Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Archived Posts

Area D Governance Study LogoThe Electoral Area “D” Governance Study Committee met with Leftside Partners, the consultants who the committee has retained to conduct the Electoral Area “D” Governance Study.

In an effort to understand the diversity of the Electoral Area and the varying needs in each part of the Electoral Area, the consultants joined various committee members in touring the Electoral Area on September 21 and 22, 2015. Tour sites included Upper Carmi, Heritage Hills/Lakeshore Highlands, Skaha Estates, Okanagan Falls, Kaleden, Vaseux Lake, Twin Lakes/St. Andrews and Apex Mountain.

The committee and consultants look forward to engaging with citizens regarding the governance study in the coming months. Fact Sheets detailing each service provided by the Regional District are being created and will be distributed widely. Governance Forums will be held in the various areas, and surveys will be provided in central locations and on the webpage. Information and updates on the study will be posted to local neighbourhood bulletin boards.

Citizen input is critical to this process and it is hoped that people will come out to the various forums and meetings, write or email to the contacts provided in the coming weeks and have their say!

The committee would like to emphasize to citizens that all committee meetings are open to the public. Meetings details can be found at www.rdos.bc.ca, go to popular links an Area “D” Governance Study or call the contact below for more information.

For further information, please contact Christy Malden, Manager of Legislative Services, at (250) 492-0237 or info@rdos.bc.ca.

Gov Study Article & Ad – Oct-15

Logging Survey

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Logging

The Forest Practices Board is seeking your feedback to improve their work as the public watchdog for forest and range practices in BC. We encourage you, your family, and friends to share your views via the link below. The survey should take about 10 minutes. The section at the end is where you can provide your “What should be fixed” suggestions.


Write a Letter to Government

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Logging

Tips for Writing a Letter to a Public Official

Government officials receive numerous messages by letter and e-mail each week. A poorly written letter may cause offence, confuse the issue, or simply be ignored. The following tips are based on an article entitled “How to write a letter to your MP” by Sandy McMurray, a freelance writer in Toronto. Her advice is transferable to writing an MLA, or any public official.

  • Brief is Better – Keep to one side of a page
  • Clarity is key – State clearly in the first sentence the purpose of your letter.
  • Get personal – Use examples to support your point; this makes your letter more memorable.
  • You get points for style – Handwritten letters or those signed by hand seem to be more effective than form letters and e-mail. If you go with e-mail, put the subject in the subject line.
  • If you are from that MLA’s constituency, include that in the letter.
  • A male MLA should be addressed as “Mr. , MLA”, female as “Ms. , MLA”, and a Minister as “The Honourable ”.
  • Ask for a response – If you feel confident you know what the response should be then request a specific action. Otherwise ask what the recipient plans to do to address your concerns. Close with “I look forward to your response.”
  • Sign your name and include your return address.
  • If you receive a response to your letter, write to say thank you!

The following summary of the issues presented at the February 28, 2015 APOA Public Forum may assist you in determining the subject matter of your communication with public officials.

There has been too much harvesting in too short a time. This is impacting the tourism and recreation values of the Apex – Nickel Plate area. There has been insufficient time for regrowth between harvesting of adjacent or nearly adjacent cut blocks. The cumulative impact is that Nickel Plate Nordic Center, Nickel Plate Lake, Okanagan Vista Trail System, and Apex Village are all being encroached upon by increasingly large contiguous clear cuts.

Planned harvest volumes by the multiple companies harvesting in this area appear to maintain or even accelerate the annual rate-of-cut in this area into the future. This has and will continue to result in:

  • Significant degradation to the visual quality of this important tourism area.
  • Increased opportunities for motorized vehicle access without adequate plans to manage the changing recreation mix of motorized and non-motorized users.
  • Potential expansion and enhancement of recreation in the area is being restricted for several generations of recreation users.

In October 2013 the APOA submitted comments on the Skul’qalt Forestry FSP. APOA explicitly stated that local stakeholders should be consulted before Skul’qalt undertakes harvesting in this designated Intensive Recreation Area. This crucial consultation was bypassed yet MFLNRO (the government forestry department) issued Skul’qalt cut permits for 40,000 M3 in this area. A separate but related concern is there are referenced (planned) cut blocks that either fully or partially overlap the Nickel Plate Nordic Center trail system. These blocks are Sn’pink’tn Forestry (CP4-1, APE-58) and Weyerhaeuser (APE-27, 34, 48). These issues have raised local stakeholder concerns about relying on the current Professional Reliance Model when harvesting is being done in a recreation area. It also calls into doubt whether MFLNRO is willing or able to prevent inappropriate harvesting practices in recreation areas.

