June 2020 Youbou Connector

June 2020 Youbou Connector

Canada Day: Fly the Flag!
Canada Day will be a little different this year as Youbou gradually eases out of the Covid-19 protections. Social distancing will still be the norm, so we need to make adjustments to stay safe. In the past, the Youbou Community Church has been the driver of the Youbou celebration with cake and a gathering. Regrettably, for this year, it looks like we must take a different direction. Communities around Cowichan Valley are planning for an online virtual Canada Day, so stay tuned for more information on that event.

Flying a bright red Canadian flag is perhaps the best way you can wish Canada a happy birthday. Let’s see how many Youbou residents can hoist our bright red maple leaf on July 1. Show our pride in how well our country is meeting the challenges of fighting a pandemic. If you don’t have a flag already, shopping for one locally is a great way to support small businesses in our area.

A Salute to Broom Busters
Some energetic volunteers and workers have been clearing the invasive Scottish broom (best while in bloom) from our school yard, roadsides, and parks. Thank you for making our town a better environment for native species to flourish.

Youbou Regatta Cancelled
Sadly, our annual Youbou celebration has been cancelled due to difficulties associated with social distancing at the August regatta. We’ll miss the fire-hall breakfast, the world’s shortest parade, and all the fun and excitement at Arbutus park with swimming and paddling races, the volleyball competition, the chalk art contest, the watermelon feeding frenzy, the relays, and the beloved belly-flop competition. Rest assured, it will all be back on track in 2021, bigger and better than ever.

Other Cancellations or Closures
Youbou Community Hall: remains closed until further notice
Youbou Community Church: remains closed until further notice
BC Parks and recreation areas: open but no camping yet
CVRD playgrounds: remain closed until further notice
Cassy’s Coffee House: remains closed until further notice

Supporting Youbou
During these tough times, we understand that some in our community may be struggling to make ends meet. You can help, by donating funds to the Lake Cowichan Food Bank and designate Area I residents as recipients through a Virtual Bottle Drive. To donate, you can email: donate.lakecowfoodbank@gmail.com. And if you need a little extra help in stocking your pantry, you can apply for support by calling Cowichan Lake Community Services at 250-749-6822 on Tuesdays or Thursdays between 10 am and 2 pm.

Weir Under Design
The design and engineering of a new weir to control water flows in the Cowichan River is underway. The project is made possible by a joint provincial/federal grant from the British Columbia Salmon Recovery Innovation Fund (BCSRIF). The Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) is managing the project on behalf of partners Cowichan Tribes, Paper Excellence and the Cowichan Watershed Board. Youbou resident Leroy Van Wieren has been hired by the CVRD as the project manager. Design and engineering of a new weir, and removal strategies for the existing structure are expected to take up to two years, with several opportunities for public input. The second phase of the project—to assess any potential impacts of a new weir on the foreshore and properties adjacent to Cowichan Lake—is underway. These two projects will provide an understanding of the costs and impacts of a new weir and will inform the process for issuing a new water license. To learn more about CVRD Cowichan Lake water supply projects, please visit www.cvrd.bc.ca/2318/Cowichan-Basin or https://cowichanwup.ca

Youbou Landside Survey Update
In response to ongoing concerns about landslides on the steep slopes above Cowichan Lake, the Cowichan Valley Regional District (CVRD) has released updated landslide hazard mapping in the Youbou area. In 2019, the CVRD completed a number of natural hazard risk assessments as part of its Climate Adaptation Program. One of these assessments identified high risks to both people and property from landslides on the steep slopes above Cowichan Lake. While the assessment identified a number of properties in potential hazard areas, site-level geotechnical assessments were recommended for future development. The CVRD worked with Palmer Environmental Consulting Group and Stantec Consulting to refine and update the landslide hazard mapping. Through modeling over 68,000 simulated landslides, the consultants mapped the likelihood and damage from such landslides and were able to identify a limit of modeled runout, beyond which the risk of a landslide causing damage is very low.

The updated mapping has resulted in a reduced hazard rating for a number of properties previously identified in the 2019 assessment. The debris flow modelling was made possible through the acquisition of high-resolution LiDAR imagery, and shows the furthest downslope a landslide would travel. The updated landslide hazard mapping will be used to inform planning and development in the Youbou Area. Going forward, proposed development within identified hazard areas would require additional geotechnical analysis before development can proceed. The CVRD is exploring the potential to extend this mapping to other areas of potential landslide hazard within the region.

The Youbou landslide hazard mapping report is available on the CVRD website at www.cvrd.bc.ca/hazards, as well as other information and resources for a variety of natural hazard awareness and preparedness. Affected property owners are receiving direct correspondence by mail from the CVRD, and are encouraged to contact CVRD Environmental Services division with questions or concerns.

For more information, contact:Kate Miller, Manager, Environmental Services, 250.746.2509, kate.miller@cvrd.bc.ca

Mosaic Forest Management Update
A lot has happened since we introduced ourselves in 2019 as the timberlands manager for Island Timberlands and TimberWest.
Road condition: We have continued to monitor the effects of the pavement installed on the Northshore Road in 2018 and have seen good improvements, which have resulted in a long season where we have not used our truck wash. We will continue to evaluate the spring/summer seasons with an eye to potentially removing the truck wash in the fall. We continue to collaborate with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and their new maintenance contractor, and will work to be advocates for road maintenance in Youbou.
Research: Mosaic’s contribution to the geotechnical and terrain research that took place upslope of Youbou is now complete. This work was conducted by a third-party professional engineering firm, in coordination with the CVRD. The Regional District has posted the final results of the Stantec report on its website, and staff has indicated that more information will be shared with the community in the future.
Youbou Harvest Plans: We remain committed to sharing harvest plans for the Youbou hillside with the community well in advance of any harvest or road building activity and will continue to provide updates on this topic.
Should you have any questions or concerns about this latest research or our activities, contact Pam Jorgenson, RPF, Land Use Forester at Pam.Jorgenson@MosaicForests.com.

Got News?
If you’d like to contribute news for the newsletter about a public event happening (or not happening) in or around Youbou and Area I, please send particulars about date, time and place to julia@raedwulf.org. You can also check our web site at youbouyca.com and our facebook page for the latest information.

Your YCA Board
Chair: Julia Martinusen
Co-Chair: Lori LaFave
Secretary: Randall Wilson
Treasurer: Spencer Day
Social: Eva Fearon, Garry Fearon
Publicity: Allan Gott
Membership: Cheryl Morgan
At large: Jill Bradley
At large: Debbie Smith

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