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Selections from fortnightly news reports about 108 Mile Ranch

Reporter: Colin Campbell (Phone 791-5552)
Reproduced with permission from the 100 Mile Free Press

ARCHIVE - 2004

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Mel Warkentin tried his luck fishing on 108 LakeDecember 23, 2004

Pine beetle trees to be buzzed

The 108 Greenbelt Commission is putting the word out early so that residents are not startled by the sound of chainsaws in their beloved Walker Valley. At the December 13 wind-up meeting, commissioners gave the go-ahead to seek bids for the removal of mountain pine beetle-killed trees on a 10-acre parcel on the valley's west side off Tatton Road. Logging will commence some time in February, and is expected to last around one and a half weeks. A small group of trees on the east side is also being considered for a buzz cut. Clearing the dead wood will also help reduce the fire hazard. Sometime after the new year, work will continue at various locations around the 108 Ranch to clean up piles of material from previous thinning and logging, and to complete the installation of walk-through gates and metal gates at the horse pastures and Walker Valley.

Mel Warkentin tried his luck fishing on 108 Lake Dec. 12.

Quiet time

There being nothing else to report, it remains only to wish everyone best wishes of the season, and to pass on especially warm thoughts and thanks to the many volunteers who contribute so much to our enjoyment of life at 108 Mile.

December 9, 2004

108 Mile dog sledder Adrian MessnerMusher welcomes snow

Cross-country skiers and snowmobilers are not the only ones happy to see the local trails accumulating snow. 108 Mile dog sledder Adrian Messner is delighted to be shedding his fall practice wheels for sled runners. Messner has been running a mixed team of Siberian Huskies, Siberian Akita, malamute and Bernese/ Husky crosses for the past six years purely for recreation. He has no plans to compete. The team train in the fall using wheels in place of runners, much to the surprise of hikers who occasionally come upon the dogs yelping their way around Succour Lake and the other area trails. Managing the dogs is a family affair, noted Messner. The dogs themselves are considered "family" and allowed in the house. Adrian builds the sleds and harnesses, while his wife, Maureen, walks the dogs and assists with the harnessing. In addition to driving the team, Messner enjoys skijoring, a sport of Scandinavian origin which sees the driver on Nordic skis pulled along behind the dogs.

Scouts out cold

The local Scouting troop members showed their mettle when they took part in a winter weekend hike and campout in the Carment/Simon lakes area Nov. 27 and 28. Five Venture Scouts along with three leaders hiked for five hours in an old growth Douglas fir reserve by Simon Lake. In addition to undertaking compass work, the lads practiced no trace camping and cold weather camping.


The record of new businesses in the 108 Mall has been a spotty one, but a pair of new enterprises may help reverse that trend and add some much needed zest to the establishment. Julie Odermatt has opened The Artist Studio and Gallery where she sells arts and crafts, and offers classes in a method of hand-painting giftware called one-stroke painting. At the other end of the mall, Anita Edwards' Artists' Co-operative provides a space where artists can teach or work, or just pop in to drink coffee and discuss art. If the co-op works out, she "would love to turn this into an art school down the road," she said.

November 24, 2004

A fundraiser for Books For Babies, a family literacy project providing books for newborns in the community, was held Nov. 20 at the 108 Mile Elementary School.

Nordic Skiers Are Gearing Up

The 100 Mile Nordics conducted a successful ski swap Nov. 6 at Gunnar's Ski Shop, netting a small profit and signing up a number of members for the club. Club officials also sold season trail passes at the swap, the costs of which remain the same as last year with the addition of a seniors rate. Prior to Dec. 1, the rates are as follows Single pass $80, Family $160, Seniors $65, Students $55, Day Passes $8. After Dec. 1, prices rise by $10, with the exception of the family pass, which increases by $20. Day passes remain at $8. Passes are good for both the 108 and 99 Mile trail systems. Trail-setter, Brian Rasmussen, points out the importance of purchasing passes. "It costs between $110 and $120 an hour to set trail and we need to recoup as much of these costs as possible." Rasmussen will be patrolling the 108 trails this year to inform those not displaying passes of the need to purchase one. "They will be approached by a friendly, emphasis on friendly, ski patroller," he states, "and asked to buy a pass."

Oh deer!

The resident 108 deer herd is finding out the hard way that suburban living has its drawbacks. In the past two weeks there have been two auto/deer collisions in the Ranch area. The latest victim was the beautiful buck which met its demise crossing the highway by the Heritage Site.

November 10, 2004

Mile 108 Elementary School Book FairGrads invite people for dessert and bidding

Mile 108 Elementary School's week-long Book Fair turned out to be a boon for individual readers, as well as adding to the library and classroom collections. Total sales amounted to $2,600. This sum yielded a profit of $700 that the school utilized to make book purchases.

Tiana Dykstra (left to right), Amy Dykstra and Adriana Jenkins stopped by the bestsellers table at the Mile 108 Elementary School Book Fair which took place Oct. 25-29.

Firefighter honoured

The long service and dedicated volunteerism of the 108 Volunteer Fire Department's deputy fire chief, Steve Fouchier, was recognized at the recent Cariboo Regional District Fire Chief's Workshop in Williams Lake. Fouchier was presented with his 25-year medal and pin at the evening banquet.

