Well, it is in Area E, so I suppose it is time to discuss the elephant on the highway.
We are all curious about this burnt-out vehicle. Who knows something, and more importantly, what comedian do we thank for the new For Sale sign posted? Not much is known about this large wagoneer. It was in decent shape and for sale some weeks ago, the snow dumped, then it was lit on fire. “The Gibsons Fire Department was called at roughly 4 a.m. on Sunday, March 5, and extinguished a vehicle fire,” said fire chief, Rob Michael. The cause was undetermined, but judging by the gossip around town, everybody has a theory. But none of these theories explains why, as of the time of this writing, it has yet to be towed by either the owner or RCMP. If you haven’t had time to pull over and read the fresh For Sale sign, it reads: “Fire Sale; Reduced; One case of beer, seller motivated; No low balls,” and was perhaps written by several people who have a sense of humour, but seemingly not the owner themself. I have reached out to the RCMP but they have yet to comment. Stay tuned.
In other news, the Elphinstone Community Association brought in a brilliant speaker last week for their first in-person meeting in three years. Angela Kroning has been involved in conservation work for decades and is currently a Streamkeeper, as well as a long-time resident of Area E. She spoke about the effects of climate change and developments on Chaster Creek and is pushing to have studies done on it. “The three areas of concern are all specific to Elphinstone,” said Angela. “A watershed-based plan to protect Aquifer 560, stormwater management and salmon habitat protection.”
The first concern is how Aquifer 560 (snazzy name!) underlies both the Town of Gibsons and Elphinstone, including the new Church Road well and my family’s new well at Henry Reed Produce. Our annual State of Emergency brought on by a changing climate demonstrates why protecting the recharge area of this particular aquifer is important, whether forested Crown land or part of the developed town.
Secondly, the SCRD on its own lacks any overarching stormwater management plan. “In the Town of Gibsons and the District of Sechelt, large new developments are not allowed unless they have a plan on how they won’t increase their stormwater runoff.” Not in Elphinstone. The Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MoTI) is responsible for ensuring developers take care of stormwater, which does not always happen. Since the collapsing culvert ordeal at Reed and Payne, my faith in MoTI is shook, to say the least. Growing towns mean growing demands on drainage runoff, and that threatens the stability of our creeks.
Which brings us to Angela’s third concern for Elphinstone, our local salmon habitat. “The major drainage is Chaster in Elphinstone, and historically it had a significant run of chum, and to a lesser extent coho and pinks.” The Sunshine Coast Streamkeepers have noticed the lower section of Chaster Creek, especially the ravine below the highway, is eroding down the banks. These unstable conditions are detrimental for salmon returning to lay eggs. Property owners along the ravine may also have concerns. Angela believes a stream stability assessment for this section is really warranted. I hope to dive into this more with her in the future.
Forward any Area E info to me at firstname.lastname@example.org but especially if it’s about that burnt up vehicle on the highway, for my own curiosity.