We have seen their booth at the Grand Forks, & Rock
Creek fall fairs, as well as other places, but what do we know
of them, The Granby Wilderness Society? The OpenMinder got ahold
of Nadine Dechiron, one of the founding members, to answer some
of our questions about the Organization!
OM: Well Nadine, I guess the best place to start is at the start. How did the Granby Wilderness Society begin?
Nadine: The society got started in 1993, because we were sensing that the interests of the Boundary region, specifically the Granby and Gladstone Parks, were not properly represented, so in 1994 we decided to go ahead and incorporate as a non-profit Society in British Columbia.
OM: How many people are involved in the society now?
Nadine: We have approximately 140 members and they support us financially with their annual membership dues and psychologically in what we are trying to do. Not a lot of people are directly involved. Some will write letters to the government. Some will come to help on a particular project. But on the whole, the work that gets done is by a small core of people.
OM: How do you feel about the effectiveness of your society?
Nadine: Well, we are really happy that we did get the protection for the Granby and Gladstone Parks. We’ve also been working on the gateway to Granby Park, which somehow got overlooked in the mapping in the original Park. The first 5-km of the Granby Trail, which includes some really beautiful old growth forests and is the main access to the park, was not protected. Since this is the place where most people go, we feel that if we want people to have the experience of wilderness, that area has to be protected. The government, so far, has just been proposing to protect a very narrow strip along the trail, which means that logging can happen on the West side of the river almost to the very edge of the park, as well as on the East side of the river, where the steep and unstable slopes of Bluejoint Mountain are. There have already been landslides that have washed sediment into the Granby River, destroying portions of the trial.
We have a box at the start of the trail for people to sign in, and we have had people come from all over the world. As it’s becoming more known that there is a provincial park, we can expect there to be more people. It seems like a real short-sighted thing to not protect the entrance of the park.
OM: Is that gateway that you are talking about the same
as the Traverse Creek area?
Nadine: Yes, it’s kind of a misnomer because you never actually encounter Traverse Creek as you are making your way to the trail. It is called that because of a forest recreation site which is called the ‘Traverse Creek Forest Recreation Site’. That’s why in campaigns we use the term Travis Creek area. Otherwise, if you go up Traverse Creek Road, which is a logging road going up on the West side of the river, you encounter a lot of clear cut logging. So a lot of people might not understand, thinking ‘Why are they trying to protect this area when it is already logged?’ But, what we are talking about is actually a triangle of about 1,900 hectares which include the trail, the old growth forest and enough of a buffer on both sides, as well as the slopes and avalanche shoots of Bluejoint Mountain, (one of the tallest mountains in the area) which is a recreational destination, because people like to go hiking there. There is a fire lookout & you get a really good view of the Selkirk to the East, and right over towards the Okanagan to the West, and you also get this beautiful view into the whole Granby park, looking up the watershed to the headwaters of the Granby. So once you are on that peak and you are looking down where there are 4 plots planned to be clear cut, in this triangle that would definitely be visible, and I feel that’s not why tourists come to B.C.
OM: What does the Granby area entail?
Nadine: Well, there was talk about renaming the whole Boundary region as the Granby region. But, really the ‘Granby’ is just the Granby River and the watershed of the river. The Gladstone is actually not apart from that, as it is at the North end of Christina Lake. They are connected in an eco sense, definitely. When we are looking at, for example, the Grizzly bear, which has become known as the Granby Grizzly, we can’t disconnect these parks. They are a continuous habitat. This area is very dry, and is not typical Grizzly habitat and because the food is in poor supply, those Grizzlies have to cover a lot of territory. In Gladstone there is a bit of an exception because there is land locked Kokanee fish; bears go to the northern end of the lake to feed. There is an estimated Granby Grizzly population of only 20 to 50 bears.
In the Granby and Gladstone park there is a main tributary to the Granby river, (Burrell Creek), which kind of goes at an angle towards Edgewood and the Arrow lakes, so you could actually follow Burrell Creek road and end up at the Arrow Lakes. That road is a big focus for development in the next 5 years.
There was a study done by Dr. Brian Horejsi, a conservation biology analyst, on the Granby Grizzly in the Boundary, using data from 1998. By putting up developments and all the roads on a digital map, he was able to show what kind of habitat the bears had as of 1998, and what it was going to look like in 2003. We could see on the map that all the remaining secure corridors between Granby and Gladstone parks are either disappearing or shrinking. Which means that eventually those two parks are going to become islands. If the access to the Arrow Lake is cut off, their interbreeding could wipe them out.
