UPDATED DECEMBER 4, 2019, 9:30 pm
There are always changes going on in Rossland Range Recreation Site – whether it’s more logging by Atco, or volunteers improving cabins, or replacing of old cabins with newer cabins, or thinning or glading, or doing FireSmart work to reduce fire hazard, or filling woodsheds with firewood for the winter season … and more. Here are the main things you need to know now, or might want to know even if you don’t need to:
UPDATE: A family's pet dog was killed by a fast-moving vehicle on the highway beside the highway-side parking lot at Strawberry Pass very recently. DOG OWNERS: Please be aware that the "overflow" parking lot, down the driveway beside the map kiosk, is a much safer place to let dogs out of vehicles.
The speed limit is 100 km/hr on that highway, and is unlikely to be lowered in spite of many people's opinions that the maximum speed on 3-B ought to be 80 km/hr.
Friends of the Rossland Range Society has made the Ministry of Transportation aware of the hazard to people -- particularly children -- and pets, but the "Congested Area" signs that MoT has erected are not effective.
Recreation users must be cautious when crossing the highway and when releasing pets from vehicles. FORRS highly recommends using the overflow parking area, especially for pets and small children. Please, everyone, be careful.
1. Booty’s cabin has had its exterior cladding completed! It would still benefit from a coat of light-coloured paint on the interior to brighten things up. Here’s a little-known fact about Booty’s: the funding to buy the materials to build the cabin was provided by a group of his family members, unbeknownst to him, to celebrate one of Kim Deane’s birthdays -- we aren’t sure which one. Maybe all of them. The work of constructing the cabin was all done by volunteers.
2. Igloo cabin is in the process of being replaced, and is not currently very visitor-friendly at all. It’s being used to store building materials for the new version, and we’re had reports that it’s also storing quite a lot of rodent turds on every horizontal surface. If anyone is moved to go there and try to ameliorate the poop situation, please do take a high-quality dust mask and wear it before stirring up any dust. You never know what disease agents might be lurking – your lungs (and you) might suffer. A new summer route to Igloo has been flagged, avoiding the swampy area.
3. A new accessible trail is under construction at Strawberry Pass. It has been cleared and mostly leveled, but is still rough, rocky and a bit muddy, and needs to have a layer of fine crush compacted to make a wheel-chair-friendly surface. This project was funded by Area B of the Regional District of Kootenay Boundary, thanks to Area B director Linda Worley, and by Columbia Basin Trust and Rec Sites and Trails BC. Many volunteer hours went into the design and construction, but local contractors had to do some of the clearing and leveling work with machinery, and next year, will have to haul and compact the crush for the final surface treatment. But the route is open now for anyone to trundle around on skis or snowshoes. The route makes a loop around most of the Strawberry Pass gravel pit, and goes through the forest on the south side. Growing trees will soon increase the “forest” component of the route where it is now more open. Plans are being developed for a ramp to make Booty’s Cabin accessible from the trail.
4. Parking: the spacious “overflow” parking area is now open. Follow the driveway beside the new kiosk and map. Feeling grateful for all this? Go to the website at https://www.rosslandrange.org/ and click on the “Donate” button on the lower left-hand side of the page. Donations of $20 or more are eligible for a tax receipt. Or you can drop a bit of cash into the donation box beside the kiosk - it’s emptied daily. Remember, Friends of the Rossland Range Society pays big bucks to get the parking area plowed for all of us. It can’t be done as often as we would like, so there may be a berm from the highway plowing – everyone is advised to have a good shovel in their vehicle for such occasions. And, please, NEVER block the driveway to the back (overflow) parking area.
5. Volunteers are the heart of the Rec Site and always have been. Anyone who enjoys using the area can be a volunteer to keep that heart alive and healthy – it’s good fun! Cabin work, firewood, thinning and glading (also known as spacing). . . These efforts are best coordinated by the person responsible for a particular aspect of maintenance and improvement. You can find the right person at the “Contacts” page – for a warm welcome and all the information you’ll need, go to: https://www.rosslandrange.org/RRRS/contacts.html
6. There are new stoves in two of the cabins, thanks to our supportive and helpful District Recreation Officer, Justin Dexter. See if you can identify them.
And now . . . please keep doing those snow dances. Please.