Re: Letter to the Editor “respect private property when exploring” from Ellen Clements CEO Kettle River Resources/ New Nadina published on April 13.
Once again I feel the need to respond to statements made by Ms. Clements.
The map submitted by Ms Clements is not a map showing the boundary of private property that she or her company owns—it is a map that shows land that has been titled in the past (Crown granted). The map shows parcels and lots that are surface titled.
Who owns this land now? Who knows? She may own some or none, there could be multiple owners. The fact is that many lots in Phoenix reverted back to the Crown for non-payment of taxes when the town was abandoned. If you go to Ms. Clements’ site, nadina.com, it clearly states this in the 2006 Caron report.
By law the regional district should have put them up for sale in tax sales but they have not done so—all these reverted lots as well as public sites and streets remain public property. Much of this land now belongs to the Crown.
I have worked very hard to try and determine what if any land New Nadina has Crown-granted surface rights to in the Phoenix area with no avail. There is no website or resource online that will let me determine who owns any of the hundreds of titles up there.
The links and maps she has provided are useless. They only show leases and mineral tenures.
All she would have to do is provide me with the folio numbers of the land she owns from any property assessments she receives. I could then visit the BC Assessment site and plot those folio numbers on the land titles map and respect her property as she requested.
Despite several requests for this information, it has not been provided—you cannot complain that people are trespassing on your land when nobody knows what land you own or where the boundaries are.
I have made many trips up to the Phoenix mine area and not seen anything indicating private land ownership. No markings of any boundary or signs except the one sign that was posted by Noranda at least 30 years ago that is located on Crown land on the Monarch claim as far as I am able to determine.
At the very least they could produce a map showing their property lines on Google Earth. The maps they have provided don’t show their property, any currant roads or geographical features such as lakes roads or any coordinates. So I don’t think they are in a position to complain that me or anyone else isn’t respecting their property.
Lastly anyone visiting the abandoned underground portals, adits and stopes in the Phoenix area is probably not trespassing on anybody’s land. Most of the entrances to the mines are located on the Rawhide, Monarch, Bank of England and War Eagle claims. These claims are and always were on Crown land.
Perhaps some tunnels may go under private land but that is not trespass. Surface rights are just that—surface rights. Nobody owns the space over or under their land.
– Frank Schlichtung, Grand Forks