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Old 21-06-2011, 18:47   #1
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Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye ?

I have just received a copy of a marina / mooring field proposal that will eliminate any possibility of anchoring in Squirrel Cove.

Responses to the proposal are being accepted until June 30.

If you want a copy, PM me.
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Old 21-06-2011, 22:55   #2
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

This a map / chart of the proposal.

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Old 22-06-2011, 10:38   #3
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

This is the Klahoose First Nations that proposing it but so far it looks to me like they haven't made application to the government but are only talking aout amongst themselves? klahoose.com: Articles_

They say they've made "application for occupation" of the cove from the Ministry of Resources but my understanding is that they'll need foreshore leases from the Ministry of Agriculture and Lands plus further permissions from the Dept. of Fisheries. I suspect that the MoR was about getting access to the forestry lands that surround the bay. To obtain the foreshore leases they need to either own the land or have permission to use the land that abutts the lease. It's a requirement of application for the lease. Some of the land there is tribal land. The mooring fields would require application to the DoF as would moving their shellfish license.

According to that link there is a meeting of band members to discuss proceeding so I don't think they've begun the application process.
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Old 22-06-2011, 11:04   #4
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

Obviously this would be a disaster. There's precious few good sheltered anchorages here as it is. Losing this one would be huge. Is there someone or some agency we should start putting pressure on? Thank you for highlighting this.

Bob - on Gray Hawk - stern tied on the west bank of Squirrel Cove
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Old 22-06-2011, 13:29   #5
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

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Originally Posted by hummingway View Post

According to that link there is a meeting of band members to discuss proceeding so I don't think they've begun the application process.
They have applied.

There is a space for comments on the web page. Deadline Aug 31.

Applications and Reasons for Decision
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Old 22-06-2011, 15:00   #6
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

Unfortunately that site isn't functioning properly at the moment.

It's a curious approach they're taking, trying to wrap the entire cove up in one application. I doubt AL can give them the right to do the mooring fields. The first phase, the marina, the land above the foreshore is band land I don't see a problem with that part but taking the whole cove seems grossly overstepping reasonable use. Securing the rights for something they might do also seems suspicious. The application mentions facilities that will be developed on band land for the boaters makes me wonder if they're thinking about a casino down the road.
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Old 22-06-2011, 15:22   #7
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

Quote:
Obviously this would be a disaster. There's precious few good sheltered anchorages here as it is. Losing this one would be huge. Is there someone or some agency we should start putting pressure on?
I would suggest you call PM Harper and explain they are taking away free anchoring rights in order to make money.
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Old 26-06-2011, 20:16   #8
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

My thoughts

Quote:
In the past few days I have become aware of a plan by the Klahoose First Nation to "develop" Squirrel Cove. The plan is to turn what amounts to the entire cove into a marina and mooring field. This is both environmentally and economically unsustainable.

Only part of Squirrel Cove, northwest of Protection Island, is a no-discharge zone. That means the entire marina complex and 107 single mooring balls are not subject to discharge controls of any sort. The remaining single and double mooring points are not subject to grey water controls with the ability to dump a large quantity of detergent into the cove. As is pointed out in the proposal, Squirrel Cove is an enclosed space and likely subject to limited flushing during tidal shifts. With a capacity of close to 400 vessels, the cove will be quickly rendered inhospitable.

In my experience of over 20 years of visiting Desolation Sound and the surrounding area, the reason that it is attractive is its isolation. Those who visit are not interested in the amenities that can be found in the Gulf and San Juan Islands; they enjoy the solitude. The area is already well served by the facilities that these cruisers require. Both Lund and Refuge Cove can provide fuel. These two locales and the existing store at Squirrel Cove can provide the necessary provisions. As a result, I expect that this proposal will drive away, rather than attract, clients.

This is a classic example of “paving paradise….”
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Old 26-06-2011, 20:57   #9
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

I just spent a night in Squirrel Cove this week. I noticed what appeared to be a new hotel/motel type building just outside the entrance to the cove but it didn't yet look occupied.

It's been a couple years since I was around these parts but I didn't remember having cell phone service in Squirrel Cove and Prideaux Haven before. Good booming signal now...

Civilization is on it's way but I seriously doubt you'll get 400 boats in Squirrel Cove. There weren't a tenth of that number in the whole of Desolation Sound this past week.
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Old 26-06-2011, 22:01   #10
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

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I just spent a night in Squirrel Cove this week. I noticed what appeared to be a new hotel/motel type building just outside the entrance to the cove but it didn't yet look occupied.
I think that is the admin building for the Klahoose.

Quote:
It's been a couple years since I was around these parts but I didn't remember having cell phone service in Squirrel Cove and Prideaux Haven before. Good booming signal now...
There is a cell tower at Sarah Point. I have had good reception there lately.
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Old 27-06-2011, 10:02   #11
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

The application website still doesn't seem to be funtioning properly but I sent a message using the link on the site asking them to deny the application as it is not in the best interest of the cove or the needs of boaters in general.
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Old 27-06-2011, 10:20   #12
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

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The application website still doesn't seem to be funtioning properly but I sent a message using the link on the site asking them to deny the application as it is not in the best interest of the cove or the needs of boaters in general.
I did use the comments page, I hope it worked. I did get a response. I have also sent a letter to Pacific Yachting. Apparently their July issue has a story on the development.
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Old 17-07-2011, 12:52   #13
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Re: Kiss Squirrel Cove Goodbye?

I was able to leave a comment. In case it is helpful to others in making theirs (not that I am attempting to influence your responses), here are my comments:

---
This application, if approved, would create serious environmental, safety, fairness and aesthetic concerns.
1) Squirrel cove is a protected body of water with minimal flushing. Currently, it can support a reasonable number of anchored vessels, which place a reasonable environmental load on the body of water. Increasing the number of vessels in the cove to such a large degree would place incredible environmental pressures on the area.
2) There are few safe anchorages in this area. Turning the entirety of Squirrel Cove into a commercial marina would remove the safe anchorages that exist now. This is a serious concern for safety - if a storm kicks up and the marina is full (or expensive), where can a boater safely go? They will be forced back into the Georgia Strait to find alternative safe refuge - which can be very dangerous any time of year depending on conditions.
3) An application such as this, which converts an entire cove (a rare and beautiful resource) from use by all to being a commercial venture to benefit only the owners, is a gross and arrogant affront to any idea of fairness. There are precious few natural coves such as this, and once taken out of "public" hands, they cannot easily be returned. Nor are we able to manufacture additional such coves.
4) Finally, from a simple aesthetic point of view, what we have now is a beautiful natural resource and destination. Many would agree that turning this into a crowded commercial marina is an irrevocable step backward.
---
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