Newsletter, Spring 2018

SPRING NEWSLETTER

It's difficult to believe that April is almost here when I look out of the window and see the depth of snow still covering my garden, the overnight temperature is forecast to be -10 degrees, and still more snow is in the forecast for next week. It's been the snowiest of the 15 winters I've experienced since living at Bridge Lake. To any part-time residents planning to come here in the next couple of weeks: be forewarned and bring a shovel! Nevertheless, there are some signs of spring: migrant birds have started returning, and the flow of logging trucks on the highway is increasing, as they try to beat spring break-up and the imposition of weight restrictions on the backroads.

We at FoBL are starting to plan our Summer Speakers talks, and we hope to re-schedule some of the speakers we planned to have a year ago but had to postpone because of the wildfires. We also welcome any suggestions from members for topics that you think would interest the community in general.

As in previous years, we will participate in the Loon Survey organised by Bird Studies Canada, but we need an additional volunteer to cover the north-western quarter of the lake (Moondance Bay and along the northern and western shores). It is not an onerous task, as counts are done just once a month in June, July and August - all that's needed is a boat and a pair of binoculars. If anyone is interested in doing this, please contact us at friendsofbridgelake@gmail.org for further details.

We have also been approached by the Invasive Species Council of B.C. to see if we would be willing to conduct monthly surveys to detect the occurrence of highly invasive species that disrupt the natural ecology of lakes. The Council has also asked us to help carry out an eradication treatment for Yellow Flag Iris at a site at Bridge Lake. Again, if you are interested in participating, let us know.

A couple of local news items which members may wish to know about. First, an exciting event not to be missed this summer is the RCMP Musical Ride which will perform during the intermission of the Interlakes Rodeo, on July 21st and 22nd. To accommodate this, the rodeo is being brought forward from its usual BC Day weekend. Many extra volunteers will be needed to help manage the expected increase in attendance, man the gates and concession stand, and prepare the arena and grounds beforehand. Please contact us if you are willing to give a couple of hours help with this spectacular event, and we will pass your name on to the rodeo organizing committee.

Second: Closure of Bridge Lake School a year ago also caused the closure of our branch library, housed in the school. However, after being homeless throughout the winter, the library has now reopened in a new building of its own, next to the real estate office at Interlakes corner. We are pleased to have this community service available once again, including the popular computer access facility which numerous local people rely upon.

Third: Along Hwy 24 west of Greenall Rd, tree clearing has started on the land that was exchanged for ‘Heritage Island’ during the so-called ‘land swap’ saga in which FoBL were involved a few years ago. Presumably the land clearing is a prelude to subdivision of the property into building lots - which would have been the fate of Heritage Island itself until objections from the public arose.

Fourth: Public consultation for the drafting of a new Management Plan for Bridge Lake Provincial Park ended in December. We now expect a final opportunity for public input before the plan is presented to government. When a meeting for this purpose has been scheduled, we will let you know. Now that Heritage Island is in public ownership, FoBL will press for its incorporation into Bridge Lake Provincial Park.

As usual, annual membership renewals are due from April 1st, and a renewal form is linked to this newsletter for your convenience. Much is still to be done to safeguard the future of the lake, and so we hope we can continue to count on your support.

Thank you.

Chris Lance (President)

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