Scout stuff

Need to get some weight in your vehicle for winter driving, or anticipating a flood? The local Scouting group has sandbags for sale at the 108 Gas Station. The price is $3 per bag, and all proceeds go to Scouting activities. In other Scouts news, the kids are off to their campsite at Green Lake on the weekend, to enjoy some winter camping. The group will be tenting and taking part in winter survival activities such as shelter-building.

No monster

Thank you to the nice lady who called about the lake monster. I couldn't locate it, but I did get a nice picture of a flotilla of geese.


Some seasonal activities on the horizon. The annual 108 Mile Community Kids' Christmas Party is scheduled for Dec. 5 at the community hall. On Dec. 11, Santa will be at the 108 Mall, courtesy of the mall merchants. If all goes as planned, Santa is expected to arrive by dog sled.

October 27, 2004

108 Ranch Community Association AGM
The 108 Ranch Community Association annual general meeting was held Oct. 20.

AGM fills out directors roster

A small crowd was on hand at the 108 Community Hall Oct. 20 to elect directors, and hear the fire chief and others present their annual committee reports at the Ranch Community Association annual general meeting. Chair Joni McLeod called for nominations to fill four vacant director positions. Mina Mutch, Peg Rosen, Gerard Mulders and Doug Belcham were elected by acclamation bringing the number of directors to its full complement of 12. Among the many topics outlined and discussed at the meeting were the "terrible twins", spruce budworm and western pine beetle, the Lac la Hache transfer station, future funding for the community bus, and access trails to greenbelt areas. Director Maggie Pugh made an appeal for volunteers to assist at the weekly bingo sessions. "Help is desperately needed", she said, and went on to outline the various ways in which bingo income supports the 108 community.The community hall is the main recipient of "bingo bucks." Without this, the hall likely would not be able to operate, she said. A question directed to Pugh asked if potential volunteers were being put off by the incendiary nature of bingo. Pugh replied that communities such as 100 Mile House and Lac la Hache where non-smoking rules apply have seen a 50 per cent drop in attendance at games, and pointed out that the 108 hall has excellent air circulation.

Transfer station

One of the topics raised at the above meeting centered around the use and misuse of the Lac la Hache Transfer Station. Al Richmond, a Cariboo Regional District director, stressed that the station is not a landfill and that large loads should be taken to the 100 Mile facility. Richmond did indicate that despite what the sign says, wood products can be brought to the transfer station, providing the wood, including branches, is cut up into small enough chunks to be fed into the container slots. This is good news for those off us who don't appreciate getting dust up our noses from the drive up Exeter Road and getting pooed on by seagulls at the landfill.


108 Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ian Henderson suggested that now would be a very good time to do some fire prevention work around the house and yard. In addition to cleaning up yard debris, householders are advised to check smoke detectors, replace batteries if needed, and above all to have chimneys cleaned for winter. Finally, the chief encourages residents to post their numbers close to the street where they can be easily read by the firefighters should they be called out. He noted that too many households have numbers on the house only, and many are unreadable from the road.

October 13, 2004

What goes up illegally must come down

It is a familiar scenario: youngsters looking for fun and excitement build a structure on public land, authority gets wind of it, liability issues are raised and the structure has to be dismantled. In this instance the structure was an elaborate two-part piece of architecture constructed within the greenbelt bounded by Smith Road, Canium Court and Hansen Court. A great deal of work had obviously gone into creating the ramp and 12-foot bike jump, and no doubt the young daredevils were having a great time leaping off into space and landing in the spongy depression about 20 feet below. Unfortunately, as 108 Greenbelt Commission Chair Graham Allison pointed out in a letter to area residents, there were concerns around liability and he had no choice but to ask that the structures be taken down. Otherwise arrangements would be made to have them dismantled and removed.

Thistle thoughts

Still with the greenbelt, questions have been raised as to the viability of spending money to thwack thistles when it really doesn't do much, if anything, to stop them spreading.Asked about this, Allison acknowledged that the yearly weedwacking may have little more than a cosmetic effect, and has invited the public to submit their ideas and proven remedies for dealing with the infestation. Pulling them out individually by hand works and so does the application of weeedkiller, but neither is a viable option. Other ideas are welcomed.

108 online

Here's a plug here for the Jeffrey Newman-maintained 108 Ranch Community Association Web site - Of special interest is the forum for guests featuring messages from visitors to the area, ex-residents looking to remain in contact and people seeking information about 108 Mile. An e-mail last month from an Andrew Mclean, of Perth, Scotland, seeks information about a family named Stevenson (presumably 108ers) with whom he has lost touch. The 108 site has received over 11,000 hits since it was set up in 2002.

Fleas raise cash

The final 108 Lions Club Flea Market and concession of the year netted $1,200 which goes back into the community in the form of projects, scholarships and other good deeds.

The 108 Lion's Club-sponsored Doggie Walk Oct. 3 brought in $433 for Gude Dogs for the Blind. Corporate and other donations are expected to swell this sum before the books are closed.


Scouts ahoy

The local Scouting group has added to its canoe fleet with the purchase of an additional three vessels. They are in better condition and likely to prove more reliable than certain submarines that have been in the news recently.

