A map of the project area, provided by the provincial government.

New road will provide emergency exit route for Kluskus Nation settlement

The provincial government has approved building a new road that will cross the Blackwater River

The provincial government announced Monday (April 1) that it has approved a new road that will provide an emergency exit route to Highway 16 for residents of the Lhoosk’uz Dene (Kluskus) Nation settlement and people in the surrounding areas.

The road will begin at approximately 53 kilometres along the Coglistiko (4000) Forest Service Road in the Quesnel Natural Resource District, cross the Blackwater (West Road) River and connect to the end of the Blue 4000 Forest Service Road in the Stuart Nechako Natural Resource District.

“Building this road will provide safety to citizens in the area, as well as socioeconomic benefits to residents of the Kluskus Nation settlement,” Doug Donaldson, minister of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development, said in a press release. “The decision to do so aligns with recommendations from the Abbott/Chapman report and supports the Province’s commitment to implementing the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples.”

The road will allow for residents living west of the Blackwater River to evacuate to Quesnel or Vanderhoof in the event of an emergency, according to the release. This road will also provide access to Vanderhoof, which will improve options for health care and services, and will enable Kluskus Nation to populate and service currently isolated reserves.

“The bridge crossing and access road to the north side of the Blackwater River provides an emergency escape route for community members when the 4000 Road is blocked by forest fires,” Lhoosk’uz Dene Chief Liliane Squinas said in the release. “It will also connect our community members living in the isolated Kluskus reserves on the north side.”

The project consists of eight kilometres of new construction, including a 40-metre bridge across the Blackwater River and seven kilometres of upgrades to existing roads. Also included are road upgrades and replacement of inadequate, failing or unsafe structures on the current access road (4000 Road). The road will be restricted to non-industrial traffic

The estimated total cost of the project is $3.6 million, and construction is expected to begin this summer and be completed in fall 2020.

The decision to proceed with construction was made after extensive consultation with First Nations, stakeholders and the public, as well as completion of environmental, heritage and recreation reviews, according to the provincial government.

The Kluskus Nation settlement (Kluskus IR1), which is approximately 135 kilometres west of Quesnel and 110 kilometres south of Vanderhoof, currently has only one exit route and has been evacuated five times in the last 13 years due to fires, according to the press release. Of the nation’s 17 reserve lands, 10 have been impacted by fire, and in 2017, the Plateau Fire burned to within 500 metres of the settlement.

Flooding compromised access in 2018 and again in 2019.

Just Posted

Technical analysis of changing land base in Quesnel Timber Supply area begins

Quesnel hosted a technical landscape meeting last week as part of Forestry Initatives Program

Quesnel’s Paisley Players return with new, two-play show

The show is written and directed by local Gino de Rose

Quesnel SPCA asks public for donations after puppy caught in trap

The puppy’s medical bills are expected to amount to more than $4,600

Gas prices spike in northern B.C. ahead of the long weekend

Fuel went up 17 cents overnight in Prince Rupert

Quesnel’s G.R. Baker Memorial Hospital to get new emergency department and ICU

Premier John Horgan announced Wednesday that the business plan for the expansion has been approved

4 victims killed in Penticton shooting spree remembered at vigil

John Brittain, 68, is charged with three counts of first-degree murder and one count of second-degree murder

Whitecaps fans stage walkout over club’s response to allegations against B.C. coach

Soccer coach has been suspended by Coastal FC since February

Three climbers presumed dead after avalanche in Banff National Park

One of the men is American and the other two are from Europe, according to officials

Two recommendations made in probe of B.C. train derailment that killed three

The CP Rail train went off the tracks near the B.C.-Alberta border in February

VIDEO: Trump tried to seize control of Mueller probe, report says

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s report revealed to a waiting nation Thursday

BC Ferries to pilot selling beer and wine on select sailings

Drinks from select B.C. breweries and VQA wineries will be available on the Swartz Bay to Tsawwassen route

B.C. awaits Kenney’s ‘turn off taps,’ threat; Quebec rejects Alberta pipelines

B.C. Premier John Horgan said he spoke with Kenney Wednesday and the tone was cordial

Federal government extends deadline to make Trans Mountain decision to June 18

The National Energy Board endorsed an expansion of the Trans Mountain pipeline on Feb. 22

Prince George sweeps to first-ever BC Hockey League crown

Spruce Kings beat Vernon Vipers 3-1 in the Okanagan Wednesday for 13th straight playoff win

Most Read