All this harvesting has (mainly) been compliant with current regulation and accepted industry practices. This has lead the APOA Forestry Advisory Committee to conclude that changes in regulation and/or present forest industry practices are required to protect recreation areas from degradation. We believe this has become an issue that requires a political and regulatory solution.

Provincial Government Contact Information

The Honourable Christy Clark
Premier of British Columbia
Box 9041
Victoria, BC V8W 9E1
250 387-1715

Honourable Steve Thomson
Minister of Forests, Lands and Natural Resource Operations
PO Box 9049
Station Prov Govt
Victoria BC
V8W 9E2

102 – 2121 Ethel Street
Kelowna, BC V1Y 2Z6

Mr. Dan Ashton
MLA Penticton
East Annex
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
V8V 1X4

210 – 300 Riverside Drive
Penticton, BC
V2A 9C9

Ms. Linda Larson
MLA Boundary-Similkameen
East Annex
Parliament Buildings
Victoria, BC
V8V 1X4

Box 998
6369 Main Street
Oliver, BC
V0H 1T0


Logging Presentation Feb. 28th

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Logging

Download the pdf “Logging in the Apex-Nickel Plate Recreation Area.”


Trash Bash

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Archived Posts

Join the Apex Property Owners’ Association for a

Trash Bash

Date: Saturday, July 12, 2014
Time: 10 to 12:30 for Cleanup; Lunch at 12:30
Location: Meet in main parking lot beside the Gunbarrel

Help pick up litter at the APOA Trash Bash. Enjoy the summer mountain-fresh air and catch-up with friends while pitching in to pick up litter and get Apex in tip-top shape for the 2014-2015 ski season!

After the cleanup, join in for a post cleanup cookout. So that we can plan appropriately for food for the barbecue, please RSVP to Elena Tilton at etilton1@yahoo.com. We know plans frequently change during the summer months and truly appreciate you giving us an RSVP such that we don’t have too little or too much food for the big clean-up.

Bring your family, friends or just yourself and come on up to clear out the trash! Trash bags and gloves will be provided.

Again, RSVP by July 2 to etilton1@yahoo.com with the number of people attending the Trash Bash!

Logging Background Information

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Archived Posts

APOA-P3_Forestry_AGM_V1We will be putting much more information up about the current logging issues around the Apex area.  For now, here are two important documents for you to review regarding the current state of affairs.


APOA-P3_Forestry Report Slideshow   (.pdf file – 7.57 MB)

APOA-D1-Forestry Report (Detailed)   (.pdf file – 1.93 MB)


Report from the APOA Forestry Committee

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Archived Posts

In British Columbia the timber harvesting activities of those licensed to perform industrial-scale logging in a recreation area:

…should be compatible with recreational values… Maintain a naturally appearing landscape, both foreground and viewscapes, that is compatible with the recreational value…

– from the Okanagan-Shuswap Land and Resource Management Plan

In general, the BC Ministry of Lands, Forests, and Natural Resources no longer performs detailed local inspections and oversight, so from a local stakeholders’ perspective much of the forestry industry is essentially self-regulating.

In practice this means that local stakeholder consultation and oversight is essential. It ensures appropriate, recreation-compatible timber harvesting practices are followed. In a recreation area such as Apex, stakeholders include property owners, local businesses, First Nations, and recreation users in general.

However, local stakeholders have been overwhelmed by:

  • multiple, geographically overlapping harvest license holders, each with their own forest practices and harvest plans;
  • no definitive, long-term strategy to integrate forestry and recreation in the Apex Recreation Area;
  • no organization or government body tasked with creating and overseeing a long-term strategy;
  • ad hoc or non-existent consultation between local stakeholders and the individual license holders;
  • new participants entering the forestry industry, specifically BC Timber Sales and First Nations license holders;
  • a bewildering array of broadly worded regulations and guidelines, many of which are acknowledged to be “subject to interpretation”; and
  • a seemingly ubiquitous industry panic over the Mountain Pine Beetle outbreak, leading to what appears to be a “harvest now, plan later” mentality.

