A landslide of findings

October 28, 2016

By: Castanet

The Forest Practices Board has issued a report on the 2014 Cooke Creek landslide east of Enderby when Dale Lake spilled its banks, dragging debris and tearing a hole in Mabel Lake Road. There was extensive damage done to the area.

The independent watchdog launched an investigation after a public complaint about road maintenance on the Cooke Creek Forest Service Road, finding issues with road maintenance, culvert design and the government’s response to public concerns.

“The board is concerned that the district and BC Timber Sales did not comply with legislation or their own risk management policies, procedures and systems,” said board chair Tim Ryan. “Improvements are also needed in training, management, record keeping and the way in which public concerns and complaints are recorded and acted upon.”

The complaint was filed with the board after two culverts at the mouth of Dale Lake failed and sections of the road were washed out in a debris flood on May 2, 2014.

The complainant said that he raised concerns with Okanagan Shuswap Resource District staff about the condition of the culverts, but they were not heeded.

“The investigation found that the district cleaned out a culvert in response to one concern, but did not respond to the complainant’s concerns on two other occasions,” said Ryan. “This lack of response was not adequate.”

The investigation also found:

  • BC Timber Sales did not inspect or maintain the road between 2006 and 2014, despite ministry policy requiring annual inspections.
  • In 2007, the district installed a culvert that was too small to withstand a 100-year flood, which is a requirement of the Forest and Range Practices Act.

By: Castanet

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