A photo shows two of the three untenured cabins that some Sandspit residents built near the future site of the Ocean House eco-cultural lodge. HaiCo has applied to remove the cabins, along with some garbage left by an old dry-land sort nearby that includes a long-abandoned metal boat. (HaiCo/Peel Inlet Crown Land Tenure Management Plan)

Regional district news in brief

NCRD discusses Peel Inlet cabins, school group ferry fares, and the Haida Gwaii soccer league

Trash or treasure

Some Sandspit residents want to hang onto three untenured summer cabins that locals built by Peel Inlet / Stads K’uns Gawga, at least for now.

To get ready for the May opening of Ocean House, a 12-room, fly-in eco-cultural lodge, HaiCo recently applied to remove the cabins along with some garbage by an old dry-land sort.

HaiCo also plans to install a ramp for the floating lodge, and to clear a small area of alder for a helipad.

While HaiCo lists the cabins as derelict, Sandspit resident Carol Wagner said they do get used. Although it is no longer accessible by car or truck, Peel Inlet can still be reached by ATV.

“The tourism people figure it’s an eyesore, the people that built the cabins think they’re beautiful,” said Wagner, who stood in for Moresby Island Director Bill Beldessi at the March meeting of the North Coast Regional District.

“This time of year, they agree, yes, they look like an eyesore, but they usually get in early spring and clean them up, and get them set up for the summer.”

Wagner said at two recent meetings, several Sandspit residents said they would like the cabins to remain, at least until HaiCo applies for a permanent tenure at Peel Inlet. The current, investigative tenure ends in November.

Wagner said Sandspit would like a public meeting to discuss the cabins and public access to the inlet.

In its proposed management plan, HaiCo notes that it is not applying for an exclusive tenure — there is also a guide outfitter tenure, a mineral tenure, and a trapline license in the area. Furthermore, HaiCo says the floating lodge, ramp, and helipad are not expected to affect public access to the beach or adjacent land.

NCRD directors voted to support the HaiCo application, with the condition that a public meeting be held.

Fare-ness for school trips

Why do elementary and high school students going to school-sponsored events get to travel free on some BC Ferries routes but not others?

Greg Martin, chair of the North Coast Ferry Advisory Council, recently put the question to BC Ferries CEO Mark Collins. Martin learned that students only travel free between communities that agreed to an increase in general ferry fares to cover the overall cost of school trips.

Speaking at the March 23 meeting of the North Coast Regional District, Martin said he would find out from the Haida Gwaii School District what the cost for school trips might be, and look into whether it could be absorbed locally.

Currently, students going to school-sponsored events can travel free between Skidegate Landing and Alliford Bay, and they get a reduced rate for the ferry between Skidegate Landing and Prince Rupert.

Students going between Port Hardy and Prince Rupert for school trips also travel free, as do those on several other routes including those between the Lower Mainland and Vancouver Island.

Footy the bill

Haida Gwaii soccer organizers have one less bill and a lot less paperwork this season.

That’s because Haida Gwaii Rec stepped up to offer online registrations for the Haida Gwaii Youth Soccer Association — the volunteer-run youth soccer league that brings the beautiful game to Tlell each spring.

And at their March meeting, directors with the North Coast Regional District voted to cover the league’s liability insurance charges, which will be substantially lower once the league is included in the NCRD’s own insurance plan as an associate member.

“It’s going to help out,” said Graham Island Director Mike Racz.

“The one bill the soccer association does have is insurance — it kills us every year.”

The new plan will save the soccer association well over $1,000 a year. Games start in Tlell this Saturday, and a mini tournament is set for May 5 and 6.

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