The Apex Recreation Area is experiencing an unprecedented level of timber harvesting. In particular, clear-cut logging in the Keremeos Creek Valley at the foot of Apex Resort has surprised many Apex residents and recreation users.

In 2010 a new harvest license holder began operating in the Apex area: the Penticton Indian Band’s Sn’pink’tn Forestry. Sn’pink’tn is partnered with Gorman Brother and is currently licensed to harvest over 47,000 m3 of timber. That is approximately 1200 logging trucks worth. The ongoing harvesting of the Keremeos Creek Valley and the Shatford Creek Valley is being done under those licenses.

In December 2012 the APOA Board of Directors created the APOA Forestry Committee to investigate and report on the timber harvesting occurring in our area. The committee discovered that harvesting is planned in areas considered integral to maintaining a quality recreation experience:

  • the western flank of Mt. Riordan to the edge of Nickel Plate Lake,
  • the upper Keremeos Creek valley north of Whitetail Road (an area spanning both sides of Nickel Plate Road north of the village), and
  • the backside of Beaconsfield Mountain, running down to the Nickel Plate Nordic Centre.

We say “discovered” because these harvest plans were found on Gorman Brother’s website when the committee was investigating the source of road and cut-block demarcation flagging on Mt. Riordan. Further investigation revealed there has been no substantive local stakeholder consultation concerning these new cut blocks, a situation we are actively seeking to address.

The 2016 BC Winter Games are coming to Apex Mountain Resort and Nickel Plate Nordic Centre. This is an opportunity to showcase the beauty and diverse recreation opportunities offered by the Apex Recreation Area – a goal many argue is incompatible with existing logging practices and plans.

The good news is that local consultation is not optional, especially in an “Intensive Recreation Area”, which is how the Apex-Nickel Plate area is classified. To restate what has already been said: local stakeholders have both the responsibility and the right to be consulted AND listened to; it is how forestry in BC is intended to operate.

At the March 9 APOA Annual General Meeting (2 PM at the hotel) the forestry committee will publicly present its initial report. We will describe:

  • How we got to where we are today.
  • What is currently planned by the key harvest license holders.
  • The steps needed to ensure the integrity of the Apex Recreation Area is maintained for future generations.

How important are our forests to your lifestyle and recreation activities?

Hope to see you on March 9!

2013 APOA AGM Sat. Mar. 9th.

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Archived Posts
 Hello Membership,
There is a GREAT DEAL of concern about the logging slated for the Apex Recreation Area. Two of our members, Jeff Brown and Denis O’Gorman, plus Board member Barry Leigh have created an initiative to explore the extent of harvesting, how close to our recreational corridors, by whom and, most importantly, are the required legal mandates being followed in order to log? Much disturbing, surprising information that negatively impacts the forest, the Apex Recreation Area and our property values has been uncovered, IF the logging goes ahead as planned.
ATTEND OUR AGM. Hear Jeff’s presentation, become informed, ask questions of the government and industry reps in attendance. Only through a group effort, a team effort, will we have the strength to protect our recreation area from destruction.

Agenda for APOA AGM Sat. Mar. 9th. Apex Mt. Inn Conference Room

  1. Call to order
  2. Approval of Mar. 17th. 2012 AGM minutes
  3. Approval of agenda and additions/deletions to agenda
  4. Introduction of AGM guests
  5. Board reports:
    1. President’s report – Julia Valenti
    2.  Treasurer’s report – Barry Leigh
    3. Membership Report – Barry Leigh for Phil Rathjen
    4. Hwys. and Roads/Creekside Crossing signs – Phyllis Matthews
  6. Call for Board candidates for election to Board for 2013/2014
  7. Election of Board members
  8. Apex Fire Brigade update
  9. Motion/seconder/membership vote to resolution to gift Fire Brigade with $500
  10. Apex Mt. report—James Shalman:
    1. Solid Waste Transfer Station status
    2. Barn property/RV Park development plans
    3. Other development plans
    4. Resort Master Plan status
    5. New equipment purchased this season
    6. 2012/2013 season highlights
    7. 2016 Winter Games and what it means for Resort
  11. Presentation by Jeff Brown on logging in the Apex Recreation Area followed by Q. and A. with industry and government reps in attendance
After the AGM, gather in the Rock Oven Grill for a social. All meals will be offered to APOA members at 20% off.
Julia Valenti, President, APOA

