November 2008 Newsletter

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Archived Posts

Open the Season With APOA

Saturday, November 29th at Apex

Business at 3 PM in the Longshot Cafeteria

Mark Woods of RDOS and consultant John Davies, present:

Operational Planning for Community Wildfire Protection at Apex

Monkey Business at 4:30 PM at the Gunbarrel:

Tunes by Cowgirl Julie and Sidekick Rick

Beer and Burger $10 Special for APOA members (courtesy the Gunbarrel)

Get updated, support RDOS efforts and have fun!

President’s Report

The APOA’s season opening event on November 29 starts with an important presentation on community wildfire protection. Newly engaged by RDOS, James Davies, RPF, will be responsible for moving last year’s hazard assessment into an action plan. Mark Woods, RDOS Emergency Services Manager, indicates that prioritization of funding for wildfire protection will be influenced by active community interest, and support. This is your chance to show RDOS that Apex residents are strong supporters of enhanced protection for our valued community.

Your attendance is doubly important because BC government sources indicate that the mountain pine beetle attack is expected in earnest in our area this year. Sick and dead trees will add to fuel loads and increase the wildfire risk.

Following the presentation there is a beer and burger social at the Gunbarrel for APOA members.

Fortunately, pine beetles aren’t the only thing hard at work at Apex. APOA Board members met with Apex Mountain Resort management to discuss your responses to the APOA member survey distributed at the AGM last spring. This is detailed in the Survey Results article further down the page.

Regrettably and despite repeated efforts, there has been no progress on advancing the trails management plan at Okanagan Vista. The need to reconcile conflicts between motorized and nonmotorized recreation and to sustain the recreation resources was identified in the BC Government’s 2001 plan (LRMP). APOA has sent numerous letters to BC Cabinet Ministers and to MLA Bill Barisoff. A recent exchange of letters with Minister Stan Hagan has shown that constructive leadership from the BC Government is lacking. The Government response remains insufficient and the issues unresolved. For more information and some initial suggestions on how you can start to help address the issue, please see the update on the next page.

Regarding the Apex Resort Master Plan, APOA’s Board has been advised that the necessary discussions between the provincial government and the Penticton Indian Band (PIB) are underway, led by Provincial officials responsible for First Nations Consultations. APOA understands the goal is to arrive at a “framework agreement” which would open the door towards updating the 1980 Resort Master Plan.

Newly elected PIB Chief, Jonathan Kruger, has expressed interest in a “strategic plan that deals with the environment, our health, social issues, and making our community stronger”. For this reason APOA’s Board remains optimistic for a “win-win” solution.

To support APOA’s efforts, both your membership dues and your active support are necessary. At our current 80 paid-up memberships, over half are necessary just to cover our liability insurance. Please encourage your friends and neighbours to join the APOA. It only costs $25 a year to support your community. You can sign up from our website at, or by mail.

Looking forward to seeing you on November 29.

Denis O’Gorman,

President, APOA

Okanagan Vista: Call to Action

There was an encouraging start at a March 2007 workshop to resolve ongoing recreation conflicts on the Okanagan Vista cross country ski trails. This valuable local recreation resource was established several years ago by the Forest Service and Penticton Outdoors Club. However the promised follow up meeting to address outstanding issues has not been convened by the province. This is a resource management and conflict resolution matter that is clearly the responsibility of the provincial government to address. A proper plan must be in place before the needed re-signing of trails and general area management can commence.

The Okanagan Recreation Officer (Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts) has indicated that in the absence of a responsible group, his Ministry may start the process of “dis-establishing” the Okanagan Vista Ski Area. To prevent such an significant loss to our community what is required is a facilitated examination of the broader Vista recreation area so a coordinated plan can be created to provide for both motorized and non-motorized recreation in a compatible way. This will require government leadership to guide the process and to implement the needed management framework.

The Recreation Officer also indicated they want evidence of people’s willingness to take on the needed tasks of re-signing, routine maintenance and reporting “violations”. With the departure of the Penticton Outdoors Club from Okanagan Vista, a stewardship group is needed. For this reason, interested people are asked to indicate their willingness to assist with these activities. Please express your interest by writing or e-mailing the APOA at the address provided at the top of the newsletter. The list of names will be presented to the Ministry.

Two letters, one from Minister Stan Hagan (replying to our May letter requesting action), plus APOA’s August response are available on the “News” page of the APOA website. Also, APOA member Murray Brown is preparing a synopsis of Okanagan Vista history, summarizing the efforts to realize the goals outlined in the original LRMP. This summary will be also posted on APOA’s website. Watch for updates!

Denis O’Gorman

Survey Results

At the APOA’s spring AGM an opinion survey was conducted. It covered topics under four categories: resort management, activities, resort village, and resort facilities/services. The results help point out areas where improvement efforts can be best directed.

APOA board members Jane Drapeau, Phyllis Matthews, and Julia Valenti held a meeting with Apex General Manager James Shalman to discuss the survey results. Each topic was reviewed in detail and these positive understandings were established:

  1. Apex management shares many of the same concerns as owners.
  2. Some areas needing help will get it and others will not. Funding for some projects simply isn’t there.
  3. Approach management at any time and point out areas that need improvement.
  4. Volunteers are welcome in any area in which they see a need. Check in with James or other management staff that oversee the area of your concern and run your project by them for approval.

So be proactive, take on a project, find a solution, get together with others and help create the mountain experience you want.

We are pursuing a similar meeting with Apex ownership with emphasis on furthering a constructive

working relationship to help improve Apex Mountain Resort for our mutual benefit. James’ openness to suggestions and the scope for helping create a positive mountain experience are encouraging.

Julia Valenti


The corner above Apex Ranch has been paved and widened, ditching and some culvert repair has been done on Apex road. Our main ongoing concern is the corner below Creekview Condos and above the Scout Cabin. The culvert just below the reservoir was repaired and should direct runoff under the road and into the creek. Many culverts which owners are responsible for are either inadequate or blocked by sand and debris. Argo intends to plow roads wider from the onset this winter. Road maintenance hours are unchanged.

Happy skiing!

Phyllis Matthews

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