OM: Would there then be some kind of government intervention to bring in breeding stock?
Nadine: Well, there is also the problem that their territory is too small, to really sustain any additional populations. When you are looking at male grizzly, they can be dangerous to cubs. So it is really vital for the female grizzly and her cubs to have a really secure area where they can be safe from hunting or safe from road interference. So that means there has to be enough land base for them to be secure. And, relocation of Grizzlies is a lot of the time not successful.
At this stage it seems that we still have a chance, because those
logging plans have not all gone through. We have a chance to retain
some corridors some security zones, some unroaded areas between
the two parks. We want our children to know that there are Grizzly
bears out there and we want them to have a feeling that Canada
is still a lot of wilderness, still a lot of functioning ecosystem.
OM: Are the Granby Grizzlies an endangered species?
Nadine: Yes, well, in this case it looks like this population of grizzly bears is definitely endangered. Look at the kind of pressures that put their habitat in danger. A species very often becomes threatened by loss of habitat; and that is definitely true for the Grizzly bear. They need such an extensive range.
In 1995 the Ministry of Environment decided to stop Grizzly bear hunting in the Granby-Gladstone regions. Up until that date there was still limited entry hunting.
One of the main fractures right now in the landscape is Hwy. #3 and the more roads we are going to be building, there is a growing possibility of bear encounters. Female bears avoid roads, so that reduces much more of their security and feeding areas. A lot of the roads also coincide with valley bottoms or creeks, which is the richest habitat for bears. So those bears are going to avoid that area, avoiding the richest source of their food.
OM: Are you involved in other aspects of conservation?
Nadine: I am involved right now in the park management planning, which is a table of different stakeholders organized by the Ministry of Environment and Parks. We went through the Granby and Gladstone preliminary Plans, and what we see is that there are people with different interests, some of them commercial interests that want to start ventures in the park. These parks were once protected because they were the last undisturbed pieces of wilderness in the Southern interior. They were Grizzly bear habitat; pieces of quiet, pieces of renewal. I do understand that some people are used to snowmobiling in the northern end of the area, before it was a park. But what is going to happen when, and if, this park becomes advertised as a place to go snowmobiling? If plans for Hwy. #6 to become a link from the Okanagan to Calgary, become a reality, the north end of Granby Park, which right now is fairly inaccessible, could become a thoroughfare. What the Society would like to see, because we do not have enough habitats for bears to sustain tourism and recreational needs, is that we do not destroy the land outside the parks. We can still have logging, but sustainable logging. Questions like, is this an area with unstable terrain; is this an area that has more value for tourism and recreation; is this an area that is really important for wildlife, is this an area that we need to preserve as a connection between parks: have to be asked! We can still have forest and beautiful areas outside the park that could sustain the commercial recreation and ventures. And this would benefit the whole Boundary region, because we would still be keeping our forests; keeping our creeks and rivers clean and in a way that they can provide water year round.
OM: It seems like such an overwhelming experience to deal with all the issues involved with this. Are you finding that you have access to work with other organizations?
Nadine: We are in a network of environmental conservation groups, through the B.C. environmental network, for example. Like on the 22nd of November we are going to be having a presentation at the high school by Karsten Heure, who is a biologist and a park warden for Banff National Park. He has been working with the ‘Y2Y Conservation Initiative’, (‘Yellowstone to Yukon’), which is looking at preserving a continuous wild habitat, following mostly the Rocky Mountains. When looking at how the Granby and Gladstone Parks fit into this, we are right on the edge of the receding Grizzly habitat. If you look to the West and to the South of us, Grizzly bears have already gone pretty much extinct.
If we want to survive as a species, we are going to have to see what kind of impact we have on the land, and learn how to live with the land and with the systems that support us. We do not support the forest; the forest support us. A forest is something that evolves over a thousand years; it is very intricate and very complicated and everything is interconnected.
OM: How can the public get more involved?
Nadine: Yes. We used to have the meeting on the second Monday of every month and we just changed it to the third Tuesday of the month at the Selkirk College. But sometimes, especially if it is around a holiday, the meeting may not be held. So it would be good if people want to confirm that the meeting is being held.
