On Saturday, Oct. 17, five volunteers from the Bouchie Lake Watershed Stewardship Society braved the fall temperatures and worked on remediating the foundation of the outhouse provided by the society at the Milburn Lake Public Access.
Since its installation 20 years ago under the direction of Gordon Crick, now deceased, the gravel slope had gradually eroded to the point where three of the four corners of the structure had been undermined. With the addition of more gravel and some labour, that has been remedied, and the outhouse now sits firmly on a platform that extends out one metre from its base.
The public access is under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure (MOTI), and the Bouchie Lake Watershed Stewardship Society (BLWSS) has a maintenance contract with the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) to provide for the upkeep and maintenance of the outhouse on the site.
BLWSS has been lobbying MOTI for several years to improve the site itself. BLWSS has commissioned a plan which provides for the installation of a boat launch, a proper beach and designated parking.
Above all, the plan includes raising the level of the site to prevent the annual flooding that occurs. This year has been particularly bad, with the spring freshet flooding over the road and causing the CRD to impose evacuation orders on two neighbouring properties that also flooded. It has highlighted the need to replace the existing outflow culvert, further down the lake, with one large enough to accommodate the higher water levels in recent years. In fact, the access has not been fully accessible all year and even now, in October, half the access area remains flooded. This is something that has never happened in previous years and has resulted in the lake not being easily accessible all year. With the current water levels this high so late in the year, and if neither the culvert is replaced nor the site is raised, it is highly likely that there will be a repeat of the flooding situation next spring.
The society would like to thank Emcon and Keis Trucking for their generous donation of gravel, Doug Nielsen for the donation of his loader and time, Phil Harris for the loan of a compactor and Bob Ross, Dan Aussant, Richard Armstrong and David Law for their help in working the site.
— Submitted by the Bouchie Lake Watershed Stewardship Society