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Author Topic: Douglas Lake Cattle Company  (Read 1370 times)

IronNoggin

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Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« on: November 20, 2020, 04:49:37 PM »

A long-standing dispute between Douglas Lake Cattle Company, BC's largest private landowner, and Nicola Valley Fish & Game Club, a small recreation club from Merritt, will be heard at the BC Court of Appeal on Monday and Tuesday.         
       
The Outdoor Recreation Council of BC will be intervening.         
       
The ruling can help confirm the fundamental right of outdoor recreationists and nature lovers to gain access to public lakes that are enclosed by private property in BC's backcountry.         

Keep an eye out for a news release and the Zoom details for those who would like to attend the hearing at www.orcbc.ca on Monday morning at 7 am.       
           
For those interested in receiving updates on the court appeal directly to their inbox, you can sign up for our newsletter here: https://bit.ly/3jMktpQ               
               
The next newsletter goes out Monday morning and will include a link to a media release and the zoom details to tune into the appeal on Nov 23 & 24.
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IronNoggin

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2020, 11:03:10 AM »

U.S. billionaire again battles to stop ‘trespassers’ on his giant B.C. ranch

“This case raises important questions about the extent of the public’s right to cross private property to access public resources such as lakes, hiking trails and wilderness,” said Outdoor Recreation Council of British Columbia lawyer Morgan Blakley. “The decision could have implications for public access across the province, and brings to bear hundreds of years of case law.”

The Douglas Ranch case will have implications for similar right-to-roam disputes on Vancouver Island, adds Kim Reeves, chair of the Outdoor Recreational Council of B.C., who says many landowners in the province are surreptitiously destroying public roads and trails while illicitly erecting fences, barriers and no-trespassing signs.

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-u-s-billionaire-again-battles-to-stop-trespassers-on-his-giant-b-c-ranch
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typhoon

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2020, 02:25:25 PM »

Nice headline. Is DLR a Canadian company employing Canadians, paying taxes in BC?
This isn’t a landmark case. These lakes are on private land, not crown land.
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IronNoggin

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #3 on: November 25, 2020, 10:00:58 AM »

B.C. government accused of aiding U.S. billionaire in Douglas ranch conflict

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Joel Groves ruled in 2018 the B.C. government had long failed to step in to resolve Douglas ranch’s blatantly unlawful attempt to set up log barriers, locked gates and no trespassing signs to stop anglers using historic public roads to get to two Crown-owned fishing lakes encircled by the ranch.

“Over 20 years, a privately held corporation, owning a large swath of land, prohibited the public from driving on the public road. And the province did nothing,” the judge said.

“It makes no sense to me that the Crown would retain ownership of the lakes, only for there to be no access,” Groves said. Criticizing the RCMP for also colluding with the Douglas ranch, he urged B.C.’s legislators to re-examine trespassing laws to “guarantee access to this precious public resource.”

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-b-c-government-accused-of-aiding-u-s-billionaire-in-douglas-ranch-conflict
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dennisK

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #4 on: December 09, 2020, 10:19:57 AM »

B.C. government accused of aiding U.S. billionaire in Douglas ranch conflict

B.C. Supreme Court Justice Joel Groves ruled in 2018 the B.C. government had long failed to step in to resolve Douglas ranch’s blatantly unlawful attempt to set up log barriers, locked gates and no trespassing signs to stop anglers using historic public roads to get to two Crown-owned fishing lakes encircled by the ranch.

“Over 20 years, a privately held corporation, owning a large swath of land, prohibited the public from driving on the public road. And the province did nothing,” the judge said.

“It makes no sense to me that the Crown would retain ownership of the lakes, only for there to be no access,” Groves said. Criticizing the RCMP for also colluding with the Douglas ranch, he urged B.C.’s legislators to re-examine trespassing laws to “guarantee access to this precious public resource.”

https://vancouversun.com/opinion/columnists/douglas-todd-b-c-government-accused-of-aiding-u-s-billionaire-in-douglas-ranch-conflict

So in other words - when it comes down to the real world - if you have money and power you've got the cops and the gov't in your pocket.


Oh wow; Douglas Lake Cattle Company are truly vile lol

"The Douglas Lake Cattle Company has faced many controversies. It has been claimed that early on, the ranch's land holdings were expanded by pressing large amounts of cattle into the pastures of smaller neighbours. While the cattle would later be removed the damage was done. With their feed for the year consumed by Douglas Lake's herd, the homesteaders would be forced to sell. Douglas Lake Cattle Company has also aggressively restricted access to both private and public lands. By buying up thin strips of land along major arteries they are able to control wide tracts of public range."


https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Lake_Cattle_Company

« Last Edit: December 09, 2020, 10:24:14 AM by dennisK »
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clarki

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #5 on: December 10, 2020, 09:29:50 AM »

Oh wow; Douglas Lake Cattle Company are truly vile lol

"The Douglas Lake Cattle Company has faced many controversies. It has been claimed that early on, the ranch's land holdings were expanded by pressing large amounts of cattle into the pastures of smaller neighbours. While the cattle would later be removed the damage was done. With their feed for the year consumed by Douglas Lake's herd, the homesteaders would be forced to sell. Douglas Lake Cattle Company has also aggressively restricted access to both private and public lands. By buying up thin strips of land along major arteries they are able to control wide tracts of public range."
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Douglas_Lake_Cattle_Company

Be careful quoting Wikipedia, esp. when the paragraph you quoted is flagged as "citation needed"

As written, it's just a person's opinion.
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absolon

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #6 on: December 10, 2020, 01:11:58 PM »

The judgment for the original case is here:

https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2018/2018bcsc2167/2018bcsc2167.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQAbZG91Z2xhcyBsYWtlIGNhdHRsZSBjb21wYW55AAAAAAE&resultIndex=3

The judge's comments on the evidence given by the various parties are well worth the read and do shed some light on the practices of the ranch and particularly that of Joe Gardiner, the GM of the ranch. The discussion section is also worth reading to get some idea of the validity of the claims by the DLR.
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Old Blue

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #7 on: December 10, 2020, 09:49:46 PM »

Let it die.  The only reason why those lakes have fish in them is from the time, money and effort of DLR.
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wildmanyeah

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #8 on: December 11, 2020, 08:37:09 AM »

Let it die.  The only reason why those lakes have fish in them is from the time, money and effort of DLR.

