The Kamloops and District Fish and Game Association (KDFGA) in association with the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts completed a camp site development at Lodgepole Lake which is located close to the Lac LeJuene turnoff on the Coquihalla highway. This lake is a popular spot for fishermen looking for Rainbow trout in the summer months, hunters camping in the fall season and trail bike enthusiasts that use the many miles of old forestry roads in the area. The site previously had two existing forestry recreation sites with rustic camping spots located in a mature Lodgepole Pine stand. All in all a pleasant location to camp with limited facilities and a rough area where one could launch at boat at the far end of the lake at one of the camping spots. Unfortunately the main camping area did not have a boat launch site and many times the small boat launch at the second campsite was obstructed by camper’s tents and vehicles.
Then the Mountain Pine beetle invaded our pine forests! This resulted in the complete devastation to the mature Lodgepole pine that had provided pleasant rustic camping locations. The trees all died in 2006 and subsequently the Ministry was forced to log all the pine in 2007 which comprised over 95 percent of the forest cover. We now had rough camping areas in a sea of stumps, one outhouse at each camping area and a primitive boat launch at one end of the lake far from the main campsite.
In April, 2010 the KDFGA started the preparation work at the site working with Noelle Kekula from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts on the project design. Club members met on site with Noelle and developed a site plan which included 7 new or improved campsites with fire rings and table, a new boat launch site at the south west campsite on the lake and an additional outhouse at the main campground. In the spring of 2010 the Ministry planted the logged campsite area with a mixture of pine, fir and spruce trees to establish a future forested site.
In June of 2010 the field construction was conducted over several days. The bulk of the rough construction was completed by a local contractor, Charlie’s Back Hoe Service, who donated a portion of their time, with an excavator and dump truck to repair the road within the campsite, widen and construct new roadway within the area with gravel hauled from a local gravel pit. The camping sites were expanded by removing tree stumps and levelling the sites. Crushed gravel was trucked in to provide a well drained surface for the individual campsites. Picnic tables were assembled on site and fire rings were buried at each campsite by volunteer club members. A road to the new main boat launch was brushed out, sloped and covered with gravel. Volunteers did much of the final grading and clean-up work to complete the sites.
The Ministry arranged to have a ON SITE custodian for the summer months to deter any acts of vandalism until the site becomes more established.
At the end of the day a safe, new family outdoor recreation area was completed for the public’s use. This quality camping location was made possible thanks to the generous donation of gravel and equipment time from Charlie’s Backhoe Service, funds from the Highland Valley Enhancement Fund, direction from Noelle Kekula from the Ministry of Tourism, Culture and the Arts and approximately 180 volunteer hours by members of the Kamloops and District Fish and Game Association. Those individuals who donated time, equipment and product to make this recreation facility have invited the public to come out to enjoy the now attractive location, help to keep it clean and safe for all and to catch fish.