September 29, 2004

Ducks Unlimited to dedicate cairn

Attendees from across the province and Alberta will gather in Walker Valley Oct. 23 for a dedication ceremony honouring the retirement of Murray Clarke, a Ducks Unlimited (D.U.) Canada employee. Clarke, who was instrumental in the planning, development and construction of the Walker Valley project, spent many years in the Cariboo before retiring to the Peace Country where he remains involved in the organization's waterfowl projects. D.U. has received permission from the 108 Greenbelt Committee to erect a cairn just off the main trail near the first dam north of Tatton Road. "Given Murray's dedication to the cause, the cairn is a tribute to the beauty of the area and to Murray for his work there," the D.U. announcement said. Next for the group is the D.U. Dinner Auction Nov. 13, starting at 5:30 p.m. at The Hills Health Ranch. Call Dave Simkins or Eamon McArdle at 395-2900 for more.

Ranch association

The Ranch Community Association (RCA) annual general meeting will take place in the 108 Community Hall Oct. 20, starting at 7 p.m. The meeting will feature reports from various ranch and Cariboo Regional District personnel, and volunteers, followed by elections to replace three, and possibly four, outgoing directors. Nominations are required for prospective candidates and the person to call is the RCA chair, Joni MacLeod, at 791-6379. At that time MacLeod will be pleased to outline in detail what is required of an association director. In the meantime, MacLeod advised that RCA directors are elected for two-year terms, meet once a month to follow up on residents' concerns, examine planning issues and deal with various items of business related to management of the community hall. "The position of director is interesting and does not require a huge investment of time," said Macleod.

Youth groups

Back to school marks the startup of those youth organizations that have been dormant over the summer. Guides, Brownies and Sparks are already under way. Guides and Brownies meet Tuesdays at Mile 108 Elementary. Contacts are Heather Wood at 791-7320 for Brownies and Joy at 791-5664 for Guides. Sparks meet Wednesdays at the school, and the contact is Karen Sinclair 791-6636. For any other branches of guiding, the contact is Sabena Thompson at 395-5102. Expect cookie traffickers at your door sometime in October. Also under way, or getting there, are Ventures, Scouts, Cubs and Beavers. Mark Seilis at 791-5357 is the Ventures contact. Ken Stainthorpe at 395-1703 is the Scouting contact. For information on Cubs, phone Christina Wells at 395-1703. The Beavers group meets at the 100 Mile United Church, and the contact is Sara Smith at 395-2704.


The 108 Lions Club was visited recently by Zone Chair Harvey Allen, of the Interlakes Lions. Allen presented awards to outgoing office holders Horst Ellermann and Eamon McArdle, while Roger Goldberg received the President's Appreciation Award and Chris Nickless was awarded Lion of the Year for his "quiet and steady work behind the scenes."

108 Lions Club member Chris Nickless was awarded Lion of the Year by Harvey Allen, the Zone chairman.

Lake levels

Obviously several centimetres of rain does not translate into a corresponding increase in lake levels. The resident lake watcher, Anne Swann, recorded just a one centimetre rise on 108 Lake despite several soggy weeks preceding. "Very mysterious," she noted, puzzled as to where all that precipitation went.

September 15, 2004

From left: Coco the dog, Kylie Andrews, Dave Andrews, Janelle Wolfindale and Jason Wolfindale went on a family fishing outing one evening recently at 108 Lake.

Mile 108 School bucks the trend

While school closures and dropping enrolment have been the trend elsewhere of late, the local elementary school has moved in the opposite direction and recorded higher than anticipated student numbers. Principal Cori Wickes and her staff were expecting a drop in enrolment as a result of the Grade 7 class moving up to 100 Mile Junior Secondary School and a substantial drop in kindergarten registration. As it turned out, newcomers swelled the ranks to the tune of 37 additional registrations, for a total of 247 students, permitting little elbow room in some locations. "Every class is full and we desperately need a portable classroom to use as a multipurpose room," Wickes said. The school has seen some changes over the summer. Susan Armeneau and Janet McGregor are staffing additions, as are student teachers Cheryl Campsall and Caroline Cushing, who will be working alongside the regular staff until January. Donna Dixon, formerly secretary at Forest Grove Elementary, has also been welcomed to the Mile 108 staff. Maintenance staff did some inside and outside sprucing up of the building, there were additions to staff and the parent advisory committee contributed a nifty outside announcement board. The new noticeboard hasn't faired too well in its short life, proving to be a magnate for individuals who thought it a jolly idea to swipe many of the letters. Look for the board to be idiot-proofed soon with some sort of covering.

Flea market

The 108 Lions Club Flea Market is Sunday, Sept. 19, starting at 9 a.m. at the 108 Community Hall.

More Leos

The Lions Club will be conducting its Annual Dog Walk Oct. 3. The purpose of the outing is to raise funds for Guide Dogs for the Blind. This is the fourth such event locally. Between $1,000 and $1,200 has been raised each year. Pooches are asked to tug their owners to the main beach by 1 p.m. for the walk around Sepa Lake.


The 108 Greenbelt Commission may be about to receive some assistance for its on-going fire prevention work on areas of the greenbelt. Discussions have taken place with the youth organization Katimavik. As well, the commission has applied for a grant to provide added workers and speed up the clearing process.