DLR did not do any of it there paying clients did. I would agree more with your statement but since the money from our licenses has been going to Go Fish BC they have really got their act together when it comes to stocking.

Maybe Rivers Inlet fish should only be available to the lodges since they spent money on the hatchery their.

not a big fan of a pay for access model but it seems so would rather have it that way and create exclusive fisheries for high paying clients.
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wildmanyeah

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #9 on: December 11, 2020, 08:57:32 AM »

The judgment for the original case is here:

https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2018/2018bcsc2167/2018bcsc2167.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQAbZG91Z2xhcyBsYWtlIGNhdHRsZSBjb21wYW55AAAAAAE&resultIndex=3

The judge's comments on the evidence given by the various parties are well worth the read and do shed some light on the practices of the ranch and particularly that of Joe Gardiner, the GM of the ranch.

He's lucky the judge did not throw him in jail. Reading those comments wow. He was able to get peoples addresses only having their license plates and was able to get that information over the holidays.


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absolon

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #10 on: December 11, 2020, 10:26:37 AM »

Let it die.  The only reason why those lakes have fish in them is from the time, money and effort of DLR.
You really should read the judgment, including the part about how the DLR handled the fish culture licenses they were granted and also how they dealt with someone they viewed as a competitor, the Paradise Lake Resort.

It might be OK with you that the ranch takes over public land and abuses the law in pursuit of their business objectives but in my view, backing off and allowing them to continue with their actions sets a precedent I'm not willing to agree with.
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RalphH

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #11 on: December 19, 2020, 09:32:15 AM »

Let it die.  The only reason why those lakes have fish in them is from the time, money and effort of DLR.

Minnie Lake was regularly stocked in the 60s and into the 70s and produced good catches of sizable fish. There even a fish camp run by Peter McVey there for a time. The Lake did winter kill every few years but always came back. McVey also re-channeled some of the creeks flowing into Stoney to improve the inflow of water fish survived and grew very large. McVey closed his camp and later became involved in Corbett Lake Lodge. Beaver dams plugged the creeks into Stoney and fish could not survive the winter. Minnie experienced summer kills after irrigation draw downs by DLCC. Stocking was suspended and public access was cut off partly due to public abuse of the ranch land around the lake. This is all contained in Steve Raymond's book Kamloops Trout.

In the 80s McVey received permission to let him try to reestablish a private pay for access trout fishery in both Stoney and Minnie. He provided the trout to stock the lake. After there was proof of concept, DLCC took over the operation and built Stoney Lake Lodge. They also took over Salmon Lake fish camp and redeveloped it. Prior to that, the lake also was improved considerably by changing the channel of the Salmon River so it entered the lake at the western end.

The Province has improved conditions for the survival of trout  on many lakes including some that are surrounded by private land (ie the Corbett aeration project). The changes to Minnie and Stoney were not all that intensive and produced viable fisheries. The damning and dyking projects that increased the size and depth of both lakes came after trout fisheries were reestablished.

RalphH

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #12 on: December 19, 2020, 09:41:59 AM »

The judgment for the original case is here:

https://www.canlii.org/en/bc/bcsc/doc/2018/2018bcsc2167/2018bcsc2167.html?searchUrlHash=AAAAAQAbZG91Z2xhcyBsYWtlIGNhdHRsZSBjb21wYW55AAAAAAE&resultIndex=3

The judge's comments on the evidence given by the various parties are well worth the read and do shed some light on the practices of the ranch and particularly that of Joe Gardiner, the GM of the ranch. The discussion section is also worth reading to get some idea of the validity of the claims by the DLR.

Does it occur to you that this may be part of the appeal - that Judge Grove did not give sufficient weight to Gardnier's evidence as well as the evidence of other witnesses?

absolon

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #13 on: December 19, 2020, 07:54:16 PM »

From what I have read, the grounds for appeal are the lake boundaries. The DLR wants a map from the19 century to define the boundaries. IIRC the judge chose to use a photo from the late 40's.

They may have a grab bag full of what they would like to serve as grounds to reverse the decision. The court will decide if they are correct with any of them. From the judge's comments, Gardiner's actions and bearing in mind I'm not a lawyer, I doubt very much that it will be determined that Gardiner's comments deserve more weight.
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RalphH

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Re: Douglas Lake Cattle Company
« Reply #14 on: December 20, 2020, 08:36:42 AM »

The thing about appeals - the appeals court does not have to hear them. They will only hear them if there are reasonable grounds that the judge (Judge Grove in this case) made an error (or errors) in law. An appeal is not a re-trial. It is done on the basis of the evidence put forward at the original trial.

I haven't seen the appeal application but from what I read is DLCC is not appealing the decision around the Stoney Lake Road which was the major decision. I also don't believe it concerns who owns the fish. The main issue is about rights of way.  I have read the transcript a time or two but it's been at least a year since I did. From what I remember Grove accepted the Club's position that the ROWs were not extinguished because the land was deeded by a Grant he assumed it was intention of the Crown the ROWs would be maintained... which is unique.

Grove was quite indignant that the Province conspired against it's own law to close a public road and continued to keep it closed despite public complaints. After that he became motivated to give the club pretty much everything it was after.