Warden’s Report Comox Lake Bluffs ER #136

Posted February 2, 2014 | Categories : 136,BC Parks,Human Disturbance,Issues,Warden Reports |

Warden’s Report by Charley and Mandy Vaughan

Today, Sat Feb 2, 2013, Charley and I spent a couple of hours getting to know the reserve a little better.  We focused on finding and hiking the trail to the NW corner of the reserve.  The first point of note were the ATV tracks in the snow, heading into the reserve.  There are quite a number of walking trails criss-crossing the woods and it took us some time before we found the trail we needed to climb up to the bluffs.  The trails were generally clear, just a couple of small trees have fallen down, but they are easily passed.  The footbridges which cross the several small streams are a little rickety and missing some of the wire mesh which helps guard against slipping.  I don’t know if these are Parks bridges or if they are unofficial.
We ate a snack at the NW corner of the reserve and then wound our way back down, exploring to see where some of the other trails led.  At one point we came out to a clearing just above the beach, where behind a CLBER sign, we found a large firepit and evidence of tree vandalism, some old, some new.  The new vandalism applied to two small alders, the older vandalism being the ringing of some older and larger conifers.
After two hours on an overcast and rather chilly day, Charley headed back to the car while I walked down to look at the main beach access point.  It is obvious that ATVs have been joyriding here, (pics attached) and there are the remains of several firepits.  I do intend to go back in a week or two and dismantle the pits as best I can.  If Erica is interested in joining me, perhaps you will let her know and we can coordinate.

Mandy Vaughan

From:                              Smith, Andy B ENV:EX
Sent:                               Monday, February 4, 2013 11:00 AM
To:                                   ‘Charley & Mandy Vaughan’

Thanks Mandy and Charlie for checking out the ER and forwarding your report.  I do appreciate the format you have used adding the photos into the report allowing me to link to the SkyDrive program.
You have identified the main ongoing problems we have at the ER – fire building, ATV/Motorbike use and cutting of trees.  While garbage can also be an issue, I’m happy to see that at least that wasn’t too bad this time out.  It is very unfortunate about the  cutting of trees – it often makes no sense at all, even from a fire perspective as the stems are all green wood.
From your photos, it appears that you were at the old log sort/landing that was reclaimed a number of years ago and planted with native stock.  At that time, we had a school group spend 3 days dong this work, only to find most of the stems pulled out just two days after they had finished.  We found a sign left by the culprit stating “keep out and don’t plant anything on this site”.  Go figure!?
ATV’s have always been a problem here especially when the water levels are down and they come in from the shore side. Unfortunately, unless a Ranger is there at the time to stop and charge them, there is little we can do. If you happen to see anyone on ATV’s or motorbikes, the best thing to do would be to try and record a licence (most of them don’t have plates though) or follow them back to their vehicle and get a plate number off of that along with description, date and time.  I can then trace them and bring them in for questioning and possible charges.
While I don’t get there too often in the winter, I do try and make a couple of inspections myself when my schedule allows. This is the reason I really appreciate your monthly visits.  Thank you.

I have copied Erica on this note in case she would like to arrange a visit with you.

Andy Smith
Area Supervisor,
BC Parks,Strathcona Area
West Coast Region