Bear bait

The bruins are currently embracing the Zone Diet with a view to consuming everything edible within one zone before moving on to the next. If you have anything tasty growing or lying around outside: garbage, apple-laden trees, open compost or small children covered in maple syrup, you can expect the furry ones will sniff you out and drop by.If there's nothing tasty on your premises the creatures will move on through. Unfortunately, garbage pick up is early in the morning in some parts of the ranch, but if it is at all possible to set the cans out that morning rather than leave them out all night, that would help discourage the marrauders.

September 1, 2004

Rain brings relief from the summer's heat

The tennis players might not agree, but the recent rains have been welcomed on a number of fronts.The long, hot spell had been taking its toll of 108 Lake. A reading July 28 showed the water level was five centimetres (two inches) below that recorded in November 2003, which is considered the low benchmark.A volunteer lake-watcher, Ann Swann, termed the drop due to evaporation "considerable." The golf course meantime, has been cutting back significantly on its allowable intake of lake water. In part this is due to a change in policy implemented by the course superintendent, Kathy Cooper, but also due to problems with the pumps when the water gets low. "Next year we may have to look for a new source of water," Cooper indicated.

Former resident Sheila Leir, with Nikki, recently holidayed at her parents' 108 Mile home

Lake stocked

Trevor Andrews, of the Williams Lake office of the Ministry of Water, Land and Air Protection, said that 108 Lake received a restocking of blackwater rainbow trout fry in May. The majority of this complement are apparantly less likely than their predecessors to succumb to predation. Fishers interested in finding out more about the restocking can do so at Fish Wizard.

Nature notes

Speaking of things fishy, were it not corroborated by several pairs of eyes, this next item might smack of something finny. While filling me in on the latest lake data, Ann Swann reported that a great blue heron, an occasional visitor to this area, was observed by at least four persons to have gulped down a squirrel. Herons, we know, routinely dine on frogs and fish fry, but it seems a stretch (no pun intended) for one to wolf back a rodent. One can only assume that it was driving the bird nuts. On the bruin front, there have been many sightings around the ranch recently, but this year's crop appears much better behaved than the ones that got into so much trouble last year. Have't heard of any dispatchings, but with the berries withering on the vine, this could change as the furry ones seek to fatten up for the hockey season.

108 Lions Club

While the busy season for the Leos is a month or two away yet, the summer has seen some activity with members adapting a trailer to haul their ice boat, and constructing a number of picnic tables for the 108 Community Hall. The next Lions' activity is the flea market Sunday, Sept. 19.

Not allowed

Instances of residents thinning and removing lakeshore vegetation have been reported, with one occurence of cutting willows being referred to the bylaw inspector. Graham Allison, the 108 Greenbelt Commission chairman, reminds lakeshore and vicinity residents that the lakeshore is greenbelt wildlife habitat, and that there is to be no thinning or cutting there.

Anniversary Congratulations to long-time ranch residents Al and Jack Blannin, who celebrated their 50th wedding anniversary Aug. 28.

August 18, 2004

Cause of fire as yet unknown

Following a flurry of activity late last month which saw the 108 Volunteer Fire Department attend two house fires in succession and some brush burns, things have been mercifully quiet on the Ranch fire scene. Investigation of the fire at a home on Mooneyaw Road points to a probable electrical source. The Smith Road home fire, meanwhile, remains under investigation. Fire Chief Ian Henderson reminded residents that the ban on outdoor burning remains in effect, but that it is permissible "to have a little camp fire on your own property".

Thistles thwacked

Greenbelt activity this summer included the hiring of a crew to clear thistle infestation at various locations around the Ranch. Crew boss Byron Nixon noted that the project, now in its third year, is paying dividends.Clearing at the West Beach took only two hours versus one and a half days last year.

Logging considered

The 108 Greenbelt Committee "may be looking at some selective logging to reduce fire hazard," according to Chair Graham Allison. Areas under consideration are greenbelt between Thompson and Kylo; Kallum and Easzee, Easzee and Monical, and Monical and Smith.The committee is pleased with the thinning work that was done behind the pump house this spring and the thinking is to expand on this. In addition, a chunk of greenbelt on the west side of Walker Valley is also being considered for logging of bug kill.

News of the old

The 100 Mile and District Historical Society president, Tom Rutledge, reported that visitor activity at the 108 Heritage Site was bleak to the end of July, but has really come alive since. Last week's concert was held in the newly-wired, newly-positioned bandstand. The location with its lake background appears to be a hit with concert-goers.

August 4, 2004

Retiree cooks up his speciality

For a number of years now, 108 Mile's Neil Duncan, a retired engineer, and his wife, Jane, have been delivering his locally famous homemade oatcakes to friends and neighbours and donating the proceeds to the 100 Mile SPCA. Duncan's oatcake-making exploits began some 12 years ago when he used to lead guests at the Hills Health Ranch on conducted hikes. Every Thursday the hikers would trek to the Duncan place by 108 Lake where they were served his speciality.

Neil Duncan at 100 Mile Junior Secondary School.

The idea to sell the cakes for a toonie and raise funds for the SPCA came from Jane. An older couple had been doing the same thing at the Farmers' Market every week, until it became too much for them and they gave it up. Jane suggested that Neil fill the vacuum, and so the Duncan oatcake assembly line was born.

