Lake Flashback: Night hunting, tree cut reduction, dog catcher

Safety concerns are being raised by wildlife groups following a recent ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court exonerating two hunters

Students line up for some grub at the a luncheon at Yount School 10 years ago.

Welcome to Lake Flashback. Reporter James Goldie has been combing through old newspapers with the assistance of the Kaatza Station Museum and Archives so we can jog your memory, give you that nostalgic feeling, or just a chuckle, as we take a look at what was making headlines this week around Cowichan Lake in years gone by.


This week around the Cowichan Lake…



10 years:


Safety concerns are being raised by wildlife groups following a recent ruling by the B.C. Supreme Court exonerating two hunters, hunting at night with the aid of a lamp in the Cowichan Lake area.

“Certainly this is a safety issue,” said Denis Martel, the club’s Wilderness Watch coordinator. “It puts our safety and the safety of everyone at risk.”

Martel spends many hours patrolling the lake area on behalf of Wilderness Watch.

“We’re often out there in the middle of the night and we’ve seen lamps pointing at us from above,” he said. “With this ruling, I believe it will definitely be more dangerous.”

A lawyer representing the two hunters, who are part of the Tsartlip First Nation, successful argued at the Supreme Court that the Tsartlip people have hunted at night for “time immemorial” and through the Douglas treaties of 1852, that right still applies.

25 years ago:


This week the Ministry of Forests announced new reduced allowable cuts for tree farm licences on Vancouver Island. The licences are held by McMillan Bloedel Company, Fletcher Challenge Canada and International Forest Products. Some licences will see a harvest reduction of 14 per cent with others as high as 29 per cent.

Lake Cowichan mayor Earle Darling said these cut backs will have little impact on jobs at this time.

“Current employment will remain the same. Even when market conditions improve we won’t see the same level of employment conditions of 1988, 89 and 90,” he told the Lake News.

Port Alberni mayor Gillian Trumper was looking on the positive side.

“At least we know where we are,” she said. “The government walked a fine line. I was anticipating moratoriums all over the place. The environmentalists were livid.”

A manager from Fletcher Challenge said the cuts will cost 120 south island workers their jobs.


40 years:


The Cowichan Valley has lost its last Domestic Animal Protection Officer. The provincial government has transferred Harry Rhodes to the Esquimalt area and has made no indication he will be replaced.

Rhodes enforced the Domestic Animal Protection Act, which meant serving as a kind of region-wide dog catcher with the goal of protecting livestock and other domestic animals from being attacked or “harassed” by errant dogs.

The provincial department of agriculture has instead sent a letter to the CVRD encouraging the board to investigate the possible takeover of “dog control” responsibilities.

If the board does take on this role, it will be responsible for “compensating owners of harassed animals.” The province said it would provide the first $1,000 for a compensation fund.

Area I director Ken Douglas said the government was “bailing out” of its responsibilities.

Compiled by James Goldie, Gazette

Lake Cowichan Gazette

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