Talking Stick – drinking water, Steelhead and great volunteers

TNRD Director Steve Rice talks about what's happening in Area I in his monthly column.

Farmer Steven

Farming has an incredible aura that envelopes the growing process. Little marble-sized green tomatoes become ripe red softballs overnight.  Observing the process on a daily basis is amazing. You have raised them from seed in your hothouse for months, placed them in their dirt homes and watched them grow into to healthy, hearty globes of goodness.

After picking these wonderful “globes of goodness” for two months in the blazing heat of summer you ask yourself what the hell have you done! Anyways, I think it is the 6,000 plants that became an issue. Maybe about 5,900 less  wouldn’t have been such a big deal.

Walhachin water

Walhachin is now officially up and running with their new system taking water from the Thompson River. Though not without start up issues, Walhachin has been off a Boil Alert for the first time in many moons. We are still working out some kinks, cleaning the liner – but we are getting there.

I would like to put a shout out for former director Barry Tait as he was instrumental in bringing this project to fruition during his time with the TNRD.

Spences Bridge has also started the process of moving from Murray Creek water (and an ongoing Boil Alert), and towards the well water of the new system. A historic agreement was reached between the Cooks Ferry Band and the TNRD to share costs and work together to provide the Spences Bridge with the upgrade.

Talking Steelhead

I am excited about the upcoming UBCM meeting in Victoria at the end of the month. All directors are given the opportunity to meet with Ministers to discuss topics important to their constituency. To this end I have asked for a meeting with minister Steve Thomson (Natural Resources) to discuss the vitally important Steelhead issue. You have 15 minutes to get your message across.

I have filed my brief with staff and will be on point when meeting with Minister Thomson (not easy for motor mouth me) as my bullet form brief covers interception, habitat, closed policy, live bait, First Nations, hatchery. If anyone has other input on this, please let me know.

Film commission

As vice chair of the film commission it is an exciting time. A number of movies are filming in the area including Gold and Shana.

In addition, we have received significant funding to establish a web-based platform, including a database that feature local folks who would be interested in being extras when a movie crew comes into the area.

We are also talking with TRU in an effort to partner with them in certain media arenas.

Community hall renovations

Last but not least the Archie Clemes Community Hall in Spences Bridge will be getting a significant “Green Upgrade”.

The project includes a new energy efficient furnace and heat pump, low flow sinks and toilets, insulation, and new energy efficient doors. TNRD funding for the project was approved last month and will come from the federal gas tax fund that provides for green initiatives.

I am also hoping to leverage the TNRD funding with NDIT funding to complete the hall upgrades as this  would cover non-green initiatives. The next intake is November for NDIT and with approval the entire project can get underway when the Spences Bridge wish list committee so determines.

Kudos to the volunteers

Shout outs go to a number of events this summer and their volunteers:

Ashcroft Rodeo Parade – what a great time. My first time in a parade! Incredible organization, overwhelming, enthusiastic crowd, spectacular floats, classic cars, top notch entertainment… These volunteers begin planning next year’s event as soon as the current one is over. Great job!

Ashcroft Fall Fair – well done, great reviews and what a huge undertaking. A true reflection of what rural living is all about – including the volunteers!

Lytton River Festival – It just keeps getting better – the fire dancers, great music, pow wow… Another great effort by great volunteers!

Desert Daze Music Fest – blazing hot was the weather – and the music. Lots of vendors, a kite flying gala, seed spitting, apple bobbing, drumming, yoga, guitar workshops, a pickling class, First Nations drummers… and the big horn sheep. And let us not forget the legion of incredible volunteers. Kudos!

Ashcroft Indian Band should also be congratulated on another great racing season and the new addition of an exciting, challenging dirt bike track. Most excellent!

I am sure I missed somebody or some event but to all the volunteers who form the foundation of our rural communities – a gigantic Thank You!

Gone fishing

Steelhead season approaches – May the fish be with you!

Until next time – just saying.

Steve Rice, TNRD Area I