We are always in need of volunteers and members, but we also need people’s support with our fundraisers, such as the Coffeehouse Gathering. We would also like to start an email list to help spread information.
The creating of safe communities has been more than just a topic of conversation during this election, it has been a concern of all of us who live here, or elsewhere. Feeling and being safe in a community covers a lot of things from proper sidewalks and stop lights, etc., for our physical safety, to a high level of community spirit for our psychological and spiritual safety.
During the time I have been publishing the OpenMinder, I have been urged by some to express my opinion and to comment on the other alternative publication in town (G.F.). It has not been the purpose of the OpenMinder to do this. It was started and will continue to be a publication that will show off this Boundary Area for what it is – a very safe, beautiful, and dynamic place, where there is an amazing amount of energy,and also the co-operation to bring fruit to that energy. The look on the positive side for the OpenMinder is also how we deal with the real problems we do have (those controversial things). Since this is election time though, I will take this chance to deal with what I perceive to be a problem in our community. This past week I received letters (pg.9) and comments that brought my attention to the way a candidate was harassed by the other “alternative opinion” publication. Lack of formal education was the crime. What next will it be that disqualifies a community-minded person from stepping up and trying to get involved? (it seems as though one is not allowed to be involved in other organizations that are also bettering the community) As a concerned citizen who lives here and a person in the publishing business I feel I should address this situation. I feel the psychological safety of our community is being threatened by biased, slanderous lies wrapped up in “opinion” and with the co-operation by association of many who support it. All this under the guise of “freedom of speech” “freedom of the press” and “exposing the truth”. It seems to be the norm for this person to go into a crowd with a machine gun and fire half-hazardly into the crowd killing and maiming hundreds of innocent people, then justify it by saying “I got 2 bad guys”. This is not a way to make people feel safe in a community. To slanderously accuse and find guilty, without chance of defense, anyone who gets under his skin, and then throw this dirty laundry in everyone’s face, so they may learn to discriminate against, slander, and punish this person for him, is wrong!
My opinion is that one of the biggest threats to this being a safe community is created by a publication like this, that is being used by someone who feels free to abuse the rights and personal freedoms of others and then hide like a coward behind “freedom of speech” and it being “only my opinion”. All protection allowed by “freedom of the press and of speech” is lost when the freedoms and rights of others is destroyed through it.
If formal education is necessary for trying to volunteer your time to the community, then I would like to know where this man got his training in publishing and journalism, to qualify him for his position, for he definitely gives both of those a very bad name. It’s easy to criticize from the peanut gallery but stay away from the announcer’s microphone!
There is a saying “kids may not always do as their parents say, but they sure do as they do”. How, then, can anyone think of curing the problems we have with “youth violence” or any violence for that matter, when we go on, not only allowing this kind of disrespect for personal freedoms and rights, but supporting it and those who agree with it. It’s not authority that youth rebel against, they rebel, like the rest of us, against hypocrisy!
The insult to the candidate starts off with, “As we move into the ‘information age’ and the ‘new millennium’ we can’t afford to have” well, I think it is obvious what we really can’t afford to have. However it may have started out, it has gone too far!
You are free to do anything you want, you need only pay the consequences!
In Co-operation with the Greenwood Board of Trade
Community Enhancement Project
For a holiday that is family-oriented outdoor fun, be sure to include a stop in Greenwood in your holiday plans!As a second part to our Community Enhancement Project article we would like to tell you about the Boundary Creek Nature Walk we have built this summer. Our crew, through a Job Creation Project funded by HRDC, Human Resources Development Canada, and sponsored by the Greenwood Board of Trade, has been busy building a trail along beautiful Boundary Creek.
While traveling one can make Greenwood a destination or a pleasant stop along the way. Our Lion Park is an inviting and safe (fenced from road) way to burn off some of that energy that accumulates when young people have to sit in a car for any given amount of time.
Now we have also developed our Boundary Creek Nature Walk! It is developed in a circle pattern that allows the walker to find a trail to suit their physical ability and energy level. One can go for a short walk or a longer walk. We are also installing benches along the trail, if one just wants to take a break and watch the water. Let’s not forget those fish, they are fun to watch too, or if you are so inclined, they are also fun to catch!
If you are ambitious, you can walk from our “Tunnel of Flags” at the North end of town along the railroad bed to the start of our Boundary Creek Nature Walk, along this walkway though town and right out to visit Lotzkar Park. This is a simple ride on a mountain bike and will make an interesting stop for those using the Trans Canada Trail!
