Tag Archives: access

NEWSLETTER June 16, 2016

Legal access to Crown land to-day is a small problem that is on the cusp of a much larger problem, a point made by the example I am presenting to you.

Jeremy McCall and his Outdoor Recreation Council colleagues have outlined their concerns in a recent e-mail directed at restricting or no public recreation to privately held forest lands over the years especially on Vancouver Island.

The outdoor recreation Council is seeking access to private land which I believe is a credible argument but in my world the issue is blatant attempt by landowners to deny public access by locked gates and/or signs.

As I have said in the past the first order of business on an access question is to pay the $50.00 and get a copy of the original land grant. I have done this twice and in both cases the conditions of the land grant made it clear that public access could not be denied.

The issue I am bringing to your attention appeared in a letter in the Grand Forks Gazette May, 2007 in which I explained why the Mehmal family cannot deny access to a quality recreation site in the SE corner of the Grassland Park on the Kettle River immediately adjacent to Highway #3.

Before the minutiae of how to encourage access to the river without trespassing on private property it is important for everyone to remember especially park employees who believe the Mehmals have a right to move the Park Boundary signs, a park with few visitations gets dam little respect from right of center politicians.

In this case I did not obtain a copy of the original land grant but in view of the egregious behavior by the Mehmals who have recently removed two southern boundary markers and the obvious embodiment of their behavior by the bureaucracy; it is time to get a copy of the land grant.

I have asked Parks in the past to identify the irregular southern border by GPS with park boundary signs, after all the family developed the beach site for their own recreation and denied public access so I don’t believe in view of the circumstances that a surveyor is necessary.

The pictures tell the story.

For historical perspective I am sending you a map reduced in size of a 1944 copy of the 15.92 acre land survey.

Notice the irregular southern boundary of the 15.92 acre southern boundary. I asked Barb Collins the CPR public relations gal April 2007 if she could explain the boundary but said she did not have the time to find the answer.

There are seven compass defined locations on the southern boundary that should have a treated post with a park boundary sign facing the railroad bed plus a boundary post to mark the west and east corner of the 15.92 acres.

It is my understanding that the survey was done in 1942 because of access granted to the rancher at the eastern end of the property.

I paid $50.00 for a map that a surveyor would deem legal hence the red color.


Barry Brandow Sr.



NEWSLETTER February 18, 2015

The purpose of this newsletter is to give you facts that with few exceptions can be corroborated that illustrate why nothing less than a complete overhaul of the management of our wildlife and wildlife habitat resource  can reverse the dramatic decline in many wildlife populations and the steady compromise of critical wildlife habitat by other stakeholder interests.

I have been on the phone many times since that last newsletter obtaining more information that showcases the failure of wildlife and wildlife habitat management to reflect the values of most British Columbians.

I am sending you a copy of a letter in which I again asked Minister Steve Thomson’s staff to review their support for an aggressive motorized vehicle recreation agenda on the Gilpin Grasslands. Contrary to the BC Liberal Government’s approach to access management the Regional District East Kootenay Area; Fernie, Sparwood and Elkford has an exemplary access management agenda in co-ordination with the BC Conservation Service. I thank Conservation officer, Inspector Joe Caravetta for the information. This is the link: http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/kootenay/eco/accessmaps.htm

I have submitted a Forest Practices Board complaint protesting the largest clear cut I have ever witnessed. The clear cut is in the Dry Creek watershed which is immediately adjacent to Boundary Creek 19KM north of Hwy. #3 near Greenwood. Boundary Creek is an important tributary of the Kettle River as it has many feeder streams flowing into it. In due course I will send pictures.

Other than stating the obvious that the clear cut is a virtual dead zone for wildlife and an example of contempt for water management I also submitted the BC Trapper Association Position paper on Forest Practices plus a copy of an article in the Vancouver Sun dated Nov. 8, 2014 titled “Hunters, guides, trappers call for more oversight of resource sector”. The salient point in the article says it all “The BC. Wildlife Federation, Guide Outfitters of B.C. and BC Trappers believe the government’s move in the past decade to rely on professionals hired by industry to make decisions on the land base with little oversight has failed”. Large clearcuts are destroying the integrity of registered trap lines province wide.

Last June Vancouver Sun outdoor writer, Larry Pynn wrote four articles describing the sorry state of fish bearing streams in the Fraser Valley. In two of the articles biologist Mike Pearson was blunt in describing the farming practices that were the major problem. Mike has agreed to come to Grand Forks before “green up” end of March/early April.

The plan is to film Mike critiquing the management of Lost Lake Lagoon; a small marsh immediately adjacent to Nature Trust property on the Gilpin grasslands; Gilpin Creek and Eholt Creek. Remember Eholt is a fish bearing stream immediately adjacent to Highway #3 and is the benchmark for stream management in our province. You can find my comments on the management of Eholt Creek on www.wildlifeheritageforever.com and Al Grant’s comment on www.boundaryalliance.org .

I am still trying to get an opinion from both Federal Fisheries and Environment Canada on who has the statutory authority to rule on the four rows of manure adjacent to the Kettle River on Kevin LaFond’s farm. The issue that will decide whether this is a provincial or federal decision is the Kettle River’s status as a source of water significant to salmon in the Columbia River.

The management of the Kettle River in the future may well be influenced by the Washington State First Nation’s salmon enhancement agenda that will result in salmon successfully traversing the Grand Coolee Dam. In a recent conversation with Dan Base, the senior biologist for the NE corner of Washington State he is convinced it’s going to happen.

The allocation process that has resulted in outfitters getting back some of the hunting opportunity permits they lost in negotiations with the BC Wildlife Federation in past years has resulted in a lot of media attention and a lot of bad feelings between resident hunters and outfitters. GOABC and BCWF have always had an adversarial relationship in allocation of hunting permits but to get into a media fight when the BC Liberal Government hunting opportunity agenda in concert with all the problems wildlife species face every year to survive that  has resulted in the collapse of many wildlife populations is absolute madness. This newsletter is all about making the case that our wildlife resource is more important than hunting and therefore hunting seasons and access management should reflect responsible management which is certainly not the case.

In an attempt to generate more light than heat I have asked my son as I am asking you to help compile an accurate list of the hunting opportunity demanded and received by the stakeholder groups that meet with ungulate specialist, Gerald Kuzyk twice a year: BC Wildlife Federation, Guide Outfitters of BC  and the BC Trappers Association. The non-consumptive users of our wildlife resource then can decide who is credible in the fight to demand responsible wildlife management!

Remember the immediate objective is to strengthen the argument for a wildlife advisory roundtable of all stakeholders, one for each of the eight wildlife regions in our province. A roundtable would not have statutory authority but it has to have enough political influence to challenge the exceptionally long hunting seasons, lack of a meaningful access management agenda and the unacceptable percent of money generated from hunting committed to general revenue that has resulted in inadequate funding for an effective conservation service and staffing and programs critical to wildlife management.

Needless to say wildlife habitat is losing virtually every fight with forestry companies and the agriculture sector.

I will send you a newsletter in the immediate future sharing my thoughts on wildlife management as a result of conversations with provincial ungulate specialist, Gerald Kuzyk, Washington State biologist, Dana Base, West Coast Environmental Law employee, Andrew Gage, NDP MLA Katrine Conroy, BC Liberal MLA Gordie Hogg and Environmentalists Vicky Husband and Gwen Barlee.

Barry Brandow

Grand Forks, BC