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Issues over Spall rec site aired
Residents of a Spallumcheen neighbourhood are demanding action.
About 20 people from Chamberlaine Road attended a meeting with authorities Thursday to express concerns about activities on Rose Swanson Mountain, both on Crown land and public trails.
“We can’t just sit here and talk,” said resident C.J. Edwards.
Among the concerns are speeding vehicles on Chamberlaine Road, parties, fires, off-road vehicles broken glass and weapons being discharged.
“We have an ugly pot of soup going on up there,” said resident Karen Smith.
One man expressed concerns that animal carcasses are abandoned in the area, including up to 12 chickens a week ago.
“No wonder cougars are sticking around because they have free food,” he said, adding that situation places residents at risk.
Residents insist they aren’t trying to close Rose Swanson Mountain off, but they want their concerns addressed.
“We’d love to share it with everyone,” said Bev Peacock.
“Maybe we can educate the kids in school or have signage or something in the newspaper.”
Among the authorities at the meeting were representatives from the Ministry of Forests.
“My interest is to get down to some solution-oriented discussions,” said Ray Crampton, resource manager.
While willing to work with residents, Crampton says the ministry is reluctant to gate a non-status forestry road because of the impact to legitimate recreational users.
“Blocking accesses is an extreme last resort,” he said.
Abbas El Gazzar, Pleasant Valley Secondary School principal, was ordered to let residents talk to students about the impact of parties.
“If there is anything we can do as a school, we will do it,” he said.
Also present at the meeting were the RCMP, the Armstrong-Spallumcheen Fire Department, community policing and Spallumcheen municipal staff.
“Everyone is taking this seriously and doing what they can,” said Greg Betts, Spallumcheen’s chief administrative officer.
The next steps will include residents working with community policing on neighbourhood initiatives while Spallumcheen council will be brought up to date on the meeting.
“We need to keep pressure on the township. We need their support and the province’s support,” said Edwards.