Our Job Creation Project is a huge success. We have achieved, or made good progress, with all of the projects on our list. The final one we are working on is the Tramway Bore Site. Next issue we will explore the work being done there. This site is one which we hope to have developed for guided tours in the not too distant future!
The Greenwood Museum is now closed for the winter, however, if you have a special group or need for a tour for the Museum, or the Court House, it can be arranged by contacting Marge Maclean at (250) 445-6685 or Marylin Walker at (250) 445-6449.
The Grand Forks Shooters Women’s Soccer Team is hosting a:
“SHOP LOCAL HOLIDAY AUCTION” SATURDAY NOVEMBER 20TH,1999, 8p.m. at the “Two Rivers Saloon” (Grand Forks Hotel) AUCTIONEER: Bob Smith. Shooters Soccer would like to greatly thank the following merchants for their support in this up and coming auction:
ABH Car Sales, Beverly Heart, “Two Rivers Saloon”, Big Eds Car Cleaning, The Black Knight, Brown Bear Medicinals, Chef’s Garden, Dels Bistro, D. Onions Holdings, The Gem Theatre, Giant Foods, Golden Heights, Grand Forks Hotel, The Grand Victorian, Home Hardware, Lavender Herbals, Linens and Things, LongHorn Saloon, OK Tire, The Openminder, Panagopoulos Pizza, Pepe’s Dog Grooming, Phoenix 4 Elements, Rilkoff’s General Store, 2nd Street Salon, Taylor Made Meats, The Station Pub, Video Update, VK Auto, What About Bob’s, WindWard Travel, WorkWear World, Your Dollar Store With More, Karen Thomson, Lorna Starchuck Valley Cleaners, “Grandma” Irene Parker.
Please come out and see what our merchants have for that someone on your list. If you would like to participate in our auction please feel free to contact Lisa Smith/442-3018 or Michelle/442-2891.
by Ken Thomson
Bridging the gap between people with disabilities and employers is the goal of Career Prospects. They have successfully found jobs for numerous disabled individuals throughout the community and have satisfied the employers’ requirements for workers.
“More than most of us, the person living with a disability knows how difficult it can be to find a job”, says coordinator Ken Thomson.
Knowing this ensures that when you hire someone with a disability you are more likely to get a punctual, hardworking, highly motivated employee.
Of course, having a disability means that some area of functioning has been lessened or lost. Often, the person has developed a variety of ways to compensate for it. Sometimes, that’s still not enough.
“That’s where we come in”, says Gary Gilbert of Career Prospects. “We sit down with the person, assess their abilities and the challenges they face, then work with them to find employment opportunities that match their interests and skills. It’s vitally important that the needs of the business be satisfied. We can have one of our highly skilled employment coordinators come in, rapidly learn the job, then provide all the training and follow-up.”
Career Prospects works with employers to create new efficiencies. Many employers find they need extra help but can’t justify hiring full time. Others find themselves paying top dollar to highly trained employees to do a certain amount of entry level work. It can be more effective to free them up to do more of the skilled work they are trained in by bringing in someone on a part time basis.
“It’s a great fit”, says Gilbert, “because the way Disability Benefits are structured in B.C. many of the people we work with are looking for part-time work.”
“The benefits are there for the employer”, says Thomson. Job satisfaction rises when other employees can take someone under their wing and assist in providing them an opportunity to contribute and succeed in their own community.
Studies have also shown that when businesses and their employees ‘do good works’ their customers regard them more positively.
Career Prospects has successfully bridged the gap and has received the support needed to expand their employment services. Human Resources Development Canada has provided additional funding for the program in the West Boundary.
If you are an employer or job seeker (with any type of disability) in the Grand Forks/Christina Lake area, contact Gary Gilbert or Ken Thomson at the Grand Forks Access Centre: (250) 442-5015. If you live in the West Boundary, contact Stephanie Pool at the Midway Access Centre: (250) 449-2655.
+ More than one million Earths could fit inside the sun.
+ Nine out of every 10 living things live in the ocean.
Letters to the Editor
So what if there are links between several Grand Forks city candidates, Rotary Club members, and the industry and air quality issues?
For that matter, what if there are links between some candidates and members of the environmental movement?
