BVRI President Message
This March brought a changing of the guard to the BVRI board, as Tom Fraser stepped down after eight years as President. The board collectively thanks Tom for his service, and for his continuing commitment to Bear Valley.
I now have the privilege of serving the Bear Valley community as President of the BVRI board and collaborating with 14 other dedicated board members. Together, we are working towards the purposes of the BVRI, which include promoting and protecting the interests of owners and lessees in the Bear Valley community, improving facilities and services within Bear Valley, and stimulating civic spirit, goodwill, and friendship among residents.
The winter of 2018-2019 provided a spectacular reminder of the magic and awe of the Sierra Nevada. More than 40 feet of snow fell on our mountain, forest and meadow. For six months, we have been on snowmobiles and skis, enjoying the splendor, challenging our bodies, and setting our hearts racing. And shoveling, so much shoveling. Kids learned to ski, families celebrated holidays and nights by the fire, Sky High, Grizzly and Creekside teemed with revelry, neighbors bonded over all the shoveling. Bear Valley in the winter of 2018-2019 was the place we love, at its best.
Looking further back, the summer and fall were glorious seasons, but punctuated by periods of fire and smoke that brought a reminder of the perils that face our patch of paradise. Although safely separated by miles of granite and water from Bear Valley, the Donnell fire gave us a vivid reminder that wildfire is a major risk, even at 7,000 feet. The forest in Bear Valley is overgrown, with far more trees per acre and a far heavier fuel load than is safe. To protect our homes, all of us have to take action. Dead trees have to be brought down and removed. Branches need to be cut at least 6 feet above the ground – and preferably higher – to prevent a low fire from springing into the canopy. Fallen branches and other fuels need to be raked and handled by the chipping program. The BVRI forestry committee conducts lot inspections each summer to help homeowners identify trees to be removed and other issues to be remediated. All of us need to be proactive and respond to the call to take care of our properties.
In the aftermath of this year’s heavy snows, BVRI’s architecture review committee will be busy with approvals of new decks, roof repairs, and the usual flow of renovations and additions. The “ARC” helps our community maintain the standards that keep Bear Valley’s homes beautiful and in keeping with the environment and one another. This hard-working team administers the sub-division covenants for mutual benefit and safety.
Once the snow melts and the beaches reappear, the BVRI beach and picnic committee will help us all to enjoy the treasure that is Bear Lake. We’ll see if the new boat racks that were built last year are still standing, and shore them up as needed. The beaches will be raked and sanitary facilities put into place. A beach attendant will be hired to preserve the charm and serenity of Bear Lake and the beaches. As a reminder, the beaches are only open to BVRI members and permitted guests, and dogs are not allowed in the lake, on boats on the lake, on the beaches, or along the trail around the lake (the dam is OK for a quick transit). The dog rules are in place so that we can continue to have recreation on Bear Lake, which is also our water supply and subject to state regulation. Dogs in the lake could end lake usage for everyone – please be respectful.
The beach committee is already hard at work preparing for this year’s summer picnic, which will be on Saturday, July 6. Once again, catering will be provided by Outer Aisle of Murphy’s, which means that the food will be spectacular. The picnic is a great chance to reconnect with Bear Valley friends and to be reminded of our community’s unique vibe and spirit. We all hope to see you there.
The BVRI is engaged in the matters of the day. In 2019, the big issue is transportation. BVRI is working with the Co-Op and other community leaders to seek improvements for transportation services, including the winter bus service that connects the village with the mountain, and the pursuit of a potential lift from the village to the ski area. More to come…the issues around transportation are complex, but the team working on it is optimistic that win-win solutions are possible.
Your input is welcome on these issues or other matters facing the Bear Valley community. Please reach out to me or other members of the BVRI board to let us know what we could do better, or to share your ideas for helping Bear Valley to thrive. And if you haven’t already, please become a member of BVRI – your membership helps us support Bear Valley.
Colin McKee, BVRI Board President
Date: TBD (late summer)
Sites to check to see what’s happening in Bear Valley.
Mountain and Village Dining Schedule Go to Plan Your Visit, Dining in the Village
Keep your eye out for postings on Bear Valley Nextdoor.
Bear Valley Trails for information on ways to get involved in maintaining and building new local Bear Valley trails.