Couple forced to leave mountain resort

Couple forced to leave mountain resort

Ministry of Forests says a slide potentially puts Pinaus Lake Resort at risk

Dreams are slipping away for Arvid and Audrey Hoglund.

The risk of a slide has forced the couple to abandon Pinaus Lake Resort, which they have called home for 30 years.

“It’s all very upsetting,” said Arvid, who is 78-years-old.

On March 14, the Ministry of Forests told the couple that it had detected slope movement directly above the Falkland area resort since 2013. The resort was ordered to close and all residents were told to permanently leave the area.

“We were shocked that we were told we had just 30 days to get all our belongings and get out,” said Audrey, 76.

While resigned to the fact that their only source of income is gone, the couple are concerned they won’t be able to remove three decades of possessions.

“We just want to be able to get our stuff out of there. I can’t spend too much time up there because I need to have my oxygen with me. It could take up to two years to clear everything out,” said Arvid.

The resort consists of several campgrounds, 11 cabins and the lodge.

The couple anticipates removal costs could reach $500,000 and there’s been no talk of compensation with the ministry.

“The government won’t renew our lease because of the danger of the landslide. If it comes down it would cover the whole resort,” said Arvid.

Greg Kyllo, Shuswap MLA, has talked to members of the family about the situation.

“I have asked them to send me a sequence of events of what’s happened,” he said.

He is also pursuing a briefing with the ministry, including a possible timeline for the couple to remove their assets.

“The ministry will want to be as supportive as it can,” he said, adding, though, that public safety with a slide is paramount.

“There’s a pretty significant concern that it could let loose.”

The ministry first told the couple in November 2016 that there was some earth movement in the area.

“There is a low probability of a rapid landslide occurring and such a landslide would likely be relatively small in size with a fairly short runout, but if one were to occur, the consequences could be destructive,” states a report written by Tim Giles, research geomorphologist with the ministry.

“Infrastructure that could be damaged includes the forest service road, vehicles and people using the FSR, permanent structures at the resort, vehicles and boats at the resort and people at the resort. The consequence of a catastrophic, rapid landslide at Pinaus Lake is considered to be high. The probability of a slow-moving earthflow impacting the resort is considered to be high, but the consequences are lower.”

It’s not known what has triggered the slide, whether it’s a natural occurrence or related to logging.

While it is unknown what has caused the instability, both the province and the Hoglund’s suggest it could be a natural occurrence or the result of road and forestry development.

The Hoglunds have moved to temporary housing in Armstrong and a GoFundMe campaign has been launched to help them through a challenging time.

But while the immediate future is uncertain, the couple fondly look back at their 30 years at Pinaus at the relationships they have developed with campers and fishermen.

“Your friendship and support through the years has been appreciated and we could not have done it without you,” said Audrey.