The last I heard we all still live in a democracy with the rights of free speech and free association. And besides, just because as individuals we belong to some group and share similar attitudes and opinions doesn’t necessarily mean that group has a political agenda. Some conspiracy theories not only are wrong-headed, but also obscure, very real and important economic, environmental, and social issues in this election.
It’s one thing to be “open for business” and quite another to favour heavy industries over tourism, real estate, retail and other small businesses.
It’s one thing to promote new “clean” and “environmentally friendly” industries and another to clean up existing dirty ones.
Finally, it ‘s one thing to decide the issues in the public or community interest with real citizen participation, and another to do so with a real or apparent conflict of interest, according to personal or “special interests”, with only token public “input”.
If you really care about our little valley town, inform yourself, question the candidates, and get out and vote on November 20!
David J. Simm
I was deeply disturbed by comments of Tom Hinter in the Informer, recently. He made cruel and sarcastic reference to one of the candidates in the election. As many of you know, I have over the past few years tried a number of creative ways of dealing with the behaviour of Mr. Hinter. I have written songs about him and ignored him, however, this is one time too many. I have heard Mr. Hinter call people names long enough. He commonly refers to people’s physical appearances, and uses juvenile terms like “goof” and “stupid” and “idiot”. His style is to use sensationalism, insinuation, guilt by association and selective reporting to publish his personal opinion. A man that calls people names and makes fun of fat people or laughs at someone’s education does not deserve to have one of my songs written about him. What minority will be next? I will no longer stay quiet and all the joking is over. This style of reporting is a blight on our town, and I urge the businesses that support this publication to take a serious look at the negative impact that it continues to have on our community.
Boys and girls in grades one through four are invited to join international exchange student Christina Soto for a special Mexican Christmas event on Saturday, November 27th.
Participants will learn about Mexican customs, crafts and culture and Christina will teach a few simple Spanish phrases. The kids will enjoy Mexican music, sample a delicious dessert and will each decorate a piñata to take home. They’ll have fun while they learn about a different part of our would. To register for this event, call the Grand Forks recreation office.
If you assist with the care of someone with a special need, you may be interested in a one day workshop that will be offered at the Grand Forks aquatic centre on Sunday, December 5th.
Aquatics for Caregivers is designed to teach caregivers how to help clients or family members enjoy and benefit from activities in the aquatic environment. Participants will gain a better understanding of the mature, behavioral characteristics and physical limitations of a variety of handicapping conditions.
Facilitators will include health care, aquatic and fitness professionals and the workshop is open to all individuals and organizations who provide special care. Swimming skills are not required and individual concerns will be addressed. For more information about “Aquatics for Caregivers” call the Grand Forks recreation office at 442-2202 or the Grand Forks aquatic centre at 442-3488.
A ski program for children aged 6 to 12, to be held at Phoenix Mtn, starting Jan 2000 also Coaches needed for the upcoming Nancy Greene Ski League season at Phoenix Mtn. More info: 442-5338
Editor: A quote in issue #9, at the beginning of the “Hunters Boat” brought someone to www.openminder.com. from Appleton Wisconsin!
Michele e-mails… On your site, (openminder.com) you have a quote by William Francis Butler. Can you tell me the source?
” … for these two things, rock and water, taken in the abstract, fail as completely to convey any idea of their fierce embracing in the throes of a rapid as the fire burning quietly in a drawing-room fireplace fails to convey the idea of a house wrapped and sheeted in flames.” Sir William Francis Butler (1872)
I am helping a patron who is writing a book on John Wesley Powell in his research. He found this quote in a book by Roderick Nash attributed to a Sir George Back. He wanted to know the source of the quote. In searching for the source, I found that the it was not Sir George Back, a Canadian explorer but Sir William Francis Butler, also a Canadian. He has written two books but I wondered if I could narrow it down easily (!!!) to find the context of the quote. Thanks for any help you can give us.
The population base of the City of Appleton is somewhat over 70,000. This is a well populated region From Fond du lac to Green Bay (around 60-70 miles) well over several million. Our new Library Media Center is wonderful. We love working in a place with pleasant colors, windows, good layout and good sound proofing.
Thanks, Michele W. Missner
Program Leader for Media Services Library Media Specialist
Editor: Appleton is enjoying a new 6.5 million dollar Library Media Centre. Visit their web site at www.athenet.net/~westfive. To find the rest of the quote and story mentioned visit www.openminder.com /