In addition to the neighbourhood, Duncan, an accomplished organist, takes batches to whatever church he happens to be playing in, be it locally or at St. Andrews Church in Williams Lake. Earlier this year, Duncan was asked by Donna Nivison to demonstrate oatcake-making for her Grade 9 Food and Nutrition students at 100 Mile Junior Secondary School. Duncan conducted the demonstration resplendent in his kilt and with his ghettoblaster playing Scottish music. There's no word on whether or not the youngsters have turned on to Scottish food, music, or fashion. Such is the popularity of the Oatcake Express and the cause that it assists, that Duncan manages to turn over around $600 a year to the volunteer-run animal organization.

July 21, 2004

Nine-year-old Breanna Summers had Kathleen Cook Waldron sign her book, Five Stars for Emily108 Mile real estate market is strong

Real estate sales on the 108 have increased over last year, according to realtor Wayne Walker. Prices have remained stable. Real estate statistics for northern B.C. indicate that while prices have remained constant over the past four years, sales of lots and single family homes at 108 Mile have been on an upward curve. For the period January to July 2002 a total of seven lots and 22 single family homes sold. The same period of 2003 saw 11 lots and 31 single family home sales in this community, and one year later, a total of 13 lots and 58 single family homes sold. Continuing the trend, the period January to July of this year saw 67 lots and 70 houses listed for sale. 108 Mile and surroundings is lumped in with the north of the province, and accurate local details are difficult to obtain. For example, it is difficult to obtain accurate statistics as to who is buying, where are they coming from, and whether or not they have large carnivoric dogs with intense hatred for passing running shoes.

Nine-year-old Breanna Summers had Kathleen Cook Waldron sign her book, Five Stars for Emily, at a book signing July 10 at the home of Bob and Marilyn Bergen.

July 7, 2004

Club installs its first female member

Following the trend in other area Lions clubs, the local leos recently welcomed their first woman member. Janet Herrick became the first to break the barrier here, joining sister Lions in the 100 Mile and Interlakes clubs.

108 Lion Eamon McCandle (left), Zone Commissioner Harv Allen (back row center) and 108 Lion Graham Allison (right) welcomed members Janet Herrick and Bill Hamilton

108 Lion Eamon McCandle (left), Zone Commissioner Harv Allen (back row center) and 108 Lion Graham Allison (right) welcomed members Janet Herrick and Bill Hamilton.

On the fire front

While there has been some activity at the airport with Forest Service helicopter crews dropping in to fuel up, the local fire scene is quiet. Ministry of Forests firefighters have been in and out of the airport all week en route to distant lightning-sparked fires. Meanwhile, the local volunteers have been keeping sharp with a number of call-outs to deal with lightning strikes and small brush fires. [Fire information and emergency numbers]

Greenbelt news

The 108 Greenbelt Committee's number one priority is fire hazard reduction, and the work of cutting and tidying the greenbelt area continues. Consideration is being given to cutting the grass in the vicinity of the main beach, Sepa and the West beaches before it dries and becomes a hazard. The committee is also looking at tidying the trail around the east lagoon and possibly widening it where the grass is encroaching.

Survival count

Here are the current scores in the Mother Nature Survival of the Fittest Stakes:

Eagles have reportedly snatched two loon chicks from their mothers on 108 Lake, leaving one little one remaining. Some years one or two chicks make it; other years the eagles claw their way to victory.Seven river otters have been sighted churning their way across 108 Lake like a herd of seals, spelling trouble for trout and frustration for fishers. After sending the neighbours racing off to hug their aspen trees with a report that the beavers had returned to the east lagoon on 108 Lake, I may have to eat crow or castor. On closer inspection, the toothy ones may actually be muskrats on steroids. Lastly, a Block Drive family with better eyesight and more reliable binoculars than mine, watched what appeared to be a grizzly bear dash out of the woods and into Walker Valley a couple of weeks back. The large brown bruin had the distinct hump of a grizzly. Whether it indeed was Ursus Horribilus or simply a large cinnamon bear with matching backpack is undetermined. Suffice to say, the sighting should not deter anyone from enjoying Walker Valley. I cycled the full length on the weekend and returned unlacerated. The 20 million crickets and pesky flies were the only wildlife to cause discomfort.

June 23, 2004

Bandstand move takes time

Bandstand move takes time

The 108 Lions Club-sponsored move of the old bandstand at the 108 Heritage Site proved to be less straightforward than expected, but the old structure should now be firmly in place in its new location. After wrestling with the stage for the better part of a morning, and finding that they were unable to swing it into place with the crane, the crew decided to abandon that approach and try another. As a result, later in the week the building was jacked up on blocks and successfully skidded across to its current resting place. It is hoped to have power in place and the stage somewhat enlarged in time for the July 1 holiday.

Brian Beharrel, of B and E Grading, volunteered his services

ATVs vexing

There have been a number of incidences of ATVs roaring around the lake trails, and at least one confrontation with walkers and runners. Part of the problem, indicated by some of the riders, appears to be a lack of signage, and the 108 Greenbelt Committee is about to rectify this by posting specific notices at the trail entry points.

