Gilpin mudslide under investigation

The Forest Practices Board will be investigating a mudslide in the Gilpin Grasslands region.

The Forest Practices Board will be investigating a mudslide in the Gilpin Grasslands region.

The Forest Practices Board will be investigating a mudslide in the Gilpin Grasslands region.

The Forest Practices Board will be investigating a mudslide in the Gilpin Grasslands region.

The complaint came from Barry Brandow, a long-time guide outfitter.

Brandow has long been against cattle grazing in the provincial park and lodged the complaint because he believes the culprit is likely linked to the cattle.

Brandow argues that the money that comes from allowing cattle to graze those lands is not worth it.

“Ranchers are charged at best 1/6 the free market price for their AUMs (animal unit months) $2.00 and change versus $14.16 in the private sector per cow/calf a month,” Brandow said, adding that in 2009, B.C. ranchers owned 4.5 per cent of the beef herd, while our Albertan neighbours owned 40 per cent. Brandow wonders why the province is squandering our grasslands for such a small portion of the herd.

During a recent field trip to the Gilpin Creek slide, Brandow gave MLA John Slater a letter addressing range cattle on Interfor silviculture investments, trees that were planted and allegedly grazed and walked on by cattle.

Another thing that Brandow brings up is the impact that cattle may have on water supplies, such as possible tainted water outbreaks.

Mayor Brian Taylor, who is familiar with the Gilpin situation, said there are issues with the park that he saw at a field trip to the Gilpin.

“It’s in a situation where there are still problems with the cows in the water system there in the riparian areas,” Taylor said. “What the group is looking at, is a wildlife management area, that would recognize the kinds of problems that are created with the wildlife when we allow the cows into the Gilpin in some of the sensitive areas.”

Rob Thompson, the employee that Brandow registered the complaint with, from the Forest Practices Board, confirmed that the investigation was underway.

He couldn’t comment on any other details while the investigation was ongoing.

Darlene Oman, director of communications at the Forest Practices Board, explained the process.

Staff will investigate the complaint and then prepare a report.

“It may include some recommendations possibly,” Oman said. “That report goes to the board and if anyone is adversely affected by what the report says, then we have an obligation to provide then with a copy and give them an opportunity to make presentations to the board.”

The board would then produce a final report, which will be published on the Forest Practices Board website, as well as sent out to an email distribution list. Anyone interested can sign up for the distribution list at www.fpb.gov.bc.ca.