Colourful BC Parks licence plates are a hit with drivers

Plus softball registration, a golf tournament, invasive plant funding, what not to say if you get stopped for distracted driving, and more.

Three new specialty BC Parks licence plates

Three new specialty BC Parks licence plates

Softball registration still open

The Cache Creek Softball Association is looking for more adults and teens who would like to play, so registration has been extended. There is also space on the T-ball and youth teams. Softball will take place every Tuesday and Thursday through the end of June (and possibly into September). Payment arrangements can be made, and the association is flexible about the days for slo-pitch teams. Anyone interested can contact Marcie Down at (778) 207-6957 or Brandy Cooper-Chardon at (250) 457-7146. Registration forms can be picked up at the Cache Creek Village Office or the Ashcroft Bakery.

Registration in the Cache Creek Softball Association is still open. Photo by Barbara Roden.

Golf tournament

A FUN”D” Raiser tournament is being held at Semlin Valley Golf Course in Cache Creek on Saturday, April 22. The event starts at 12:30 p.m. with sign-in and lunch, with a 2 p.m. shotgun start and nine-hole best ball scramble. The $240 team entry fee ($60 for a single entry) includes a burger lunch and a steak dinner; there will also be beer specials and live and silent auctions. There will be prizes, and mixed tournament is open to all.

All funds raised will go to improving the golf course. For more information, or to register, call Gord Colliar at (250) 299-8634.

The Semlin Valley Golf Course is hosting a fundraiser on April 22. Photo by Wendy Coomber.

Historic plaques available

The Village of Ashcroft has 12 plaques available, which owners of historic buildings in the village can apply for. The plaques are almost identical to the current ones, which were put up starting in 1996. There is no cost for the plaques, and the village will do all the research necessary for a write-up about the property, as well as install the finished plaque.

Anyone who would like more information can pick up an application form at the Village Office on Bancroft Street.

Trades equipment for SD74

School District No. 74 (Gold Trail) will be receiving $126,042 over the next three years for the purchase of trades equipment such as welders, table saws, and band saws for district schools. It is part of the Youth Trades Capital Equipment Program, which is designed to increase participation in, and successful completion of, youth trades programs. It will ensure that school districts have safe and appropriate modern trades equipment, and provide a better understanding of current inventory and future needs.

“Nothing would give me more pride than watching students in communities like Ashcroft, Merritt, Princeton, Lytton, and Lillooet become successful tradesmen and tradeswomen,” says Fraser-Nicola MLA Jackie Tegart. “New trades-training equipment gives our students the latest tools to learn on.”

TNRD anniversary website

To mark the occasion of its 50th anniversary, the Thompson-Nicola Regional District has created a special website—50th.tnrd.ca—which will look at the district’s history, as well as at the upcoming events and contests being held as part of the celebration.

Two contests are already underway. A writing contest runs between now and May 31, and a weekly trivia contest has started. A different trivia question will be asked each week, with a prize awarded each month to one respondent who has correctly answered one of that month’s questions. On November 24, the names of all respondents who have correctly answered a trivia question throughout the year will be entered in a draw for a 50th anniversary celebration prize.

Invasive plant funding for TNRD

The government is providing $20,000 to the Thompson-Nicola Regional District to help manage invasive plants in the region. The money will be used to raise public awareness of invasive plant concerns, survey invasive plant populations, and actively treat high-priority sites to control the spread of these destructive plants.

The TNRD has several programs available to help stop invasive plants, including a sprayer loan-out program, herbicide rebates, cost-sharing when a contractor is hired to deal with invasive species, and biological control insects. For more information go to www.tnrd.ca.

Knapweed is an invasive species that is prevalent in the TNRD. Stock photo.

Excuses, excuses

Coquitlam RCMP say that while most drivers are getting the message about distracted driving, 70 people in their area needed expensive reminders throughout March that they need to leave the phone alone. That did not stop people from trying to justify breaking the law, and Coquitlam RCMP say that a common excuse was “I had my phone on speaker mode, so that’s technically hands-free.” According to the Motor Vehicle Act, as well as common sense, if your phone is in your hand it’s not “hands-free”.

Another common excuse was “I had to check the time.” The RCMP remind people that picking up your phone to check the time while driving is breaking the law. “If you are one of the increasingly few whose car does not have a clock, and you need to know the time, then it’s time to buy a watch.”

Checking the time is not a valid reason to use your cellphone while driving. RCMP photo.

14,000 specialty BC Parks plates sold

Eight weeks after introducing specialty licence plates supporting BC Parks, more than 14,000 of the plates have been sold. The plates are part of the BC Parks Future Strategy, and provide additional funds to be invested in new programs and improvements. There are three designs: one featuring the Kermode, or Spirit, bear; one featuring the Purcell Mountains; and one featuring Porteau Cove in Howe Sound.

The plates can be purchased from any Autoplan broker in the province, at a cost of $50 for the initial purchase and $40 for each annual renewal. To view the plates, go to http://bit.ly/2iNQEog.

Back country news

Hunting licences can now be purchased online, as well as at Service BC locations and participating sporting goods stores around the province. To use the online service, hunters will need a basic BCeID, which allows online users to access a wide range of provincial government programs and services. They also need a Fish and Wildlife ID (FWID), which replaces the old BC resident hunter number card, to buy hunting licences. FWIDs can be obtained online, or from any Service BC or FrontCounter BC location. For more information go to www.gov.bc.ca/hunting.

The province has released the new, updated guide to freshwater fishing rules and regulations. The 2017–2019 Freshwater Fishing Regulations Synopsis is available online at http://www.env.gov.bc.ca/fw/fish/regulations, and printed copies will soon be available at Service BC and FrontCounter BC locations, as well as at stores that sell fishing licences.

The province’s network of off-road vehicle-friendly backcountry trails is getting a boost, thanks to a new provincial government fund. The ORV Management sub-account is financed through a portion of the fees that ORV owners pay to ICBC when registering their vehicles. The fund—which stands at $320,000 and is growing—is dedicated to supporting projects that build new, and maintain existing, vehicle-friendly recreational trails in remote and rural areas throughout the province.

In 2015, the province introduced mandatory registration for off-road vehicles operated on Crown land. Since then, British Columbians have registered more than 100,000 ORVs, at a one-time fee of $48 per vehicle. The fee is designed to support the province’s off-road vehicle management framework; an integrated plan that ensures off-road vehicles—including snowmobiles, all-terrain vehicles (“quads”), dirt bikes, and side-by-sides—are driven in a safe and environmentally responsible manner.