Grants received

Grant applications for summer staffing at the Heritage Site which were submitted by Maryanne Rutledge, a board member, have borne fruit. A First Nations' grant and a three-quarter grant from the Museum Association of Canada will enable the 100 Mile and District Historical Society to hire a First Nations student and one other this week for the remaining positions.

Scout wind-up

The local scouting group, under leader Graham Allison, ended its season's activities with a barbecue and camp-out at Green Lake June12 and 13. The Scouts enjoyed a canoe paddle across the lake and around the islands before being joined by the Beavers group later for a hike

June 9, 2004

108 Mile is home to one of the area's ball fields, used for a recent match between the Sitka and Regency teams
108 Mile is home to one of the area's ball fields, used for a recent match between the Sitka and Regency teams

Lake level unchanged

Two weeks of intermittent showers made little or no impact on the levels of Sepa and 108 lakes, but the ponds in Walker Valley filled out a bit. Anaham Crescent resident Ann Swann, who regularly monitors the lake levels, noted that the guage at 108 Lake indicated no change despite the series of soggy days. Where did the water go? Swann suggested that one possibility is seepage into Walker Valley where the ponds are relatively full due mainly to a good outflow from Watson Lake.

Lewis recovering

Friends of the former Peter Skene Ogden Senior Secondary principal, Joe Lewis, will be pleased to learn that he is slowly gaining strength following a rough few months battling various health issues including a bout of pneumonia. Ever upbeat, Lewis praises the staff and level of care at 100 Mile District General Hospital. "If you have to be sick, this is the place to be," he commented. By the time the paper goes to press, Lewis should be back and resting in his Block Drive home.

Winged vandals

A concerned citizen called to appeal to residents, particularly in the Donsleequa locale, to place their garbage in garbage cans rather than plastic bags on pick-up day. Crows just love the smelly bags, and the results tend to be indiscriminately strewn around. It seems that the collectors may have been cleaning up some of the mess, and they're not likely to be crowing about it.

May 26, 2004

Grant will fund student guide

When one level of government gave the thumbs down on a grant application, another came to the rescue. Thanks to the 100 Mile council's decision May 18, to issue a one time only grant-in-aid of $5,000, the 108 Heritage Site will open for the summer as planned. As it does every year, the 100 Mile and District Historical Society applied for a grant from the federal government (Human Resource Development Canada) to hire students as guides at the site. This year the application was turned down, as were all grants to heritage and historical societies. With the possibility of closure looming, 100 Mile council stepped in to partially fill the need for this year at least. The heritage site still needs one more student to fully open. Maryanne Rutledge, a member of the society board, has submitted further grant applications to Ottawa to hire a bilingual student and to the Cariboo-Chilcotin Aboriginal Training Education Centre to hire a First Nations student.

Beaches spruced up

Volunteer Don McLeoa helped tidy beach areasThe beach areas of the 108 Mile looked a lot neater following the May 16 Ranch Community Association-sponsored spring cleaning. A small group of volunteers tackled the job of sand raking, lawn-mowing and trimming, and the hauling away of bags of clippings and assorted waste, to ready the beaches for the summer sun-and sand-worshippers.

Volunteer Don McLeod helped tidy beach areas May 16.


Dick and Marie Weedon's co-edited book Edenbank: The History of a Canadian Pioneer Farm, reviewed in the Free Press in February, is garnering its share of awards. Earlier this year, the 108 Mile couple received a Heritage Award from the Chilliwack Museum and Historical Society. Now they have added another - a B.C. Historical Federation third place award for a book on the history of B.C. The Weedon's were presented with their prize at the federation's annual dinner in Nanaimo, hosted by the Nanaimo Historical Society.


The plan to move fences bordering Walker Valley back to the property lines is under review by the Greenbelt Committee. The aim, to open up the greenbelt to cattle grazing so they munch away some of the undergrowth and reduce fire hazard, has been welcomed by some property owners and raised concerns among others. A number of residents have taken up the committee's invitation to have a member advise on cleaning up areas of the greenbelt adjacent to their homes. As a result, permission has been granted to conduct neighbourhood cleanups of a number of areas around the ranch.

Lions' stuff

The first 108 Lions Club flea market of the year was a financial success, grossing almost $2,000 on a rainy Mother's Day. Around 90 free breakfasts were served to appreciative mums. The money will go to projects such as moving the bandstand at the heritage site. The structure will be moved to the midway point of the property, and hydro and lighting added. It is hoped that the refurbished building will enable the historical society to attract larger choirs and other entertainment to the site.

VFD report

108 Volunteer Fire Department Chief Ian Henderson reported that his volunteer crew was called out to attend a pair of dumpster fires at the Lac la Hache Transfer facility recently as well as a relatively minor fire at a Gloinnzun Drive home May 13.

