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Last night I attended the Hatzic Prairie, Durieu, McConnell Creek Ratepayers Association general meeting out in Mission.


The Hatzic Prairie, Durieu, McConnell Creek Ratepayers Association is a group representing the interests of residents in the north Sylvester Road area of Mission. The group is loosely associated with the Stave Lake Cabinowners Association, a recently formed society representing the interests of the leased land cabin owners in the East Stave Lake area. The Four Wheel Drive Association of BC (4WDABC) has participated in a number of meetings with the Cabinowners Association related to issues (primarily related to environmental and property damage resulting from vandalism) in the East Stave Lake area.

As a result of the 4WDABC’s involvement in the Teal-Jones Fraser Public Advisory Group (of which principals of the Hatzic Prairie, Durieu, McConnell Creek Ratepayers Association are also participating), I was asked to attend a general meeting to discuss the issues faced by residents in the East Stave area. Based on the extensive network of trails in the East Stave Lake area and our current recreation site maintenance agreement for Kenyon Lake, of course I agreed.

When I arrived, I was invited to sit as a panel speaker, along with:

Randy Hawes, MLA Mission - Abbotsford
Pat Walsh, RCMP Mission Detachment Inspector
John Johnston, RCMP Rural Constable
Vic Barron, RCMP Mission Crime Prevention Unit
Jeff Ladd, BC Ministry of Forests, Chilliwack District, FSR Engineering
Randall Dayton, BC Ministry of Forests, Chwk District Operations Manager
Dick Bogstie, Fraser Valley Regional District Director
Sharie Conroy, President, Hatzic Prairie, Durieu, McConnell Creek Ratepayers Association
Bruce Edwards, Hatzic Prairie, Durieu, McConnell Creek Ratepayers Association

The meeting convened at 7pm and approximately 50 residents in the area attended. The meeting was focused on crime rates (primarily property crimes) coupled with perceived safety issues in the area. The Hatzic Prairie, Durieu, McConnell Creek Ratepayers Association presented a short slideshow which highlighted the high incidence of littering, burned/stolen vehicle, and other damage observed in the area. Of significant concern is the amount of shooting in the area as well as the increase in vehicle and ATV traffic.

Inspector Walsh distributed a crime statistic presentation which indicates that crime rates are declining in the area. He also described his organization’s staffing constraints

Significant discussion (with much venting) highlighting issues in the area took place. Primary concerns were:

1. Shooting in the area of the cabins and FSR in a manner that is unsafe.
2. Parking at the end of Sylvester Road pavement.
3. ATVs being operated in an unsafe manner.
4. Vehicles being operated in an unsafe manner.
5. Garbage dumping.

At approximately 8:30pm, I was asked to speak and I described the FWDABC as a province wide advocacy group, promoting 4×4 recreation as a sustainable part of outdoor recreation throughout the province of BC. I also described our efforts in promoting the responsible use of outdoor resources by the 4×4 enthusiast community. I described our involvement with MoTCA recreation sites in general and the Kenyon Lake site in particular, including the recent work performed by the Coastal Cruisers in updating that site. I also described our participation in the West Stave Lake area, including our annual cleanup events and our participation in the District of Mission’s plan to promote managed recreation activities in that area. I indicated that the 4WDABC was committed to being a part of any solution which included preservation of the recreation opportunities in the area. My comments were very well received by the group.

The meeting concluded with a recommendation (by Inspector Walsh) to form a small committee comprised of representatives of the groups attending to define workable solutions to the issues in the area. Potential solutions offered during the meeting included:

1. Establishment of no-shooting zones.
2. Establishment of Block Watch in the area.
3. Increased RCMP presence in the area.
4. Increased promotion of managed recreation sites (with site-hosts) in the area.
5. Organized cleanup day events, similar to the 4WDABC’s West Stave Cleanup.
6. Establishment of “No Parking” areas along Sylvester Road and promotion of the use of parking/staging areas which have been constructed in the area.

The meeting adjourned at 9:30pm

The Four Wheel Drive Association looks forward to continued participation in long term recreation planning in the East Stave Lake area and have extended our offer to participate as a member of the “stakeholder committee” proposed by Inspector Walsh.

Steve Dillen
President, Four Wheel Drive Association of BC

Jump to original article at www.4wdabc.com.

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Great thanx for the info. Good luck with the no shooting zones, garbage and parking issues. some people just don't get it as far as safe discharge and littering. These people need a smack in the head.
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