2014 Year in Review: March

Loon Lake's Ethel Smith honoured, Taseko Mine rejected again.

  • Dec. 24, 2014 3:00 p.m.
Ethel Smith receiving her 2014 BC Community Achievement Award from The Hon. Judith Guichon

Ethel Smith receiving her 2014 BC Community Achievement Award from The Hon. Judith Guichon

Taseko Mine rejected a second time

The federal government has turned down Taseko Mines’ application for a gold mine near Williams Lake for a second time, citing “environmental effects that cannot be mitigated.”

The decision comes after repeated efforts by the B.C. government to lobby for approval for the project, and a court challenge by Taseko to the federal assessment that it said did not take into account the efforts made to protect the watershed from tailings from the open-pit copper and gold project.

New well for Historic Hat Creek Ranch

Historic Hat Creek Ranch has has a new well dug near the Visitor Reception Centre. It can pump 600 gallons of water per minute – a good deal more than the old well, which produced 30 gallons per minute.

“In the summer we’d be awfully short of water,” said Jack Jeyes, president of the Friends of Historic Hat Creek Ranch.

He said there was a concern that there wasn’t enough for the fire suppression sprinklers in the Visitor Reception Centre and the Roadhouse should they need them, and a fire on the grounds in 2012 showed them how quickly the structures could be put at risk, surrounded by dry grass, old trees and older buildings.

Incinerator’s fly ash safe

Metro Vancouver received approval to landfill bottom ash from its Burnaby garbage incinerator that had been set aside after some loads failed pollution tests.

Starting last spring, testing began to show some samples of bottom ash contained more than twice the allowed level of leachable cadmium for landfill disposal.

Metro solid waste general manager Paul Henderson said extensive additional testing found there were tiny bits of cadmium-containing material – mostly from incinerated rechargeable batteries – randomly distributed through the ash loads in what he calls a “chocolate chip phenomenon.”

Loon Lake woman receives recognition

Premier Christy Clark and Keith Mitchell, chair of the British Columbia Achievement Foundation, named Loon Lake’s Ethel Smith as one of this year’s 36 recipients of the B.C. Community Achievement Awards.

Smith was the First Aid Post attendant for 37 years, going well beyond the call of duty to care for Loon Lake residents and visitors.

Smith joins the company of past recipients from the local area, Barb Shaw (2004) of Cache Creek, Dorothy Dodge (2005) of Lytton, Peggy Chute (2008) of Lytton, Ben Roy (2008) of Cache Creek and Deb Arnott (2011) of 16 Mile.