May 12, 2004

The Brownies had a whale of a time

Michael Nielson, of 105 MileFor the 24 girls from the 108 Brownies and the Horse Lake Sparks, Brownies and Guides, the weekend of May 1 and 2 was one they will be talking about for some time to come. In one short, action-packed trip to Vancouver, the girls managed a sleepover alongside six beluga whales, formed a cheering squad at the Vancouver Marathon and received a police escort out of downtown. The different groups from the area were at the Coast to take part in the Vancouver Aquarium's sleepover program. The girls, accompanied by 16 leaders, moms and guardians, arrived at the Stanley Park facility at 8 p.m. where they were met by aquarium staff and escorted to the theatre where they were treated to a musical presentation. Following this, they toured the various areas of the aquarium , including the hands-on wet lab. After breakfast, the group saw more of the facility, watched sea otters breakfasting and a seal pup playing frisbee. Some were lucky enough to view the sloth eat his breakfast while hanging upside down. When it came time to leave for home, it was learned that the bus would be unable to enter the park for pickup as many of the streets had been blocked off for the running of the Vancouver Marathon. What looked at first to be a problem turned out to be a bonus for the girls. With the assistance of the aquarium staff, the group packed their belongings to Georgia Street where the bus was trapped and proceeded to spend the next hour on the sidelines cheering and high-fiving the runners as they came by. When the bulk of the runners had passed, the Vancouver police provided an escort to enable the bus to clear the area and head for home with its excited charges. Heather Wood, leader of the 108 Brownies, acknowledged that the trip would not have been possible without the fund-raising help of the girls and their parents, the public buying Girl Guide cookies, and the generous donations of local businesses, groups and organizations.

Club Thud

(the eating club with a running disorder) has resumed its informal Saturday morning runs, meeting across from the 108 Heritage Site Saturdays at 9 a.m. Everyone is welcome, and you don't have to be a runner - fresh air and exercise are aims. Walkers are encouraged to join in. Runners of all levels participate.

April 28, 2004

Couple moves to heritage site

The caretakers of the 108 Heritage Site are moving to Edmonton, reported Maryann Rutledge. That's the bad news. The good news is that a replacement couple has been found. 108 Mile residents Jean and Grant Rowlands have sold their home and will move into the heritage site accommodations within a month or so. The heritage site is expected to open May 26, subject to the receipt of a federal grant enabling the 100 Mile and District Historical Association to hire students for the summer.

Lions club

108 Lions Club members are evaluating various options for their annual project. Among ideas being considered are a replacement for the outdoor stage at the heritage site, and the possible conversion of the former garbage dump on Gloinnzun Road into a playing field.

Greenbelt news

The 108 Greenbelt Commission has previously broached the subject of neighbourhood greenbelt clean-ups to reduce fire hazard. The group is prepared to go forward with the idea and to provide planning help to those neighbourhoods willing to tackle it. Residents must first contact the commission chair, Graham Allison, at 791-1977 to request permission. Graham will then visit to assess the situation and assist in developing a plan. Once this is done, the neighbourhood takes over.

Deer me

It appears that the deer that hang around the airport are having the last laugh on those attempting to fence them out. Ian Watson, the aviation instructor at Peter Skene Ogden Senior Secondary, and others were called out last week to assist in shooing the creatures out of the airport grounds when the new fence, designed to keep them out, ended up Michael Nielson, of 105 Miletrapping the deer inside. A few tasty bales of hay were hurriedly brought to the site to encourage the miscreants to head to the exit gates, but at press time it appeared the deer had not taken the bait and were still chewing away merrily on the grass alongside the runway.

Four-year-old Michael Nielson, of 105 Mile, had a handful of pines during tree planting with the Scouts April 18.

Tree planting

A goodly complement of Scouts, Cubs and Beavers from 108 Mile and 100 Mile turned out with leaders and parents to plant pines and a few firs along the edges of Succour Creek Sunday, April 18. At the current rate of drying, the creek and its creatures will need every bit of shade possible.

April 14, 2004

Four departments respond to fire

Spring had barely sprung when the 108 Mile Volunteer Fire Department was called upon to attend a runaway grass fire at 112 Mile April 2. A routine attempt to burn off old grass got out of control when the wind picked up later, re-igniting the burn. By the time it was over, four area fire departments: Lac la Hache, 108 Mile and 100 Mile, as well as a crew from Lone Butte providing standby, were involved, and 12 acres of trees, grass and brush had been consumed. The firefighters managed to save the structures on the property. Chief Ian Henderson reminded residents of the need to have adequate water and firefighting tools on hand when burning off grass, and advised dousing fires altogether should the wind pick up. Fires can be restarted on a calmer day if necessary. He suggests calling the Ministry of Forests if there are any doubts about conditions. As the 108 Mile crew was packing up its equipment, they were called upon to attend a kitchen stove fire which they quickly snuffed out with an extinguisher.

Ice-off Contest boat sunk Down and out

The bucket went down and the flag went up on the good ship MV LION on 108 Lake around 10 a.m., April 6. This means that some lucky person is $100 richer, having submitted the closest estimate of date and time that the ice would start to give way under the Lion's Club tub. The ice began to wane six days earlier this year than last, and three weeks ahead of the year before that - another indication, perhaps, that we may be in for a hot time in the old town tonight and coming nights.

The 108 Lions Club had to launch a recovery effort after its Ice-off Contest boat sunk.

Flea market

Still with the Lions, the local cats will be holding the first of this season's flea markets May 9 (Mother's Day). Mamas are entitled to a free breakfast, beginning at 9:30 a.m. There's no word on whether they are required to bring offspring or a facsimile thereof as proof.

