…time to develop resource-stewardship plans for their lands”. OPSRRA respects the decisions made by all parties and looks forward to the successful outcome of this process.
Emergency Preparedness during the Summer Heat and Dry Spell
Unprecedented high temperatures from climate change, our long summer dry spell, and gusting winds, which resulted in the recent devastating fire in Lytton BC, are a poignant reminder about the importance of being prepared for such events in our communities. For this reason, having a “Grab and Go” bag at the ready for any potential disasters is a good idea. Please refer to BC’s Build a household emergency kit and grab-and-go bag website for more information.
Membership Renewal Process
A reminder: as we continue our transition from lifetime to five-year renewable memberships, please renew your membership (if you haven’t already). It’s only $10.00 per person for five years and $10.00 per year for a business. You can do this several ways: fill in the membership form, pay online, send an e-transfer to firstname.lastname@example.org, or even mail a cheque to the address below:
c/o 9193 West Coast Road
Shirley BC V9Z 1G3
Your board has also been exploring ways of increasing engagement with residents using Facebook and Twitter including a photo contest, as well as developing a poster for local notice boards promoting new members and supporting local businesses. If you know of anyone in our communities who is not a member of OPSRRA, please tell them about us and encourage them to join!
Thank you, again, to everyone who has already renewed!
Have a wonderful summer!