The Cariboo Regional District has forwarded an application from a rancher wanting to excavate gravel on private property to the Agricultural Land Commission with no recommendation. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

The Cariboo Regional District has forwarded an application from a rancher wanting to excavate gravel on private property to the Agricultural Land Commission with no recommendation. (Monica Lamb-Yorski photo - Williams Lake Tribune)

CRD struggles with rancher’s gravel pit application, UNDRIP concerns raised

Williams Lake First Nation raises objections about the application

A Cariboo rancher’s application to extract gravel on private property is being forwarded by the Cariboo Regional District (CRD) to the Agricultural Land Commission without a recommendation because of concerns raised by a local First Nation.

During the regular CRD board meeting Thursday, Feb. 11, directors received a letter from Williams Lake First Nation’s (WLFN) manager of title and rights Whitney Spearing.

Spearing noted the WLFN had objections to the application because of the ‘continued lack of access to WLFN Chimney Creek IR. No. 5’ along the Fraser River and the ‘destruction of archaeological and heritage sites,’ being contrary to several of the principles set out in the United Declaration of Rights of Indigenous Peoples (UNDRIP).

Read more: UNDRIP a top priority, says Miller, but won’t rule out delay due to COVID-19

The gravel pit is located at 1330 Highway 20 on a ranch owned by William Stafford’s family since the 1960s.

Today Stafford owns it along with his wife Lyn and their sons Ross and James.

The Staffords told the Tribune their application for a mine permit to extract gravel is on private property for an existing pit that has been there for 50 years and has nothing to do with the ongoing communications with the WLFN about the access to IR#5 fishing reserve through their private property.

“They have never been denied access to fish,” the Staffords said.

As for the heritage and archaeological concerns with the gravel pit, the Staffords said there was an investigation completed on Sept. 13, 2020 on the archaeological and heritage site and the results were no identification of remnants at the site.

The Staffords, who were unaware of the letter filed by WLFN, said the site poses no threat to archaeological resources within the pit.

Their application is to supply gravel to local businesses on a supply and demand basis for maintenance of roads in the local area, they added.

During the CRD meeting Area E director Angie Delainey, whose region encompasses the gravel pit, suggested the CRD reject the application.

“This has had left me with a few sleepless nights,” she said.

Chief administrative officer John MacLean said the CRD was being asked to referee in a sphere of provincial jurisdiction because mineral extraction and gravel extraction require a duty to consult and that rests with the Crown.

“There will be gravel pit applications coming forward more and more that will require ALC approval,” said Chair Margo Wagner. “The ALC needs to see an application that we are struggling with.”

“WLFN’s position is that no application in relation to the subject property should be considered by the Advisory Planning Commission, the CRD, Ministry of Energy Mines and Petroleum Resources or any other Crown entity until the issues addressed in this letter are resolved to the reasonable satisfaction of WLFN,” Spearing stated.

Kim Grout, chief executive officer of the ALC said it is not completely uncommon for the ALC to receive a resolution to forward an application without a recommendation.

“It cannot come to us unless a local government passes a motion to say that it will and we see all kinds of variations of that,” she told the Tribune.

ALC decision makers will now review the application.

Read more: Regional District now responsible for all ALR land exclusions

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Agricultural Land ReserveCariboo Regional DistrictFirst Nations

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Aaron Harder and Lee-Anne Chisholm will be presenting a show at the Quesnel Art Gallery in August. (Cassidy Dankochik photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel Art Gallery prepares for full 2021 schedule

Shows from March until December are planned and scheduled at the gallery

The RCMP arrest one of the suspects on Highway 97 courtesy of cell phone footage shot by a bystander. (April Thomas photo)
WATCH: Two suspects arrested after multi-jurisdictional chase

A half dozen police cars were seen heading north on Highway 97

An aerial photograph captures snowmobile tracks in the Cameron Ridge area earlier this year, which is closed to snowmobilers. The closures are in place to protect sensitive caribou herds. (Conservation Officer Service photo)
Snowmobilers fined for operating in closed caribou habitat near Likely, B.C.

The investigation revealed they had spent several hours in the closure leaving extensive tracks

Quesnel Safeway manager Gloria Moskalyk and assistant manager Rose Staats hand nearly $11,000 in gift cards donated by customers over the holidays to Major Randy Gatza of the Salvation Army. (Cassidy Dankochik Photo - Quesnel Cariboo Observer)
Quesnel Salvation Army gets boost from Safeway customers

Donations at the grocery store over the Christmas season totalled nearly 11K

A strong surplus in 2020 means smaller tax increases in 2021. (File Photo)
2020 surplus leads to smaller Quesnel tax increase

A planned tax increase of 4.7 per cent was reduced to 2.5 per cent

Health Minister Adrian Dix looks on as Dr. Bonnie Henry pauses for a moment as she gives her daily media briefing regarding COVID-19 for British Columbia in Victoria, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
7 additional deaths and 542 new COVID-19 cases in B.C.

Provincial health officials reported 18 new COVID-19 cases linked to variants of concern

The City of Vancouver estimates there are 3,500 Canada geese in the city right now, and that number is growing. (Bruce Hogarth)
Help tame Vancouver’s Canada goose population by reporting nests: park officials

The city is asking residents to be on the lookout so staff can remove nests or addle eggs

Chief Justice Christopher Hinkson (Office of the Chief Justice)
Judge questions whether B.C.’s top doctor appreciated right to religious freedom

Lawyer for province says Dr. Henry has outlined the reasons for her orders publicly

A sample of guns seized at the Pacific Highway border crossing from the U.S. into B.C. in 2014. Guns smuggled from the U.S. are used in criminal activity, often associated with drug gangs. (Canada Border Service Agency)
B.C. moves to seize vehicles transporting illegal firearms

Bill bans sale of imitation or BB guns to young people

BC Housing minister David Eby is concerned that Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter will result in a “tent city” similar to this one in Everett, Wa. (Olivia Vanni / Black Press file)
‘Disappointed and baffled’ B.C. housing minister warns of tent city in Penticton

Penticton council’s decision to close a local homeless shelter could create tent city, says David Eby

A recently published study out of UBC has found a link between life satisfaction levels and overall health. (Pixabay)
Satisfied with life? It’s likely you’re healthier for it: UBC study

UBC psychologists have found those more satisfied with their life have a 26% reduced risk of dying

A vial of some of the first 500,000 of the two million AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine doses that Canada has secured through a deal with the Serum Institute of India in partnership with Verity Pharma at a facility in Milton, Ont., on Wednesday, March 3, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Carlos Osorio - POOL
Federal panel recommends 4-month gap between COVID vaccine doses due to limited supply

The recommendation applies to all COVID-19 vaccines currently approved in Canada

A vial of Oxford-AstraZeneca COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a family doctor office, Thursday, Feb. 25, 2021 in Paris. THE CANADIAN PRESS/AP -Christophe Ena
Trudeau ‘optimistic’ that timeline for rollout of COVID vaccines can be accelerated

Canada set to receive more than 6M COVID-19 vaccine dose than initially expected, by end of March

Beginning late Tuesday, anti-pipeline protesters blocked the intersection of Hastings Street and Clark Drive in Vancouver. (Instagram/Braidedwarriors)
Demonstrators block key access to Vancouver port over jail for pipeline protester

They group is protesting a 90-day jail sentence handed to a fellow anti-pipeline protester

Most Read