Next Meeting – Jan. 26

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Archived Posts


1417 Apex Mt. Rd. (Valenti’s) 4 p.m.

1. Call to order

2 .Review/adopt minutes of last meeting

3. Additions to agenda

4. Treasurer’s report—Barry L.

5. Argo report—Phyllis M. (snow left on rd. at Creekview Crossing

6. Membership Report—Phil R. (brochure reprint/counter brochure holders in village)

7. Jane’s letter to Joan E. about storage bins on properties

8. Herald publicity for Apex report—Geri S.

9. APOA articles in Apex Matters—Julia V.

10. Weyerhauser meeting/RDOS trails report—Barry L., Denis O’Gorman, Jeff Brown

11. Weyerhauser reps, RDOS trail reps presentation to APOA membership:

A. Feb. 9th. out—this is Apex Ski Club fundraiser date

B. Mar. 9th. tie-in to a planned social event on the hill being initiated by the Gunbarrel

C. At our A G M Mar. 23rd.

12. Discussion—who is running again for Board/how to get new blood

13. Adjourn for potluck

Newsletter – Dec. 3 2012

Posted by: Johnny Smoke  /  Category: Archived Posts

Hello Members–


Here’s the latest news from your Board, and for those who may not know who the Board is, we are:

Julia Valenti, Pres.
Phil Rathjen, Vice Pres.
Barry Leigh, Treasurer
Suzie Anderson, Secretary
Geri Sobool
Jane Drapeau
Phyllis Matthews


  1.  Thank you to those that have renewed or are newly joined. We are 58 memberships strong and constantly strive to increase that number. To that end, Phil Rathjen and Jane Drapeau produced our new color brochure and sent them with the water bills. Next up is plastic sleeves with the brochures in them to be placed on village business counters. As well, each Board member is seeking out all strata Presidents so we can contact them to contact their members and garner new members for APOA. It would be helpful for any of you to send us the contact information for YOUR strata Presidents to prathjen@shaw.ca. Your help is appreciated.
  2. Our website is managed by John Matthews who has created an attractive place to browse APOA information. Check it out at www.apexpropertyowners.com. Also pick up Apex Matters for occasional articles written by Board members.
  3. Phyllis Matthews is our Argo rep and will be attempting, again, to convince them to leave some snow on Creekview Crossing so we all don’t damage our skis and boards on road grit. We are pleased to have FINALLY gotten the warning signs up that it IS a crossing and for vehicles to use caution.
  4. Geri Sobool is in contact with JP. Squire to encourage the publication of Apex happenings in his weekly outdoors column. It seems to be a rather messy backroom situation that has been going on for a number of years and that your Board is attempting to mediate.
  5. We are planning a membership gathering during the season that will feature some sort of presentation of interest to our members with a non ticketed social afterwards. We have some ideas but welcome input of topics of interest to you. Send your ideas to rjvalenti@nethop.net.
  6. Weyerhauser has sent the Board a large map detailing their logging plans in the Apex Alpine over the next few years. It is concerning. We are forming a subcommittee to meet with the Weyerhauser Forestry Supervisor when he is available. Denis O’Gorman and Jeff Brown have stepped forward for this committee and we welcome more. If you are interested please contact Julia at the e-mail stated in #5. This committee may also address trails and use thereof and be meeting with the RDOS.
  7. Our next Board meeting is Jan. 26th. and will conclude with a potluck. We are actively seeking Board members to be voted in at the March AG.M. If you are interested in serving, you are invited to attend this Jan. meeting and potluck to get an idea of who we are and what we do. Our work load is not difficult nor particularly time consuming but it IS important and we know there are members out there who would serve the APOA well and happily. Give this idea consideration and e-mail Julia. Not only will you see how the Board works, you’ll be in on a great potluck meal and a fun evening with fun people! Your significant other is also welcome.


Enjoy your holiday season with family and friends in our beautiful alpine scenery and air. We are all so fortunate to be able to recreate as we do in such splendor with such splendid people!

Julia Valenti, Pres. APOA