Greenbelt news

Graham Allison, a commissioner on the 108 Greenbelt Commission, reminded homeowners that there is a process for removing trees, including aspen, on the greenbelt, whether for fire safety or viewscape purposes. Before presuming to thin out trees, residents are required to contact a commissioner who will then assess the situation and rule on which, if any, trees may be cut. The commissioners are willing to take viewscape into consideration in instances where the aspen trees are too crowded. Allison suggested that individual property owners contact him to discuss and formulate a plan aimed at minimizing the hazard on individual properties. He can be reached at 791-1977.

Pasturized horses

Every year the 108 Greenbelt Commission designates two fenced areas in the Walker Valley as community horse pastures. This arrangement provides two important benefits - an obvious one to the local horseflesh that get to range on the wide open spaces of Block and Walker Valley pastures, but another to the entire community in that the horses keep the grass down, significantly reducing the risk of fire in the valley. The commission is now inviting applications from residents wishing to pasture their horses. Application forms may be picked up and dropped off at the Race Trac gas station. Only a limited number of horses can be accommodated. With the nags back in the pastures at the end of May, the gates will once again be closed, and residents are asked to keep them that way if they are walking or biking through the pastures. Pedestrian pass-throughs have been provided so that gates can be bypassed. The commission also requested that everyone respect the regulation prohibiting motorized vehicles from greenbelt lands. The restriction is needed to protect the environment from damage, including the possibility of wildfire caused by exhaust pipes.

A growing concern

Roserim Nurseries, of Canim Lake, has donated 1,700 trees to the local Scouting group for the kids' creek planting project. On the 18th of April, the Scouts will commence planting trees along the banks of the creek flowing from Succour Meadows into 108 Lake.

March 31, 2004 - Community awakens in spring

Signs of spring at 108 Mile

Numbers up

The recent membership appeal by the 100 Mile Historical Society has been most encouraging, reported Maryann Rutledge, a member of the group that runs the 108 Heritage Site. To date, 35 families and 45 area businesses have taken out memberships.


A.J. Desilets was one of the Scouts who cleared brush.The 108 Mile community has lost another very special individual with the passing of Doug McLeod, former teacher, community volunteer and a friend to countless special needs children. A fund has been set up in Doug's name at the Royal Bank where donations may be made for area special-needs children.


Most of the logging and clean-up of pine beetle-infested areas of the 108 Greenbelt has been done with only the Easzee Drive area behind the pumphouse remaining to be tackled. According to Graham Allison (wearing his Greenbelt Committee hat), the older Venture Scouts who assisted with cleanup have been inspired to put the money earned from this project as a first step to building a fund to travel to the100th anniversary of scouting in England three years from now.

A.J. Desilets was one of the Scouts who cleared brush.

March 17, 2004

Young scouts, such as Galen Seilis, put up nesting boxesScout nests score three for five

One of the outdoor activities undertaken by the 108 Scouts is the installation of wood duck nesting boxes at various locations around 108 Lake. Last fall, the boys set up five boxes, with a sixth installed recently. Subsequent inspection revealed that three of last year's boxes attracted ducks. The ducks who took up residence, however, were not wood ducks as hoped, but goldeneye - nice but not nearly as exotic.

This begs the question: where have all the wood ducks gone?

Various attempts by Ducks Unlimited and other groups over the years to restore the colourful quackers, once resident here, have not met with success. Graham Allison and his group wonder if they should be taking a different approach, or if the woodies are just miffed that we didn't name a pond after them.

Tune in for more on this subject as we quiz the experts over the next few weeks.

Young scouts, such as Galen Seilis, put up nesting boxes

Tree planting

Still with the Scouts, the kids are looking to a spring project, planting trees along the edges of Succour Creek, the stream that flows into 108 Lake. The boys and their leader, Graham Allison, are seeking a sponsor to aid them in this project, designed to provide shade for fish and other stream inhabitants.

Committee active

The smouldering piles of wood at different locations around the ranch represent the aftermath of Greenbelt Committee-authorized logging aimed at taking out timber infested with mountain pine beetle and limiting its spread. Two pasture locations off Tatton Road and the pump house/Donsleequa locale have been logged of nearly all their pine. The Kincum Road to 105 Lake pasture will be the next to see activity.

The committee is in the process of hiring members of the Scouts, Cadets and students from Peter Skene Ogden Senior Secondary School sports teams to clear up and burn the debris left behind. Following this, the area damaged by logging activity will be re-seeded with a drybelt grass mix. Weldwood of Canada Ltd. has agreed to purchase the logged timber, which will help offset the project costs.

Community mourns

The passing of Dr. John McGregor is a great blow to our community and surrounding area. A much-loved physician, John was also a great sportsman, who skied and jogged the local trails, and who danced up a highland storm with the Scottish Country Dancers at the community hall. He will be sorely missed, and we extend our sympathies to his family.


108 Ranch Community Newsletter
With the print edition of the newsletter discontinued (as a cost-saving measure), we thank Maddi Newman of KeyBoard Graphic Design for her many years' work as editor, producing a newsletter we were all proud of.

Current (Fall/Winter 2004) issue now available in print edition at the usual outlets
Here, for online reading or for download are pdf versions of previous issues:

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for newsletter editor, Maddi Newman. We welcome your stories, news and suggestions


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