From Loon Lake Road – Too much talk, too little action on weeds

Barbara Hendricks' monthly column of life and issues along Loon Lake Road.

At least once a year Loon Lake residents are reminded that they are either in no-man’s land or a frontier territory. According to service providers like Telus and BC Hydro, Loon Lake Road is in Clinton. According to Canada Post, Loon Lake Road is in Cache Creek. So when we ask Telus to mail us a telephone directory, which is something all customers are entitled to, we can’t get one because our post office address is Cache Creek but we are asking for the Williams Lake book which includes our exchange. Telus will apparently only send those directories through the Clinton Post Office.

Of course, we are told nobody uses telephone books anymore as everyone uses the internet to look up a number. Um – No, we don’t and many of us do not have internet. If we ask for one through Yellow Pages we are either told they are not available or they say “Yes, they will send one”, but it never arrives. It is impossible to get anyone in Telus to do anything about this as their computer apparently overrules the people. Canada Post staff has tried to help but have run into roadblocks from Telus.

The latest no-man’s land situation is the confusion regarding where Loon Lake Road is concerning the Provincial Fire Centres. While it may seem most logical to many that Loon Lake Road would be within the jurisdiction of the Kamloops Fire Centre, it is not; it is the Cariboo Fire Centre that makes the rules for Loon Lake Road. So while there is a campfire ban in the Kamloops district, there is no campfire ban in effect at Loon Lake Road as I write this (Saturday Aug 1). This situation can change any day and if you want the latest update on our situation regarding campfires it is the Cariboo Fire District you look to for the information. You can find that online at bcwildfire.ca – Cariboo or call the office in 100 Mile at 250 395-7831.

 

While we may be a no-mans land or a “border” area, we still pay plenty of taxes. I read recently in The Journal someone suggesting that property owners at Loon Lake did not pay school taxes.

Just to set the record straight, the provincial assessment authority has no difficulty in finding Loon Lake Road and all properties are taxed for schools, and this means that those who have summer and vacation homes here and a home elsewhere in the province actually pay two sets of taxes for schools. Even property owners living outside of BC must pay school tax on their property.  In the same way we also pay hefty taxes for hospitals and policing even though these services are centred in not-so-nearby towns.

The suggestion that townspeople are the only ones paying for these services is incorrect. Every year the property owners of Loon Lake Road send many thousands of dollars to governments in towns and cities for services based there which we can only access intermittently, if at all.

 

I frequently write about gardening and plants in this column as I enjoy time spent in a garden much more than time spent in front of the TV. Besides, sitting is very bad for your health.

Associated with my joy of gardening and plants is my concern about the loss of plant diversity in nature as invasive weeds take over roadsides and forest lands. In BC we have a law regarding noxious weeds and while millions of dollars are given every year by the government to various invasive species councils across the province, it seems to be a losing battle about the weeds while the councils multiply and grow like bad weeds.

The literature put out by the Invasive Species Councils shows we have now up to five categories of undesirable plants – according to them. There are: provincial noxious weeds, regional noxious weeds, invasive plants, invasive horticulture plants and “unwanted” horticulture plants – in total adding up to about 120 plants. Most locals can’t identify 10 plants, so good luck with that. Fortunately, many of these cannot grow in the cold climate and alkaline soils around here but still enough is enough, and this is too much. I would much prefer to see these councils target a handful of the most problematic weeds and develop strategies to get them under control, including getting BC Ministry of Transport to accept that they must do more to prevent the spread of these weeds along roadsides and into adjacent range lands.

Where I live annual cornflowers, Mountain bluet, Russian olive, Evening primrose and several others are valuable plants that do not spread beyond the cultivated garden. In fact, it is darn hard to get some of these plants to produce seeds and there is no danger that they will invade the neighbouring land. Meanwhile contractors for the BC Ministry of Transport continue to accidentally spread the seeds of knapweed, Dalmatian toadflax and other, more harmful weeds along roadsides. I have seen beautiful mountain meadows that once flowered with showy daisies and penstemons completed overtaken by knapweed.

I think the way to go is develop a list of the “10 most wanted weeds” and concentrate on eliminating these from crown land and roadsides, then target another 10 when that is accomplished. This would be much more effective although the approach requires that someone would actually have to go out on the land and pull weeds, and physical labour is to be avoided it seems, except at the gym. For example, if all knapweed was eliminated from lands held by the provincial government, this would go a long way to improving the diversity of plants and property owners would not have drifts of knapweed seeds moving in from the roadsides every summer when they are mowed.

 

As summer progresses there are signs that early fall is just around the corner. Suddenly a few days ago most of the hummingbirds left. I will miss those little entertainers. After cleaning all the berries off the Nanking Cherry, the robins, tanagers and various warblers have moved on to another garden. The squirrels are busy cutting down fir cones for their winter stockpiles. (They really seem to like to drop those cones from the tree tops onto some kind of metal roof or storage tank and the sound echos across the valley.)

 

It is time to start collecting seeds for next year and it looks like there will be enough to share at various seedy events next spring. Already the first fall bulb catalogue has come in the mail and it is indeed time to start thinking of where to plant some and where the ones already planted are hiding.

Barbara Hendricks

Just Posted

Ashcroft hospital emergency closed sign, 2016. Photo credit: Barbara Roden
Ashcroft Hospital emergency department closed this weekend

Closure due to unexpected limited physician availabiliy, says Interior Health

Residents line up outside the Vernon Recreation Complex for their COVID-19 vaccine Saturday, June 5. (Jennifer Smith - Morning Star)
No appointments necessary for first dose COVID-19 vaccine: Interior Health

People can just show up at clinics, register on the spot and get the shot

Heidi Roy of the Cariboo Jade Shop in Cache Creek with the 3,000 jade boulder, which is now on secure display inside the shop. (Photo credit: Barbara Roden)
Massive jade boulder returns to Cache Creek store six months after daring heist

The 3,000-pound boulder was stolen on Dec. 19, 2020 and found abandoned in the bush a week later

Dr. Albert de Villiers, chief medical health officer for the Interior Health Authority. (Contributed)
Child sex crimes charges against Interior’s top doc won’t impact pandemic response: Dix

Dr. Albert de Villiers is charged with sexual assault and sexual interference

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

The Queen Victoria statue at the B.C. legislature was splattered with what looks like red paint on Friday. (Nicole Crescenzi/News Staff)
Queen Victoria statue at B.C. legislature vandalized Friday

Statue splattered with red paint by old growth forest proponents

Most Read