Community wins Cherry Creek quarry fight
The Chief Gold Commissioner for the Province has designated a 400+ acre area surrounding Cherry Creek Falls as a Mineral No Registration Reserve. Commissioner May Mah-Paulson notified Amy Bowns, the tenure holder, and Bob Johnstone, President of the Meadowbrook Community Association (MCA) of her decision in an e-mail late on March 15, 2013. In it she states, “The purpose of this mineral reserve is to ensure that no new mineral claims are registered (acquired) in the site referred to as: Cherry Creek Falls (Site 1006282).”
Johnstone said the MCA Board was delighted with the news. “Bill Bennett, MLA for East Kootenay and Minister for Community, Sport and Cultural Development, and Doug Clovechok, BC Liberal candidate for Columbia River – Revelstoke have been actively working hard with provincial officials, the tenure holder and us, but we were not sure if they would succeed. The persistent and persuasive efforts of Bill and Doug have enabled our community to save Cherry Creek Falls for the enjoyment of future generations.”
The MCA will pay the holder $51,000 in compensation for forfeiting the tenure. The MCA has already raised the funds through donations and grants. Johnstone said the association appreciates the many individuals and organizations that contributed and has plans to formally acknowledge them in the near future. He also thanked the Kimberley & District Community Foundation for establishing a special fund so individuals could receive tax receipts for their donations.
Now that the reserve has been obtained, the Regional District of East Kootenay (RDEK) will be able proceed with plans for a day use only regional park in the area closest to the Falls. The MCA Park Committee will offer assistance and guidance to the RDEK staff regarding the park. The remainder of the reserve will be available for recreational use.
The MCA has enjoyed the support of the RDEK Board and the staff of its Planning Department. “In particular, Johnstone said, “I would like to express our Board’s appreciation to Area E Director, Jane Walter, for her steadfast opposition to the proposed quarry and her untiring efforts towards creation of a regional park”.
The MCA was founded on April 5, 2012. In less than a year the Association has incorporated as a society, signed up 179 members, obtained a reserve surrounding Cherry Creek Falls and raised the more than $50,000 required. “It has been a very busy first year”, Johnstone said, “But the determination, dedication, and diligence of my colleagues on the Board: Marie Kohlman, Sandra Loewen, John Lyon, David Mayes, Margaret Mayes and Marty Musser, have ensured it has been a rewarding one”.