Gold River residents were not happy to learn that the Muchalat Lake Recreation site would be closed for the season in October.
The site, which is 23 minutes north of Gold River, is often used in the shoulder season by locals. There is no camping fee after the labour day long weekend, and many people from the village spend the cooler fall weekends up by the lake. Typically, the site has been open year round, but this year it will be closed on Oct. 4 at noon.
Originally, the closure was supposed to happen on Sept. 7, but upon seeing that, the residents of Gold River contacted the district recreation officer Graham Cameron and asked him to reconsider. The closure date had then changed to Oct. 4.
Gold River Mayor Brad Unger said his staff had spoken to Cameron: “My CAO talked to him very briefly on Friday and its for ‘continued damage and mistreatment of property,’ is what his reasoning is,” Unger said. “He can’t afford to keep going on re-fixing things every spring.”
At the Sept. 7 council meeting, the Village of Gold River discussed the closure and voted to send a letter to the province asking to leave the site fully open through the winter and to begin a consultation process with the village and residents of Gold River.
“We wrote a letter to him asking him to have some communication with the local government and the residents about this closure,” Unger said. “It was hard to believe that they would just turn around and close it without and communication at all.”
“Gold River is a very tight knit community, and the lake is 15 kilometres out of town,” said Unger. “We have residents who use that site year round, and they haven’t seen a lot of major damage out there. We’re trying to figure out what’s going on.”
What the village asked for is to keep the site open for the winter, and to start communication between residents, the village and the province about the site.
“Basically what council is asking is; looking at the comments of the people who use the site, they’ve got some great ideas and great thoughts, but there needs to be some discussion,” Unger said.
The Mirror has reached out to Cameron at the Ministry of Forests, Lands, Natural Resource Operations and Rural Development for comment.